Saturday, April 10, 2010

Farewell and adieu

Hey folks, you're probably noticed (or not) that I haven't been posting for some time. Well, I've quit WoW. Yep, I've suddenly decided to change direction and stop playing, at least for a while. The timing for my new pursuits coincided with the expiration of my subscription so it's all good.

Losing steam

I've once again reached the point of general boredom with the game. There are those daily tasks that I feel compelled to do, thanks to my OCD, such as the jewelcrafting daily, buying and selling stuff on the AH (including glyphs), running the random heroic of the day and so forth. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of time between getting back from work and going to bed so that leaves me very little time to do anything else, either outside WoW or in it.

I've kinda lost steam with my paladin project because I think I'm starting to realize that leveling exclusively through dungeons can be very boring, even when you are a tank that can get into a dungeon instantly. In addition, I've had it up to the gills with those old world instances. My paladin remains, for now, at 30.

Priest is still very enjoyable

On the other hand, I've been enjoying my priest who hit 67 just before I quit. I was pushing for 68 but couldn't make it. Leveling on the priest has been fast thanks to all those heirlooms and the occasional dungeon. Though I love healing, many groups turn out to be at least mildly frustrating due to idiots who can't tank or tanks who want to race through the whole dungeon in 5 minutes, not even giving the rest of the group time to loot the bodies.

One memorable group from last week had the following composition: 3 death knights + 2 priests. I was the healer, the other priest was dps. One of the death knights was obviously the tank. Suffice to say that the group was a disaster. The tank would drain almost my entire mana every pull and the others also managed to take significant damage. After several such pulls and after we struggled with the first boss (I believe the dungeon was Slave Pens), I just quit the group. As a healer, I've come to dread death knight tanks and even death knights in general, in spite of the fact that I love playing my own DK. I'm starting to realize that starting a brand new class from level 55 might not be such a good idea after all.

(Apologies to all the good death knights out there. I know there are many of you but unfortunately there are even more that don't know how to play their class).

What I like about playing my priest (apart from the fact that questing in Outland is light years ahead of questing in Azeroth) is that I can level more quickly through a combination of regular questing and dungeons. I will go around the area I'm in, doing quests, while at the same time being queued for a dungeon. If I queue as healer I'd be getting inside an instance fairly quickly, within 2-3 minutes. As dps it takes longer but the advantage is that I can quest in the meantime (flying mount ftw) and when I get inside the instance I don't have to change specs.

What pisses me off when I have to change specs from shadow to holy at the start of an instance is that many people, and especially tanks, don't pay attention to their party chat so when I ask them to give me a couple of minutes to change specs and drink mana, some of them are totally oblivious to this and rush in without a word, pulling mobs and doing their stuff. This has been happening less frequently lately, perhaps due to people in Outland being more familiar with dual-specs. Still, when it happens, I will let the group wipe if they don't allow me time to get ready.

Though I very much enjoy healing, I will often choose to deprive myself of a headache and simply queue as dps. Shadow dps is awesome in a group and even more so in a solo setting. In groups I feel important as a shadow priest because my spells both trickle-heal the rest of the group and replenish their mana. I will also decurse whenever someone gets a debuff.

Cataclysm has the potential to suck

Speaking of decursing, I've been reading some of the new changes to classes in Cataclysm. What can I say, I'm not exactly happy about many of them. Something that bothers me a lot if the fact that we won't be able to decurse as dps. That's a stupid move because it puts even more pressure on the healer who has to keep a big eye on his mana in the first place. As a shadow priest, for example, I consider it's my duty to decurse players and it makes me feel much more versatile and useful in the group than merely dps-ing. But whatevs...

Regarding Cataclysm, my excitement has been waning with the recent class changes. It seems to me that this will be the most significant overhaul of class mechanics in the history of WoW. Perhaps even bigger than the transition to Burning Crusade. It's probably a good thing but it requires too much mindpower to take it all in. It's especially daunting to an altoholic and to someone who plays the majority of WoW classes and wants to start 3 new classes in Cataclysm. OK, I admit, starting a class from scratch won't be such a big adjustment because I won't have any previous experience to compare it too.

