I chose a hell of a time to come back to World of Warcraft. I managed to level my Horde and Alliance mains to 100 around the time of Warlords of Draenor’s release, and then took a year-long hiatus. With the announcement of Legion and the news that a few IRL friends would be returning to the game for the next expansion, I jumped the gun and resubscribed in October 2015.
Just as content stopped.
There’s raiding, of course. There is always raiding. One of the reasons I took a step back in the first place, though, was because I couldn’t dedicate the same amount of time to the game as the majority of people I played with. I’m not going to be a progression raider again. I’ve come to terms with that and I’m grateful for the raid group I do have, who are content to run one night a week on Sundays to allow those of us with obligations to experience some of the end-game content.
I’m also a proud alt-o-holic. At the time of this post, I have 8 level 100 characters spread across three servers, with another 2 at 90 or above and 4 below 80 that I am in the process of leveling. One way I deal with content drought is by leveling alts. I enjoy the leveling experience. With the re-writing of old content post-Cataclysm, there are still a handful of zones and storylines that I haven’t experienced. There are a few other zones that I would happily level through again (any of the Forsaken-heavy zones, really) should I find myself so inclined. It would be nice to have one of each class at level 100 by the time Legion is released this summer, so that I have plenty of options to experience content in the new expansion.
Sometimes leveling isn’t enough, though. What, then, is left? PVP? I no longer PVP competitively. I am a naturally anxious and high-strung person, and adrenaline doesn’t help. I retired from arenas when I realized that no matter how many times I did them, I would never reach the point where that high-tension situation was exciting and not terrifying. So arenas aren’t an option. I imagine rated battlegrounds would probably have a similar effect.
The good news is that there are plenty of achievements I have yet to earn. Because I spent all of Mists of Pandaria in an RP/PVP guild, I barely set foot in any of the MoP raids. I could probably gather a few friends and go back for some of the meta achievements. I could also farm mounts – I’m missing Invincible, among others. Not to mention battle pets. There’s plenty of content to be found there.
While it seems like a day doesn’t go by without people leaving the game, unsubscribing until Legion comes out, or posting in Twitter/Tumblr/Battle.net about the dearth of content and the long dry spell between raid tiers, now is a perfect time to embrace your inner casual. I’m having a lovely time doing all the little things that often get lost in the mad rush to reach max-level and gear up for end-game content. When there’s no more gear to be had, no bosses left to kill, what else is there to do but slow down for a bit and actually experience the world of Warcraft? Between leveling my alts, hunting achievements, roleplaying, and playing the auction house, I don’t notice the lack of progression content as severely as those players who are used to a certain routine.
If you need to step back and have a break until Legion hits our computers, by all means do so. Sometimes a hiatus is just what you need to reinvigorate your love of this game. If you’re staying through the drought, though, remember that there is so much more to WoW than the latest raid tier. Try something you haven’t done before. Battle some pets. Make some gold. Step into a battleground or arena for the first time. Try for the Ironman or Bloodthirsty challenge. Consider roleplaying – those creative types are keeping the game and it’s environment fresh regardless of how long it’s been since the last major patch.
The content is still there, just not where you expect it to be. Think outside of the box and maybe you’ll find a new way to enjoy the game.