Friday, April 11, 2008

Do you suffer from pre-expansion depression?

Wowinsider has a post discussing pre-expansion depression: a certain lowering of the spirits between the last content patch and the arrival of the next expansion. It certainly was there before TBC, and there is anecdotal evidence of it now that we got the last content patch 2.4. There will presumably be a 3.0 patch a month or so before Wrath of the Lich King, adding the new WotLK rules for everyone. But new content will only happen when the expansion comes out, which is presumably planned to happen before christmas, with a possible delay in early 2009 if things go wrong.

Mrs. Tobold, the most casual player I know well, is talking about stopping to play WoW. After she finally found the perfect class for her, druid, and finally leveled up all the way to 70, she finds there is nothing left to do for an ultra-casual player. She doesn't group, she doesn't PvP, so she is only planning to do a couple more level 70 quests (not repetitive dailies) and then stop when she runs out. As so often Mrs. Tobold has a firmer grasp of reality than Mr. Tobold, because I'm still busy doing what is essentially repetitive content.

My priest is raiding occasionally, but as I like the 10-man raids more than the 25-man raids, and I got all the gear I'll ever need for 10-mans, my so-called "character development" through gear pretty much stopped. That is why I ended up selling my badges of justice for 24 gold each instead of saving them for the new badge loot. I also got to revered with the Shattered Sun Offensive with my priest, which is all the reputation he needs as jewelcrafter. But it turned out that you only get a handful of spell haste epic gem recipes. All the other epic gem recipes require farming Mount Hyjal for reputation, and I'm not sure I'll ever get there. I wonder what Blizzard will do with those recipes when the expansion comes out. Require level 80 people to farm level 70 raids for them?

My warrior is stuck as well, because silly me wants to play him as tank, and Blizzard makes that so much harder than playing dps; I can't get tanking epic gear from PvP. And without epics I have problems getting into pickup heroic groups, which are unreasonably spoilt nowadays and basically all only want a free ride from a full epic tank. And as my guild is long on tanks and short on healers, I can't get epics from raiding either. So I'm mostly using the warrior for his fishing, cooking, and alchemy. If I find out that deathknights are acceptable tanks, I'll just retire the warrior in WotLK.

I'm still having lots of fun with my mage, but I'm at level 69-and-a-half, and not quite sure how life will be at 70. I'd love to do lots of normal and heroic dungeons, but that usually fails because the group can't find a healer and tank. I might try PvP with the mage, at least the PvP epic rewards are good for dps. And I'm in the process of crafting him a set of shadowcloth epic gear. I also plan to do SSO dailies with him, but I still need to check up to what level of reputation that makes sense. Although I could just continue doing dailies with him for the gold. I'm at 360 enchanting, and I'd love to get to 375, but I know that is extremely expensive. And not only that, I will *need* to run lots of dungeons for the reputation and drops to get recipes, otherwise the skill by itself is useless.

So while I'm not suffering from pre-expansion depression yet, I don't know if WoW will still be fun for all those months until Wrath of the Lich King comes out. Too bad WAR has been delayed, although in principal I support the decision to rather release a good game later than an unfinished game earlier. Not sure if Age of Conan will release on time in May, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I'll just play that for the free month or so, it doesn't appear to be my kind of game. So I'm toying with the idea to make Yet Another Alt, but it isn't as if I hadn't seen all the low-level content many times already. Maybe if I played Alliance? I don't know.

What are your plans? What do you plan to do between now and the release of Wrath of the Lich King, assuming that'll be at least 6 months in the future?

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