“I’m bored!” – a common anthem from the louder denizens on trade chat. It certainly isn’t the first time that any of us have seen the random soul who voiced out their entertainment-impaired gaming life and most especially not the first in World of Warcraft. But, then again, it’s been said again and again, and it will never cease, even in the ironic realization that the people who complain about not having anything left to do in WoW complains within the game itself as they trudge along the raid content or mindlessly finish dailies. There have been many people who have written the ups and downs of Warlords of Draenor, but none more than those who found the increasingly slowing hype train that is Draenor to be far less than it actually is. But is it really?
The To-Do List
On every weekly reset, I’m in a frantic state of panic and bliss as I get to do whatever it is I need to go do. Hell, not just weekly, but daily in fact. I’ve got to keep raiding Heroic Blackrock because that one stupid tier piece won’t drop for me, Argent tournament dailies that I keep putting off, Tol Barad dailies and the lonely PvP over there just for the commendations because I just NEED to get that last mount I’m missing, then eleven characters to go through Icecrown because I am SO getting Invincible, not to mention the horrid Rukhmar kills for all those toons to upgrade some of their gear and maybe hopefully score the mount, keep up the 5’s arenas with my team so I can somehow get lucky and obtain the High Five achievement, farming alphas to feed some work orders in my many, many barns, oh, and speaking of garrison buildings, I really need to finish the auction module on my monk since he crafts and raids a lot, and, finally, ugh, lots more other things.
Whew! Seriously, I’m keeping up with so much in this game it gets exhausting, and I even burned out on it more than a few times. So, I’m always bothered when people state that there’s nothing left to do and that Warlords of Draenor fails because of that on so many levels. I vehemently disagree on that on so many levels. Sure, there are quite a few mentioned and unmentioned that have been available before WoD, but one can’t deny that there are so many things that the expansion put on the table. WoW is many things, but the one thing that it isn’t is something you can accuse of having a dearth of content.
Endgame is the only game
Many people equate content solely with the endgame of any MMO and that people find it to be the one and only reason to continue playing anything. I agree with it to a certain extent, but only because of the real human need for progression. Who doesn’t like seeing their character get stronger, faster, and better? With shiny gear after shiny gear, we all tend to want more, willing to brave new adventures just to see how far we can take our favored class before our WoW career’s death knell. That is understandable, of course, but people often forget that it isn’t ever only the level (and gear) of a character is what makes things worthwhile, but the other things as well. You know, the little things? Well, no, they aren’t really little, so to speak, but are beholden to those that view them as such.
In actuality, Draenor isn’t boring; it’s just that there are people who decide what is and what is not worth to play. There are hundreds of activities that any one player can engage with in this expansion alone, but only several available for many people as things they actually want to do. Some folks just abhor PvE like raiding, claiming that PvP is the only way to go in any game, while some hate only certain aspects of Player Versus Environment, opting only for raids or even those choosing only to muck around battling pets, seeing any other activity as an inferior one and a superior waste of time. No one can really force another to like something, but complaining that the single preferred activity that one chose isn’t enough is silly.
It really falls more on if anybody wants to do anything. If you keep saying no to one activity after another, there really won’t be anything left to do. People want what they want, but don’t ever blame a game of having a lack of things to do because of your own refusal to get into its other aspects. Don’t care about mounts, transmog, and achievements? Don’t do them. Don’t care about PvP? Stay away from me, please. Hate reputation grinds? Well, then, what do you have left? Raids? At that point, you really don’t have anything else. It’s impossible to ask for infinite progression because that’s just incredibly impractical to manage, and at the rate WoW churns out content (compared to other MMOs), it isn’t exactly slow either in that respect, so you’ll eventually get to infinity – you just have to wait.
One might say that people opt only for specific parts of WoW because of time constraints, with these specific kinds of players finishing off their favored aspect faster than Blizzard could even think about what to add next. But then you’d have enough time to do the other things as I’ve earlier stated and you choosing only not to do them. However, it’s rather a moot argument considering that the most common factor in MMOs like WoW is that they are timesinks. Smarter folks indulge themselves in online games that have less of this quality, like a quaint little moba or a shooter.
Though the number of things any one person can do in WoW depends solely on their willingness to actually play the game beyond endgame raiding or PvP, some of this may be Blizzard’s own fault for being progressive developers of their flagship. We all know that through the years, WoW has become simpler and far more accessible than it once was, with even many a player accusing it of catering to the casual player more and more. I don’t really care for the distinction between the past/hardcore WoW with present/cah-zhual WoW, but I can place a teensy bit of blame on WoW’s ease-of-access developments in the past years.
Before cross-realm zones and cross-realm queues, WoW’s populace was limited to the players within realms where communities would form, reputations would rise, and many other activities depended much on how a person would interact with the rest of the realm. There was no LFG tool, no dungeon finder, and no other quality-of-life feature that made it easier for folks to enjoy the game for what it was and what it presented, and it became especially more important to socially interact because of 40 man raiding. But then, all of that changed when these things did come into play. People tended to be less reliant on making a good impression, knowing that it is easy enough to get into a random group with random players and finish off relatively nerfed instances. Raids still required a modicum of social ability, because no one’s going to keep a douchebag in a raid team. Fast forward a few more years and we’ve now got flexible raiding, roughly diminishing the value of getting into raid groups as well. Slowly, WoW transformed from a straight-up team oriented game to a solo progression. Of course, raids and PvP still require teamwork, but that does not only count in the field of combat, but everything leading up to it as well.
As it got easier to play WoW, players became more relaxed and, to a certain degree, less ambitious. And with less ambition, players tend to become easily bored, taking for granted everything WoW offers them. There is relatively no longer any trouble or effort required to enjoy the endgame completely with each archaic MMO element that Blizzard eliminates to keep their game current, many of which existed in their prime during Vanilla and Burning Crusade, like attunement and artificial gear progression gating in dailies and harder dungeons. With all this, many do not find the need to invest themselves to a guild or static, due to everything so easily within reach. Simply for the reason that it’s just so easy to play the endgame, people care less about it and are able to gobble up endgame progression like it was nothing. Mythic raiding, you ask? Well, I don’t think people with lack of ambition could care less in conquering Mythic, finding solace in the fact that Heroic raiding is regarded to be how the raid was meant to be experienced, thus finishing the raid with its completion.
Only Bored When You’re Sick of It
Presume the most ambitious player who willingly takes on all aspects and elements of WoW’s massive wealth of content and who also is immune to burnout – he’s going to be busy forever. With so much to do and only so little waking hours within a day, that certain player won’t ever have anything complain about in terms of partaking in in-game activities. It doesn’t matter if you would argue that Blizzard doesn’t do a very good job on those other activities – that you find them boring or shallow – but they are all still what they are. You either treat them with serious ambition and iron-willed determination, or condescending ease and casual approaches, indulging the self more to the redundant ease of WoW’s many quality-of-life advancements. WoW, including the newest expansion, offers so much to us players – we just have to want it.
Inb4 taking a game seriously entails being a no-lifer. Gaming isn’t for you then.Related: Column, Warlords of Draenor, World of Warcraft, WoW Wednesday