Yesterday I posted a list of all the things I do when I log onto WoW. It involved garrison missions, mining ore, picking herbs, gathering timber, trapping beasts, daily crafting cooldowns, and the daily Apexis Crystal quest. It is quite a large list.
I dinged level 100 about 5 days ago. I have not yet run most of the level 100 dungeons on either normal or heroic mode. The reason for this falls squarely on my “chores”. Each evening I log on at some point. By the time I have finished my chores, I look at the clock and decide that I won’t have time to wait in a queue and complete a pug instance before I have to go to bed. And so I do a couple of quests or kill some rares, or just gather more timber. I’m not making a lot of progress toward raid-readiness.
And yet I don’t feel like I’m being forced to do this. In Mists, the dailies felt mandatory. They were mostly not enjoyable, but were a means to an end. Whether you were a crafter or a raider, there was something you needed from the dailies.
In WoD, the garrison is simply the most fun I am having in the game, and I play the game to have fun. I am opting to do what I like, even if it isn’t an optimized path to end game.
I think that somewhere along the way, WoW was taken over by optimizers. Each task or choice had its value set based on how close it was to the ideal path toward an end goal. Whether is is online guides or simulations or HandyNotes or add-ons, the majority of the game turned into a means to an end, and if you strayed from the most optimal path you were “doing it wrong”. WoD has brought back the freedom to play how you like, and that’s just what I’m going to do.