World of Warcraft's newest dungeon, Battle for Dazar'alor, released last week and a lot of people I have played with over the past few months returned to give it a shot. Many, many players who purchased BFA have voiced their negative opinions of BFA on sites like MMO Champion, WoWHead, the official forums, and news sites galore. I'm sure a lot of them even stopped playing (as a lot in my guild did).
Though I typically burn out on a WoW expansion quickly, BFA hasn't been one of those expansions. Personally, I'm intrigued by this turn of events. Why do I find the expansion so enjoyable when so many other WoW-devout-diehards are complaining and quitting?
I decided I could put together a quick list of why I still enjoy the game.
1. Kul Tiras and Zandalar aren't terrible
Nothing about the Legion world resonated with me. I thought some of the zones were okay, but most bored me and some even downright annoyed me. I don't have those problems in BFA. I think the continents are generally good. I don't love them, and they have problems, but I'm not lgoging out because a zone bothers me.
2. Azerite Power (AP) is accessible
Though it's a bit of a grind, it's not an inaccessible one. In Legion I felt chained to one character and my desk for the first 6 months. I've leveled 5 characters to 120 and three of them have AP at competitive levels capable of running and using heroic gear traits. Catch-up mechanics were implemented almost right away to help ease the curve.
3. Personal Loot is game-wide
Players like me are the reason why Blizzard sticks with personal loot. I hate the idea of relying on others for my loot, whether they're a guild of people I know or pugs. I don't want rolls, councils, or DKP. I want to participate in something and only compete against myself. I'm not a mythic raider -- I'm just an average player.
4. Raid content has been good -- now even great
I thought Uldir wasn't bad. There were parts I disliked about mechanics, and the setting was definitely not my style, but I found it an adequate first raid. Battle for Dazar'alor is really, really cool. So far we're working through normal and all of the bosses are really fun mechanically. I particular enjoy the Grong and Opulence fights. I can't wait to finish the raid this week.
5. Dungeons are repeatable
Battle for Azeroth is the first expansion since WotLK where I feel like I can run the dungeons over and over and not get bored. Cataclysm, Pandaria, and WoD bored me so fast, but I'm still running multiple dungeons a week. In fact, yesterday I ran 8 dungeons. This makes the weekly cache system tolerable.
6. Azerite gear is improving
In 8.1, Blizzard introduced Titan Residuum which is a currency you can obtain to purchase azerite gear. They've also added a 5th trait on the latest azerite gear which makes the gear itself far more enticing and indeed powerful/useful. Though an overall flawed system, it's getting better -- and there are talks of the traits all unlocking once you've earned them.
7. Gear is accessible
Nothing burns me out on a game faster than feeling like I can never get gear. Throughout BFA I've always felt like I can achieve gear milestones and acquire gear fairly well. I'm not burning through heroic raids (we're casual raiding), or pushing +15 keys, but by the end of season 1 I was easily knocking out 10's regularly and getting gear from M+. Emissaries also now drop up to 385 gear, weekly quests are giving gear, PvP weeklies give a piece of 400 gear, Warfronts can give ilvl 400 gear, etc. I have things to do to gear up.
8. My character(s) feel strong
I'm currently maining and Mistweaver Monk, and I love it. I feel like I'm in such a good place to help my raid, and I love the flow of healing in M+. Though I've set my Paladin aside, I still felt like he was a very strong healer too -- just not my style. Playing my BM Hunter alt, I'm able to really output significant DPS. The same goes for my 3-4 other classes I've played. They all feel in a generally good place. I like that each of the classes I've played felt strong.
9. BFA's story is unfolding and leading somewhere
Some people are really complaining about the Alliance's story, but the Horde story is generally looked upon favorably. So far I think the story across both factions has been a good one. I wish it would go faster. I think the story is really leading us somewhere significant. I feel like there's going to be a big reveal at the end of the expansion -- once we finish up this kerfuffle we're having between factions and get Azshara out of the way.
