My sister and I had a nice long chat today about our current feelings regarding WoW, and I’m glad that we did. What it basically boils down to is this: she’s pretty much done. It’s not that she doesn’t still enjoy it, but she’s been there, done that. The only thing that really holds any interest anymore is random heroics, and queuing for a random group is rolling the dice with heartache since for every good run (as measured by good attitudes, not elite skills) there is at least one more terrible run (again, as measured by having a group full of people who seem to have skipped out on their court-ordered anger management therapy to run a quick random heroic). On that note, there’s not much point in me playing either, since the thing I enjoyed most about the game was playing with her. Maybe we’ll come back in the future, maybe not. Time will tell. At any rate, there’s not much point in continuing on with the way things are now. Our list of pros and cons basically boiled down to this: if it can be done without a group, we’ve done it a million times. If it needs a group (5-10-25), screw that, because we don’t have one.
Long story short, raiding isn’t on the menu at the moment, so that leaves us leveling up new alts in different zones just to get something different to do. Except that experience tells us that each pair of alts would take about 2-3 days, at most, to breeze through the 1-60 zones (leaning toward the lower end with heirloom gear). We figure that trying to squeeze out 3-4 more weeks worth of alts is not exactly worth the $50 it would take the two of us to server-transfer our heirloom gear, especially when you figure in that these alts would never get past level 60-ish precisely because we’ve seen the 60+ content so many times we have it memorized with Wowhead-like precision.
In the end, what she misses most, and I can’t say I disagree strongly, is the ‘incremental’ style of play that WoW used to have for us. There was a time when we could just set a goal and work on it. Get a pair of alts to a particular level. Max out a profession. Clear a questing zone. Gather reputation with some faction or another. Queue up for a random to get some badges. Do a raid. Do some old content. But at this point we’re feeling like there’s not much left to do. Almost all of our alts are max-level. Those that aren’t have been sitting near max-level for weeks or months because we don’t care enough to get the last level or two before cap. All of our toons have maxed-out primary professions (of which we have all the bases covered). You have to clear out the questing zones for rep and leveling up, anyway. Our primary toons have all of their badge gear and reputation, and grinding it out on more alts is just ‘meh.’ Our previous raid groups aren’t running current content, and old content is either ridiculously easy, already done, impossible to find a group for, or some combination of the above. At this point everything from dailies to heroics is a mix of boring, tedious, repetitive, or annoying.
It’s at the point where if something isn’t done it’s probably because either a) I no longer care enough to do it or else b) it’s stupid to expect to accomplish it in any reasonable time frame if it can be done at all by 1-2 people. We’ve logged enough playtime since Cata to grind our 2-person family guild to level 5 from just leveling alts and doing dailies. Despite all that, we’re left with the feeling that we haven’t accomplished anything for all our hard work. Basically, we both feel like we’ve been fighting the system and we’re sick of it. At the very least, we need a bit of a breather from the repetitive grind.
On that note, I am searching for a new game for us to play in the meantime. Maybe there’s a system out there that’s a better fit for us.
Here’s what we want:
- Fun, interactive gameplay. Some work is ok, hardcore grinding is not. We want to be able to set reasonable goals and then accomplish them.
- Cooperative play. We want to join up and play together as a team, not against each other. We also want to interact with each other, not just the game world.
- Free to Play or Free Trial. We don’t want to shell out big money for something that we’re not going to like. If a free trial, the trial must allow us to do things like group/quest together so we can test it out.
- Limited reliance on other people. We want to avoid a repeat of the WoW experience in which the leveling process is solo/small team friendly, but end-game play is reliant on finding a large number of strangers to help you. In short, we don’t want to get “stuck” at end game with nothing to do the way we are now.
Anyone have any ideas? I’m in the process of downloading Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online to test out. I’m also checking out League of Legends and Wizard101 to see what those are like. Finally, we will be testing out a Rift free trial during a week that we both have some free time together. Is there anything else that someone can recommend? Did I miss something obvious? It doesn’t necessarily need to be a fantasy setting, they just seem surprisingly common in MMOs.