Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Post 70 Blues

As I more or less expected, my play time in World of Warcraft has gone down significantly since I hit level 70 (it's no coincidence that my posts here have gone up since then). There's basically three things you can do after 70: you can PvP, you can run high level instances, or you can grind faction and gold. I can't PvP on my current computer for technical reasons that I haven't been able to track down (getting a new NIC improved the situation, but not enough to make it playable), instance groups frustrate me, and grinding bores me.

I thought I'd spend a little time explaining why I have a problem with instances. I was recently reminded why they frustrate me when I helped out a friend in a level 60 instance. It was just three of us, me at 70, a 69 and a 61. We had a bit of trouble at first and my friend started offering me "advice" about playing my character more effectively. Now, my friend has a lot more experience than I do playing a priest. His main on another server is a priest and he's been playing it for a lot longer than I have, doing instances and raids. He knows how to play one optimally, and that's just the problem. If you want to play in a high level instance you have to have an optimum build, and you have to play in an optimum manner. I hate that.

I totally understand that when the party has a wipe because the priest drew too much agro, or makes some other mistake, that the other players have a reason to be upset, but when my role in an instance is to spam the same set of spells in the same order all the time, then I have to wonder why I'm even needed. A macro could do my job, and probably do it better. Because that's what it feels like at that point: a job. If I enjoy playing my character a certain way, but that way isn't the optimum way to run an instance, well, I'm just SoL.

Mind you, if I became good at playing my role in instances, then I might come to like it better, but that brings up another set of problems. When I'm learning how to solo more effectively, no one else gets pissed if I die a few times getting used to things, or trying out something new. If trying to do the same thing in a group causes a few party wipes as I learn from my mistakes, then the rest of the group is likely to get a bit pissy. Even if I'm in a group of people put together specifically to help me learn how to run my character, I will still feel bad about getting things wrong, and will get frustrated as a result.

Of course one of the goals we had in starting characters on the server I'm on is to eventually get enough of us to level 70 that we can run instances with just a bunch of friends and have a more friendly atmosphere doing it. Now I just have to wait for the rest of the guys to catch up and see if that actually works.

In the meantime I'll probably be spending less time playing WoW, and more of the time that I do play leveling up another character. I've already started playing around with my level 60 druid, spending all the points he had freed up back when they reset the abilities (I think when the expansion came out), and learning how to play him again.

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