267: What's Your Cataclysm?

What's Your Cataclysm?

Large upheavals, be they real-life events or an expansion to your favorite MMOG, can be opportunities to reflect on your life. Dr. Mark Kline examines how a cataclysm can lead to soul-searching and personal growth.

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To me, cataclysm means a lot of things.

But it mainly means waving bye-bye to all my artifacts, creatures and enchantments - except one.

Not quite as bad as Jokulhaups - but still...

I deeply regret the fact theri following the BC model of upgrades vs WotLK. What I mean by that is in BC you were replacing epics with greens pretty much at 60. in WotLK you got a few levels, up to 78 or so, with your epics depending on where they came from.

The most painful experience for me in WoW was realizing i couldnt reach the top in BC. They keps a frantic pace of new releases up that left me exhausted trying to complete the gladiator, oh wait the next gladiator oh now need a new weapon too oh and theres the new raid tier and and.... it just wasnt worth it. I want it to feel like im not a lab rat being suckered into chasing cheese till I die. So Ive been working on learning all the classes and having great fun at it. In 10 levels my mage will hit 80 and Ill raid a bit and have fun with her and feel like I actually did something they cant outmode. Of course then they anounced talent revamps and a change to everything but their only doing that once right?

My friends and I have got together and decided hw were goign to handle Cata is to play CoX, Star Trek, or some other MMO we want to try but havent had the time for a month or two. Crazy weve been called but its a smart kind of crazy...

No fighting for quest spawns. No five or six patches revamping entirely how an ability works so we have to relearn it. We can settle into things and give them a try without the stress thats a huge part of any expansion - and who knows if it really 'ruins' the game (for us) we can continue playing other games.

Just never anything by Sony. ( http://www.cad-comic.com/cad/20051107 )

Ah SWG how I miss thee

I've had that too, although my whole virtual world didn't come crashing down because of an expansion, but something else.

I had a very fun guild of Finnish players and we'd raid and raid and raid (They were even nice enough to take a blue-geared DK noob to an alt-run of Naxx) everyday until we had beaten everything the game had to offer. We still kept going, for me it became more about the experience and the many laughs to be had in Ventrilo and for some it was still to get the AWESOME PURPLES. Along came Ulduar, and we had some serious trouble there as well as the problem of the impending summer vacation during which people that had been playing actively after school or work such as me (tbh it feels like vacation everyday even in school, soo laid back) had better things to do in the warm days of summer, such as getting wasted.

So the guild broke up when the leader abruptly left without a warning, and everything came crashing down. I could have found a new guild, sure. But would it be as fun? Definetely not, seeing as my former guild was one of the only Finnish ones around. I quit playing around at that point and came back 6 months later, feeling the gravital pull of epic items, but then this whole "you need over 9000 gs and all the achievements from this instance to join" business had emerged and I felt pissed off. I am now leveling an alt on a different server. A new server, a new start.

Whoa, this turned out to be a serious /angst. Anyways, looking forward to Cataclysm, can't wait to see what they did to the 'ol place and be on the same level with everyone again so I can start raiding again and lose more hours of sleep to purple items. :)

I am in the midst of an identity crisis in WoW. For the better part of vanilla and the first several months of The Burning Crusade I played as a feral druid. Then I switched to an elemental shammy, and found a very good feeling niche. I played my elemental for most of WoTLK raiding up through Ulduar. Since then I have been doing the Death Knight thing, and I have been really enjoying their play-style (it's basically like being a melee-affliction warlock) - plus I prefer to tank/dps than heal/dps.

This is where Cataclysm comes in - indecision. All three characters are 80, all three are pretty well geared, and all three have certain quirks I really enjoy. There are also things I don't like about each, and certain things I don't like about their upcoming class changes. Since this is the case, I can't settle on who I want to make my 'main'. I don't know which one I want to get Loremaster on, to get 400 fishing on, to gain exalted with the Netherwing on etc..., etc...

I am really looking forward to Cataclysm, and will be making a Worgen Mage as a new alt. However, settling on a main to push ahead with into 80+ content, and consequently find a guild for, has left me feeling unsure and a bit anxious.

