Blood and Thunder! Lok’tar Ogar! For the Horde!
It has been a long time since I’ve uttered those words here at For the Horde. But as you may have seen from a few posts, we’re back. Most of us anyways. We came back to the game, and we came back to blogging. I wanted to talk about what’s been up and why I left and why I came back, as well as what I’ve been up to in the mean time.
Back when the Cataclysm beta was still closed I was lucky enough to receive an invite from Blizzard to come and test the expansion. At the time, I was super excited. There’s only a few things I would’ve considered more exciting (like writing for Blizzard (hint, hint, wink, wink… lol). Deathwing was the big baddie, worgens and goblins were the new races, and I’d been wanting to play a goblin since BC. The world was being torn asunder and being reworked… All of it was really cool. I am also a huge fan of Garrosh, which I know puts me in the minority, but I don’t care. For an Orc Warrior, Garrosh was my kind of leader.
But then they decided to change the talent system. And I hated it. I absolutely hated it. From a player who had almost every class at max level, the thought of having to relearn how to talent and spec all of my characters (all of which had dual specs, usually to fulfill multiple roles), just seemed rediculous. But that ‘work’ wasn’t really what made me leave, it was the fact that I hated the way the new classes played. I think it was a matter of too many radical changes all at once.
In any case, I wasn’t the only one who felt this way about Cata. I read somewhere that it was WoW’s worst expansion in terms of player retention. While I don’t have a link for that and can’t really confirm it other than by speculation, I can see how it would make sense. Its the most radical expansion they’ve had so far, and generally people are usually in favor of change for the sake of change. All of that being said, the expansion by no means ruined the game. As far as I can tell, WoW is as vibrant as it ever been, even if the community feel of the game is somewhat less alive than it used to be. (Again, a purely anecdotal observation).
So I left the game. It was probably a good move for me at the time. I actually took a break from all gaming for a long while, until Star Wars The Old Republic was released. Regardless of what you may think of TOR, I actually had a lot of fun with that game when it was released. I levellled a Sith Warrior to end game and then a Trooper Commando. The Trooper was a pure pvp healer and levellled that way and then continued to only pvp at end game. Without patting myself too much on the back, I’ll just say that I got pretty good at it. The warzones (BGs) on the server my Trooper was on were generally dominated by the Empire faction, so the matches were always very challenging, but I quickly earned a reputation on the server as one of the top healers, and I was listed as KoS by the two top Empire pvp guilds, which was both flattering and frustrating.
But BioWare made some game design choices for one of their early patches that were going to significantly alter the way many of the classes played, and in my opinion they really botched the whole thing. Pie has his theories on what happened, but this is how I saw it. Leading up to the patch, they told us that significant changes were coming but that they weren’t going to discuss the details until they released the details. Fair enough. I know what MMO communities can be like and the devs were trying to prepare everyone for what was coming. But then they released all the details, and there was about a week where the devs wouldn’t engage anyone in the community on their concerns over the changes. I don’t really remember all of the details anymore, but I know that there were nerfs to all healers, and the changes were going to seriously affect pvp healing in particular. For someone who’s whole game had been about pvp healing, I was interested in suffering through a buff nerf cycle that was going to make my gaming experience every night even worse than it already was. Despite what I said about my personal reputation on the server, we actually lost about 80% of the pvp matches on our server. So for them to say that my class needed to be nerfed was a little much, especially when the class that had the easiest time solo killing a commando healer was getting a major buff to DPS. Anyways, I don’t want to get too much into it, but I chose to leave the game in protest. Before I get hounded with the “QQ moar nub” comments, I want to point out that the reason I left was over the way the devs handled the community. The forums were in an uproar that week, way worse than they had been over most other changes, and the devs wouldn’t even engage us in discussions over the changes. Their attitude was “we have the stats on the game, we know best” and that was it. In the end, a large portion of the player base left the game from what I understand, and BioWare eventually let to a large portion of their community team. It’s too bad, I really did enjoy that game for a while.
So after TOR I took another break from gaming and decided to focus on work (which got super serial). But then my friends started coming back to WoW and discussing it in our shenanigans emails. But that still wasn’t enough. Oddly enough, I got talking about wow with a coworker, someone who had only played the low levels of the game and wasn’t as into it as I was. But I got explaining who my characters were and what their backstories were and what cool things they had done in the game. What I realized is that while they may only be color pixels to some, these characters were like friends. I knew their histories and I knew their struggles. I was there in Gruul’s laid when the Kate tank went down and Fik jumped in, spell stole the shield and began burning the boss, which led to a successful kill. I was there when my friends and I cleared Karazhan together, when we attempted Naxxramas-10 for the first time and when we ground out the Bloodsail Admiral title together.
All of that nostalgia was too much to take. After a long break and many denials, I have come back to WoW. Since being back I’ve managed to level Kor up to 84 (had to take a small hiatus due to work), but he should get to 85 before Mists of King Fu Panda drops. I’m not 100% certain what I’ll be doing in MoKFP, but I suspect I’ll be sticking with Kor, the Orc Warrior. I’m also interested in going back to my RP roots and writing some stories for them, so that may be a side project I work on as well. For now its a work in progress, and I’d like to make some headway with it before I choose to publish anything, so that I won’t fall behind if work picks up.
That’s it for now. If you are a returning reader, welcome back to For the Horde. If you’re new, then stay a while and make yourself comfy. If you need anything, whatever is Sy’s is yours. ;) In the meantime,
— Kor (or the blogger formerly known as Fik)