WoW – back to Vanilla

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This is a whine post, and I’m just getting something off my chest in public, so feel free to move right along.

Turns out that everything, and I mean everything in Legion is gated behind dungeons, except for actually getting to max level. Which is a shame, because in every other respect Legion is probably the best (and best-looking) expansion World of Warcraft has ever done. It reminds me of Vanilla-WoW, which I basically stopped playing at level 50-odd because everything led to doing dungeons, everything you might need or want was in a dungeon, and the entire game was focused on doing dungeons so you could gear up to do more dungeons.

Things I like to do in WoW:

— Harvest stuff and craft stuff (just for fun – I long ago gave up any illusion of it being useful). Progressing through crafting professions (to 800) is now gated behind dungeons.

— The levelling process. Ironically (for a game whose design paradigm revolves around something completely different), WoW has one of the best levelling games there is. Only SWTOR comes close. Levelling characters is super fun for me and yes, I have an enormous capacity for repeating content (because I play to relax — knowing “what’s coming” is actually a plus for me). That part Legion does really well.

— In Legion, I was looking forward to doing the Class hall stuff because it’s part of your character’s story through the expansion. This is gated behind dungeons. Apparently it’s only one dungeon if you’re a hunter*, but that’s not the point. (Especially since I’m an altoholic.)

Things I do not like to do in Wow:

— Dungeons. (Even when I’m umpty-nine levels above them and can go through them on my own, they’re basically the last thing I would ever choose to do when I log in.)

I. DO. NOT. LIKE. DUNGEONS.

And by “do not like” I mean: get so overwhelmed and upset by the process (finding a group, getting there, sitting through the “pretty” visual effects and fights) that I usually end up in tears. It’s a sensory processing disorder thing, and possibly even an Asperger’s thing, I don’t know. I do know that lights + noise + speed of action + having to deal with other people = cruel and unusual punishment.

Why on earth would I want to put myself through that for a game?

Answer: I don’t. And I won’t.

I’m not asking for the gear or indeed for any of the “goodies” one gets from doing dungeons. I’m not motivated by that shit. But the epiphany I just had included this: WoW is all about the gear. It always has been and apparently always will be. At the end of the day, there is nothing else. Gear is the WoW paradigm, and while we can sometimes work around it, I guess in Legion the designers decided it was time we remembered it with a vengeance. And in WoW, gear equals dungeons equals gear equals more dungeons.

For a while I actually thought Blizzard had decided that it was possible to make a game where some folks could do dungeons and raids (and get the benefits of those) and those who didn’t want to could do other stuff (and not get the same benefits but that was ok too). That’s basically what Warlords of Draenor was. Apparently this was not popular, and Legion decided to go waaaay over to the other extreme.

Way to go, Blizzard. It feels like we’re back in 2006, and I’m going elsewhere until 2018.

I’m updating EQ2 as I type.**


*Thanks to Kanter for pointing that out. I appreciate the effort and I know you get it. But it’s still one too many. 🙂

** Yes of course I’m knee-jerking and rage-quitting. I’ll be back.  I just won’t expect to play Legion.

4 thoughts on “WoW – back to Vanilla

  1. Here, here. I mean, I don’t mind that other people like dungeons or that dungeons exist, either, but I feel that forcing progression through dungeons or forced grouping is just *lazy* design. These days, they can’t scale encounters for 1 person or enable NPC teammates? I 100% also don’t mind if they put better rewards in group or raid content, but putting story/plot progress there as well? Lazy design, it’s just lazy design. This is why I quit WoW ages ago. I realized the only way I’d progress in the story/plot was through raiding/grouping over and over again, and I just couldn’t do it.

  2. That’s a bummer to hear. I’m also in the camp of don’t-like-dungeons. I manage to stick it out in FFXIV despite dungeons because I have friends who help me, but I also get easily overwhelmed and am PUG shy. I would be feeling the same as you are if I played WoW.

    1. I did to a few dungeons in FFXIV — they seemed a lot less frenetic to me than the WoW ones. Not exactly pleasant but (as you say) quite doable with friends.

  3. Yes, it is unfortunate and I have just done the minimum so far (one for my class quest and one for Alchemy) so far but another dungeon quest is required for my next Alchemy recipe. When I did the quest, I did the Heroic version and hoped to have some guild-mates join, but didn’t have any luck. That said, the heroic ones weren’t too bad and it would probably be pretty easy to get three other people to join us for 30 minutes or less for the normal dungeon run which would be less frantic and the people will probably be over-geared which always lowers the stress.

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