Unfinished business

About my break from WoW... it's hard to say when I'll be back again. I might stay away until Cataclysm or even a good way into it. I might return in a month. The problem is that I still have a few achievements that I want to complete (part of the 310% mount holiday meta-achievement) but I'm not sure I'll ever be able to finish School of Hard Knocks. So I might never attain that mount. Then again, I'm not even sure it's worth it. There's not much difference between 280% and 310%. Yeah, I'm sure those grapes are sour.

I would also like to sell some Darkmoon cards that I have, before Cataclysm hits, because they might lose a great deal of value in the next expansion. Even if I get stuck with them it's not such a big deal. I have more than enough gold not to give a shit. Still, my plan was to get rid of my huge inventory of WotLK mats that I've been stockpiling for ages, before Cataclysm of course. Maybe I'll subscribe for one more month so I can get my business in order.

As for Cataclysm... it really is daunting. I now have so many characters to level from 80 to 85 and so many professions, as well as new classes that I would like to level from level 1 that it drives me crazy just to think about it. At least we only have 5 additional levels instead of 10, for which I applaud Blizzard.

New pursuits

I didn't quit WoW for nothing. A few weeks ago I discovered this new (to me) workout program called P90X. I'm sure at least some of you have heard of it. I happened to hear it mentioned on the radio one day and I became curious. I looked it up and I was impressed by the results. Though I don't buy into infomercial claims, I bought into P90X because to me it makes sense. I've been working out regularly for years and I can tell if a program is bogus or not.

Even if you choose not to believe the countless before/after pictures of ordinary people who have completed this program, I am convinced it works and here's why. It is an intensive training program that needs to be done 6 days a week for at least 1-1.5 hours every session, for 90 days. Every 30 days you switch the routine such that your body is in permanent "confusion", meaning it doesn't reach a training plateau at any time.

Now, if you think about it, any reasonably intense program that is done 6 days a week for 3 months will render results. Training is only part of the equation though, because nutrition is also very important. I won't get into details but during this period your nutrition needs to match the training and the program comes with an extensive nutrition guide that explains everything.

5-6 years ago when I was younger, I trained really hard with weights for a few years and I had almost reached the results that I wanted but then other things came into my life and I couldn't sustain the pace so I had to let my training slide and slide to the point where I would still work out fairly regularly but not nearly enough.

Though I'm a thin dude I still hate my body (yeah, talk about lack of self-confidence) and P90X finally provided a way for me to change this. I needed something like this because it provides structure, a strict schedule, proven results and involving workouts. It's not the same shit week in and week out. Every day is a different workout and after 3-4 weeks there's a complete switch in direction to keep you motivated.

Essentially, the system consists of strength workouts interspersed with cardio workouts. It both builds muscle mass and burns fat. The workouts are hard. If you are a couch potato and want to jump directly into P90X chances are you'll give up after the first 15 minutes.

As I type this, I've completed my first week of training, meaning that I have gone through all the muscles and worked them to failure. It was pretty tough and I didn't start from zero. I worked out hard before this with weights for a couple of weeks to get used to the effort. Still, P90X takes those muscles, pounds them till you can't take no more and then starts over on a different set of muscles while the first set is still screaming in pain.

So now my new passion has become P90X. I can't wait to complete those 90 days. In fact results appear after the first 30 days but your body really changes after the 2nd and 3rd month. If things go well, I might even post some pictures here, though it might be a bit weird considering this is still a WoW blog.

If you're a couch potato, you might choose to change your life with such a program. The beauty of it is that it doesn't require a very large time investment (1-1.5 hours a day, though some people might have a hard time even with that), it is done in the privacy of your home and it requires a minimum of equipment. The price of the program is about how much you'd pay for 3 months of gym anyway. Oh and I'm not trying to advertise the program, I'm just excited by the idea. Time will tell if my excitement is justified.

Other hobbies

Since working out has become my main hobby these days, I really don't have time for anything else. When I get home from work I have a snack, wait about an hour to digest it, during which time I will read the news on my favorite sites. I'll then do my workout, shower and then get in bed and read for another hour before going to sleep.

I'll probably be neglecting this blog for a while but I still have some stuff that I would like to throw out there so stay tuned!

And if anyone else has heard or tried P90X or has any comments regarding it, drop me a comment!


Davinfelth said...

well good luck to you. This pre expansion lul has really drawn alot of people I know away from the game. Ive really cut back aswell for pretty much the reason's you've mention. I have really enjoyed your blog. So thanks

Call-Me-Kenneth said...

