I intended to post an update on where I’m at with preparing for Shadowlands. While working on that post, it quickly became clear that it should be part of a greater and more general update on preparing for this year.
In between the time I spent with my Mom last year, I played games. We’ll set aside the fact that I didn’t spend my free time wisely and I didn’t even spend my gaming time wisely, i.e.: finish games I’ve been wanting to finish or complete goals in games I’ve been playing—I had all the time in the world and did not choose to do things in games that require big time commitments. Instead, I started two new games: Black Desert Online in January 2019 and Final Fantasy XIV in the summer.
Returning to work next month is the most significant factor in preparing for this year, making it very easy to decide what I’ll do as I will no longer have the luxury of time. As a game subscription makes me feel obligated to spend time playing the game, we’ll start with game subs and see what each game generally offers without one.
- Black Desert Online – no game sub, all content available
- Elder Scrolls Online – all base content available, no level restrictions
- Final Fantasy XIV – can’t play without a sub
- Star Wars: The Old Republic – all base content available, no level restrictions
- World of Warcraft – level 20 starter edition (I wish Classic was available!)
From a subscription perspective, you get the most from BDO, ESO, and SWTOR without one. Yet, if I were to choose a game based on paying a sub, it would have to be FFXIV because you can’t play it at all without one.
And that’s what I’m going to do. My one-year ESO sub expired this month as did my six-month WoW sub. I am not re-subbing to either because I don’t want to feel obligated to play them. I can happily play them as a non-subscriber.
Breaking Up is Hard to Do
I can’t deny that not subscribing to WoW is hard. It feels like a break up, but I have to be honest—the breakup started years ago. This is from a draft I never published in 2014:
Getting Worse with Each Expansion
For me, the result of each expansion has been an increased loss of connection with knowing how to play my characters, the game mechanics, and perhaps the game itself. I am less willing to spend time relearning how to play a class and feel like more of a n00b each expansion. So I play less, and less, and less. With MoP, I mostly played to see Pandaria, which I enjoyed very much as well as fun new features such as finding lost treasures.
I’ve become one of those players that just doesn’t care as much anymore.
So, after all this time with MoP, I have not stepped into any raid, which is a first for me. I haven’t even done all the 5-man dungeons or completed a single scenario. I’d rather get Timeless Isle gear and continue working on grinding old school reps and challenging myself by soloing old raids. Maybe a few BGs here and there.
It’s gotten worse! I didn’t check out the anniversary celebration. In fact, I logged off at the Times of Cavern entrance with the best intention of checking it out and… I just never did. I see people talking about essences and have no idea what they are, nor have I bothered to look it up and find out. The game described in Fiannor’s post sounds completely foreign to me. Despite all that, I truly am looking forward to Shadowlands and have formulated a rough plan for that, as well as the other games.
2020 Game Plan (tee hee)
Black Desert Online
BDO has the best character creation and combat style! I spend more time creating characters, taking screenshots, creating graphics, and posting on social media than actually playing the game. I can’t commit to this when I am working.
I’ll play enough to keep my guild contract from expiring and will create fewer characters, using my solid foundation of templates for new designs.
Elder Scrolls Online
ESO has the best stories! I really messed things up with my “one of everything” approach to the point of feeling overwhelmed so I just don’t play. To correct this, I’ll recreate my beloved Zahra al-Nayyir on NA and focus on her. I’m undecided about subscribing for the upcoming Dark Heart of Skyrim DLCs. I should have enough crowns to play them without a sub.
Ironically, that post about Zahra references a post in which I decided to play one character in one game. Ha! I’m a lost cause.
Oops! Not that kind of work! 😅
Final Fantasy XIV
FFXIV has the best transmog/outfits and screenshot tools. I haven’t played enough to evaluate the story, but I think it will be good. I am really enjoying it so far and am happy to subscribe. It’s new, different, and so far has a happier and lighter feel to it. Interactions with and between NPCs are delightful. I am leveling fishing to see more interactions between Sisipu, the acting guild master and quest giver, and Wawalago, the guild master in name. These two are hilarious!
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Oh, SWTOR, I haven’t quite pinpointed why you aren’t a priority. You are a good game and I know I’d have fun playing you. It’s not you… it’s me.
World of Warcraft
I love the level 20 starter edition! I’ll play Zen’Ijira in 20–60 zones and dungeons, adding gear to my collection. I’ll also play a cloth, mail, and plate character to collect gear and to play through different zones. I haven’t played through any of them since Cataclysm changed them all and am looking forward to it.
I’ll subscribe for Shadowlands and play through the new leveling experience.
Returning to Work
This return to work is a new beginning with meaning. While economically, I need to work, I’m very grateful that the job I start next month isn’t just any ol’ job to earn money. It’s the start of building something with my husband and for our family. I’m very excited about it!
If you’ve been reading my blog long enough, you might wonder if what I say here will actually happen. You aren’t alone! I wonder the same thing too.
We shall see, won’t we?