Or mailbox. Or inbox. Mail thingy.
I received an email from Jan this morning asking,
Unfortunately, I’m one of those avid wow players who haven’t received any
cataclysm beta invites!
Do you think it’s wise to just wait for the release? Because some people
say playing the cataclysm beta will eventually remove the fun in playing
when cataclysm is released. I’m afraid it will feel like leveling an alt
from 70-80, which is not as fun as leveling the first one. I’m actually
still subscribed in WoW even if I’m not playing anymore just to get a
chance in getting an invite.
Do you still play WOTLK? It’s getting a lot boring now and I’m running out
of things to do…
I’m assuming that your “should I wait for release” is for what to do if a shiny beta invite appears in your mailbox.
The answer to that is sort of “your mileage may vary,” but let’s peek into it a bit. In order to answer your question, I need to shoot one back your way: how do you see yourself spending time in the beta?
I have to admit I’m a pretty casual beta-er. I know there are plenty of people who’ve spent as much time as they can exploring the world, leveling up, and drinking in every shiny new pixel. I’m more the log in for a few hours, do some random things, then next time I log in do something completely different sort.
The people reading the bug reports are probably /facepalming: “I love the detail in this house in Gilneas!” (Don’t worry, I submit useful bug reports, too, I promise.)
But you know what? It’s a good way to experience it, for me. I get to see some of the world without feeling like I have to do everything omg right now. And everything’s subject to change. The quests I do in the beta might change when the game goes live. Talents and spells are going to change. Itemization and skills will change.
Knowing that what I see in the beta won’t be the same as what I see when Cata goes live is pretty neat. It’s a sneak peek of what’s to come. It’s also a chance to try out a whole bunch of things without having to really make a solid commitment to any of them. On my character screen, I have Threnn, Annalea and Davien. The rest are a rotating cycle of alts that I’ve created just to see how things play. None of them are all that safe from deletion if I need to free up a character slot for the next new shiny to come along. Worgen priest! Human hunter! Goblin warlock! Troll druid! Somewhere in there will come a Tauren paladin and who knows what else.
I’m like a puppy in a room full of neat smells: “What’s this? What’s this? What’s this? Oh, look over there! What’s that? What’s this?”
I’ve scoped out a whole bunch of spots that will be neat for RP, and as I go along questing, I’m keeping an eye out for story hooks. Why, yes, my beta experience is totally selfish.
You mention that some friends say it will take the fun out of the release. I think that will depend on your playstyle. I could absolutely see, if I were to spend all my time in there getting Threnn to level cap and running the instances over and over, that it would feel like a bit of a chore having to do it all over again when the expansion goes live. If that’s what you’re concerned about, I’d recommend trying something new with your characters. Pick a spec you haven’t tried before. If you have multiple 80s, don’t transfer your main to the beta servers. Poke around on a secondary or tertiary alt instead, one you won’t get around to leveling for a while. Do you play primarily one faction? Roll a lowbie on the other side of the fence and play through the starting zones.
Other people I know in the beta are having a blast leveling their mains. They’re enjoying the new talent trees and trying out the new content. They’re getting their number-crunching started now and love theorycrafting. The week-to-week changes are exciting for them.
Whether or not participating in the beta will take the fun out of Cataclysm’s launch definitely depends on your playstyle. For me, it’s been fun to see a little bit of a lot of things. That way, there will still be plenty of surprises for me when Cataclysm goes live. For others, focusing on one character is more their cup of tea. The advice I’d offer to anyone of any playstyle is this: if it starts feeling like work, it’s time to switch gears — whether that’s simply playing a different character or logging out altogether.
As for whether I’m still playing Wrath, hell yes! I’ll be honest, I don’t mind the slower pace between expansions so much. Right now, Threnn, Anna and Davien are about as well-geared as they’re going to be until Cata greens replace Wrath epics. PvE-wise, I can concentrate on finding some new shinies for Lyr and leveling my baby shaman. I’m in no rush for him — he’s been around since 2006 and is still wandering around in Stranglethorn.
RP-wise, it’s quiet for all my characters, and again, that’s okay by me. If something interesting comes along, they can join in, but meanwhile, they’re doing their day-to-day things, enjoying a little while where the world isn’t falling apart. I have a couple of loose ends to tie up for Davien, and some others for Annalea that will probably carry into a story line for her in Cataclysm. Threnn and Bricu are planning for the future, figuring out what they want to do now that the world’s a safer place for their daughter. Y’know, for now.
What goals do you have left for yourself in Wrath? Any alts you’d like to cap or gear? Are there any achievements you’re after or reputations you’d like to max out? Are there any storylines you haven’t had a chance to finish yet for your characters?
A whole lot will be changing in the starter zones — now’s your last chance to see the old Vanilla world, if there are any races or classes you haven’t explored yet (or if you’re up for some nostalgia.)
What about some silly fun? Some of my hordie friends have been doing Iron Man runs — starting off in the lowbie dungeons with no gear, and equipping only what drops, then working their way up.
However, if you find yourself bored every time you log in, it’s also perfectly valid to take a WoW-break. The game shouldn’t be an obligation or a chore, and if you’re hearing the siren song of DragonAge, Starcraft II, or going to the beach, go for it!
All right, readers, if you’re in the beta, tell us what you’re up to. If you’re not, what’s keeping you busy in-game (or out of it, if you’re taking a break?) Any advice for Jan?
Let us know!