I know it has been a very long time since I posted. I haven’t raided in a while and it has dried up my pool of inspiration a bit, I don’t think I’m the only one who is feeling under inspired right now.

Wrath of the Lich KingBlizzard is still struggling with the best way to handle expanding their biggest game. While the flood of “leaked” shiny new abilities and items may create buzz for their product, it has the (I hope) unintended effect of robbing player motivation for the game in it’s current state. Player burnout is on the rise again. The motivating effects of the Sunwell Content patch are no longer being felt by Mid-Level Raiding Guilds, the guilds working on the first in Mount Hyjal or Black Temple who are not likely to see the inside of Sunwell. These guilds whose players have experienced all of the Sunwell content they are likely to are facing serious problems with player motivation. Their Raiders have done their Dailies, earned their Exalted Reputation, and have farmed out Magister’s Terrace for their Pheonix drop, and now all they have to look forward to when they sit down for an evening is hard work and an uphill grind and all for what?

Before the release of The Burning Crusade, and after the last content patch many guilds faced a similar situation. There were shining new items on the horizon, and the greens players would be picking up on solo quests at level 61 were going to be better than anything the average Mid-Level Raider (AQ20, ZG, Onyxia) would see without putting in serious effort. Guilds who could have made it through AQ40 before the expansion stopped raiding altogether. Vanilla WoW was a lame duck. During this time the Buzz for The Burning Crusade was great, people were truly excited for it and in anticipation they walked away from the game…

Blizzard promises us that this time things will be different. Blue posters say that current end-game gear will be relevant for at least a few levels in Wrath. This may help to keep people working for gear, but that is work. The problem is that most people see the new, seemingly godly, abilities coming in Wrath and they are, understandingly, excited about them. Players are not excited about that next Boss in Black Temple, not buzzing about the recent opening of the last gate in Sunwell, it seems that nothing in BC WoW can hold most players enthusiasm like the possibility of Druids have a Group HoT, or Warlocks finally getting some loving (again). So in a way BC WoW is as already as dead as Vanilla WoW.

This lack of enthusiasm is manifesting itself as player burnout, lots of people are taking a break from the game all at once. With so many people leaving the game I find myself searching for my own motivation. With my guild progressing at an all slow pace I find myself reevaluating my WoW Goals. Until very recently my goals were to;

  1. Improve my gear to make me a better healer
  2. See all the BC Endgame Content.

Now that my goal of seeing all the expansion seems unlikely to happen and with the upcoming expansion my goals have changed, my focus is shifting away from endgame raiding and BC Content.

  1. Improve my gear to make leveling to 80 easier
  2. See as much Endgame content as I can before the expansion.

Looking ahead to the Wrath expansion I have a decision to make; Do I suffer myself and try to level Restoration specialized; Do I compromise and level Balance/Resto; -Or- Do I take the historically easiest route and level feral?

I haven’t actually decided yet but the question has changed my gear selection choices already, instead of thinking about the gear that will help me to heal better I am thinking about the gear that will make leveling the easiest when the cap goes up.

In the next expansion I would like to be on the leading edge of progression instead of the receding edge which is where I feel like I am now. In order to do that I feel that the key is to make it to the level cap as quickly as possible. If I’m going to sprint to 80 then it would probably be best to go it feral.

I’m conflicted about this decision becuase of the implication it has on my game play in the mean time if I decide that I’m going to level feral then why would I stay resto and pass up drops for my feral set which will give me an edge moving forward.

The fact is that my two current goals are at odds with each other. My best chance for seeing some more of BT and MH is to stay Resto. If you put any stock in be.imba.hu then I’m already geared enough to see some of Sunwell before the next big thing drops. If on the other hand I want to try and ensure that I will see all of the Wrath Content then I should throw in the towel on this whole resto thing and focus on getting the best feral gear I can.

Until I commit to one goal or the other I guess I’ll continue grabbing up badges and maybe start Grinding the BGs to invest in some decent feral gear.

How about you? What are your goals between now and the Wrath of the Lich King expansion? Does anyone else plan on respeccing to level from 70-80?