Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Publisher's Block

Anybody who's been reading here for a while knows that the author is a bit of a strange bird.

Knowing that, you might not find it quite as weird that I've been suffering from publisher's block.

Its like writer's block, except you have lots of inspiration and write lots of material, but when you hover your mouse over the "publish" button, there's a demon who takes control and navigates the web browser away from blogspot and over to some barely legal smut sites. Weird.

I've actually written-but-not-published several posts like this one, trying to explore what's been going on in my head and why that demon has been winning the battles lately, as compared to the previous years (holy s, its been years?) during which, by willpower alone, I was able to delay the demon's inevitable websites of choice until after I published my bloggy blog.

Lets hope this post has a more impressive, or at least public, destiny than those that're sitting in the electronic Island of Lost Posts.

Start with the Positive

There's been lots of fun going on in my WoW game. Here's a few snippets for your enjoyment:

1) Raiding Progress - Last week, we got our first Mimiron kill. Its a fun fight with a lot of variety and the level of challenge is higher than WotLK has generally given us. Also, we started adding in some of the easier hardmodes this week, bringing down Flame Leviathan with one tower up. I like progress, I like hardmodes. Big win!

2) Healing BG's - ZOMG, I love it. My moody druid is pretty much in full Hateful/Deadly Gladiator now. Premade groups of 2-6 friends from the guild, and we just stomp around. A small pocket of players working very tightly coordinated and sticking to sound strategy makes such a massive difference to the outcome of battles. Very fun to see BG from a different perspective than my long-time hunter.

3) Low-Stress World Event - Argent Tournament. When I compare it in my mind to Isle of Quel'danas, it's a world of difference. When IoQD landed, I felt major internal pressure to exalt with the SSO and keep pushing those dailies every day. I have no idea why. Now with the AT, I'm actually enjoying it (well, except for that awful nasty awful jousting quest in southwest Ice Crown, which I refuse to do after that first awful time). I do a couple dailies every now and again when its fun. When its not fun, I don't do it.

4) Explorer's League - This one is purely frivolous. One daily quest for the faction. 250 rep max per day. I'm revered right now and my projections put Exalted somewhere in late July early August, depending on how often I forget to log onto the hunter for a day. No rewards that I know of, and I think that's actually what's motivating me. Pure amusement factor.

Some not-so-positives

1) The State of the Hunter - I'm actually growing to despise the Hunter lately. It feels like our rotation and the coefficients, tooltips, and internal cooldowns of our abilities change every week.

The current setup just feels like too many attacks/abilities to manage, and the cooldowns and durations overlap in a hugely counter-intuitive fashion. And to top it off, our DPS output is no where near what it used to be, even for outstanding hunters like the one I have the privilege of raiding along side.

Feels like punishment for the years of 1:1 macro spam and a brief period of unhealthy OP'ness at the beginning of WotLK.

I don't want to be imba or easysauce, but I do want to be competitive and have a reasonable number of attacks that interact with one another in a logical way.

2) Gathering - I've always loved gathering herbs and minerals. I find the activity relaxing and the gold income satisfying. Since I don't play the Hunter too much outside of raids, I don't gather very much. Even when I do, the markets for gatherables are collapsing on my server with stacks of herbs, even the fancy ones like lich and thorn, are selling for like 12g or less per stack.

But progression raiding costs about 1-1.5k gold per week, depending upon how many new gear items I get (driving enchant and gem costs up).

So I've been earning gold by buying these low cost mats, crafting across a diverse spread of professions, and selling high cost products.

Very profitable, with my best week earning roughly 885 gold/hour. However, I find the 2-4 hours I spend on that weekly to be massively tedious and draining. But, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

3) Za Za Zoo - Kary (sp?) Bradshaw blathered on and on in an exhaustingly annoying way about how a relationship should have that "za za zoo", which I think meant chemistry or buzzing energy or something.

Well, the progression kills in Ulduar really have been lacking that Za Za Zoo. We work at a boss. We kill the boss. And nothing. Nada. No cheers on vent. Barely a few gratz's in text chat. Quietly loot and move on.

Mimiron kill last week was different (edit: repeat mimiron kill last night was f'ing awesome, major adrenaline rush). There was a sweet sweet outburst of jubiliation on vent. We all got that long lost rush that was last seen for Sarth+3D, which was back in like january or something.

I'm not sure what it is that is lacking. Challenge? Certainly mimiron gave us the biggest challenge and the most number of wipe attempts before the kill. So maybe its that. But still, to have the pulse of the raid flatlined after a hard won pre-nerf first kill of XT and his brutal enrage timer? Or Thorim and his inexorable Arena and Assault team splits. Something is not quite right with the vibe in the raid.

4) Fail Events are Fail - Noblegarden and Children's Week. Fail and Failer. Sure, bunnies are cute, and I love cute. But orphans are ugly, smelly, are constantly hungry attention whores and pretty much just screw everything up.

Noblegarden reeked of timesink, moreso than any of the generally time-sinky seasonal events. I mean really, just sit there camping eggs for a few hours hating everything and everyone. And lets not even speak of what Children's Week did to battlegrounds.

Combine that with the overlapping proximity of the two events and you have a massive failure, IMO.


So What's the Deal?

Sht. I don't want this to become more of a wall of text, but who knows, maybe that's what I need.

I think the bottom line is that the time sink aspect of WoW is bothering me more and more.

I thoroughly enjoy the invigorating parts of the game. Mimiron kill reminded me of how exhilarating progression raiding can be. Healing BG's is absolutely fun for me (at least when f'ing rogues aren't chain stunning me, but w/e). Relaxing heroics or a naxx alt run with the uber gf is outstanding.

But to reach any of these positive things, we need to do endless stuff we don't enjoy.

I want a faster flying mount. Means I have to suffer through awful seasonal events.

To perform in raids and BG's I need shiny equipment. Means I need to grind gold for enchants, gems, and repairs.

When gold earning is a natural part of my playstyle and server economy, life is grand.

When my Hunter's shot rotation makes sense and delivers quality results, life is grand.

When progression kills come with cheers and overflowing energy, life is grand.

Perhaps it is that fleeting "grand" aspect that's preventing me from publishing these forsaken posts?

1 comment:

Santyn said...

I'm sorry to hear about your problems with the Hunter class, though you are not the only one lately. I have seen several hunters re-roll because they are tired of the constant changes we are undergoing.

I do agree with you that it feels like we have too many abilities to manage, especially Survival spec. That is part of the reason I am considering a switch to Marks.

Anyway, its good to see you posting again and hopefully you will move past your recent case of "Publisher's Block".