Battle for Azeroth: What Keeps Me Playing?

Well, here we are folks. A whopping ten weeks out from the official launch of Battle for Azeroth. It feels, in some ways, like a lifetime since the new expansion dropped, but in others it feels like we just got started!

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“Island Expeditions. Heh! Warfronts. Heh! WoW players crave not these things!” – King Anduin (2018)

I’ve seen a lot of hate being fired around on the internet about the state of World of Warcraft. I’ve read threads written by “casuals” and “hardcore” players alike that have highlighted all the ways the game has destroyed their lives, or has itself been destroyed by Blizzard and the greedy monsters that run Activision|Blizzard Entertainment.

Look. I get it. A lot of us have been playing WoW for years. A lot of us feel a kind of investment to the MMO. The truth of the matter, however, is that we do not.

So before we go any farther, we have to ask an important question for everyone suffering in this expansion.


Is it time to quit WoW?

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This is a very easy question to answer. World of Warcraft is a video game. You are paying $15/month to play this one game. Unless you are into that sort of thing, you really shouldn’t be paying for any entertainment that does not entertain you. Remember the studio name is Blizzard Entertainment.

So, you might think, WoW once entertained, but now it does not.

You’ve just answered the question.

Here’s a nice example of how it works… Almost a decade ago, I really enjoyed watching Stargate SG-1. After the eighth season, Richard Dean Anderson left the show. The creators dropped out, new show runners came on, and a lot of names and seats were shuffled at the studio. After that went down, I never finished another season of Stargate SG-1. The show ran for two more seasons, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea, so I stopped watching.

It wasn’t entertaining me anymore. That’s all there was to it. I don’t think Syfy (Universal) killed my favorite show. I don’t think it was suddenly stupid and unwatchable. It just didn’t work for me anymore, so I stopped.

The answer is clear and simple. If you do not enjoy playing WoW, you should not be playing WoW.


 

So, if you’re actually still having fun in WoW and want to keep playing, you might still be wondering what you should be doing. After all, turning to the forums and/or Reddit would have you convinced there’s nothing to do.

So how do I have fun?

Let me tell you something. It’s not Warfronts or Island Expeditions. Even I admit those elements fell flat once they were released. Sure, they’re fun to do now and again if you’ve got people to go with you, but otherwise… meh.

So, if I’m not doing those, what could I possibly be doing!?

Literally everything else.

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Have you met Bumbles yet?

WoW is still WoW

I think it’s fair to say we had some lackluster content released with this expansion. Both the warfronts and the island expeditions could have been impressive time sinks for us in WoW if they had worked out, but for many of us, they didn’t. It is very reminiscent of the Garrisons from WoD. A lot of time and energy was put into this mechanic and it just didn’t sell.

Fortunately, these additions they make up a pretty small part of the game in which we have been playing for years now.

For example, here’s my typical week in WoW:

  • Sunday: Pushing a Mythic+ key as high as I can for the week
  • Monday: Clear the Emissary Quests
  • Tuesday: Raid Night #1
  • Wednesday: Family Night (Leveling Alts, Old Content with Family & Friends)
  • Thursday: Raid Night #2
  • Friday (Optional): Clear the Emissary Quests
  • Saturday (Optional): Material Gathering (Feasts, Flasks, and Potions)

This content alone can keep me logged into WoW for a minimum of 10 hours a week.

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“Sounds Fine.” – Captain Fynn

Then, there is additional stuff I can do if I’m feelin’ good in WoW:

  • Pet Battles
  • Transmog Runs
  • Achievement Hunting
  • PvP
  • Old Reputations
  • Mount Farming
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Halloween Costume 2018

Less WoW = Fun WoW

So, am I playing WoW less now than I did last expansion? Yup.

But get this… I am having more fun in WoW now than I was a year ago.

The one thing I actually really appreciate about BfA… well, I experienced it once during Warlords of Draenor too.

It’s called having time.

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“It’s about time!”

I don’t feel like I have to spend every waking moment playing endgame WoW content. Outside of raid nights I know I can take a break and everything is going to be okay. My reputation world quests will always circle back around, my alts aren’t going anywhere, and if I miss a Mythic+ this week, I can just get it next time.