GL men, i started a druid from lvl 1 a week after your pala and now shes 74 and loosing steam... i might come back to in Cata to see the new zones, but i guess thats pretty much it.

Anonymous said...

Take care sir, allways loved to read your posts.
GL to you in the future, hope you dont go away for too long


Gyldenfeax said...

Completely understandable. Wow was feeling increasingly repetitive for me as well so I stopped doing anything I wasn't enjoying (Argent Crusade dailies, heroic daily, any BG other than WSG or AB) and concentrated on things I enjoy, like soloing the old raids like MC and ZG. I'm also chipping away at the loremaster achievement and actually paying some attention to the quest story, which I normally ignore. As for altitis, I cured that by trying to make my paladin as complete as possible, with every BS and engineering recipe and as many achievements I can get (*sigh* so many 10 and 25 man raid achievements I'll never get).

But even doing all that, I still feel burnt out and so much of it can still feel like a chore. I've quit wow 2 times already and come back, but like you, I'd really like the 310% mount before I quit or take another break. It will probably be the only chance I'll get for one of that speed. A shame it's not a hippogryph though, as drakes don't do much for me.

Good luck with whatever you do, Darth. I'll stay tuned to see how it all works out for you.

Lugnut Daffodil said...

Yeah I haven't touched WoW in over a month. It lost it's shine. The game is so old...there's only so much an overhaul can do. Even when Cataclysm comes out it will still be the same old stuff: "Go slay 15 Dire Bears.....but watch out for that new lava!"

You rock sir. Pop in from time to time and let us know how it's goin.

Thanks for the posts. In the world of WoW bloggers (and I've read a lot) you're one of the best.

Dalaila (detoxed) said...

I stopped playing WoW after Christmas (I've been tere for 3 years mroe or less, with some stops).

Like your P90X program, I did it the "hard way": I was 1 day away from the 310% mount achievement and that day I decided to stop, donate all my gold to random players (around 70K), destroy all my equipment (bank+equipped), delete my toons, change my account user/password to random stuff and uninstall the game. The end, stop, finish.

I felt quite "bad" for the first 2-3 days. Then I felt good. I would say I felt "super", actually.

It's only when you completely quit your addiction that you really understand how WoW is mostly grinding and wasting time for repetitive tasks.

that said, I was curious about Cata of course. But such a revamping thing for EVERY class does not make sense at all, after 5 years of game life. No way I buy a game where players will be beta-testers for ages.

It's been a great game. I loved it. But stopping the addiction was the best thing I did :)

Tom said...

Hey mate thanks for a great blog it's always been interesting. I have to admit that I've dropped off playing in the last few months as well. I'll look in from time to time to see if there's anything new once Cataclysm lands.

Good luck with the new program

Pat said...

I feel I wanna thank you for blogging. I've been following your blog since early summer -09 and it's been the most compelling WoW-blog there is for me as I play the game in just about the exact same style as you do. I quit the game for the third time a few months ago, but I've kept up reading your blog.

Good luck with everything, and I bet we'll see you back when Cataclysm draws near. For myself I know I will be back at some point before Cataclysm to finish off the ~20 measly Kalimdor quests I have yet to finish for the Loremaster achievement. After all these years WoW is still a great game, and I bet it will be after Cataclysm too.

Darth Solo said...

Thanks for your support and the really nice words guys! I really appreciate this and it makes me sad to leave the WoW community even for a while.

This blog wouldn't have grown so much, of course, without all you great readers. Hopefully it won't die here either.

Dalaila mentioned how she cured her WoW addiction. Well, I admit, I do have a WoW addiction. In fact it is a gaming addiction in general but since WoW has the only game to keep me interested, it is normal that I am sort of addicted to it. That, in fact, is the main reason why I chose to play solo as much as possible.

Hopefully my gaming addiction has changed into a workout addiction at least for a while. Which isn't to say that I won't be returning to WoW. Depending how my training goes, I might get back sooner than I had anticipated.

As for Cataclysm, in spite of the major changes, I'm intrigued and I believe that I will try it.

In a way it's sad that Blizzard are changing the classes so radically. One would imagine that after so many years the classes have finally reached a point where they are fairly balanced. Now, all that will change. And I'm pretty sure that they won't be as balanced as they were. Oh well...

