Hello? Anyone still here?
Quite some time has passed since Saate and I were active on this site, or on WoW. While it was technically available to blog about gaming in general, it’d be hard to argue that it was truly anything except a WoW blog – despite my scatterbrained efforts at just about anything else.
I quit WoW back in February 2011, and after over a year, I had no desire to go back. I’d think about it from time to time, but I had a lot of clear, rational reasons not to whenever I actually paused and considered it.
However, with the new scroll of resurrection deal and due to current circumstances, I found myself popping back in for a month to see if it was something I’d be interested in picking back up. I feel ashamed for even saying that I’m playing again, oddly enough, but I thought I’d talk a bit about how it feels to play again after more than a year of absence and why I resubscribed in the first place.
Let me start by saying that I actually laughed when I first saw the scroll of resurrection deal. Some friends posted it up on Facebook, and I commented that even though it meant a free 80, on any realm, and a free week to level and gear back up, I still didn’t want to go back. It was like, despite probably the biggest possible perks they could’ve provided for me, it just wasn’t interesting to me. I’d have to deal with people again, after all.
So what changed my mind?
A couple things to mention before I tell you:
I don’t think I ever posted about this in the past, but my long-term career aspiration is to be a voice-over artist. Since I moved to California back in late 2010, I’ve scraped together money where I could to save up, record, and produce a commercial and character demo. I was actually working with David Sobolov as my coach and director for both, and he did the production on the commercial demo. David voices one of the major villains in Diablo III, although legally he can’t officially state on his website who (it rhymes with Khaz Modan), and has quite the history in the business of cartoons and video games, so it was a real treat to be coached and directed by him through my voice-overs.
I’ve signed with TAG Talent and have been submitting auditions through them for several months now. It’s a difficult field to break into, and it’s certainly something that’s going to continue to require a lot of time, dedication, and luck, but it’s nice having something to focus on with the certainty of, “This is what I want to do.”
The Day Job
Of course, rent needs to be paid and I do still need to eat, so I’m still working my stock position at a nearby grocery store.
This isn’t exactly an especially interesting part of the article, but the reason I bring it up is that this year has been a bit slower than usual in terms of sales. This means that while I get enough hours to squeak by financially, I haven’t had spending money since the holidays were over. This issue will alleviate as time goes on, but suffice to say that it means what I’m going to do in my spare time needs to be free.
I also had to move back in February, which put me a bit further away from most of my friends, so I’m generally only able to go out and be social at someone else’s house once a week. This means that, most days of the week, I am left with the following situation on figuring out what to do:
Time Constraint: My shifts are almost always until 11 PM, and it takes me about 45 minutes to ride my bike to and from work each day. This means the bulk of my waking free time is between about midnight and 5 AM.
Money Constraint: Let me comment that I actually follow Saate’s guide to making money in real life. Or, at least, I follow the basic tenant of, “Make money, spend less than you make, let time pass.” As is, after paying for rent and paying for food, I typically have about $30 leftover each month. Some months I have more (much more, around the holidays), but I like to budget for bare minimums. Anything over my budget, I stick in savings.
What this means is that whatever I’m going to do in that time between 12 AM and 5 AM needs to not cost me any money, or practically none. I can’t go out to the bar, I can’t buy new games every month, I can’t engage in any hobbies that require excessive materials (even artwork is something that seems financially daunting at times). We call this “living within your means.”
Now, do keep in mind that while it may seem like I’m living very tightly, I’m also one of the very few people in my age range in the area that is not living with his or her parents without any outside financial help. America’s economy sucks, and it’s especially bad for the people just getting out of college within the last few years or anyone who’s currently in school. But that’s another topic of discussion for a different time.
Project: It’s not too tough to find something to do at night. Hey, I’ll watch a TV show. I’ll read some online articles. I’ll make a funny picture. I’ll listen to some music. What is tough is finding something to do every night, night after night, that doesn’t grow too dull. I like having some kind of project to work on for extended periods of time. Unfortunately, I was having a great deal of trouble coming up with one that fit within the constraints of my checklist here.
Entertainment: Especially since even my friends were kind of stumped. “You could go jogging.” Good for my health, but I already bike 50+ miles a week and then do physical work at my job throwing freight. Not really looking to do even more exercise after getting home.