The truth of this expansion is that I can breathe. I can stop and play Nintendo Switch for a while, or read a book, or watch a movie. I don’t have to play WoW whenever I have an open window. When I am playing WoW, I can explore all of the other facets of the game, not just BfA content. For me, that’s really refreshing.

As an added bonus, the time away from my keyboard also reminds me how much I like playing WoW. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, as they say.

“ZOMG. Is he really implying he likes there being not enough to do in the game because it allows him to play other games?!?!”

Well… as Obi Wan once said… “From a certain point of view!”

It’s called optimism, and it’s something I think the gaming community is sorely missing right now. From my end, I think WoW has delivered a game with a solid core that, fueled only by Mythic+ and Raiding in BfA, warrants my $15/month. If you don’t feel that way, if the value of your money is too high for the time you invest, then I implore you to consider the question we asked up top.

Does WoW entertain you? If not, then really consider if you could put that money somewhere else where you might feel better invested! You’ll be happier, the community will be okay, and when you are ready to come back (if ever), it’ll be here for you.

How about you?

This goes out to all the readers that enjoy playing WoW (not just Legion, or Battle for Azeroth, or Vanilla). What brought you to this franchise and what is it that keeps you here despite the times that we’re getting hit with elements we don’t care for? Do you sometimes unsubscribe or do you just buckle down and pay for another six months? What drives you!?

4 thoughts on “Battle for Azeroth: What Keeps Me Playing?”

  1. Great post. I try to maintain a positive view too, all though I struggle with it in game recently. But it is certainly not because I have nothing to do. I might be wrong, but I sincerely doubt that I will ever run out of things to do!

    I actually like the systems, the War fronts, the Island Expeditions. I fear many treat them like something they want 20 hours of entertainment out of instead of just doing them every now and again.

    But the story of the game, and what it to come, is somehow disconnecting me from the whole game. It’s just not for me. I dislike the War because war, especially in today’s age of computer gaming and real life. Us, players, fighting each other instead of a joined foe is just not appealing to me, at all.

    So I think what you say rings true for me somewhere down the line soon. But I do try to wrap my head around it in a different way and just not care about the story in the expansion. But I find it difficult when it’s what drives me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s fair. As the storytelling becomes more character focused I imagine there will be a larger divide between players that like and dislike the direction it goes. Hopefully the isolation doesn’t become too much, or the writers may be forced to go back to light storytelling through quests alone, which is fine too… just with less cutscenes and major characters!

      I, for one, have always seen Sylvanas as an aggressor and eventual villain. To me, she is finally getting the spotlight and development she deserves, though I admit that the writers are now forced to deal with an early arc (Garrosh) that sometimes makes this feel like a repeat.

      All that being said, the story for the expansion, at least for now, seems to be doubling down on the idea of a war between the factions. Hopefully it’ll be resolved in a few major patches (once the Alliance puts the Horde back in line) and we can focus on the Old Gods that so clearly threaten us from the depths!!! 🙂

      Worst case, you can always take a break from the story, revisit older content, and wait for the Tides of Vengeance to subside!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I do not mind the Sylvanas spotlight, but I do mind the “wait for it”-aspect, this story has. Obviously if I read a book, I do not expect the “who did it?!” to be revealed on page one. But nor do I want to go through a “what is going on, let’s speculate and wander in the dark” -phase throughout most of the book, if that makes sense.

        One can only hope, for sure. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m also one of those people that likes to quest, explore and generally run amuck in all areas of the game. I’m an altoholic and love just running around and entertaining myself most of the time.

    As far as BfA goes, haven’t really gotten involved in it yet because it just feels like I’ve been there before and I’m really into Trolls to start with. Yes, I play Horde most of the time, however, my heart will always be Alliance no matter the faction that I happen to be in – yes, I know that’s not a good thing, however, it’s the way that I have played the game all of these years.

    I’m still finding plenty to do throughout the game and that doesn’t keep me locked into the current expansion to the point that it did in WoD (another weird expansion that bored me to tears and almost quit the game). I looked at my accounts and discovered that I have quite a few characters on one realm and not nearly enough time to play them all – so, guess I might be pruning some of the least played.

    Liked by 1 person

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