Thursday, January 27, 2011

Warring Priorities

It must be nice, being a master of the Auction House.

Not to mention the player who has an entire stable of toons sitting at L85.

And still have a life.  (Or a job.  Or both.)

For most of us mere mortals, we have to content ourselves with prioritizing our WoW time.  And truth be told, playing the role of Farmer Bob is one of those tasks that I typically put at the bottom of my to-do list.  My thought process is simple:  what's more fun, leveling in Vashj'ir, or mining Cobalt?*  Fighting in Alterac Valley, or farming Frostweave?

It used to be the case that I'd combine my farming with waiting for the LFD or BG queue, but since the combination of Battlegroups caused a reduction in queue times, I discovered that I didn't have that much luck getting a lot of farming done.  And right now, I'd rather be out questing rather than farming.

Of course, a Tailor still has to have her Frostweave to finish leveling.  To help his fellow Hordie out, I've been pulling Quintalan off of whatever bench he's been spending his days on and sending him into Icecrown to beat up on Converted Heroes for their Frostweave.  Once he gets a pile, he forwards them on to Neve so she can practice her skills.  If you guessed that I don't exactly sound enthusiastic, you're right.

It's one thing if I've seen all of the Cata zones, and poked my nose into each nook and cranny on both factions.  I'd be gearing up for PvP, trying my hand at heroics, and working on what I consider side stuff.  But since Neve needs the gear she can get from Tailoring (and the boosts from Enchanting), I'm Farmer Quintalan instead.

Tomakan needs the cash, and while the questing is giving a good supply of gold, I don't want him to get to L83 without having visited all of the Northrend instances.  So the past couple of days, he's been Miner Tom.

Not exactly the stuff that heroes are made of.  Unless, of course, your idea of a hero is more along the lines of Cincinnatus.

I remember reading a post by Linedan from Achtung Panzercow on his attempts to play EVE Online, and my reaction was that if a game feels too much like work, it's no longer a game.**  There are days when the WoW grind is too much like work, and not enough like play.  That's when I remind myself that to take the measure of a game, you have to assess the good with the bad.  Does the fun outweigh the grind?

For me, it does.  This grind will eventually go away, and I can move on to other things.  There may come a day when the grind no longer makes the game worth it, but it isn't there yet.

*Cobalt was selling for higher prices than Saronite or Thorium on Ysera last week.
**Unless your work is a game, then all bets are off.


  1. Yes, the grindy aspects of WoW are difficult, especially when you only have so much time to commit to the game. I recommend breaking your foot, it does wonders for your farming. I think one of the issues with WoW is general is that the border between work/fun is different from everybody - and it's human nature to judge each other's fun level. So when you see, I don't know, someone levelling their 80th bazillion alt or making their next million on the AH you're inclined to be all "pah!" about it. But as long as the balance tips the right towards fun, I reckon, as you say, it's all good :)

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  3. Tam, you are always my humor of the day. To Red I say, grinding is not even an option. Even during the days when I had a lot more time (no wife no kids). It just wasn't. It wasn't fun then, its not fun now. The really bad part is in their effort to bring more challenge, they have lumped the meaning in with "more grind". There are fewer quests at 85 than I thought there would be (I dont count dailies; that is no more content than seeing the Innkeeper everyday).

    How I usually get around this is just selling things and buying what I need. After all, gold has no value in WoW. You can pretty much spend it down to zero and be ok as long as you loot corpses on your kills. Or you can have 20k gold and have absolutely zero use for it.

    aka Red Skies

  4. @Doone-- I remember even playing the old time computer RPGs like Ultima V newer incarnations like Baldur's Gate, you had to go through a grind phase. You had to level up enough to push the BG storyline along, and that could become tedious after a short while. With Ultima V, you needed the herbs and whatnot to use for spells, and you had to go out into the countryside to find them.

    I guess I'm used to grinds being part of the game, but with an MMO there's the additional social pressure of not wanting to let the team down, so you have to prioritize when and how to grind. (And what you are grinding for.)

  5. @Tam-- You're right about the work/fun level. Some people love to play the AH/stock market, and others would rather be slaying internet dragon(kin). And while you don't exactly need cash to play the game, it sure does help knowing you're not broke.

  6. I tried Final Fantasy XIV and it's the perfect game for farmers and crafters. But if you like questing and beating dungeons, you better not go play FFXIV.

  7. @Nath-- Good to see you made it over! Yes, I saw your posts on FFXIV, and you pretty much answered my questions on whether I want to play the game or not.

    For me, there's a time when I want to be grindy or detail oriented (like playing Civ IV or Rome: Total War), and other times when I want to be in the thick of the fight (WoW). I know there's bleedover, but yeah, I think I prefer WoW for the fighting and questing.