November 23, 2010

Returning to the "Casual Player" Mentality

First, a story.  Yesterday, I got off work around 4 PM and drove to the house where I stay with a friend, packed up my belongings and jumped back in the truck to drive home to the farm.  As I was heading out of town, a truck passed me.  Normally I wouldn't have given the person a second glance BUT, this truck had a horde sticker on the back.  One of those red, upside-down-horseshoe-esque stickers.  I was so surprised at this person's real life identification with a video game that I waved and laughed.  I really need a pretty blue alliance sticker for my truck.  Nobody would believe I play anyway.

Since I have a job now (money is amazing, let me tell you that) I don't play WoW even close to as much as I used to.  They say money can't buy happiness but, it definitely can make things easier, more comfortable, and fun while you pursue it!  I usually only get to play Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights, and that's only if I don't come home and fall straight asleep.  I try to go to bed early Monday and Wednesday since I spend Tue/Thurs at school all day.  That narrows down the playtime to maybe 2-3 hours on Tuesday and Thursday nights when I come home.  Again, that is, if I don't just go straight to the shower and then bed.  I love sleep.

This new limited playtime has actually caused some different reactions to the game for me that I haven't seen in a while:

1)  I don't know everything I'm doing anymore, and I get to learn new things every week.
Remember when you didn't know what would await you when you sat down to play?  I do!  I logged in last night and a friend summoned me to battle the baddie dragon ONYXIA!  Oh my gosh! Go kill a huge dragon? SURE!  I joined the group and oh man, that was probably my favorite Onyxia kill of all time.  It was unplanned, fun, and I sure as heck beat the crap out of that dragon.  I wasn't there for loot.  I was there simply to have a good time.  Granted that was after two beers but hey, I was happy for the spontaneity of the whole experience.  Patch notes? No time to read them.  I rely on word of mouth now, and my guildies update me every week.  I see something different and ask about it -- someone tells me what happened.

2)  I appreciate the little things.
I miss fishing again.  I am the only fisherwoman on my server and provide our Dragonfin Angelfish every week unless I forget (and then the server goes without).  I love putting on Christmas music, zoning out, and fishing under the stars in Dragonblight.  Sure it's only one aspect of the game, but, I love it so much!  Some people despise fishing, but I like to relax when I play.

3)  I like playing my alts.
Riding through Stranglethorn Vale on my trusty Charger when danger lurks around every corner?  Yes please!  I feel like I'm lost in the middle of the wilderness, and have to rely on my own skills and defenses to stay alive.  A young, unseasoned warrior battling her way to the highest ranks of her peers.  Once again, leveling is about the journey instead of just a means to an end.  The experiences gained along the way are what matter the most, not just reaching the top.  On top of that, the materials (herbs, ore, cloth) gained from exploring are also very valuable now.

Where do I go from here?  I have not picked a main yet, but since Best Buy is still taking Collector's Edition orders, I think I may just go ahead and order one.  I am in no rush to play omgatmidnightrightwhenthegameisreleasedeeeeeeeee!  I would rather wait, get my copy in the mail, enjoy the leveling process, and take my time.  I have class on Dec. 7th anyway.  I have work the upcoming weekend.  I don't feel like ruining my experience just to get to the level cap faster.  What's an extra week or two?  My laptop will probably still be broken.  My desktop is still a boss though, and performs perfectly with everything on Ultra.

I still have to choose between Druid, Priest, or Shaman.  I like my druid and shaman the most, but still love my priest.  And since everyone and their sister is going Druid, I may stick with Shaman or Priest.  Who knows.  In the end I may just go Druid anyway.  I have still not equipped my Jaina's Locket, but having the item in my bags is really the only thing I wanted anyway.  I bought it for the flavor text, not the use.  Should I play the class I adore and accept that there will be a million other night elf druids, or should I play a class I like and be in demand 99% of the limited time I get to play?  

Should I just go blood elf priest and quit the alliance? Hehe. Just kidding.  I'm still working on my baby blood elf though. She's 15 now.

I guess I still have a lot to think about. Hopefully some of you can relate to the three changes I noticed after taking any sort of break or having your playtime sliced down to only a few hours a week.

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