There isn't much going on these days in Azeroth. Everyone seems to be moving at a snail's pace. I've been sitting idle at my computer lately, starring at the blog composition screen in utter disarray and having no idea what to write about. And I imagine that the bloggers over at WoW Insider are dealing with a similar kind of writer's block, being that a huge majority of their posts have been about the same topic - the start of Season 3. And while the event is definitely worthy of a good deal of coverage, I just can't help but feel completely unexcited about the current state of WoW. With Bliz bringing everyone up to speed with "Welfare Epics" and what not, the game has just been more of the same all over again, and after over 180 days played on my Warlock, having to separate ourselves from the pack, for a third or fourth time, doesn't seem all that engaging.
With the introduction of Season 3 and availability of Tier 4-level epics to just about anyone at Level 70, the pace of play on my server has slowed to a crawl. The LFG tool is even less active than it was before S3, and Trade Chat consists of mainly, and get this, items advertised for sale. I don't think I've seen a "Need tank and healer than GTG" in Trade since S3's release, actually.
The point I think that I'm trying to make is this: Season 3 is as much a speed bump as it is platform for progress. Yes, you have definite improvements in gear and nice items that are only available through Heroic/Raid badges and what not, but the focus of play itself just seems different overall. And on a server with a relatively low population faction, that's potentially devastating in terms of activity. I mean, why would anyone want to run instances and chance a drop versus PvP'ing for a sure thing? Why would any guild need to recruit more players for 25-mans when as individuals, they can be responsible for their own raid-level epic gear? And indeed, from what I've seen, the meeting stones at Auchindoun and all over are gathering a bit of dust.
Pretty much everyone is PvP'ing. And as of right now, the game has mainly become another grind for honor; sitting in the same battlegrounds all day long for items that will satisfy for now while putting everything else on hold. And then, once we're through with this grind, 2.4 will come along and make all of our current individual efforts for not. Then Wrath of the Lich King will show up and we'll all be back to where we began - waiting for the new Season of PvP to start so we can get more easy-mode epics that we'll hardly ever use outside of a battleground.
The same thing, at a different time, all over again.
So what do we do to break this ridiculous and repetitive cycle of nothingness? We don't let events like the introduction of Season 3 fully dictate what we do. We take part in and enjoy them, sure, but we shouldn't allow ourselves to lose track of what is important on a grander scale because of them. I think this is where many people have gone wrong -- focusing too much on instant gratification instead of planning for the long term. And just like it did after the Rank 14 items were made available to the masses, it has the potential to cripple.
Hopefully this won't be an issue for too much longer. Hopefully people will get their gear and refocus on the bigger picture that is all of WoW's content. Hopefully the snail's pace will pick up. Hopefully this speed bump won't turn into a traffic jam for everyone, hardcore or casual. Hopefully we can all move on to something better. Hopefully, soon.
Italics for the win.
Have an amazing weekend.