What I would like right now is a time machine to go back a week or so and explain to myself what was really important with invasions. Oh, I thought at the start that it was all about getting that free gear and some nethershards, and after a while I got bored of it all and drifted away.
Then, over the weekend, I only started to hear that invasions were absolutely fantastic for leveling alts, something that surprised me because I was only vaguely aware that lower levels could participate (I had only been doing them with 100s). So naturally by the time I got my Druid in gear to invasion-TO-THE-MAAAAX, Blizzard called in the fun police and nerfed invasion XP.
A remarkably tone-deaf CM snarked at players how this nerf was meant to (in my words) get those dirty AFKers but good and that invasions weren’t supposed to be about getting alts to level 100. Um… why not? Seriously, WHY NOT. Can’t they be fun and useful? Y’all got an expansion coming out in less than two weeks, why wouldn’t you want more players to get those 100s ready… unless you want to sell more of those store boosts (conspiracy!).
Anyway, after the community got good and rankled about this change, Blizzard did buff mob XP, which is a good move in general save that you lose most of the XP from that kill if someone else tags in. Slow clap for putting the hurt on encouraging teamwork there.
So here’s the slightly ironic thing: I was playing invasions all normal-like for the first week, and it took all of this hooplah and nerfing to convince me that the way forward was to AFK with absolutely no shame whatsoever.
Sportsmanlike it might not be, but if there’s an avenue for relatively easy and painless advancement, it’s hard to turn that down (especially for an alt). My Druid had been slowly, oh so slowly climbing up the levels via dungeon crawling, but that’s getting ridiculously slow now that I’m in the 70s and it’s only going to get worse from here. Word is Blizzard nerfed dungeon XP a while back, so if that’s true, thanks for that one.
Instead, I’m going to use the invasions to boost my character — perhaps not as quickly as before, but steady and faster than dungeoneering. The thing is, I can log in, park my Druid in an invasion zone, and then AFK out to get some work done, make dinner, roll among the daisies, etc. I don’t have to be at the computer to reap the XP and chests. Sure, I’d get more if I participated (and I still do, particularly in phase 3 when I’ve got gaming time), but this is working great to have running almost constantly in the background.
And it’s working. Day one of the new AFK regimen, I went from 73 to 76. Every two hours I’d move my Druid around to the three invasion zones, soak up the easy XP, and then log out until the next wave began. As a bonus, the chests are getting me a suit of armor that is leveling up with me, so when I hit 100, I shouldn’t be too badly off.
As I said, I can still participate and even run dungeons between invasions. But going AFK feels, in a small way, like I’m making some small statement about how Blizzard needs to always err on the side of fun instead of cracking down on people who aren’t playing the way that they want (that week).