Thought I'd pop on to say that the author's experiences from BC to WotLK are almost identical to my experiences from vanilla to BC. I was in a guild that was just starting to crack into Naxx and had been clearing up to the Twin Emps pretty regularly, and as BC started to hit the guild which I'd thought of as being pretty close already started to show cracks. By the time the expansion had hit, the guild had already broken up into a few factions, and then the differences in the rates at which people leveled split more people off. The end result was basically the total dissolution of the social network which had made the game fun for me, and I ended up quitting after running Kara in 2.0 (2.0 Kara combined poor tuning with terrible itemization) enough times to realize that my feeling of being part of a giant online team in Vanilla wasn't coming back.

Finally came back just in time for 3.3.0 in WotLK, and I'm enjoying the game for the most part. I don't think I'll ever find another group that makes me want to do the 6day/5hour raid schedule, though (not that I really want to anymore, the new casual friendly focus is pretty fun without feeling like I need to rearrange my entire life around it).

Yeah those WoW friendships can be tenuous at best. I saw my share of ups and downs as a guild leader for over three years. What I take away from it is that your real life friends are most important. If you can play and not neglect them, then awesome! If not, maybe you should dial back your hours playing.

I had to quit WoW for my grades and to pick up the ashes of my social life.

My "friends" deserted me during high school and I was looking for an alternative to social crowd. I leveled my blood elf mage. Tried to join a big guild. They didn't want me. I joined a smaller guild called "Condemned". It was probably the best 5 months of WoW that I ever played. I had a redneck for a guildmaster. He was funny until he talked about guns or people of different color.

Our guild decided to start raiding. They started 10-man raids and I was part of the group. However, I had to get a summer job. I had to sleep. My position was taken by someone who was leveled by another player. I ended up pretty pissed. The rejected players decided to leave the guild and create a new one. I joined them, but the magic was gone.

I'm tempted to retry WoW. Although, I finally have new friends. I want to have better grades.

I'm miss you WoW, but we can't see each other right now.

Mark J Kline:
What's Your Cataclysm?

Large upheavals, be they real-life events or an expansion to your favorite MMOG, can be opportunities to reflect on your life. Dr. Mark Kline examines how a cataclysm can lead to soul-searching and personal growth.

Read Full Article

To me Cataclysm meas something very special:

It means some of my real life friends have decided to start playing. Which means for the first time since launch I will again have close RL friends that play. (Sure I know people in RL that I played with, but we are talking people I hang out with at least twice a week)

And as a comment on the "resetting the playing field concept" that was viewed in a negative manner in this article, turn it around a little:

-For every person that is on top of the world, there are probably 10 people that are not.
-For every person that can't handle a new expansion, there is a person that needs that expansion in order for the game to make sense playing.

In other words, for every person that dislike change, there are people that welcome it.

I was never a great raider in Vanilla, not for lack of trying, I just never got a great group. And usually you traded off friends for the end game guilds. So I quit wow when nothing other than raiding happened on my server.

But TBC gave us a new start, anyone that was nobody got a chance to become somebody. Blizzard even made changes to the game to make sure of that.
I raided quite successfully for some time, but our guild got burned out. So I sort of stopped playing after that.

Then Wrath comes along and blows new life to the game again. This time around I decide I would start my own guild for raiding. We did decent, but running a 10man raid group isn't as easy as it sound, and after a while we closed up shop from lack of people. (Try running a 10man casual group when you compete with PuGs and 25man crews for players... not easy)

The moral of my story, is that change brings with it more than just turmoil and broken friendships. Because that turmoil will eventually come with or without an expansion.
Nothing lasts forever.

As for stopping to play wow. You can advocate it as much as you want, but a lot of us have a healthy balance between wow, friends and other activities, so is there really a reason to stop?

Aurgelmir:
[quote="Mark J Kline" post="6.226355.7728865"]

As for stopping to play wow. You can advocate it as much as you want, but a lot of us have a healthy balance between wow, friends and other activities, so is there really a reason to stop?

