Tomorrow, Blizzcon begins, and I am looking forward to finding out What’s Next for World of Warcraft?
I would like to see a new class, to bring the current awkward eleven up to a nice round dozen. I’d like it to be a mail-wearing class, so that there will be the same number of classes for each armor type. It should be available to Gnomes, because Gnomes have no mail-wearing class and every other race has at least one class that can use each armor type. I confess that I’m not quite sure what such a class would be or do, though, because Shamans and Hunters between them have a good spread of roles. Perhaps some sort of mail-wearing tank?
I really hope that the next expansion doesn’t abandon dailies entirely. As unpopular as this opinion seems to be these days, I like doing dailies. Perhaps it is evidence of some great flaw in my character that I am happier when structure is provided to me than when I have to figure out how to structure my time myself (a big reason why I enjoyed TAing but didn’t do so well at research when I was in graduate school), but nonetheless, I like the structure that dailies provide.
I like dailies because they act as a convenient timing mechanism for professions farming. When my Jewelcrafter had only one primal diamond cut left to find and also needed the Sapphire Cub pattern to be my 20th Crazy Cat Lady kitty pet, I felt bored just thinking about spending hours grinding mogu in the Vale. Instead, I picked up the Golden Lotus dailies, and whatever mogu she encountered in the round-trip between the Setting Sun Garrison and the bottom of Guo-Lai Halls were enough dead mogu for one day. In this fashion, it took about a week to get the patterns I wanted — and she also got Exalted with the Golden Lotus. I did the same thing with my Monk to get the six 5.4 cooking recipes from the Vale. While I do sometimes choose to farm herbs, ore, and leather by just flying around looking for them for an hour or two, it feels like a more productive use of my time to simply pick up whatever materials I happen to come across while I’m in the process of doing dailies. I actually liked the Fatty Goat Steak cooking daily better before the droprate was buffed because Kamalia could get so much leather while doing it.
Dailies help me distribute my playtime among my multitude of high level alts. I run through my character selection screen, tending each character’s garden and doing dailies for any factions that character is currently interested in, then moving on to the next character. If my playtime is limited, I start with the character(s) whose faction progressions are currently my highest priority in-game goals.
Although I like the way dailies give me something concrete and discrete to do with each character’s playtime, Valor Points, in and of themselves, are not enough of a reward to keep me coming back to any given set of dailies/repeatable quests again and again and again. I didn’t do the Battlefield:Barrens weekly very often, and I haven’t bothered with the Timeless Isle weekly that awards 200 VP, either. The faction has to offer some kind of reward I want, whether it is a mount or an item of clothing or a title or even RP/story fulfilment. I haven’t come back to the Domination Offensive because there weren’t any sufficiently cool-for-Transmogrification items of gear and I haven’t felt like any of my other characters needed to play through the story for RP reasons (my Blood Elf Mage and Dwarf Shaman will probably do the 5.1 stuff eventually). I haven’t done Isle of Quel’danas dailies since Wrath launched because I haven’t had any characters who wanted the Shattered Sun tabard. After Kamalia had gotten her Flameward Hippogryph and Kerisa had played through the conclusion of the Leyara story for an RP desire to understand what had gone wrong with the Druids of the Flame, I didn’t come back to the Molten Front until recently. Kaelinda wants the ruby pink gloves sold by one of the three vendors that unlock late in the grind, and I find that I’m actually rather enjoying the Molten Front dailies this time around — a combination of the place being virtually empty of players, not being on a PvP server anymore, and being level 86+. I have only come back to the Isle of Thunder once a week or so, when I’ve wanted Lesser Charms or had a Key to the Palace of Lei Shen drop from Throne of Thunder trash in LFR. But I’ve run most of my characters through the Argent Tournament, and so far I’ve run most of my level 90s through the Shado-Pan dailies, too.
I do get tired of those dailies after awhile. I need a rest of a few weeks between when I’ve reached my Argent Tournament goals with one character and when I start doing it again with another character. I’d been bringing up a new character to 90 as soon as the previous one had acquired her Replica Shado-Pan Helment, but it’s been a few weeks since my Paladin got her Replica Shado-Pan Helmet, and I only just brought my Priest to Pandaria yesterday.
Even though I need a break from my favorite sets of dailies sometimes and there are certainly many factions whose dailies I am quite happy to leave behind, I fear that the next expansion will not hold my interest for very long if it eschews dailies completely in favor of Timeless Isle-like content.
For me, the replay value of the Timeless Isle has been rather limited. It’s fun enough the first time I bring a character there. After I complete the one-time quests and I’ve solved Rolo’s Riddle and all that is left is grinding for Timeless Coins, Epoch Stones, and armor tokens, I get bored. I’m not much interested in the pets, rare spawns, or vanity/toy items. I’d rather go to the Timeless Isle with another fresh character than visit multiple times with the same character. I am more satisfied by time spent on the Isle of Thunder running through the Sunreaver Onslaught’s daisy-chain of dailies than I am by time spent wandering around the Timeless Isle looking for things to do.
The Isle of Giants, which is even less structured, I’ve barely bothered with at all. I’ve taken Kam there a couple of times for Transmogrification photo-shoots. I’ve been there twice with my Hunter. The first time, I got my Tome of Dinomancy, tamed myself a Direhorn, and ran all over the island in the direhorn disguise just to see what was there (I liked how the scenery is like Zouchin Province with touches of the Lost Isles). The mounts and most of the pets available there didn’t interest me much, but I did come back a couple of weeks ago to try to farm the Direhorn Runt while BTH’s guild was fighting Garrosh — I wanted to be doing something I could drop quickly to go watch the cinematics if they defeated him. I got SO BORED. I bought a Direhorn Runt off the AH a day or two later.
BTH’s guild didn’t defeat Garrosh that night that I was on the Isle of Giants, but they did defeat Garrosh a few days later, on the Monday just before the last wing of Siege of Orgrimmar LFR opened. I watched the cinematics and quest events over his shoulder. I’d seen the name of the new warchief mentioned a couple of times already, but that wasn’t really much of a spoiler. Blizz has spent Mists building up just two of the other Horde leaders, so it was either this guy or that other guy. I still haven’t done more of Siege of Orgrimmar LFR than the Vale of Eternal Sorrows myself, though. I did finally finish up with Throne of Thunder by bringing Lei Shen’s black heart to Wrathion, but now I’m stuck on Chi-Ji’s challenge. After the way the NPCs have shown up in my raid frames for the Thunder Forge scenario and the Proving Grounds, it is very frustrating to me that Wrathion does NOT show up in my raid frames for Chi-Ji’s challenge. It makes the whole thing quite a bit more difficult. My third or fourth attempt was really good — I got quite close to completing it — and then I failed and failed and failed. Kam is still sulking and procrastinating tweaking her talents (and possibly glyphs) for further attempts… and I probably won’t do much more Siege of Orgrimmar LFR until she’s got her legendary cloak and Wrathion’s quest to kill Garrosh.
But that might take awhile, because I’d rather be leveling my Priest and my Blood Elf Mage and then, when they reach level 90, doing their dailies.