Disbanded guild, playing vanilla


So I have not blogged of late because my guild on the Dalaran server disbanded recently, thus I cancelled my retail wow sub and decided to try and go back to Vanilla.

And you know what? I have been having more fun with Vanilla wow. This version of the game is the game I had the most fun with in any mmo and I am not the only player who feels this way, or blogger to be sure.

Priest with a cause had a great post about the progress of classic servers since Blizzard announced them at Blizzcon, he breaks it down quite nicely.

Right now, on K3, my main is an orc Hunter and even though I am not even close to level 10, because I just re-rolled from K2 since the Alliance to horde imbalance would have been problematic at higher levels in pvp, I have not played this one for too long, but I am digging it thus far. There is something magical about running around the world and seeing players questing in the open world. You don’t see that in the retail version of wow, with most players spamming the LFG function or congregating in capital cities, queuing for dungeons of pvp.

The vanilla wow community seems to be still thriving and enjoying classic wow, and since this is where my gaming interests currently lie, this is where I am staying for now.

And lest Blizz think that the announcement has diminished the player base on the classic servers, the devs should think again, the appetite for this “flavor” of wow seems to be as strong as ever. See you in Azeroth! Stay hungry for vanilla my friends.


The pay to play conundrum

wow warrior

One of the problems I always had with paying a subscription to play a game like wow is not the sub itself. I totally get that the devs need to charge in order to continue to pay programmers, graphics people and the development team to continue to make fresh and new engaging content for the game.

For me, it’s always been the fact that I feel guilty if I am paying for a service, even one which is not comparably expensive like an mmo sub and I don’t get to play very often. This time it would be different I said, joining my guild in the pve Dalaran realm in the hopes that this would force me to long on and play more regularly.

Now I fully realize that even this small commitment will not improve my chances of playing or even enjoying wow. Sometimes RL gets in the way and other commitments force us to scale back in our gaming endeavors and goals. Personally I don’t feel obligated to play wow just because I am on a recurring sub. Having to “play a game” makes it (to me at least) feel as though it is a chore and has the unwanted end results of not being as much fun.

Of course, the brief time I have spent interacting with guild mates has been great, but I find that in wow, as great and as engaging and polished an mmo experience as it is, it can also be a bit monotonous to grind and queue for dungeons and pvp, spin and repeat with little variation other than those 3 activities (questing, running dungeons and joining random pvp instances) Lately I had the most fun doing the random pvp encounters because I like that aspect of the game the most and would personally like to see more world pvp, especially in the open world. Also, it is fun to try and get proficient enough with a class to be viable in pvp zones.

I may do the unthinkable and roll an Alliance toon, because two good friends are back  in Azeroth and the prospect of playing with them sounds like a really good and tempting proposition. Unfortunately one rolled Alliance (shudder to think!) and the other followed suit.

So how do the rest of you deal with the “pay to play” conundrum? Besides the obvious answer not to pay at all. If you currently sub or resubbed to wow in anticipation of the BfA expansion to drop, how do you reconcile the feeling that you are wasting money if you are not regularly playing? Or are you on wow 25/7 now doing  mythics, questing and retro style dungeons and content in anticipation of BfA??

Love hate with wow

Orc hunter in wow
Orc hunter chillaxing in the Barrens.

My love hate relationship with World of Warcraft continues. I have been playing this game on and off for 10 years now, more often off than on but not by choice. Since the beginning of this year I have re-subbed in hopes of enjoying some time with a new guild, which by the  way has been a wonderful inclusive group.

The problem being, most of the long time members are already at max level while my main is at 36! That’s a big gap to be sure and while I enjoy communicating with them via Discord and social media, (shout to TrollerCoaster on the Dalaran pve server) I still feel a bit like I am playing a solo RPG which is not often the case in other mmos.

So I am currently rotating in between my three toons, hoping to get one to max level and beyond before BfA drops. I may take a break again in the month of April if only to get a little time on DAOC, or whichever mmo I choose because, after all, variety is the spice of life. So that’s what I have been up to. How about everyone else?

