Here we are – at the end of 2018. Five months of Battle for Azeroth. And I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I’m a bit disappointed.
With the disappointment of BfA (and I mean more in a general sense than anything specifically), things have cooled down in Bolstering. Many folks are taking a ‘break’, unsubbing for a period of time, or just aren’t logging in as often. There is a decided lack of motivation right now and, while many of us will still log on for the weekly grind, the big guild-oriented events don’t seem to be happening simply because there aren’t a lot of folks around right now (and that includes us GMs). There are plans to get back into scheduled raiding once we hit the new year and life returns to normal after the holidays and there is hope that The Battle for Dazar’alor will be as engaging as the reports would suggest. For now, we just ask you to hang in there with us and know that we’re all struggling on some level with BfA. We know things have been quiet but, to be honest, I think things are going to stay quiet for longer than we’d prefer. The reality is that folks – in general – don’t have a lot of motivation to fight through the difficulties of this expansion.
It’s a challenge to find a ‘short’ video on this topic – it would seem that a lot of folks have a lot to say. But Kelani, who usually comes across as pretty neutral, explores how 8.1 will impact the game for those who’ve been away for awhile.
As a horde player, I’m certainly struggling. I find that I’m questioning my allegiance to this faction – again. No, I would never switch teams and play for Alliance but that’s because of the player base; not because of the lore. I wasn’t a fan of burning down a World Tree but whatevs. I can get over using the plague to drive the Alliance out of Lorderon. But, after months and months of consistent berating from Nathanos and the thinly veiled threats from my own warchief, don’t ask me to rescue a grubster Gallywix and bust a vile Lady Ashvane out of prison. I think one of the reasons I’m struggling to keep my chin up is that I see my faction being driven into the mud. I don’t like playing Horde right now. I don’t like these quests; I don’t want to do them; I don’t find them fun because I loathe what I’m doing. Is that on purpose? Does Blizzard really have a masterful plan for us Horde players? Is all of this just a set up for the great return of honor to the Horde? I want to believe so but siding with Saurfang seems to have little pay off right now. And what about those who don’t? There are those who maintain fealty to our Warchief but what will happen to them if / when she falls? I think folks are having a hard time trusting in the ‘system’ – which is no great shocker given all the other systems that have been a bit of a let down this expansion.
What kept us logging on in Legion? Let’s be real – there was almost always a reason to log on in Legion. Early days was farming AP, farming your BiS legendary and building those professions (because those were still profitable). Even after those early days, you’d run daily heroics to get the new legendaries, or the best ones for the new spec you were working on. Hidden artifact appearances had us spamming dungeons or withered training or just fighting on the Isles at large. If you’d maxed out your rep, there were mounts in those paragon rewards. Class hall quests, class mounts, and even lfr to get that 2nd or 4th tier piece that would complete the set until you could get it in a normal raid. There was almost always something. Remember how many of us checked out for a week to get that artifact fishing pole? Yeah – always something.
I’m not gonna lie – I was a big fan of the artifact weapon. I liked not having to ‘farm’ a weapon because I already had the best I was going to get. I didn’t even mind pushing the AP grind every now and then to get enough power to hit a gold trait. I liked that I could unlock multiple appearances depending on the content I did. I liked a lot about that system. So, I was hopeful that the azurite neck would work well. (Although it was never going to match my love for the artifact weapon; weapon mog > neck mog everytime!). And how has this worked out? Well, does the neck actually do anything? Ok – I get it. Yes, it collects power that gets transferred to 3 other gear slots and makes those items more powerful. Oh, you mean my 3 lowest ilvl items? Make them more powerful? They kinda still suck – tho. Thanks, Heart of Azeroth. This makes no sense to me.
It’s entirely possible that I’m remembering Legion with rose-colored glasses. I hated Suramar – the city was beautiful but walking around in there prior to flying was such a pain in the arse. “What are you hiding?” – ugh! I hated time-gated content. The Insurrection quests and the goofiness when the Broken Shore was released were tedious. Seriously, Khadgar? 2400 shards = one week worth of content? At least Insurrection ended with a mount and the end of the Nightwell. And Antorus, for me, was disappointing. Sure, give me a place where I can’t fly but don’t put holes in it. The first time I fell, it was funny. The fourteenth was just annoying. I did not enjoy Seat of the Triumverate – the model for the dungeons that would follow in BfA. Just a road filled with unnecessary trash leading to the very few but still interesting boss encounters.
But in the meantime –
No, I won’t unsub. I still love this game and I love the friends I’ve made in playing this game. I will keep a little nugget in my heart – a nugget of hope – hope that this will get better. Legion had a great start and a disappointing end. BfA has had a tough start but perhaps the best is yet to come.
Thanks for reading my rant – and I wouldn’t blame you if you really didn’t. But more importantly, thanks for believing in Bolstering. Our heart will always be made of those we play with – not what we play. See you in Azeroth soon.