Massively OP’s latest Daily Grind community discussion column is “What would it take to get you back into WoW?”. It’s a simple enough question and one that I’ve been contemplating since the announcement of Battle for Azeroth.
At present I’m less likely to be jumping on-board with the expansion than with previous expansions. The Alliance vs Horde angle really bores me, even if it’s only one of the storylines for the expansion (the Void being another likely major plot point). The apparent destruction of Teldrassil is a pretty extreme step to take also, we’ll see just why that happens and how it’s handled I guess when the expansion launches. Darkshore is already such a depressing zone post-Cataclysm, I can’t see how this won’t turn almost all the Night Elf zones into one big refugee camp!
But there are non-story reasons why I’m just not excited about World of Warcraft anymore. One aspect of the scant details we have so far does sound positive – the re-introduction of class buffs. Not that I’m so obsessed with “drive-by buffing” that it’s a make or break feature, mind, but it does indicate that the class homogenisation project that has been underway in the game for years now may be finally stopping. Dare I even hope the devs will stick their collective neck out and risk classes being more distinct this expansion? A lot of sins have been committed in the name of class balance over the years in WoW, robbing classes of their uniqueness and a lot of fun but less combat-oriented features.
I’ve watched from the wings before during a WoW expansion’s launch, picking a time right for me to jump in after the fact. I did this for Pandaria and Warlords in fact. Joining at launch is argued as being important so you can be part of the excitement, but to be honest I’m over that experience – although competition for quest items or kills has been reduced in WoW these-days, you do end up having a lot of story moments spoiled by other players just ahead of you triggering events or completing fights just as you arrive (the same issues happen in Elder Scrolls Online mind, it’s not just WoW). If you follow the launch zerg around an expansion it’s guaranteed to happen again and again.
So I plan to wait until after launch, till I’ve observed vicariously how the game has changed and to see if there’s life in the expansion beyond Red vs Blue. The one thing that would really tempt me back sooner would be the restoration of shamans to some semblance of their former glory – you know with a range of totems that last more than a few seconds and regardless of spec…