If any of you wants to try a cool game I would recommend Borderlands. I've said this before but this game is (to me) the best pseudo-Diablo clone I've ever played. It might be a stretch to call it a pure Diablo clone but the gameplay is so addictive and probably made even better by being a first-person shooter. I still play it whenever I have a few minutes.

Once again, thanks for the amazing support guys and please stay tuned. Darth Solo over but not out!

Dalaila (detoxed) said...

@ Darth Solo

Gaming addiction is bad. WoW addiction is just *horrible*. I speak about somethink I perfectly know. I tested it on my skin. Believe me when I say that completely quitting the game makes you feel the master of the universe. Trust me, I know it sounds like a funny anti-wow campaign but it's not.

WoW creates a very bad addiction. So bad that *often* players dream about Azeroth while sleeping (in real life). It jappened to mee too once or twice. I know the feeling, I know the BAD feeling.

If I were you Darth, I'd simply eradicate WoW from both your PC and your mind (like I said, you will feel better than killing Arthas in heroic mode).

If you go back to WoW when Cata hits the shelves well... you will be screwed once again.

Do it. Vaporize your account. I can swerar you will feel a superhuman.

That said, I would suggest to every "wow/mmo addicted player" to focus on SINGLE PLAYER OFFLINE videogames. They're great for 2 reasons:

a) story and missions (no more dailies)
c) no competition, play when you CAN

Along with Borderlands I would suggest a very fun fps: Just Cause 2. Try the free demo (PC or Xbox). It's awesome.

Lugnut Daffodil said...

Gotta agree with Dalaila 110% here. I stopped playing WoW over a month ago when I finally found myself with enough money for a PS3. I had a hunch on something...

I bought a PS3 with the maxed sized harddrive, got a stack of games, downloaded some games, and left WoW completely. The PS3 has completely replaced WoW, yet here is the kicker...

...I don't play the PS3 anywhere near as much as I played WoW.

The PS3 keeps my geekside happy, and since I'm not under the spell of the cleverly crafted addiction of WoW, I totally feel awesome about it. At the risk of sounding even more cheesier, I'm buying an exercise bike this weekend. With no WoW, I now have the time and interest in getting the heart pumping again.

I finally realized what it was, you know? Warcraft is a race. It's always been a race. It's, "Oh my God I have to get that cool piece of gear now now now before everyone else does and now its as common as the black bear you get for the raiding the opposing capitals."

But when I turn on Final Fantasy 13, for example, I know I will get the gear in that game but at my own pace and without people telling me, "OMG you still use the Nessingwary 4000 LAWLZ"

And with single player offline games, I can finally enjoy stories again. I could never enjoy Warcraft's story because you had to "know the lore from Warcraft 1" or some such, and I have no interest in backtracking it.

We're gamers till the end, so there's always gonna be games in our lives. But good gracious you feel like a superhuman when you can finally call WoW just a bunch of repetitive bullshit.

When Cataclysm comes out, will I get it? Probably. My wife and I will check it out. But WoW just isn't what it once was anymore. I moment I go into a Cataclysm instance and the tank decides to pull more mobs than the healer can handle, then that'll be enough to hit the road from Warcraft for good.

Sorry. This prolly didn't make much sense and it's probably just a bunch of way disorganized thoughts, but its been in my head for over a month now and I guess I just decided to dump it all here. :) If you see any useful thoughts, then yay!

WoW rocks! But time's just about up.

Darth Solo said...

Oh I know it's an addiction. I was very addicted to it back in 2006. But then I quit for more than 1 year and when I returned it wasn't so bad. Now, I don't miss it because I have all these new things on my mind but eventually I'll get back to it. It's just that I'll probably play much less than before, especially if I continue to work out regularly.

Dalaila I know that cutting off all ties to an addiction is one of the ways of getting rid of it but I've invested too much time in this game to simply throw everything away. I don't regret the time spent in it. There have been plenty of fun and pleasurable moments. If it wasn't for WoW it would have been something else...

As for consoles, sorry but I'll always be a PC gamer. No consoles for me thanks :)

Jerry said...

Thanks for the great blog over this last year or so. I've enjoyed it. Good luck with your future endeavors.

Dalaila (detoxed) said...

@ Darth

"I've invested too much time in this game to simply throw everything away".

