World of Warcraft for me (as a player, not a guild master or a raid leader) has been a downward spiral since Wrath of the Lich King ended. I thought OMG 10 man raiding will revolutionize things and allow so many people to see content. It was foolish of me to think that 10 people would be as willing as I was to “help/carry” others along the way to not just normal mode but heroics. That spelled trouble from day one and even though as a group of players in game we have swelled up to the point of almost fielding a 25 man, at the end of the day there are only a handful of people truly willing to help people along to see all the game has to offer.
During cataclysm I encouraged a handful of friends to go and try the heroic world. I did so myself. I even attempted joining a couple of 25 man groups for “real” raiding, but eventually the core of our group just wanted to play together for fun. We reformed and have been trying to recapture that feel of the awesome group we had back at the end of Wrath. Don’t get me wrong we have had awesome raid nights during the years we have played after, but they come up less often. The fun times come mostly when it is not about pushing current content at a “harcore” pace but simply about just raiding with friends and joking around.
Mists was a disaster for my how I like to play the game. No longer was I able to level how I like to do it (by doing dungeons.) That said, I love pandas as a playable race, I even love some of the lore, however the game systems, the grind of dailies, the “lets make gear super hard to get, then switch it to, lets give away gear” really killed the game for me. The last raid (SoO) made me cringe as much as Firelands did with its unimaginative environments and complex mechanics for the sake of complexity not because they were fun. I got so tired of it quickly, so much so that for the fist time in my WoW career I took an extended break.
The extended break did give me some perspective. People still think they can run a guild better than I can “funny thing is that I quit running a guild back in Wrath, I mostly have a collection of people willing to play together.” People still think that gear is the goal, and once their toon is geared they want to switch to something else. My goal of getting as many people to see the content at a challenging level is only shared by that core, they are the ones that keep me playing… and some people have also joined that core throught the years. Loyalty in a game matters a lot. This group is still just gearing people for other groups. When people ask me why do I still play, the answer is simple, my in game friends; their loyalty keeps me around.
Which brings me to the real question. What is it that I want in game or from the game?
Playing with friends is what has kept me going this long, I think that will probably be what sways my decision the most. I have recently been inspired by some new people I am meeting in game that still have that same desire of experience and share their knowledge of the game with others.
WoD has lots of promise, raiding in WoD however does not hold the same promise because it looks like Mythic is not going to be much more than extra complexity and not much in the gameplay departement. Surprisingly even after playing the game for years it does not feel that way at all. I feel like I have been as entertained as going to the movies with friends or maybe being part of a bowling league where the objective is not to score strikes but kill dragons.
I do want something from the people in the guild though, and no it is not commitment to two raid nights, it is not even a response of hey I want to play WoD and would have fun doing it with our group of friends. I want you to do a little introspection of what you want out of the game, what your goals are. Share them with us. If I am going to keep this community going I want to hear where you guys want to go. I am holding ultimate judgment of Mythic raiding until I can test it but the feedback I keep hearing is that it is not worth it, but I think that as a group of people we might be able to still play together and have fun just doing the raid in normal and heroic and just having an awesome group of people that just enjoy spending a couple of nights a week chatting on vent and killing bosses.