10. Plenty of Content
I feel like BFA offers me a lot of content. This wasn't something I felt early on, as the warfronts and island expeditions were a let-down. However, as months have gone on, I do feel like now the game is unfolding nicely in terms of its content plan. 8.01 ended with good content rolled out, 8.1 came in and introduced a new raid, 8.1.5 will have another raid, 8.2 yet another, and so on. Within these patches will be a large gnomish mega-dungeon, and the questing content, though also short, is still there. For an average player like me, I have lots on my plate.
Though I understand every bit of why people stopped playing, I feel like for me this expansion has done a great job at finding the middle ground for a large portion of players who are middle-of-the-road average. That can be polarizing for those on either end of the spectrum, and when your games has millions of players that can be quite a large (and vocal) number. A few guildmates I played with earlier in the expansion have come back and enjoyed the new content with me. If you stopped playing, you might also pop your head in and check it out.
So hyped for WoW Classic! It will destroy BFA
I do not believe they share an audience so overlapping that one would destroy the other. So many people, like yourself, hyping WoW Classic do not even play WoW right now. Furthermore, so many people, like yourself, are really hyped about an era of WoW that will burn you out in less than 3 months like every MMO has for the last 10 years. I include myself in that group.
I recently took a break for two reasons. 1 – I realized that in order to continue progressing, I was either going to have to get serious about my arena rating or start dumping time into mythics/raiding, neither of which I enjoyed enough to spend that much time doing. Maybe arena, but only if I could get my old buddies back playing with me again, not PUGs or random guildies. 2 – DAoC Phoenix server came out a couple of weeks ago. I am loving it. I even got the wife and son playing with me so we have our own little start of a group anytime we get on and play together. It’s a great blend of old school DAoC (1.65 patch version) and some nice QoL improvements to accommodate this aging gamer.
Do you enjoy running M+ dungeons? Or did you already progress past the higher keys and TR grind for season 2? (or did you stop in season 1?)
I’m really interested in the DAoC Phoenix server. I mentioned it to a few friends who may join me. My one concern is lack of time to devote to long play sessions. I typically have an hour to 2 hours max to play in one sitting, and that can be hard to really accomplish great things in a game like DAoC — though not impossible by any means.
I burned out on BFA faster than any other WoW expansion. I think I’m just tired of the modern MMORPG model. I actually like things being more difficult/taking longer/less convenient. I prefer MMORPGs where you actually need to group and play with other people to accomplish almost anything. I don’t want to solo when I play an MMORPG.
I’ve started playing FFXI on the Nasomi private server. I never played FFXI back in the day but I’m really enjoying it. These older games just appeal to me more.
I’m looking forward to WoW Classic and Pantheon.
I’m also that way, if the game’s world is overall design is supportive of all those things. No game released in almost two decades has accomplished that, though.
WoW Classic is just a grind, really, without any of the meaningful progression I like. So that’s out for me.
Pantheon is highest on my radar.
War mode has been the saving grace of BFA for me. I finally get the large open world battles we used to have between SS and TM. It sucks sometimes being outnumbered by the horde but I feel the alliance has been stepping up as the xpac progresses.
I enjoy war mode as well when doing the quests for it. I like to join a group and go do some open-world pvp to get my 10 or 25 kills. It’s a nice distraction.
Most of those reasons around loot and power are why most left, nothing feels meaningful or earned
Everyone I know who quit didn’t do so because of the gear — because the “best” gear is still very unattainable by all but the 1-3%. They left because they felt the content was boring or not enough.
If most people quit for that reason, I’m surprised so many people play WoW and aren’t looking at the Pantheon’s of the world as the next big thing. WoW has been a game of “accessibility” for over 10 years.
OOT comment ,just want to let you know Phoenix is doable with 1-2hrs a day of playtime,took me about 2 weeks to hit 50 with very very casual play.
As someone above mentioned they introduced some qol changes,xping is fast,tons of people around of all lvls.
For now,at least.
Oh and just dont go hib.