Something has fundamentally altered in the Azerothian landscape over the last couple of years. I’d be hard pressed to work out exactly what, but undoubtedly the shadow of current events is cast in certain lights across a landscape that always prided itself as being somehow more untouchable than anywhere else, perhaps even more sacred. There has undoubtedly been an increase in questioning motivation, considering the reasoning behind why stuff happens, and how it is presented.
Of course, all of this has happened before.
Cyn was back in my thoughts today, reminder of what some refer to as the ‘Golden Age’ of Warcraft blogging. I know what this refers to, the people who will be missed, because thanks to many of them, the current game has evolved into what it now is. Cyn however was not like them: a genuine voice of revolution, force of nature. His comments on faction imbalance and the amount of information players were ask to absorb appeared, at the time, to fall on deaf ears. I can tell you for a fact at least some of that observation was noticed and taken on board, but not all.
The future, on days like today when I’m unable to grasp where I left my keys and working out what to do in game becomes insurmountable, is all wrapped up in increasingly incomprehensible amounts of data. Which affixes, what bosses, which World event… all of this is the reality of ‘modern’ Azeroth. This isn’t playing, it’s spreadsheets and number crunching and realtime, soul destroying theory-crafting. Once upon a time, someone very famous wrote a blog and suggested that ‘button bloat’ was the biggest problem in this game. He was wrong. Playing was never an issue, it was how it was decided that happened in the most efficient manner. Now we have no choice but to listen to other people, or else others make us look stupid.
That’s not gaming anymore, that’s a lifestyle. When you challenge people as to their lifestyle choices, you’re more than likely to be considered as noise before being blocked. Most aren’t interested and don’t care if you have a point of view against what they know as the truth. This is the world where we live in, that increasingly values brand and clique loyalty above independent thought, and won’t allow others the chance to state a point of view if it somehow contradicts a majority’s unshakeable belief. Well, you can, but don’t expect anybody to listen.
Why am I writing this today? Once upon a time, this was a lot of my output, questioning the choices made by a Company who I honestly believed might change to embrace the realities it was deficient in. Then, a while ago, came the same realisation Cyn had back in 2014. I didn’t feel good any more. I still enjoyed playing, but something vital had been lost. I felt my commentary had become largely pointless; not because I wasn’t being listened to, but because the journey I’m taking is not the same as the direction the company’s now moving in.
The last month, pre and post Blizzcon, has only served to strengthen the disquiet. Watching people I respect engaging in petty bickering, other people trying to paper over ever-widening cracks, some simply carrying on largely oblivious to anything except ensuring their own needs are served… and really, not much has changed in the wider world. Those who care about me, and whom I care about, remain strong and appear increasingly distant from this situation. This now seems very much the right thing to do.
So, my observations are now restricted to individual areas of interest, and depend on how capable I am of dealing with gaming when balanced against more significant pursuits. I’ve not done anything that’s lasted for longer than an hour since Pherian got all the BfA reputations to max and I fiddled a bit with playing one of the Allied Race alts. It was only this morning that it registered why that was. It’s the same reason why I’ve not played any game with passion since the Summer.
I still want to play, but the current End Game’s too complicated with tons of unfinished content to sift through in order to work out what actually matters. I want to level alts, but slogging through the same content is not fun when it doesn’t change. Neither of these things will alter any time soon. Nothing will magically appear to make that side of game play easier. If anything, it will just get more complicated, more involved, whilst older content becomes Legacy and is summarily mothballed.
Right now, I really don’t know what I can do to fix it.