March 21st, 2015 by admin

I stopped playing World Of Warcraft not long after the Mists of Pandaria expansion pack came out.  It wasn’t because I was tired of the game, or because I didn’t like the expansion.  Quite the opposite, actually. I rather liked what I’d seen of MoP so far.  No, it was simply because my living arrangements changed and I no longer had a place to keep my desktop computer setup all the time, nor a regular internet connection.  Playing on my laptop was something I’d done from time to time, and it works fairly well, actually, but that was with a regular wired connection or good WiFi.  All I was going to have now was a mobile connection from my phone.

Last October, a month or so before the new Warlord of Draenor expansion came out, I happened to discover a pre-paid game card for WoW in the bottom of a rarely-used pocket of my laptop bag.  I’d bought it before my situation changed, and it had sat unused in the year and a half since I’d stopped playing.  As it turned out, I was just about to be housesitting for a week, so I brought over my desktop computer and activated my game card and started playing WoW again.

Mobile Broadband

After my housesitting gig was over, I really didn’t want to quit again. I had occasional access to WiFi, a couple of days each week, but what about the rest of the time? I decided to try an experiment and see if a tethered connection from my iPhone would work. I was worried it wouldn’t be fast enough, and I was also worried that playing WoW would use up too much of my not-unlimited data plan.

Well, it turned out my worries on both counts were needless;  The connection was more than fast enough.  In fact, it was actually on par with the cable-based internet I’d had before.  Latency was down around 50-60ms most of the time.  As for how much data it used, I played 4 or 5 hours, and the phone told me I had used 300mb of data.  That’s non-trivial, but also a lot less than I’d been expecting.  

My data plan gives me 15gb a month at full 4G/LTE speed, so I do still have to pay attention to what I am doing, but playing WoW off the tethered connection 3 or 4 days a week has worked just fine.

The New Expansion

When I’d quit playing after the MoP expansion came out, my paladin Alfred was like a sliver of a bubble away from level 87.  In fact, when I started playing again I leveled him up to 87 pretty much immediately after logging in.  The new expansion pack with its new level 100 cap was about 2-1/2 weeks away, so I was in catch-up mode.  Fortunately, Blizzard had lowered the amount of XP required for each level, so it didn’t take me long to get both Alfred up to level 90. The downside, of course, is that I effectively skipped most of the Mists of Pandaria expansion pack.  Some people may like to jump right to max-level and start doing end-game stuff like raiding, but I’ve always enjoyed questing and leveling up as well.

After Alfred was at 90, I switched over to my level 85 mage Romy and started leveling her.  After she hit 90, there was still some time left before the expansion went live, so I spent it exploring Pandaria to see what I missed.  I liked what I saw, so I decided that when I leveled up my other toons, I’d make an effort to do more exploring and try to hit each of the zones as my character hit the right level, rather than simply doing the whole “this quest leads to that one which leads to that one” thing which had me hitting 90 not long after I’d gotten my toon into the second zone.

Guild Drama

While I was on hiatus, my guild Overcome sort of went sideways.  It didn’t go away, but when I came back there were only a handful of people getting online.

I don’t know exactly when this happened, but I think the seeds were in place before I stopped playing.  As often happens, once most of the guild had gotten fairly well geared, some of them lost interest.  Some of us were still working on heroic Dragon Soul raids, but a lot of people stopped playing so much.  The new expansion was on the horizon, and we all thought that things would pick up again after that.  However, it didn’t happen that way.  When MoP came out, a lot of people came back, but not everybody. And a lot of people who did come back didn’t return to their previous level of attendance.  And in the meantime, some people had left the guild for greener pastures.  A few had switched servers and even factions, ending up on the Horde side.

I’ve seen guilds implode and explode before, but this didn’t really seem to follow the familiar pattern.  So far as I was aware, there wasn’t any drama over loot, or raid slots, or any of the other usual sort of thing.  There were a few issues between certain individuals, but it never seemed too divisive overall.

Right now, I’m often the only person in the guild online when I play.  In the late afternoons or early evenings, there might be up to 3 or 4 others playing, but rarely more than that.  My play schedule has been somewhat erratic, so I’ve not been too worried about raiding so far, but with so few people in the guild online it hasn’t really been an issue anyway.  But if things don’t change, sooner or later I may have to decide if another guild would be a better option.

Leveling Up The Toons

As of now, I’ve got Alfred and Romy both at level 100, and both are fairly decently geared in a combination of crafted gear, gear purchased with PvP Conquest Points, and gear purchased via Apexis Crystals. Alfred is at iLevel 650 and Romy is at 648 or so.

I have yet to do any heroic dungeons or raiding.  Part of the reason for that is because I really don’t like PUGs.  What I don’t like varies depending on which toon I’m playing.  On Alfred or another tank, I like the instant queue pop, but I hate dealing with players on DPS toons who just want to zerg everything and then blame the tank and/or healer when it goes sideways.

On my healer toon, like Chimessina, it annoys me when the DPS starts taking tons of damage because they don’t know that they shouldn’t stand in fire, or because they’re attacking mobs the tank hasn’t even touched yet.  It annoys me when the tank chain pulls when I’m out of mana, or when they run up around corners and I lose line of sight.

On my DPS toons, the main problem is simply the long queue times.  If the tank’s not that good, for example if they cannot hold multiple mobs at once, I can adapt.  I’m more concerned with the run being successful than I am maxing out the DPS meter.  If the healer’s not that good, that’s more annoying, but as long as they seem to be making a reasonable effort I’m OK with it.

Anyway, at some point I know I’ll have to either switch guilds or submit myself to doing PUGs or LFR.

I’ve got two other toons that have gotten into the MoP content.  My priest, Chimessina, is at level 92, and warrior Sunny just got to 91 today.  I’ve decided I’m going to bring up the hunter, Starchaser, and druid, Jenifaire, up to at least 90-91 before I worry about getting any of these secondary toons to 100.  I don’t think I’ll worry about the sub-85 toons for now, but I want a full pantheon of toons with garrisons going ASAP.

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