World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
Dear World of Warcraft,
I’m leaving you. I’m really sorry it had to come to this, but the magic has gone. We’ve been together for seven years, and lately I just feel like you haven’t been giving me the attention I deserve. Maybe it’s my fault: Maybe I’ve just grown, emotionally, in that time, and my demands as a player have changed.
I’ve loved the time we’ve had together. You’re a great game and I’ll never forget you. From those days back in Molten Core and Blackwing Lair, endless Dire Maul tribute runs, Zul’Gurub, AQ40 and Naxxramas, through the twisted world of Outland, all those nights in Karazhan, Serpentshrine Caverns, Tempest Keep and then the frozen Northrend.
We took a break from each other, then, skipping Trial of the Crusader and Icecrown Citadel, but when Cataclysm came rolling around, you showed me amazing new things, and I couldn’t help but come back. It was a good time, running through the heroics and then finally making it into a raiding guild just as Firelands was picking up. And all those nights in Dragon Soul! You were amazing, honestly, and I’m glad we had those moments.
And don’t get me wrong, you are still amazing. Pandaria is the best you’ve ever looked. The lush green Jade Forest, the vast plains of the Valley of the Four Winds, the jungle of Krasarang Wilds and the glorious peaks of Kun-Lai Summit are all amazing places to visit, and I’m so glad I’ve been able to see them.
You even changed your talent system for me. Remember when you used to force me into using rigid cookie-cutter builds that I had to look up on Elitist Jerks? No more! So glad about that, really. I feel like I can finally play my hunter how I want. There’s no “best” spec anymore. The way you offer better information about specs and how they work to new players is fantastic, and the freedom you give to veterans is refreshing.
The new race is a nice change as well. I really like the Pandaren, even if they make every other race look like they were ported out of a PS2 game. Please deliver those high-polygon player models soon! Their starting zone is unique and wonderful and I love that they can be either faction (something that you once said was impossible). I have to admit, though, their voices are a bit… corny. I know you’re into this China thing now, and that’s cool, but they feel a bit too stereotypical to me.
The thing is… none of this really helps bring back the magic for me. I feel empty now, out in your world. It’s nice that you finally resolved all those problems with people clustering in major cities, but it’s come far, far too late for me. I’m sorry, but you just feel… old.
Well, there’s something else. I’ve been wanting to tell you for a little while now. The truth is I’ve left you for another MMO. It’s name is Guild Wars 2 and it treats me like an actual human being. When I help someone kill a mob, I get credit for that. I don’t have to run around handing in quests all the time. Imagine that! No quest turn-ins! It’s brilliant. Then there’s the way everyone in an area can contribute to events without needing to party or raid up. Even world bosses work this way. I know you went to a lot of trouble to make Pandaria look fantastic, but Guild Wars 2 is years ahead of you, graphically.
The time commitments and demands you make of me now just aren’t where I’m at anymore. I don’t want to have to commit two to three nights a week to raid, or to run endless heroic dungeons or any of the other things that you’re now calling ‘end-game’. I want to be able to log in, put a couple of hours in every few nights and do my own thing at other times. I need space, and you’re not giving that to me.
Guild Wars 2 doesn’t constantly demand money from me, either. I only ever had to give it one payment, and lets me play with it as much as I want. It gives me the freedom to experience its world without feeling like I need to be there every month. I have lots I can do, but there’s no obligation for me to do it. It’s nice and casual, and if I’m honest, I think I need a casual relationship right now.
Please try not to get too upset. It really isn’t you, it’s me. I’ve changed, moved on. I know you try your best, but it just isn’t enough for me anymore. Guild Wars 2 treats me like a person with a job, and a life, and a desire to play video games other than it. You… don’t. Lets face it, all these changes you’ve made in Mists of Pandaria are just patch-ups, attempts to keep me to stay. But I can see right through them now. I’m older, smarter, and I know when you’re trying to manipulate me into playing for a few more hours.
I hope you can find someone else. I hope they are as good to you as I’ve been over the years, buying items and using your gold sinks. I hope they have as much fun as I did assembling transmogrification sets and collecting the best weapons you had to offer. I hope they enjoy Pandaria as much as I enjoyed Outland and Northrend. I want to see you grow and shine, and I know that I will stay in touch. I’ve still got your number.
In the meantime, though, I’m going to be over there in Kryta.