I am going through this really odd period with World of Warcraft. My friend Grace and I had a conversation last night… and it feels like it is the end of an expansion. I guess at this point in the last several expansions the game has been thoroughly in maintenance mode, and we were waiting with baited breath to see if someone announced anything about the expansion. However in this case there is apparently still a good deal of content left to be released. We’ve been told that we would be going to Argus, and the Tomb of Sargeras raid has not even opened… so there are still big things looming on the horizon. However the way I am approaching the game right now very much feels like what I do at the end of an expansion. I am doing all manner of superfluous things that bring my pleasure. For example during the Warlords of Draenor expansion you could not get me into Tanaan Jungle on a regular basis. Once I got my flight… I disappeared from the zone almost entirely. However lately I have been roaming around out there doing all manner of random stuff and attempting to farm Apexis Crystals. Its like I suddenly decided that I really would like to get that Fel Raven mount that is available from there. I’ve also started doing a bunch of achievements… which is odd because generally speaking I am not an achievement driven person… at least not unless there is a mount or pet associated with it.
While I was roaming around Tanaan Jungle I suddenly decided that I wanted to kill the rares that I somehow missed along the way. That lead to me getting the Jungle Hunter achievement for killing 25 different rares. Then something inside of me was like… why stop there… and I looked up what the achievement was for killing everything. Last night I sorted out how to get the last couple I was missing and wound up completing the Jungle Stalker achievement for killing all 60 different named rare mobs in Tanaan Jungle. What is so weird about this is the fact that there is absolutely nothing in it for me… no title, no mount, no pet… none of the things I normally chase after. I just suddenly decided I wanted to do it… and then did it because it was something that existed. Now part of me wants to go around killing all of the named rare mobs in all of the different zones of Warlords… and then maybe Pandaria as well. Ultimately I have zero clue why this is suddenly compelling to me… because there are lots more productive uses of my time. However World of Warcraft, especially running around older content is sort of the pinnacle of “comfort gaming”. I have also been running a lot of older raids attempting to complete various cosmetic sets… that I will honestly probably never wear. There is just something enjoyable at this very moment about checking things off of a list.
I often times have some of the most fun in World of Warcraft when the game is in the lull state at the end of an expansion. I am in no rush to complete anything and not attempting to keep up with anyone else that happens to be progressing faster than I am. I only casually care about raiding, or I have already completed the raid content and shift into a sort of permanently piddling mode of play. Whatever the case it feels like I have generated this artificial bubble of lull, to where things really are not effecting me in any serious way. Sure I am actually raiding again… but doing so in a super casual manner and largely doing content that folks have on farm just for the sake of hanging out with my raider friends. Even though I know in the back of my head that we are going to continue getting a drip of content for awhile now… I am largely okay pretending it is the end. I seem to be able to play more freely and pull random goals out of the air and work towards them. While it would be awesome to get some dungeoning in every now and then… I am happy with not feeling like I am letting someone down by not grinding seriously towards some long term objective. I realize that as soon as Stormblood launches… I will be back in the rat race and trying to make sure I am as well geared as possible to be able to tackle all of the new content. However for the moment I am enjoying this enhanced state of chill.