OK, OK, so WoW happens to fit within those constraints. That’s probably why I played it for so long in the first place.
But what about those obstacles I kept bringing up? Dealing with… shudder… people again?
Well, some of you may remember that I commented about how the most fun I had raiding was actually with a guild that progressed slower than any other guild I’d played with. They were on an RP realm, to boot, which is something that I enjoy, but have had a very difficult time getting into within the context of WoW. However, one thing RP realms have going for them is that people seem generally more polite and less troll-y. At least, after I turned off general chat, trade chat, LookingForGroup, and everything that wasn’t guild chat.
So, I got in contact with the guild again – turns out some of them were still playing – and moved myself over to their server. So how was it getting situated back into WoW?
Keep in mind, I hadn’t played since 4.0.6. We’re talking 3 major content patches had come and gone in my absence, so I was kind of expecting I was going to be occupied for awhile.
So, I transmogged
and double-checked my spec. Hey, disc healing was pretty much the exact same as when I left it. Oh, except I can use holy fire on top of smite, now. That’s cool, I suppose. Maybe this needed a new commercial update (WARNING! WARNING! LOUD AUDIO!)?
After spending some time dicking around and getting used to the controls again, I wanted to check out the new heroics. Of course, when I left, Cata heroics were nigh-impossible to complete with PuGs. You just couldn’t do it. I refused to PuG whatsoever in 4.0.6, it was just a total nightmare.
Unfortunately, it’s 4.3.4. Everyone’s kind of over Cataclysm, and it turns out most of my guildmates were taking a break until Mists of Pandaria or were mucking about on the beta. Alright, well, I want to see these heroics, so let’s just hope I can still heal in my now very-low iLevel gear.
No crowd control, no interrupts, no stuns, no fight explanations… And we breezed through all of it. In fact, in just 4 random Twilight heroics, I upgraded every single item slot except my shoulders to iLevel 378 gear. 4 heroics. Four heroics. I literally went from a mix of 348/359 gear to full 378 in four motherfucking heroics. I was pretty much done with non-raid PvE content in a single day.
And while I admire the Looking For Raid tool for offering raids to people who aren’t in guilds, I haven’t felt any motivation to use it. I don’t want to raid unless it’s with friends. That’s why I enjoy raiding. Hell, that’s why I came back to this server and to this guild – it wasn’t about getting the phat lewts, it was about having a good time with the people I played with. I didn’t really want to apply the complete-silence and general fuck-uppery of PuGing heroics to a raid environment.
So I still haven’t seen Firelands or Dragon Soul because everyone’s in that post-expansion slump. I certainly don’t blame them for that, but it did make me realize I was pretty much done with everything WoW had to offer after more than a year’s absence in less than 4 days. Especially since I could just look up all the fights and cinematics on Youtube (which I did for Spine and Madness). Sure, it’d be nice to experience the fights at least once, but it’s not going to be fun if I’m just doing it with 9 strangers. I want to play with people I know and whose company I enjoy!
I did pick up a month of playtime just so the scroll of resurrection sender could get his mount, and I decided to level a warrior alt just so I’d have something to do.
Oh, and I decided I hate myself enough to do archaeology again.
Things I noticed they changed:
* Now you get 5-9 fragments per dig, instead of 3-5.
* They added more rares to fossils and trolls.
* Tol’vir digsites show up a LOT more often
Ultimately, the idea of doing arch still made me quite sick to my stomach, but I ended up doing it when I was otherwise occupied chatting to people outside of the game on a different client. As a result of the above combination of changes, I do now have my Professor title, but now that that’s done with, I’m not touching Arch again until Mists of Pandaria. And even then, we’ll see.
While I was at it, I also finally maxed out my fishing, and did get track fish and a new fishing pole in the process, so that was kind of cool.
My final conclusion, however, is that I’m probably going to let my account expire again in a couple weeks, where it will remain quiet until Mists of Pandaria. Maybe I’ll just look back on Cataclysm as a really bad expansion instead of the moment I quit WoW forever. Part of me still wants anything else to do except play WoW, but talking with my guildmates again and anticipating playing with a lot of them once more when they pick the game back up and actually start playing again does give me some hope that maybe I’ll get some entertainment out of it all.
I guess time will tell.