I guess I've hit another WoW lull and it appears I'm not the only one. A few people in my guild have recently called it quits, at least temporarily, either due to boredom or spending the summer with the kids, etc. I haven't totally quit but I have dialed back the number of days I raid each week. Why? Well, two reasons.
Firstly- I'm just plain getting bored. When we killed Illidan I wasn't jumping up and down with joy like when we got Ragnaros, Vashj, Kael, etc. I hate to say it but I really didn't *care*. I'll partly blame that on general burnout. I've had 95% raid attendance for well over a year which is a recipe for burnout. I'll admit that some nights I didn't want to put down what I was doing to raid. It got to the point of becoming more of a chore than a hobby. Even having taken most of this week off and just raiding on Thursday I enjoyed myself much more than the previous week. Playing too much just numbs you...
Secondly- Future prospects. I'm losing interest because, well not to sound depressing, but the future looks grim. Sunwell brings new content, but even boss fights grow old after the first few kills. Affliction continues to fall further and further behind and the trend will only grow worse in Sunwell. I'm going to have to sit myself out on Brutallus because I won't be able to meet the required DPS. Also, Affliction isn't looking so hot in WotLK alpha. Most of the new talents are either entirely too PvP focused, or the mere concept of the talent is just 100% fucking stupid. There's no sign of any change regarding DoTs and Haste/Crit...maybe coming later, maybe not. Oh, and Deathknight totally isn't panning out to be anything like I had planned- I might make one as an alt, but the overall ability mix isn't what I was looking for.
All that down in the dumps stuff being said...I started playing Vanguard again and am having a blast! I tried a bunch of the classes up to level 10 and have settled in on just playing my Psionicist (which I had previously leveled up to 22) and my Monk, which I've been enjoying greatly. I'm going to get the Monk up to 22 and then level them up side by side, playing whichever the group needs. They are a stark contrast of one another:
The Psionicist is an extremely proactive "take-control of the situation" type class with the most CC/kiting options in the game(think of a pull in an instance where you can fear + banish + voidwalker offtank + Curse of Ex kiting + Mind control + mind controlled mob offtanking all in one character that still remains quite balanced) It's a micromanager's paradise playing a Psi, both solo and in groups. I've already talked about them on the blog before so I'll spend more time discussing my newly discovered Monk.
The Monk, in contrast, is a super-reactive damage machine. They're like a DPS Warrior/Rogue mix with some mystical flare added on top. They DPS well, are a suitable offtank, and have a bunch of fun abilities like Feign Death and Slow Fall. Monk attack chains *really* liven up the gameplay. When you crit you can choose between 3 different finishers, all useful depending on the situation. When you dodge an attack a counterattack opens up- which you can trigger by using "Swaying Step" making you dodge the next attack aimed at you. If you parry an attack you can use "Quivering Palm" to lower the target's damage by 50% for 8 seconds. Not to mention the stance system...which totally blows WoW's out of the water:
Warriors change stances, sure, but as a Vanguard Monk you change stances A LOT. Enter Crane Stance for increased Dodge/Parry chance to open up the Counterattack abilities. Crane stance also gives a reduction to attack endurance cost(sorta like Rage) so you can use more of the normal specials to build up "Jin" (sorta like combo points...sorta...) . Did a counterattack just open up? Switch to Tiger stance for increase crit chance, use the ability and go back to Crane Stance to build more Jin. When you're ready to use your built up Jin on your stronger attacks you Feign Death to wipe your aggro, switch back to Tiger Stance for increased crit chance as you dump all your Jin into a few huge "Ashen Hand" attacks which likely crit to proc a finisher attack which you then use, then back to Crane Stance again. When you leave combat you can switch to Harmonious stance to build up Jin while you're out of combat traveling, or studying a much stronger foe to build up your much needed Jin for the fight. Monk is a great class that really keeps you on your toes.
A mix of good and bad. As WoW wanes Vanguard comes into the picture. It makes me wish, again, for the millionth time that someone would develop a game with the depth, complexity and PvE focus of Vanguard with the overall polish and customizability of WoW. Sure, they're intended for two completely different audiences- WoW is the casual focused, mainstream, simple game developed by Blizzard, who have a legacy of the aforementioned "polish". Vanguard is more of a niche game with great focus on depth, immersion, and obviously for slightly more hardcore gamers with its more complex gameplay systems.
Why, oh why can't I have both merged into one? Vanguard had a chance but it's just too bad their funding fell through and they had to be bought up by SOE, who certainly do not have the best track record.