Following my post last week about pining for an MMO home and reading the great responses that several readers gave to it, I decided that time for pining was over. Action was needed! Big, feathery, fluffy action!
And so I started to map out a strategy for playing multiple MMORPGs that I’m calling the “mall plan.” The idea here is to structure one’s focus around a single large anchor game (much like how a shopping mall has large anchor stores) to be a consistent, main focus, and then free up space for as many satellite games to revolve around it. I’m not lacking in satellite games, just the main one. And so for now, I’m going to play it safe by heading back to World of Warcraft.
It’s not just for the purpose of this plan. I’ve been thinking of it more and more lately, now that I’ve had a few months off, and fall always seems the time each year that I feel most strongly compelled to play this game. Maybe it’s because WoW came out in fall 2004, maybe it’s just the feeling of hunkering down in the house as the weather turns colder, I don’t know. There’s some connection there, however.
I do know that I’m not rushing back to play my Death Knight, at least not right away. I love her, but I need a project to work on, and other than going to Argus for whatever reason, she’s in a good place. So I hemmed and hawed and ultimately decided that I wanted to have a healer as a second main. And for me, this meant going back to my Druid.
It wasn’t a difficult choice; I love this character and the sheer utility that it provides. She’s a great healer who can also shapeshift into Moonkin for some decent damage. She’s got an instant flight form, and now I can fly all over the Broken Isles in a way that I couldn’t when I was originally leveling up my DK. And I have that awesome Emerald Dreamway port that can take me pretty much anywhere across the world. It feels like a great character to work on, so why not?
The first night, after transferring some gold over and cleaning up her bags, I took my Druid for a spin through a few quests to get a feel for movement and combat. She’s really right at the beginning of the Legion expansion, having just gotten her artifact weapon, so I’m way far behind the endgame crowd. But I don’t feel any pressure to speed up or despair at all of the zones to finish, just a general contentment that she’s got plenty to do.
Combat was surprisingly great. I don’t know if they’ve beefed up the sounds and visuals for the Druid’s spell attacks, but they seemed to have more “punch” than I remembered. I got a good rotation going and figured out which protective and healing spells I could use in Moonkin form, then started to go to town on quests.
Next up was taking her for a test drive through a timewalking dungeon as a healer. And that was, more or less, OK. We made it, no wipes, but I did lose a couple of players on two of the boss fights. There are a lot of healing and protective spells that I need to refamiliarize myself with, and really the best way to do that is just to run dungeons enough so that it becomes second nature. I think I’m going to try to run at least one a night when I’m playing WoW to polish those skills.
I will say that I am dying to know what Blizzard is going to reveal about the next expansion come BlizzCon next month. I’m sure it will take some of the wind out of the sails of people working through content right now, but it should also have a revitalizing effect. Legion did keep up with Blizzard’s promise of more regular and beefy updates, but the future past this point is largely a big question mark. I hope we’ll hear a few great surprises, and I do want to know what’s going to happen to these artifact weapons everyone’s poured so much time in preparing.
Maybe we’ll get to hang them up in our garrisons?