This was (is?) a Blog Azeroth style thingy (I think? Seems like there were a bunch of posts about it), and as usual, I’m weighing in on it absurdly fashionably late.
In short, I play WoW for the challenge. I play the game because it’s capable of providing a fun environment that tests my skills, my knowledge, and my ability to react to situations and puzzles in a strategical and tactical manner.
I’ve mentioned it before, but here goes again.
The style of game I like is a slower, more deliberate style of game. I am not a twitch gamer, and never enjoy myself when playing a twitch game. That is why games like, say, Unreal Tournament or Counterstrike don’t appeal to me in the slightest, but games like Sins of a Solar Empire or Supreme Commander are games I can happily spend entire days playing without break.
I don’t mind having to react quickly to things, what I mind is having to react instantly to things. If you run around a corner and an enemy player is there in Counterstrike, you have… ohh, maybe a hundred milliseconds to win that encounter. Or in my case, usually die horribly before I even registered that there was an enemy.
Whereas in, say, Starcraft, the same situation will usually grant you ten seconds or more to react to this new tactical issue. Even against the very best players, you still have a matter of seconds to fight back rather than milliseconds.
WoW offers that type of challenge. Even PvP, which requires extremely fast reactions, is a relatively slow affair; the fastest and most frenetic of combat is still limited by the global cooldown. The game is constructed with a built in speed limit; it’s literally impossible for it to be a “twitchfest”.
High end arena, compared to most shooters, is positively ponderous in nature.
This is basically the reason why I am very fond of PvP in WoW. Things are constantly changing both strategically and tactically. You can’t win any battleground with the same strategy over and over again. You have to adapt, you have to change to shifting circumstances.
And, of course, you have to strategize around the fact that most of your team is terrible. They’re either lazy, ignorant, or idiots. As a whole, maybe one in ten will have a solid grasp of strategy.
Even with that particular caveat, PvP is still incredibly fun for me. I’ve even been specced fire PvP twice this expansion for the sole reason that frost wasn’t challenging anymore. It still isn’t, and I’m currently trying out PvP arcane. I haven’t tried it since the AP/PoM nerf and the hefty nerf to ABarr.
Sure, I could go frost. It’s the strongest PvP spec and would grant me the biggest success.
But I’m not after success. I’m after something that can challenge me without boring me.
That’s the beauty of WoW. In addition to creating it’s own challenges (raiding and hard modes come to mind), it creates an environment in which one can create and overcome their own challenges.
One doesn’t have to, but the option is always there.
Sure, leveling a hunter is easy, but leveling a hunter while killing no less than six mobs simultaneously is significantly harder. And before you scoff, I did it that way back when Thunderstomp was gorilla-only and on a one minute cooldown.
And I did it with a tiger from Stranglethorn Vale.
Sure, the game doesn’t reward me with anything for doing that, I could do it the easier way (which most people do), but I’m not interested in easy. I don’t play the game to just do easy things.
I play the game to do things like:
- Kill all 10 Converted Heros at once. Rather difficult as a mage, considering they’re all immune to snares and roots and hit you immediately with one. BONUS POINTS: Do it this way in a non-frost raid spec.
- Kill all 3 Boneguard Commanders without using your heal.
- Solo Onyxia, while you still can. Doesn’t count if you aren’t a mage or a rogue.
I think you get the idea.
Raiding, of course, is the same thing. I raid because it challenges me, either by forcing me to play my class flawlessly or play the encounter flawlessly, usually both at once.
Or rather, try to play flawlessly.
If it’s a new encounter, and we wipe and we wipe and we wipe because we’re learning the encounter, I don’t have a problem with that. It’s raiding, you’re supposed to wipe. You’re supposed to come up against a new encounter, have the raid leader explain the fight, then wipe twenty seconds in.
I did, after all, wipe for days and days to bosses like Void Reaver and Leotheras the Blind.
But here’s the thing, and I know I’m nowhere near the only one. I don’t like wiping to bosses that are supposed to be on farm. Wiping to Lurker literally a year after the first kill is not fun, it’s frustrating.
And, of course, doing the same bosses the same way month after month gets tiring pretty quick. Though fights like Hodir seem to always be brilliantly fresh every time I do them. I think it’s because of the potential for things to be random, never static.
Bosses are scripts. There’s (usually) only a limited number of things that can happen. They can’t adapt, they can’t re-prioritize and adjust their tactics according to the players arrayed before them.
Hodir can’t realize the guy he’s hitting is wearing frost resist gear, go to the raid boss trainer, and learn Firey Blows for next week. Mimiron can try as hard as he wants, but he’s never going to be able to stop keyboard turning when he activates Laser Barrage.
Don’t get me wrong, fighting and killing Lord Jaraxxus was glorious fun, but it most certainly isn’t going to be two months from now.
But PvP? Arathi Basin was fun a month ago, a year ago, hell, even three years ago, and it’s still fun today.
Oh, wow, did I get off topic or what?
Anyway, that’s why I WoW.