I enjoyed this post by Tamrielo of the Digital Initiative in which the different types of Guild leaders are categorized. I am too new to Troller Coaster to know where our guild leader fits, but just give me some time. I have a feeling if I was a guild leader, I would probably be the silent but competent type. Which type do you think Vork from the Guild fits under?

Then there was this post last month by the webmaster at NMNM which examines how the governor of KY and later Trump blamed video games for events like the recent shooting in Parkland, Fla. The same old tired narrative of trying to find a scapegoat for the lack of oversight over gun violence in the U.S, despite the lack of any correlation or empirical evidence to link virtual violence with real life tragedies. Sigh. It gets old

Why I love elves

orc hunter on wow
I may be busy leveling orcs and undead warriors and hunters, but I long to play and level my blood elf or the new nightbornes

My apologies for not having updated in almost a week. My goal for 2018 is to update more regularly but then life (mostly my job as a full time reporter for not one but two local newspapers) gets in the way!

I had this whole idea about writing about and comparing some fantasy races and tropes in the various fantasy games and franchises because they are pretty similar in many ways. In fact, I chuckle when I hear some younger folks (younger than myself at any rate) indignantly talk about how this game or i.p. ripped off such and such and how it’s very unoriginal to use races or tropes taken from World of Warcraft since wow is undoubtedly one, if not the biggest mmo out there.

Of course, these people are dead wrong since wow not only appropriated successful features and concepts from other fantasy worlds and source material, but can be thought of as a very successful Dungeons and Dragons clone. In fact, I am pretty sure that the irony of wow being more successful than D&D virtual worlds like DDO and Neverwinter is not lost on the developers of those games and iconic franchises.

And that brings me (finally) to why I love elves. To be exact, I really love the fantasy tropes of D&D elf races like the Drow and the elves one can read about in D&D Dragonlance novels and role play in the table top D&D old school editions.

Yes, we had elves and elven characters back in D&D and Dragonlance and we also have them in Tolkien and Lord of the Rings (these probably influenced Gary Gygax more than anything else when he was world building and creating the D&D table top RPG back in the 70s.)

Now I am about to get really geeky about lore, but you probably already guessed this was the case when I crossed over into discussing D&D. LOL. The fact remains when I play my blood elf on wow, I can’t help by reminisce about the wonderfully realized races of Dragonlance as brought to life in the novels of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. The elves in those stories, game modules and novels are just as realized as the societies and conflicts we are now getting in wow and rival anything we can come across in Azeroth.

So if I think about things deeply, I want to play elves because they are fun, they have always been fun and they continue to be in modern mmos, wow included. I also want to play gnomes though, but since I am horde I think I have to scratch that itch by loggin on to LOTRO, Neverwinter and other fantasy themed mmos.

Next: This week’s blog roundup

We have enough mmos

arms warrior in wow
My arms warrior in World of Warcraft

“The gaming community loves to focus on the negative, but when you really think about it, now is a great time to be an MMORPG player. Maybe the best time. There are games for (nearly) every taste. Most of the big names are stable and thriving. We’ve got quality and quantity. We’ve got everything. We have enough mmos.”

Thus concludes a recent commentary by mmobro talking about the genre’s recent drought, especially when compared to the post-WoW boom. The premise is that although there were not a lot of releases in the past year, we still have enough virtual worlds to adventure in.

He claims (and I would agree with the assessment) that we want to be able to set down roots in a game and settle in for the long haul. I know this has been true for me for a while. Just yesterday during my free time I was invited to a guild in the Dalaran PvE server on World of Warcraft and for the first time in a long while I felt I had joined a good virtual world family.

I also concur with his opinion that the excitement of something new and shiny cannot be denied. I still remember the hype in 2008 at the height of the Lich King expansion when players burned out with wow and other games of its ilk were salivating over the release of Mythic’s Warhammer. These days, the BFA expansion and the announcement over classic wow servers is generating excitement from a lot of long time players, even more so that when the last expansion was on the horizon.

I also remember the excitement prior to the launch of Trion’s ArcheAge four years ago. While the game proved to be ultimately disappointing to a large chunk of the genre’s fans, I still recall the excitement and fun of the beta and the days leading up to the launch of the game.

