On my mother’s deathbed I promised her that I would learn to drive, buy my own house, and be happy.
Before Christmas I started adding up the hours required to achieve all the things I wanted to do in 2013. It became obvious that my weekly World of Warcraft rotation was taking way too much time. A rough tabulation of activities:
- Mobile app AH play for 5-10 minutes each workday morning
- On getting home, relist expired auctions and use daily cooldowns for Alchemy, Enchanting, Inscription, and Tailoring
- Make buckles, BOE blue weapons and other plate gear/shields for AH sale
- Sigh in frustration as no one buys my raw gems, cut gems, or metagems
- Run through the Tillers farm on three-four alts, with Tillers quests on whichever toon just hit 90
- Run a scenario for VP, run a 5 man if the tank bag appears
- Bang out the required dailies on my raiding main, getting some mining in en route
- Hit the AH again
- Start running LFR for the week, continue running LFR, keep running LFR until I hit VP cap
- Two three hour sessions of raiding, plus half hour+ of raid prep
- Hit the AH again
- Maybe … spend a couple of hours at the weekend levelling an alt
- Maybe … heal a random Battleground
- Maybe … do a xmog run of old content with guildies.
So World of Warcraft was easily eating three hours a night of my time, plus more in the weekends. For what its worth I currently have 1.927 million gold, despite spending over 250,000 gold after the expansion launched.
I was feeling frustrated with guild progression in the current tier (6/6 MV, 3/6 HOF, nothing in TOES). I was personally finding the fights difficult to execute, every boss was just more fucking mechanics layered on top of new fucking mechanics. I read a blog where an experienced tank was cackling with glee over how hard and refreshing Vaults was to run. I hated it. Almost every damn fight, but especially the first one. I couldn’t believe that was an introductory fight in an introductory tier of raiding. Watch energy build up, while kiting out of bad stuff, but not so far as to break the chains … hated it. Will of the Emperor, I’m supposed to know which way to dodge based on how the boss is standing. This is a case where martial arts experience was useless, as I dodged into the blow every single fucking time. In the end I just gave up, stood still and mitigated the damage as best I could.
Healing was less fun than it used to be. Holy Paladin healing is now based around free heals. The moment you start to use heals that cost mana, the mana bar collapses. I found that using my Guardian required me to keep 40-50% of my mana bar, or else it was a waste of time dropping the guardian because I would go OOM before the 4th or 5th heal went off. This makes the healing rotation easy, but boring. Holy Shock on cooldown, Holy Light in between then Word of Glory or Light of Dawn as a finisher. Repeat, for 6+ minutes. Through 5.0 and 5.1 I was decidedly behind the Monk and Priest healer on all the metrics that count. While my raid position was in no danger, I no longer felt awesome as a healer … for progression kills with two healers, it felt like I was healing mainly because I was the worst tank available.
So one morning at work I decided to stop. After work I still felt good about that call. Posted to the guild forums. Went on a last raid.
The last thing I expected to happen when I stopped raiding was that I would actually really enjoy playing World of Warcraft again in short one hour bursts. I no longer log in every day, but when I do I have a good time. I run one LFR each week, and then play either my Fire Mage, Healer Monk, or Warrior Tank for an hour. Its fun, and the moment it feels grindy, I stop and log out of the game. When I play the AH, I just do belt buckles, plus junk I found while questing. One thing I foresee for 5.2, having a legendary metagem will further depress prices in a market saturated with sellers and few buyers.
One bonus of stopping raiding is more time for content creation. So I am looking forward to more time spent on roleplaying games, boardgames, and the Grand Strategy game for Buckets of Dice. Plus a few more blog posts here from time to time.
In World of Tanks news, I reached Tier X in the Soviet Tree with an IS-7, which immediately proved frustrating in play. After 50+ matches I’m on a 20% win rate. Despite being a fast tank, the armour is pitiful and the reload time on the gun is agonizingly slow. So I am back to concentrating on Soviet TDs, with both the SU-100M1 and SU-152 in play each evening. Of the two I find the SU-152 more fun, the higher mobility of the SU-100M1 does not influence play very often, but its weaker armour and gun does. The SU-122-44 also gets a run each night, often resulting in a blitz in assault destroyer mode as the game enters endgame – damn its fun sneaking up behind a heavy and one shotting them in the engine.
At the lower tiers the main regular tanks I play with are the H35, which I play like a TD with the Sixth Sense skill, the Renault UE57, KV-1 and last of all, the KV-2 loaded with “electrum rounds” (gold rounds purchased with silver). I did exceptionally well with the KV-2 in a Tier VI-VIII match last night, managing to get three kills on Tier VIII tanks with the 152mm Howitzer over medium ranges in Redridge by sneaking up through the village and pumping 700+ damage in through side armour or engine covers. Two weeks back I took the Hetzer out for a rare spin, and drew Highway map and three artillery per side. Myself and two medium tanks went to town, while seven enemy tanks went to town. Things looked bad when my two medium escorts were destroyed. Then three enemy tanks come around the corner one at a time, and I destroyed them one at a time. I drove up to the corner, spotted an enemy TD around the corner. I looked at the strategic map – the rest of my team was almost on the enemy flag, having swept the open field clear. So I hooned around the corner, lost half my health, but was not tracked. Turned, killed the TD, BOOM, reload, BOUNCE, target medium tank, BOOM, reload, BOUNCE, BOUNCE, target medium tank BOOM, reload, BOUNCE, target medium tank BOOM! So I ended up with a seven run Reaper Award which was nice.
I am also mucking around in Skyrim again, restarting from the beginning and following the Imperial and Mage story lines. Same principle as WoW, play in one hour bursts then do something else with my time. Its pretty, but I miss the MMO aspect of MMO games, no matter how well down the RPG is.