I don’t really know what the deal is, but I think I’m at that age where when I have free time I want to do something, but I don’t know what that something is. While I have a wealth of options available, each of them seems to be satisfactory in the same way that one ass-cheek on a chair is considered “sitting down”.

By all rights I should be invested in Star Citizen right now because of the massive 2.23.1 patch, and while there are a few more interesting game loops in the game, I realized last night that the reason I skirt my time with this personal White Whale is because the lead time to Get Something Done is so onerous. Log in, wake up, walk or run to the tram, take the bus, call out a ship, take an elevator, get to the cockpit, sit down (most of these steps have animations we can’t interrupt which is why I am including them), get the ship ready, clear for take-off, and then leave the hangar. Then it’s time to Find a Job. The other day I was out with a friend and we were trying to increase my rep with microTech so I could get the defend/reclaim the distribution center missions, and once we got an idea of what to do, we realized we had the wrong ship for the job. That’s the kind of thing Star Citizen offers: an increasing buffet of options, but if you don’t spend a lot of time to plan ahead, everything is going to be more difficult than it could have been, and I don’t really want to put the time into mapping out a strategy even before I fire up the game. I used to do that when I was younger and had both the time and energy, but now it puts me off. This is part of what lead me to seek out something far less involved in both lead time and execution time.

That turned out to be World of Warcraft. Again.

I opted to re-sub to WoW for a few reasons. The first…I dunno…seven pages of the hero banner on the GeForce Now app’s homepage are all dedicated to letteing users know that they can play WoW through GFN. This piqued my interest because my new TV has GFN as an app! Could I play WoW on the 85″ OLED screen from the comfort of my couch? No, of course not, because GFN filters out games which aren’t supported by certain devices — I couldn’t even play WoW on my phone or tablet. I don’t think WoW has controller support so I guess that makes sense, but I have a BT keyboard and mouse connected to the TV, so I’m sad that I couldn’t play that way.

But what the hell, right? WoW isn’t known for its intricate game play which might mean that it’s just enough to keep me busy, but not so busy that I need to prep myself like I’m getting ready to climb Mt. Everest. Fun fact: while writing this I stepped away for lunch and when I came back I noticed a post by Syp on Massively Overpowered which leans towards many of the same reasons I have for choosing WoW over something more familiar to me, such as SWL or GW2.

And that’s kind of the thing: I have a very rocky past with WoW. I played at launch, but bounced off very quickly due to a very overt “fuck you” from the guild I was in at the time, so I went to play something else and didn’t return until years later when there were a few expansions out in the wild. As anyone who has attempted to drop into the hot-zone of a game with History can tell you, things can be overwhelming. I’ve returned to WoW on several occasions since, usually when a new expansion is due, and each time I’ve felt further and further behind. That’s where I am right now, and making matters worse, for some reason I pre-ordered The War Within because the last expansion I bought was Shadowlands and TWW offered a “free” copy of Dragonflight — maybe it’s worthwhile to skip an xpac if I can get it bundled with the next one, I guess.

So here I am, logging in, and I find that I’m offered a “gear boost” for my main. I opt to take it. I am now rocking better but completely ugly gear so the first stop is to the transmog so I can have a Hot Draenei Summer (sans this hilarious murloc swim-ring).

Being me, I decided that it might be best to just start a new character, but I have played many characters and started in many zones with many classes already, and I hate re-doing content. I also noticed that there were several “allied races” that were not available to me, so I thought I’d just spend some time unlocking those.

Several hours later, I’m still on the main, still doing these absolutely mindless quests to recruit the new races to the Alliance’s cause. In truth, I do not mind, although I have no idea what the hell is going on with all of these people and all of these events they keep referring to. I think that’s kind of freeing in a way, since I don’t care that I’m “behind”, lore-wise, since it’s easier not to care than to obsess over wiki pages and such. These circumstances have illuminated WoW’s Fatal Flaw (for me, specifically): boring-ass quests.

I had hoped that after returning for the nth time, with several expansions available over the course of, what? 20 years? that Blizzard might have deigned to look over their stockade at what other MMOs were doing to keep their questing fresh and decided that copping someone else’s ideas doesn’t tarnish the historical reputation as the Head of the MMO pack in any way, but nooooope. Every quest has been to go out and kill X and retrieve Y in order to help these candidates see the benefit of throwing in with the Alliance.

Granted, this is a very small slice of a very large pie; I know there are other activities and quests in the game that break this mold, and I am looking forward to them, but I am also writing this post to get to the punchline of “going back to WoW because it’s a simple game for when I don’t want to spend a lot of time or effort to play”. In that, it’s paying off in spades, mostly.

I started a character in the time-limited “Pandaria Remix” event, and was quickly slapped for my efforts by a bugged quest.

There’s no work-around, and Blizzard have said they are aware of it, but I don’t know if it’ll get fixed any time soon, so it’s back to grinding out these new alliances for the time being.

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