Sunday, June 24, 2012

Wrapping things up

Well, gosh.

It's certainly been a while, hasn't it?

I'm not sure when I last logged in to WoW. I did the annual pass thing - mostly for the free Diablo 3 - so I'm still subscribed. But I haven't felt any desire to play, or talk about it, or think about it. RPS linked to an interesting essay on the future of the MMO today. I think Mr. Johnson is struggling with the same questions that many of us struggle with. What was so amazing about our initial connection with WoW, or whatever MMO it was that you connected with?

I also think he comes to all the wrong conclusions, even though the correct one is obvious in his own essay. He talks about boss guides and boss videos getting in the way of formulating your own approach to an encounter, the casual/hardcore distinction, odd gameplay mechanics, all the sorts of standard things we talk about it when we're considering these things.

At the same time, throughout the piece, he's telling stories about memories of his time with Risen. Opening the gates to Ahn'quiraj, raiding Hogger with level 1 gnomes, seeing Ragnaros for the first time (and I encourage you to read the snippet of raid chat in that screenshot), all of that stuff. To be fair, he does talk about those social connections as being the biggest, most important part of why he got into WoW, and that's where I agree with him.

I realize that this isn't a new thing for me to say on this blog, but I do think that that social aspect is the most important one in the game for me, even though I didn't necessarily realize this in the past.

I like a lot of the people in my guild, but it's such a tiny guild on a dead server. Even when if I did log on, would anyone else be online? Probably not. Especially working the hours I do. And if there was someone online, what would we do?

I like raiding, but putting the raids together was an almost-constant headache, we either had too many people or too few. And to be honest, there was never as much chatter as I would have liked, either on vent or in raid chat.

At the same time, while I do like raiding, I have also really liked having those six hours every week freed up. Even if I sometimes still use it on gaming in one way or another, you know, it's nice to not have that obligation.

I remain pretty conflicted. At this point I'm honestly unsure if I'll even get Mists of Pandaria. I think they're going good places with the gameplay mechanics, but also kind of so what? Burning Crusade's gameplay mechanics sucked in a lot of ways but I was raiding three nights a week with a 25-person raid guild full of people I really liked. I logged in during off hours and farmed consumables just to hang out, really. Just to chat.

Now, well, I don't know. I should probably give up the pretense of this blog. I haven't even had the courtesy to respond to comments left here, and it used to be that comments got a response as soon as I knew they were there.

I guess I've never really felt like a part of the WoW blogging community, either. There have been times when it's begun to feel like that, and that was great in the same way that an active guild that I fit with socially was great. It never really gelled, though.

So I suppose I should just go ahead and say that Piercing Shots is taking a nap. I can't say as I think it'll return? It seems pretty unlikely, if not impossible. I do want to really sincerely thank everyone who has commented or emailed at one point or another, it pretty much always made me smile. And I think that the guides I wrote were helpful for a few people in Cataclysm, so that's pretty awesome. Nonetheless, I've reached a point where I just don't have anything to say, and that seems like a good time to close up shop.