As has happened before, a period of absence from gaming has soft-rebooted my gaming selection somewhat, though it is not unexpected. A break from WoW Classic and Battle for Azeroth for just over two weeks left me unmotivated to play either upon my return.WoW Classic is ok but it is all content I’ve seen before and I’m not a huge fan of repeating old stuff at least when there’s new stuff I’ve not done. As for BfA itself, well the news coming out on 8.3 sounds interesting, but that’s not going to be here for some time and 8.2.5 wasn’t that meaty from my perspective.
The controversy over the Hearthstone tournament certainly weighed into decisions over WoW as well although I only play that one of the many games Blizzard publishes so I’m less invested than many gamers. It’s old news now, I suppose, but I’ll just state for my own blog record that Blizzard’s handling of this leaves me feeling very uneasy not least because the tournament was held in Taiwan (the island Republic of China, not the People’s Republic of China on the mainland). Geopolitics was a major area of study for me not so long ago, for a major US company to defend Chinese (PRC) oppression of free speech in this way, at a conference in a smaller democratic country whose very existence the Chinese government actively disputes, makes me deeply uncomfortable.
On more positive notes the Autumn is shaping up nicely with new content to look forward to in two of my main titles. Everquest 2 has an expansion coming called Blood of Luclin. I’m going to be playing EQ2 a bunch over the coming months for sure, it is practically my de-facto MMO these days. I am aware going into another expansion that I need to put in some effort to keep up with the crowd this time if I want to resolve my long-standing issues with grouping. It is also time to find a new guild, as mine has been inactive for over a year now.
There’s also my recent foray back into Lord of the Rings Online with my husband and the inevitable temptation to try once-more to crack that cliff edge of difficulty trying to get into Mordor’s content on my main. I fear the time investment is simply too great. The guild I joined in LOTRO last time I was playing regularly seems to have declined rather sharply, so there might be a need to go guild hunting there too if I want to do anything nearer the cap. The weight of content and progress weighs heavier on my Champion in LOTRO as Mordor is a barrier to access to the zones that came afterwards; there’s no skipping over it as yet. At least in Everquest 2 more recent expansions and the gear-up equipment on offer means it is perfectly possible to jump back in and make story progress on whatever is current. Even if LOTRO offered an insta-ding upgrade with decent gear, my Champion would be locked out of the Epic storyline because of the Mordor chapters.
In a sense this is perfectly normal for MMORPGs, as a genre they demand time investment for progress and I’m not actually against that. It’s the perennial dilemma of wanting to juggle multiple and perfectly excellent games balanced against the need to work 40 hours a week to pay the bills. It’d be interesting to see this Autumn if I can make a good start to Blood of Luclin while at the same time at least get my LOTRO main unstuck finally – catching up with the latest content in the latter game is going to take me a long, long time I suspect but then playing through the content is my main aim anyway. Let’s just see what the coming months bring.