[OOC] The Unexpansion

I logged into beta this morning, and to my surprise I really didn’t feel any urge to play it. I have my hunter and my resto druid main, both of whom I’d like to try out. But then I run smack into that garrison-shaped elekk in the room, and my urge to play just stops.

I realize I’m being kind of tough on them, but again that’s just because I’m so frustrated by what could have been. It is very very early in the beta, and a lot could change between then and now. I’m trying to give my feedback on that, but it honestly doesn’t feel like anyone is listening. Too much is “required” and there are not enough choices, it feels stifling. I don’t want to play a RST/resource management game, if I wanted to do that, my copy of StarCraft 2 wouldn’t be covered with dust. Please don’t put it into my WoW questing experience, and please don’t make it “required”.  I’d honestly just skip it all completely if I could, but I always go for the Loremaster achievement on Ornasse, which means I’ll need to do it once. And I do like questing, generally speaking. From what I’ve seen of the zones so far, they are really gorgeous.

I made a comparison in my last post on the subject to pet battles. Compared to garrisons, pet battles have a wealth of choice! You choose your pet, you choose his name, you choose his moves (past a certain level, from a set of moves) and you choose which moves to use when. You level your pets up and gain access to more pets (a compelling reward) in addition to dailies which offer more rewards. You can earn pets, items, achievements, titles, and even epic-level pets via pet battles. You can battle them with your friends or show them off in town. There are multiple different ways to acquire pets, be it catching them in the wild, raid bosses, crafting, the Blizzard store, and holidays. They are a complete system that works well. Garrisons — at least right now — are not.

Like a lot of people, I’m very disappointed in moving the faction capitals to Ashran. I do PVP from time to time, but I have no tolerance for PVP griefing; that is, people coming in and killing quest/trade NPCs. Any interest I might have had in Ashran has pretty much been killed by — once again — the removal of choice. Even if we’re not auto-flagged on leaving (which is unclear), NPCs are still susceptible to griefing and having seen the pictures, it’s a very very tiny spot of land to squish an entire faction into. I really like the suggestion I’ve seen to make both cities “capitals”, with Ashran focusing more on PVP vendors but both be fully functional cities. Yes, my draenei can still go to Karabor and RP there, and I have a feeling that many on my server will do the same. I just fear it being intended for some story purpose later on and being either destroyed or phased and thus unusable. For an expansion that promised a greater focus on the draenei, I feel like my doubts in Blizzard are being justified. I wish I was wrong about that. Again, it feels like they’re trying to push participation in Ashran by their location, and it’s just making me want to play it less.

On the lack of flying: I don’t like it. I’m not sure which guy at Blizzard thought that having to dodge mobs on Timeless Isle is compelling gameplay. It isn’t fun, I don’t like it. If it’s for PVP reasons, that’s even more ridiculous, because I’m not on a PVP server. I’m totally fine with not flying until 100. I’m not fine with no flying at all in Draenor, ever.

I don’t like losing abilities. I don’t like having travel/swim/flying form rolled into one button. There are times when I want to use stag and I would like the choice to do so. I don’t like losing Symbiosis, and I don’t like losing Innervate. I haven’t yet had a chance to heal with my resto druid on beta, but I know of the healing classes that I play, druid struggles most with mana regen.

All of these little things are making me second guess my subscription for the first time in many years. Honestly, if not for my awesome RP partners, I think I’d be done. But I’m awfully attached to my characters, and all the stories we’ve built with them. I got my hopes up that we could finally build a home for them to live in, but it doesn’t appear that’s going to happen. I’m going to take a small break from beta — this week is double XP in SWTOR. (By the way, that game is getting actual player housing in August.)  Maybe there will be updates and I can look at it with new eyes then.


One Response to [OOC] The Unexpansion

  1. Sorry to hear you’re not happy with the Beta – LOL, I’ll admit that I am truly disappointed with a lot of it so far. I don’t play Beta every day, too much of a grind and frustrating with broken quests, disconnects and resets – I’m stuck at my garrison now and can’t go anywhere – back to Org would have been nice, however, my hearthstone was set to the Garrison, so, until they get that fixed, I’m done. 😀

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