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Flying Again

September 10, 2015

It’s interesting to read the comments on this thread:
It was “such a marathon” to get flying, yet it wasn’t. As one poster said, the objective of flying gave players an objective to focus on. It got us questing again, and got some players exploring. And after we got flying it allowed many players to explore areas that otherwise weren’t easy or fun to get to.

What’s somewhat interesting is the grind wasn’t that bad at all in comparison to early expansions. The dailies in BC were fucking insufferable. Wrath and Cata dailies were somewhat interesting but they were equally grindy. I grinded less to get flying than I did for /shoulder enchants/ in Wrath. Fucking SHOULDER ENCHANTS! Incredible. The same was true for head enchants back then too, if I recall correctly. Then came the grinds for crafting patterns – almost all worthwhile crafting patterns required exalted with /someone/ that had an insane rep grind. It was awful. At least this time the carrot is a LOT bigger and overall the path forward is much more simple.

Gathering and archaeology are insufferable to grind when wading through time wasting trash mobs. Flying helps a lot with that, especially as a druid.

It’s funny, my work buddy that (sometimes) plays WoW was giving me shit about using Master Plan. I asked him if he even does the garrison missions, he said “No, because it takes too long and it’s boring”. At the very start it’s cool to figure out what follower goes with what mission because there were only a few of them and the mission choices were also few, so it didn’t take long to figure out an optimal solution. It was a fun puzzle. Then you rack up 25 followers with infinity possible missions every day and it’s just way too much to memorize each follower’s traits, abilities, level, etc in order to eek out optimal missions. It becomes a game of “which of these twenty five keys goes into the lock”, which no one likes. It’s the same reason that people like the Rubik’s cube but don’t like the more complicated variations of the Rubik’s cube. A Rubik’s cube is moderately challenging without being defeating or requiring inordinate amount of time or skill.

I think that Bliz wanted to go back to a more simple scheme with the shipyard, only allowing a small number of units with a small pool of abilities, and only allowing two on a mission. That way it was again possible to figure out solutions without needing to “cheat”. Permanent loss however was difficult for most players to accept so it never caught on. I don’t have any hard facts or figures, but if you skim how many comments there are on WoWHead ship pages versus the Garrison pages and it’s a massive difference. People just don’t give a shit, mostly because it’s a retread and because they /permanently/ lose out on something they were supposed to be getting attached to. It’s an interesting philosophy on Bliz’s part, but I don’t think it panned out.

All of that being said, I don’t mind the shipyard myself and I hit up my shipyard as often as I do my garrison table. Granted, I’m only doing it for the stupid heirloom rings… but, I don’t mind doing it.
I’m still waiting on one of the heirloom ring missions to appear, otherwise I would have abandoned my ship yard. I’ve been doing missions every day (especially in the quadrant where they spawn – the north east if anyone is wondering). I already have the achievements, the BMAH viewer, the pet, and the the mount. All I’m missing are the rings… but the missions just won’t spawn.

I like Mathew Rossi’s comments about why us long-timers keep playing. It’s a mix of nostalgia and new experiences, and it’s an itch no other medium has been able to scratch. Ten years now! Wow… err, no pun intended, but yeah, that’s a long time to be playing the same game. I think Master of Orion II and Ocarina of Time are the only two other games I’ve revisited after such a long time – but in both of those cases I wasn’t playing every year on a consistent basis as I am with WoW. It’s crazy to think that my two guild leaders from 2005 now have a kid that is nine years old (and they split up too!)… Jeeze.

I was having a discussion with some coworkers about PC vs console. One of my friends will begrudgingly play console-only titles but otherwise hates to play on the console, he has that Battlefield attitude about gaming, wherein the PC is inherently better “just because”. I explained that I mostly play PC games just because most of the games I enjoy are PC exclusive, otherwise if any game is released at the same time on console and PC I always buy console, especially shooters. Why? Because I’ve been burned by buying console-to-PC ports much more often than I have PC-to-console ports. I could be wrong, but I’m thinking it’s been harder to develop for console than for PC, so developers focus on making sure the console version is much more polished. Granted, the PC version almost always has mods and superior graphics, but I’ve found that developers tend to focus the fit and trim on console, not PC, and the patch support seems to be much better on console than on PC of multi-platform games. Some great examples are State of Decay (, Borderlands, Saints Row II, and Castle Crashers – and those are just the ones that I’ve played. In particular Dead Island is STILL a buggy pile of SHIT and State of Decay developers basically tricked PC gamers into paying for the game twice. Read the State of Decay player reviews on the linked page and see for yourself.

It’s as if developers see a “Steam PC port” as just an easy cash grab that can be fired off and forgotten. From a financial standpoint I get it, from a gamer’s standpoint it is bullshit – but being upset with it doesn’t change the fact that console-to-PC ports are almost alwas buggy, sloppy, and unsupported. I’m not the only way that feels that way, a casual Google search comes up with some full articles about the subject (


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