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SL not as solo friendly

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Firemane
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Last seen: 18 hours 48 min ago
Joined: 08/01/2010 - 06:34

https://blizzardwatch.com/2021/01/06/able-play-wow-like-open-world-rpg/

This is an interesting read. H, this sums up pretty well what I was trying to say in chat the other night about how SL doesn't really fit my playstyle. I don't think it's a bad expansion, and quite possibly I'm in the minority but I do feel a bit left behind by Shadowlands. I don't want to be forced into things I don't want to do so that I'm able to do the things I do want to do. I've always despised the M+ system, especially with pugs (although I'd do it with guild but that's not always easy based on schedules), and I don't like PvP, so right there that locks me out of at least two thirds of the Great Vault. M+ was tolerable when I could ignore it. But now I need to do at least M0 to even queue for LFR which is beyond stupid even though I also hate LFR. I know a lot of people like M+, and that's fine. I'm not one of them and I don't like being forced into it just because everyone else likes it. I haven't even set foot in a Normal dungeon much less Mythic.

Torghast is fun but will grow old quick with no real carrot for me other than the eventual satisfaction of soloing Layer 8 and Twisting Corridors, but I won't be able to do that without gear from other places. Callings reward vendor trash. WQs take longer for less payout. And there's waaaaaay too much going on for a fresh 60 to even know what to do first or where I will get the most bang for my buck.

Like this guy points out, WoW is supposed to be mulitplayer. I get it. But I think it's gone too far away from being able to at least make satisfying progress as a predominantly solo player. I love playing with all of you, but pugs are too often too toxic an environment for my tastes, and while I know it's Blizzard's game I also don't like it when they dictate to me how I should be playing it. Which is what it feels like now.

Anyway, my subscription is good until March and I haven't (yet) cancelled it. We'll see what happens I guess. I want to like SL, I really do. But right now the motivation to play isn't very high, because it just looks like too much of a mountain to climb for me for no reason other than because it's there.

Edited by: Firemane on 01/07/2021 - 11:53
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Honesty
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Last seen: 5 hours 1 min ago
Joined: 11/17/2005 - 12:18

One of the things I didn't like about BfA was that the itemlevel difference between Honesty, where I raided the hardest content I could, and Cardiff/Hes (who didn't) was negligible.  I want my alts to still be able to do stuff, but there ought to be _some_ benefit to beating harder content.  SL is somewhat better there, I've got a ~15 point difference (one raid tier) between them.  My alts are able to go out in the world and do stuff, just not as easily as Honesty.  I completely agree that a fresh 60 is faced with far too many things to do to figure out where they'd get the most bang for their buck.

What I found with my alts was that the best way to improve was to plug along the covenant quest line.  This week, the ilvl of the rewards goes up to mythic 0 levels (184).  Yeah, it's a fair amount of anima to upgrade old pieces to that level, but if all you are looking to do is get up to 170 in order to go on lfr's then it's not too bad.  It's more anima to upgrade a building to tier 2.   We're about halfway through the campaign for the covenants; the gear eventually goes to 200, the same as normal Castle Nathria.  My alts get limited playtime and mostly solo (well, Cardiff goes with Lierra), so it's not too different from your situation.  Both of them still have the quest to get something from the Great Vault, though Cardiff will complete that next week, having done a mythic+2 not in time.

There is a tremendous amount of stuff to do in WoW solo...though it doesn't all result in gear.  The treasures are often interesting puzzles, and there are a surprising number of little details scattered about.  I think the callings are a bit of a downgrade from emissaries; the not knowing the reward makes it something you can't really look for and target.  There's no "I have to find time to do that one" effect.  (I also dislike the fact that unlike emissaries, you have to go pick them up, then do them, then return to get the reward.)  I have gotten an occasional bit of gear from them, they haven't all been conduits.  There are also sometimes weapon and trinkets as rewards on the mission table (Honesty's offhand weapon is one he got from the table, a 184 sword).  I'm still trying to figure out which WQ's are worth doing, so many of them look like they tell you to kill one thing, which leads to a step to collect 8 drops, then kill 4 things...etc. 

Whether or not any of it is fun is a personal thing; it either appeals to you or it doesn't.  At it's heart, it's not qualitatively different from previous expansions.  Quantitatively, gear drops are less frequent, although not less frequent than the titanforged version you wanted.  It's not clear how the story line is going to work.  In BfA there was one story line, in Legion with the order halls there were 10 story lines, here there are 5 (Bolvar and the 4 covenants). 

Anyway, I hope you find something fun.  If I can be of any help let me know.

Firemane
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Last seen: 18 hours 48 min ago
Joined: 08/01/2010 - 06:34

I hear you H and even I will admit to being a little surprised at times when Firemane would pull into her first BFA raid in weeks or months and still be at a relatively comparable ilvl to those of you who raid all the time. She was a little behind but not to the point of being a liability, and in fact I could still get her to top the meters at times. It's important to note however that in BFA item level wasn't that big a factor in DPS, at least not for Fire Mages. It was a little, but most of our DPS came from abusing specific borrowed power items and essences and corruptions. Which is a different problem that isn't solved by throttling the overall availability of gear in SL. (And yes I still talk about Firemane in the third person, which oddly enough is indicative of my reluctance to completely abandon WoW. That mage has been part of my life for 16 years. Yes, I'm weird.)

I will admit that a lot of my backlash is to M+. Again, it was fine as an added activity and gearing path for those who like doing that sort of thing, but it was never mandatory before. Maybe "mandatory" is a strong word, but there's no arguing that the path to gearing has narrowed and that a greater emphasis than ever before is placed on pushing M+. I already know that if there's a slot available that you will do every thing possible to get me into raids even if I'm undergeared. But you also know that I don't like being a stage weight around the raid's ankles and I feel like I should be able to be self sufficient outside of raids and still be able to show up and contribute when I can.

I also don't agree that "group content" and "difficult content with better rewards" should be thought of as synonymous, although maybe people feel that's how it should be in an MMO. But they've had plenty of "difficult" solo content in the past, although the rewards for that have been mostly cosmetic. I guess I don't grant the premise that "raid" should necessarily be "the hardest content I could" participate in. Difficulty isn't solely defined by the number of people necessary to complete an activity. That's just a mathematical function in the background, as evidenced by the fact that I can waltz into older 40 man content now and one shot stuff while naked and unarmed. Torghast, for example, could easily be a challenging solo path to progress if they wanted it to be, beyond just farming ash for legendaries. They've simply chosen not to make it that.

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Roenn
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Last seen: 1 day 5 min ago
Joined: 01/19/2010 - 16:19

M+ is frustating in its own way - there isn't much loot to be received and (as Kil or Cod will tell you) you can go 10 dungeons without getting a single piece of usable gear but if you are lucky you can completely deck your toon out after just a handful.  On Roenn I've felt that there is almost a "hump" to get over.  Once you have an ilvl of, say 184 or greater, the WQ's feel easier, Maw isn't nearly as punishing, and in general the game is less frustrating.  I think the challenge for Blizz is increasing avenues to get there.  I agree on H's points on the covenant angle but it would be nice if they scaled the WQ loot to be a bit more progressive. My vote (obviously) is for you to hang in there bud - it will get better!    

Oh and the SURPRISE WQ's need to stop.  It's SUPER frustrating to see an objective only to get 4 additional objectives after you've started.  Shame on Blizz for implementing that.  I want to know what I'm getting into before I start a WQ!