I’ve done my utmost in the last few months to remain positive in the face of dwindling personal game time, and changes to the UI that I’m deep down not terribly happy with. I have embraced the simplified version of my Hunter and made the best of the limited palette of skills that are now available. I learnt at the weekend I’ll be getting traps back, which fills me with more joy than I thought would be possible for the bitter, cynical woman I have become. However, regardless of my personal outlook, I understand just how amazing this game remains for those who have both time and inclination to fully immerse themselves. Therefore, when someone suggested that Warcraft might be considered ‘hollow’ at the weekend, I did a bit of a double take.
Then I realised that this point is worth exploring.
My major complaint right now (too much to do, not enough time) is easily remedied: make more time. When you see someone argue that there’s no soul in this game to engage them, that they’ve done all they want from the experience, you realise you actually have a lot in common. The key to understanding how both viewpoints can exist simultaneously is that some people have no issue at all disengaging with the UI once they’ve done all they feel is doable. I tried to work out why that might be for me, and the main conclusion I can draw is that I’m too emotionally invested in what Azeroth’s now about. If you play Legion just as a game then it stops being about how you won’t allow hours, years of time played to be made redundant by rushing through everything in the most efficient manner possible, and then moving on. Boredom never takes place because you’re too lost in the concept to allow that to happen.
I should be ascribing to this outlook more and not allow the weight of expectation to cripple my progress. If I just relaxed and played, then there’d be less to worry about. If the experience feels hollow sometimes to me, that’s not the fault of the game, far from it. That’s my perception of the experience. Lana’s and my ‘worlds’ might seem poles apart but as a typical example of extremes in content consumption, they are very much the norm. The problem that currently exists in this Community and many others is the misguided belief that somehow there is only one way this game gets played, when the absolute polar opposite is true. As we discussed yesterday, there are many different ways to get to the same end result. The problem comes when high profile ‘personalities’ start dictating the rule sets. Then all that’s likely to result is upset and disaffection.
Except sometimes, that’s exactly what you need to have happen. This tweet could not have come at a more apposite time for someone like me who, by choice, decides to stand pretty much alone. Of course you can play this game as part of a collective whole, but that disregards the sum of many, many parts. Some of the most significant players in Azeroth remain mavericks: like my mate @ whose IronMan site stands out as one of the most creative use of existing game mechanics and the Blizzard API you are ever likely to see. This is content created solely by players, for players, and is unlike anything else currently in game. When you see the amount of stuff that can be done without the need to rely on ‘formal’ organisation, it may baffle some people that others won’t stay. What you need to grasp is for some people, this game is only about what they need from it, and never what is offered.
Once that intractable is grasped, everybody is an awful lot happier overall.
When you’re prepared to accept that every opinion’s valid, a lot of hassle and anger disappears. It also becomes apparent that you should allow others to be what they want, without starting a fight. Therefore, I’d urge you to go and read Lana’s post. On considered reflection I don’t think this game is hollow, and I doubt it will ever really be so, but if you are not prepared to embrace the soul of Azeroth (for whatever reason) it is easy to grasp what that word has more relevance than perhaps some might at first believe. If you don’t put your heart and soul into any virtual (or indeed real life) experience, if you choose to be devoted to another, or them all or perhaps none of these virtual locations with any depth, it doesn’t make you either right or wrong.
It just makes you different.