I am currently toying with the idea of subscribing to WoW again – trying to explain below why it is such a difficult choice.
It all started when I realized while fishing in LotRO that I missed WoW fishing, with its variety of fish, and – very importantly – an audible splash upon biting, which allowed me to fish with a book or a tablet, only looking at the screen to cast and then to place mouse pointer on the bobber. In LotRO, you have to do it by the image only, and staring at the still picture trying to not miss the animation gets old fast, however nice the landscape. All right, thought naive little me, a non-subscription “starter edition” will not allow me to play any of my old high-level characters, but I can start a new one. Sure, it will be capped at level 20, but unlike crafting skills, fishing has no level requirements, and while I won’t be able to get to the Outland, effectively capping my fishing at 300 (although Darkmoon Faire may change that), I can sneak into most places even at level 20, and even if I have to pick up a fight, a level 20 tank pally in full heirlooms is a fairly durable thing, so… let’s see where it takes me, I thought. A fun set of restrictions to play with, I thought.
But then of course non-subscription accounts have fishing and cooking hard capped at 100, so there it goes. And I am not at all sure I want to commit to the game again, or even if I want to subscribe just to fish around for a while. The reason is, I dislike WoD so much that knowing that this is what awaits me as the endgame almost takes the fun out of playing at lower levels, which I mostly enjoy. I hate garrisons. If I wanted a game where I have to log in at a set time to collect resources, I’d play Farmville. I hate what they did to crafting, which became both hollow and obsolete. I hate reputation grinds and sitting around waiting for a rare boss to respawn (I didn’t like Timeless Isle either, but at the time it was relevant I was mostly doing other things). And so I voted with my feet (and with my wallet). Reversing this vote now would feel like endorsing something I don’t like at all.
Besides, my usual style of play seems too taxing at the moment, real life and all. I am an avid altoholic and crafter, always leveling a team of characters that is essentially self-reliant (i.e. all professions, one rogue to open locks, one dk to start off and farm for money while other characters are low level, so that everyone is able to buy riding skills asap, a druid herbalist because picking herbs, unlike mining, does not kick you out of the flying form, so gathering becomes a breeze, and so on). I have my initial team (horde) on one server (three characters at level 100 even), and another full team (alliance) on another one, and another very ambitious project elsewhere. Do I want to pick them up? I don’t have the time or determination, I am afraid. But if I start something else, won’t it end up being just another one of the same kind?
On the other hand, I need something to fiddle with (mostly out of frustration at a life situation, I am afraid). Recently I’ve been playing LotRO with a side of RuneScape (the latter for the situations when I also need to be doing something else, so I can’t concentrate on the game, but I am still restless enough to be unable to fully concentrate on that other thing either. I already wrote how RuneScape is unique in that it allows this type of play. Also, beats doodling). I however dumped RuneScape after the latest client update (their new client with huge claims for “improved performance” eats as much CPU and twice as much memory as the old one. Lags more, as well). And in LotRO, I hit a bit of a wall at my level 40, which mostly has to do with my playstyle. I am an altoholic, craftoholic (especially in LotRO where the market for crafted items hardly exists), and completionist, and my current setup is one “main” and three crafting alts. I gave up the idea of leveling four characters of different classes and professions, but even when actually only playing one “main”, I am drowning in various task items, reputation items, crafting materials of different tiers and so on. May as well slow down a bit.
And after all I have a vague feeling that if aforementioned life situation goes away, my gripes with current games and unexpected urges to play games I have gripes with will just fix themselves. This however, does not really help with the current “to buy or not to buy” question. Eh well. After all, I am lucky enough that I don’t have to choose between buying food and buying games, and while I have a self-imposed choice between buying beer and buying games, I don’t even have to feel bad about deciding either way.