I want to be honest here: apart from possible friends (in real-life I mean), you wont throw anything away. At all. Because there is actyally NOTHING to throw away.

This is why WoW is a bad addiction: because it makes you feel like deleting a character is like deleting "something". Deleting a piece of gear that required 50 dungeon runs is like really losing "a very good item".

You can keep good moments in your mind and good friends (if any) via mail, messenger, phone or whatever. For everything else, you really own absolutely nothing apart some pixels :)

I would also like to invite you to read this thread, at least the first 3-4 pages. I started the thread and it became a monster. Have a look at it, because it also makes you realize how really Blizzard "considers" paying customers:


Lugnut Daffodil said...


Nice thread! And I remember noticing myself when BigRedKitty was still playing WoW for a while after the announcement of his troubles. I remember saying to myself, "I feel dirty for knowing that" and yet it was right there on his page through his Armory feed.

I'll read that thread some more...good thoughts in there. Did you ever get a blue response? Thanks for all your thoughts.

Dalaila (detoxed) said...

@ Lugnut

We got 1 or 2 blues, check the Blizz icon on the left side (title) to jump directly to the reply. That thread is growing every single day. I am no longer playing the game and my toon is now history... But it's nice to see more and more players become aware of it even wekks after my initial post.

I remember BRK too, of course. He was more than addicted to be honest. T-shirts, toys, gadgets, ... I bet he was more obsessed than addicted. During the "hot" days he was still playing (thanks to Armory tracking tool). He then finally stopped playing (at least his main...) but I felt bad for him, knowing EVERYONE could check if he was online or not.

It's a complicate argument and the thread goes deep into specific scenarios and stories that imho- deserve a good read. I think Blizzard does not care at all anyway (they added a FaceBook tool some weeks later) and this is something that -along with other reasons- convinced me stopping playing.

Why am I still reading a WoW blog? Because I had 3-4 websites I used to read for both contents and style.... and I liek reading stories :)

Gyldenfeax said...

If WoW is an addiction, it surely is a mild one. I've never been late to work, missed an appointment, social gathering, job interview, christening etc because of Wow. I stop playing when it gets boring and I'll stop permanently if a better and more enjoyable game (or other non-gaming activity) comes along.

Could I better spend my time elsewhere? Of course. Most people could. Some people watch TV, some read trashy novels, some collect stamps. I play games, which at the moment happens to be WoW.

Dalaila (detoxed) said...

@ Gyldenfeax

Watch TV, read trashy novels, collect stamps, play games, ... these are not addictions. These are different ways to spend your free time. With moderation you can do whatever you want. But some stuff CAN lead to (mental or not) addiction.

Reading a book is usually hard to associate to addiction. Spending hours watching TV or losing a full night surfing on Facebook CAN lead to a form of addiction that is hard to eradicate.

You are not addicted, others are. And WoW is one of the worst possible addictions ever created in the gaming industry.

Darth Solo said...

Dalaila I think I understand where you're coming from because I behaved in a similar manner after my first WoW iteration. I came very close to actually selling my account (I know it's illegal but I figured, hey, I spent so much time and real money in this game, I might as well get something back for it). For a long time I hated Blizzard and WoW and I wished for the game to fail.

As Gyldenfeax said, I could be doing other stuff instead of WoW. I don't watch TV for example so at least I'm not wasting time in that way. WoW is a kind of addiction for me but then so would any good PC game.

Don't worry, I doubt I'll become so involved again. I think I might buy Cataclysm though, just to give it a spin ;) At this point though, it's hard to say how things will be in a few months.

Redbeard said...

I'll miss your constant updates, Darth, but as long as this blog lives you'll continue to inspire people.

Hey, that crimson whelping post alone inspired me to go work on my unarmed skill on those suckers, and 20 minutes later a whelping pet dropped.

Darth Solo said...

Thanks Red! Dangit you were lucky! I leveled weapons skills on several characters on those buggers but no luck. On the other hand, the Azure Whelpling did drop for me when I was leveling my DK's weapon skill. In Azshara.

Redbeard said...

Yeah, and the funny thing was that I wasn't the only one out there smacking on those whelpings; an Alliance mage was zapping them left and right. I have no idea if he found any, but he was already there when I arrived, and he left about ten minutes later.

Darth Solo said...

Of course he left - you ninja'ed his whelp! Haha!