“We don’t need a constant chain of new games to play. We need games that we can stick with for the long haul, that continue to thrive years after launch,” wrote mmobro in the post. I would have to agree with that, the problem is that there are few games that thrive years after launch, wow being the biggest exception. I can think of a few others, Everquest, Dark Age of Camelot to name a few, but these games have reached “classic” status in the minds of fans and players, so their inclusion in this discussion may be a stretch to those who are only considering the newer games in the genre.

Personally, I am having fun rolling alts and trying to max a few toons and reaching exalted status in preparation for the BFA launch, if only to play the new Allied races. I just hope it doesn’t let me down or that the hype doesn’t fall flat like it did after SWTOR launched, or shortly after that.

Next: Why I like elves

Wow Allied Races: Good addition to game and lore

Nightborn elves in wow
Battle for Azeroth is giving players Nightborne elves as a playable race, to the chagrin of some Alliance faithful

OK I admit I am a big late in commenting and presenting reactions or blog posts to the upcoming allied races introduced with Battle for Azeroth. But as the topic is still being addressed and there’s fairly good amount of conversation about them since the expansion is now available for pre-purchase and this has led to some more discussion on the blogosphere, let us take a look shall we?

Syp seems to be the opposite of me who actually likes elves, a staple of fantasy gaming, and therefore the race I am most looking forward to trying out are the nightborne, because they have joined the horde side.

Syp says they might be “Night elves version 2.0” and that sounds like an accurate description. “Probably a good idea to have an opposite visual shift from the WASPy Blood Elves, plus the Horde get another “pretty” race that brings their total up to two. Truly, great days are ahead and I look forward to seeing more skimpy Elf girls making me take the Horde seriously.”

The tongue-in-cheer borderline sexist comment aside, I for one am glad there is another elf race to choose from other than the blood elves, which are also a fun one to play due to their colorful and unique starting zone and interesting back story.

the Void Elves get the absolute bottom spot for Syp because their visuals make him want to smack them more than the Nightborne. “It’s like Dracula got… wussy.” LOL. Be that as it may, I think Blizz has done a good job of setting up these political entanglements in Azeroth elf races and it’s great to see the intrigue and speculation behind why the Nightborne would choose the horde.

He seems to like the visual style of the Dark Iron dwarves and Highmountain Tauren. Lightforged Draenei and Zandalari tolls don’t seem to be his cup of tea either.

Sandrian from Aeterneus gaming said his February goals included wanting to get Exalted with the Argussian Reach and Army of the Light on his warrior so he can unlock the Alliance allied races.

I had no idea there were some requirements which needed completion prior to rolling one of the new races, that’s a bummer, but I am having fun leveling my alts so I guess I never noticed or researched this. I don’t plan on pre-purchasing BFA, I can wait until the expansion drops. Hell I never even completed Legion leading up to patch 7.3.5!

The Ancient Gaming Noob recently rolled a Highmountain Tauren warrior since he says he already has a horde druid and hunter. and he had interesting observation about the new races, all the while trying to decide the level 110 boost that comes with the expansion.

Next: Why I like elves

welcome and have your say!

Welcome to the brand new mmo voices blog. I play mmos, obviously! and I read blogs on the state of the industry and the games I play. Currently the upcoming expansion for World of Warcraft and a general nostalgia about playing engaging mmos and joining the community of bloggers who keep us all posted about these games brought me back to my old gaming hobby and prompted me to create this blog for the new year

There has been a need for a blog like this ever since the death of sites like mmo melting pot and others, though I won’t promise that my content will be as regular or as in depth, at least not in the beginning.

About me: I tend to gravitate towards older mmos like Everquest, Dark Age of Camelot and a few others but I play some modern ones too and the ones I don’t play I read about and I hope to highlight some fun and informative blog posts during the days, weeks and months ahead. So come back often and read the regular (or irregular as the case might be) contemplation and postings from out favorite as well as more obscure writers from the mmo blogosphere.

Next: World of Warcraft Allied Races