Drew was in town last week and I hung around on Saturday with him at Sky's place. Some of the time was spent talking about the video games we're currently playing. Drew and I are playing different MOBA games and expect to be playing different MMOs by the end of the month. DotA2 and Guild Wars 2 for Drew, League of Legends and Final Fantasy XI for me. Sky is currently playing none of the above and there may have been some campaigning to get him into at least one of the four. But what about on September 25th when the new World of Warcraft expansion hits? Will we be playing WoW again? If so, to what extent?
For around four years we were all in the same raiding guilds. Raiding 3-4 nights a week, every week. Killing things, eating them, taking all of their shiny purple stuff. Would we want to come back at that level? Would it even be worth coming back at all if we didn't? Drew is out east and simply can't raid the hours we used to raid with west coast people. Sky might want to raid during the day when Drew and I are working. I'm a content locust and would likely want to devour raids... Would raid finder raids do it for me? That feature was added after I quit so I don't know, but my general hatred for idiots makes me doubt it.
I've started doing a little reading about the expansion and it does intrigue me. People complain about the Pokemon minigame they're adding in and saying it's targeting children. Now, while I may agree that Pokemon is a game targeted at kids it did come out 16 years ago. I think it's more targeting people like my sister who grew up with Pokemon. Personally I think it sounds awesome. I've never been able to really get into a Pokemon game but I really like the concept. Having it as a sidebar to a different game I like sounds fantastic.
Dungeon challenge mode seems like it was custom built for me. Normalize gear to a fixed level and then try to clear the zone as fast as possible? I'm envisioning spending hours plotting out the exact path to take. Which mobs can be skipped. What holes to jump down. Which specific classes are the best. And then since the gear is all normalized actually leveling up alts to build a specific group for the zone. This actually feels to me a bit like FFXI's level capped challenge fights which is one of the best FFXI features to me. I have this feeling that Honest Bung's Used Goods could own all the records when everything is said and done.
There's lots of other stuff and tweaks for the expansion or in the last year that I've missed. But one of the things that really caught my eye was finally revamping the achievement system to be account wide! I'd refused to change mains away from my death knight because I wanted to be able to be known as Recolada the Insane which is a title earned from a crazy achievement. Now if I really wanted to play my druid I could be Rhododendron the Insane.
We also noticed that there's a 'scroll of resurrection' offer which basically gives anyone returning to the game the last expansion if they need it, a free level 80 character, and the ability to transfer that character to another server. It sounds like it might have to be the server of the character that sent you the scroll, and you're still restricted to carrying only 50k gold with you. It also looks like any character that transfers servers isn't eligible for a realm first achievement for 60 days. We mused about if we wanted to transfer off of our hole of a server but I now don't think I'd want to. I like going for realm firsts. I like being stupidly rich. I don't want to give any of that up. Plus most of my friends are all on Vek'Nilash still. I could see doing a chain of scroll offers/transfers and might be convinced to do so but losing realm firsts and most of my money puts a real damper on that. Also the fact that you have to use the free transfer on the character you level up is rough. I'd want to transfer my level 85 character so I'd need to waste the free level 80. No thanks!
As an aside, there is a recruit a friend feature as well. It doesn't give you a free level 80 character but does let you earn triple experience while grouped with your friend which is pretty close to free... I'm looking at you, Robb...
Thinking about it more I'm pretty sure I'm going to be giving this a spin. Assuming there are at least four other awesome people who want to do dungeon challenges it seems like it'll be a lot of fun. Even without that I figure I owe it to Blizzard to check it out. I suspect I won't even really need to raid with the dungeon challenges around so getting up to 13 isn't even something I'd want to do.