There’s a post from the amazing Anne Stickney over on Blizzard Watch that felt so interesting, so important that I wanted to highlight it here. (Aside – can I just say how happy I am that Blizzard Watch exists and seems to be continuing the kind of steam the team had at WoW Insider? So relieved!)
Which is why it’s so weird that right now, standing a little over three months into the expansion, I am desperately looking for a story that simply is not there. It’s even more strange because the leveling experience from 90-100 was so good — but once you hit level 100 and finish all zone quests, the narrative simply peters out. Draenor is a world that reeks of history, untold stories and mysteries that have yet to be discovered, much less solved, but we are floundering in our garrisons looking for some kind of meaning to it all.
Yes yes YES! This!
I love World of Warcraft, I always have. One thing that has always driven my desire to play the game is the story that is so huge, so sprawling, so deep. I love the world, the characters, the backstories, the lore, the setting, everything. The Warlords of Draenor concept as an expansion felt incredible to me — a chance to go back and see some of the big characters from days yonder, big figureheads from WoW lore pre-WoW. It felt like Caverns of Time on steroids, an entire expansion of cool characters doing awesome shit, and how could I not stand behind that?
Levels 90-100 were so compelling, so fabulous. The questing didn’t feel tedious, because I wanted to know what would happen next. The cutscenes were downright magnificent and the story drove the whole leveling experience. Now, at level 100 — I’m just unsure what’s next. I find myself hand-wringing in my garrison, brainlessly doing chores and sending my followers out on supposed exciting journeys that I get to share no part in. The apexis dailies are monotonous and not story-driven at all, the Highmaul raid and Blackrock Foundry are so lore-light that they feel like simply ways to improve my ilvl with little else to get invested in. There’s no more story arcs, just hints and glimpses and bits and pieces of disconnected unfinished stories with supposed badasses lingering in the world without a threat.
Which is why I’m bored. I’m not logging in much anymore, because I’m not really just interested in filling bars and meters and ticking off boxes without a story to encompass my actions. And it’s why FFXIV is appealing to me right now, because if there is one thing that Square Enix excels at, it’s story. But I don’t have the immense love for the mythos of Final Fantasy as I do for Warcraft, so I know I’ll be back. Patch 6.1 doesn’t seem to be bringing enough to excite me into coming back, but perhaps a content & story driven patch 6.2 could bring my excitement back? Maybe when Tanaan drops and we find out more about Gul’dan? I don’t know.
I’ve also been logging of earlier and spending a lot less time in wow than I can remember in the past 3 years and I think this sums up perfectly part of the problem of what l’ve been feeling but not able to put into words. One of my favorite zones was Spires of Arak because the Arakkoa were so interesting. Yet at 100 the only interaction I have with them to raise rep is mindlessly killing mobs. The rep dailies in MoP might have been criticized for being too much but at least they provided background and lore to the factions.
I’m in the same boat. After 100, I just don’t know what to do with myself. I had such fun questing and exploring the story and apart from the garrison campaign at level cap, I’m not sure what else is there to keep me coming back. I was personally hoping for more focus on places like Karabor which have such history and lore but I felt like we sort of whizzed by it.