Being someone who wants to make games for a living, I find it disappointing how much I miss or don’t complete in the games I play. Time seems to slip away and I ask myself why I didn’t do more. One of my big goals this year and prior was to rediscover what I’m passionate about, what motivates me. Fantasy and games are two things I love.
July has been a month of reflection and trying to get back on track. Instead of talking about what and why hasn’t, I’m going to focus on what has happened and I want to happen.
This month I’ve been preparing for the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, Battle for Azeroth. This includes taking care of some things so I don’t need to backtrack (ex. flying) and achieving some things before they go away for good (ex. artifact appearance).
First I want to reflect on my thoughts and feelings on flying being gated and in-game items (gear, appearances) going away after the expansion ends. I’ll bring Diablo III into this as well, as it has gear and other goodies it rewards players when they finish season achievements.
Even though it was way late into the expansion, I was able to gain my flying in Legion, something I didn’t do in Warlords of Draenor (previous expansion) . So this was a special feat for me. It was challenging given my availability, I am balancing games with family and side-programming. This means I have to be selective about what I invest my time in and it’s possible I won’t get what I want. It also means I need to be smarter about how I do things, something I’m still learning.
Not having flying during the leveling experience definitely helps with immersion. Flying makes it easier to escape and access areas more easily, but waters down or nullifies the experience of exploring and adventuring because the danger is no longer there and discovery isn’t as much of a challenge anymore. In this way, I appreciate what current and past expansions have done when they lock down flying. It makes the danger and achievements feel that more real.
With that said, achieving flying in Legion was a challenge and I had to step away from it at some point. I found myself stuck in progressing through the main storyline because of a reputation gate and my timing was off for dungeons and raids. I tried chipping away at the rep, but at the time I still had at least three factions to gain reputation with and it felt cumbersome.
When I came back to the achievement, I had a more focused effort by only doing world quests for one faction at a time and using WoWHead to get passed the quest blocker I was running into. I also finally knuckled down and completed some quests in raids.
I’m hoping in Battle for Azeroth I will have an easier time keeping up with the rep grind, I think that’s the biggest factor that made me step away. As much of a pain it was, being challenged to get flying made the expansion better. I experienced the full content when I would have skipped out on Suramar and missed the conclusion of that questline.