Liked all you had to say until this last bit. While I decided to quit WoW due to the expansion and a variety of other reasons, some of which I detailed in "Physician Gank Thyself," I don't pretend to know what's best for you or anyone else. If I get to know a client well and it's clear that gaming is wreaking havoc on his or her real life, I would probably suggest cutting back, but that's almost a no-brainer. Most of them know they should cut back and just haven't been able to muster the self-discipline to do so.

I support folks who have achieved a healthy balance between WoW or any other game and the rest of their lives. In the professional community, even suggesting that such a thing as possible makes me somewhat of a heretic, but I have seen it, I believe it, and I am trying to convince my colleagues that it can happen.

Most of all, I try to convince parents and professionals in the non-gaming universe that this hobby isn't going away, and that learning how to achieve a healthy integration is a worthier aim than just telling people to quit and turn it off all the time--clearly, that isn't working!

To me, Cataclysm entails another year spent in misery as I focus on my studies instead of bouncing around in the magical fun house made of candy.
Every single day I have to remind myself why I shouldn't go back to WoW...basically, congratulations Blizzard, you've managed to make me feel like I'm wasting my life when I've stopped playing your game.

Same here, I had a tight knit group in BC, and honestly, thats what kept me to raiding week in week out. And, judging by other peoples comments, the transition to WoTLK was suprisingly brittle. By the time ToC was in full swing the momentum finally gave out, after losing people one by one by one... Kind of stopped playing after that.

To me personally, Cat to me is a clean break. If some of my old freinds are around I'll keep in touch, but seeing as I have no real group to associate with at the moment, in a way that will make the transition a bit easier. Funny how it's not the differences in the game, but the dynamics between other players that effect the transition period. Certainly in my (and my partners) case anyhow.

mkline:

Aurgelmir:
[quote="Mark J Kline" post="6.226355.7728865"]

As for stopping to play wow. You can advocate it as much as you want, but a lot of us have a healthy balance between wow, friends and other activities, so is there really a reason to stop?

Liked all you had to say until this last bit. While I decided to quit WoW due to the expansion and a variety of other reasons, some of which I detailed in "Physician Gank Thyself," I don't pretend to know what's best for you or anyone else. If I get to know a client well and it's clear that gaming is wreaking havoc on his or her real life, I would probably suggest cutting back, but that's almost a no-brainer. Most of them know they should cut back and just haven't been able to muster the self-discipline to do so.

I support folks who have achieved a healthy balance between WoW or any other game and the rest of their lives. In the professional community, even suggesting that such a thing as possible makes me somewhat of a heretic, but I have seen it, I believe it, and I am trying to convince my colleagues that it can happen.

Most of all, I try to convince parents and professionals in the non-gaming universe that this hobby isn't going away, and that learning how to achieve a healthy integration is a worthier aim than just telling people to quit and turn it off all the time--clearly, that isn't working!

I agree with you there, and I might have juts gotten the wrong impression on your stand point in this.

It's just I personally feel that WoW is still a bit taboo in the rest of "real" world. I recently finished my Masters degree in engineering, and played wow through most of my years in Uni, but thats not the important part.
What I wanted to point out is how I found myself in an uncomfortable situation while at a job interview:

During the interview I am asked if I had any experience being a leader/manager in any degree. This is an honest question, and well there are honest answers... that I felt I could not share with them.

Put it simply I personally feel I have some experience in the field, having both lead a Raid Community and having been a high ranking officer with responsibilities in other guilds.
But it just felt wrong to bring this up, because I didn't know how people would react to someone who used to play wow.

And it is therefore I feel that a focus on only the bad of the game is not smart, since I personally think good can come from it also.

And well anyone who obsess to much over a thing has a problem, and it's important to keep it balanced.

PS: If you are wondering, I did get the job :) And I do not hide the fact that I used to play wow/ is playing some from now and then.
My job also keeps me from raiding though. I mean I could, but that would not want to commit the few days off I might have to a game. Its not fair to my life, nor anyone who would be counting on me.

nvm. changed my mind about posting.

Whenever that fire-breathing dragon rears up inside me, I inherit the aspect of my orc warrior and roflstomp it back to Oblivion.

Lok'Tar! For the Horde!

 

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