It has been twenty-one days since my last blog post, the longest break I’ve had writing about this game for some years. When you’re not tied to a raid schedule or the social demands of regular players, it is quite easy to walk away from Azeroth. In my case, I needed time to have a good hard think about where my gaming life goes this year. You see, a lot of the reasons why I play this game are being fundamentally altered with Battle for Azeroth, in an attempt to get more people to play it. That means restricting the avenues in which it is possible to play outside the boundaries of what is provided.
For a lot of Social media, complaining about Warcraft’s been an art form for many years. In recent months, it’s been easy to see why some of these criticisms can be considered increasingly valid. The fact remains, however, that if you want to enjoy something, the only person stopping that from happening is yourself. I had hoped that reconnecting with the social aspects of Azeroth would be the enthusiasm needed to pull me back into gameplay, but it transpires that’s not where my problem lies. What is more significant are my own, very particular desires, and how I will be able to address these as some rather fundamental aspects of gameplay are altered forever.
It was inevitable that, to make this game more accessible, the single-player experience would eventually outweigh community considerations. I’m not particularly disposed at this point in time to start breaking apart the mentality of current developments and thinking either. I’ve arrived at a significant crossroads in that regard: what matters more, going forward, is not to spend time every day pontificating on the relative merits (or otherwise) of the changes when, in pretty much every case, those changes aren’t aimed at me. I’ve paid a sub since 2005. Blizzard don’t need to retain me. THEY NEVER HAVE.
All of this alteration is meant to catch the eyes of those who don’t play anymore and might want to. They’re showy, expansive brush strokes underpinned with a repetitive, retentive gaming system that provides dopamine hits in small, controlled bursts. It has been that way for over a decade, is unlikely to change any time soon. The choice one makes as a player is whether you choose to immerse yourself and willingly accept the principle, or whether you fight and scream and complain about it rather than doing the sensible thing and stop.
After time away, I miss playing. The barometer for me was this: if, after a break, I find myself wanting to come back and potter about, then that’s what will happen. If my PC is now below minimum specs for BfA, no matter, we’ll just lash summat together and hope for the best. What will happen, and this should show my commitment to the IP long term, is everyone will be transferred off my old server, Alliance and Horde, and we will start fresh somewhere else. Therefore, once I’ve written this blog post, that process will begin in earnest.
Everything after that is up for negotiation, depending what happens when the Expansion launches. I’m not playing Beta. I’ll do it all when it happens live.
I’ll write about Warcraft when the mood takes me.