Monday, June 23, 2014

The Space Between :: Before We Go

Been a While, time to Fix that...

The last time we spoke in the Land of Guides it was all about clearing out bags. This time around, because I'm finding it quite hard fighting through the Sea of MEH some people insist on spouting concerning Current Content, it is time for a little Inspiration: we're going to forgo things to do in a specific sense, and instead we're going back to basics. Sometimes, what you need in an attempt to kick-start your motivation, is a step back. So here we go: I'm going to use my characters as a basis for all of this, and we're going to sit down and discuss a basic question: WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING NOW?


On reflection, there's probably at least two months (July, August) ahead where you can reasonably expect to have no concerns about any kind of new content on the horizon, and by that I mean 6.0, the item squish, any pre-Expansion event, and so on. I say this with a measure of confidence because this is the Summer Holidays, which is traditionally a time when four-fifths of bugger all happens anyway, and because I know for a fact everyone on the Blizzard campus is desperately working on the Expansion. This is Warcraft's fallow period anyway, most people will acknowledge this to begin with. This means it is not the best time to complete content that will require a group, but ABSOLUTELY THE BEST TIME to do anything you can reasonably complete alone, including Achievements, PvP and trivial content. With less people playing there will naturally be less competition for items and so on, but as I discovered to my surprise last night as I watched a L90 killing rares in Stranglethorne Vale there are more people than ever who understand the ins and outs of 'farming' content for profit. This means, if you're looking to capitalise on anything, having a plan will be pretty vital.

Here's a quick Five Things to Do Before You Go and Log In.

1. Identify your Goals, Pick One to Start.

What you want is probably the hardest thing to quantify before you log in, and clearly setting yourself a goal means you are far more likely to achieve it. I'd start with one thing: whether it be earn a set amount of gold, or aim for a specific number of Achievement Points. Once you have that goal, then you can better identify what it is you need to achieve it. The more specific you can be the better it will be for you in the long term, too, because this can then help more effectively focus the resources you have in order to achieve something of note, rather than just feel you're ineffectively doing nothing.

My problem, with so many alts, is that I need to find a way to sensibly prioritise what matters to me in the wider scheme of things, especially knowing what I know about what is to come in Garrisons regarding professions. This means, that my one goal over the Summer is simple: Get Everyone Ready To Level. They will not all do it straight away, but what I will do is to ensure that once a character is 'retired' until the Expansion (and more of that in the next part of our Guide) they're as well-provisioned as they can be to survive the time in limbo.

2. Stick to the Plan.

Half of the problem when you begin to undertake something significant is seeing it through to the end. Being focussed and dedicated to a computer game is going to give some people a problem from the word go, but I'm not expecting you to spend four hours a night slavishly engaged on the task. The only reason ideas like this work is when you're capable of fitting them in with everything else you have to do, both inside leisure time and out. That's the bigger key, being able to balance everything into something worthwhile that doesn't make you feel as if your game became a job overnight. That's why I'm suggesting a system which will, inevitably, involve a page in a Journal and a list of things to tick off. As we have discussed before, you need to be able to see your achievements in able to celebrate them.

That means, at least for me here, you'll be seeing me tick off the characters I retire as they go. This week at least I'm going to consign one 85 to permanent Bankalt status, I'm going to delete a couple of characters and have a general reorganisation as a result because I am a realist, and my time is becoming increasingly precious.

See Below.

3. Don't let the MEH Get To You.

It is very easy to sway from your plan. Trust me, I've been doing that since sometime in early May. If you're sticking to it, and I hope you are, then you will get the moments of MEH when you wonder why you're bothering, and I will now remind you of one fact. This is free time. Nothing new is happening in game, you're not getting behind, and ALL content will be trivialised come the Expansion, so *theoretically* there is no need to do anything... except there are things that will go away for good, there are other things that will not be awarded in 6.1 that you could get before it arrived (Green Fire Warlock Quest, LOOKING AT YOU.) If these things matter to you, then beat the MEH and get them done now.

If none of it is a particular worry, you're reading entirely the wrong website :D

4. Ask for Help.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help. If you're a tightass like me who's normally too stupid to take the first step, stop being so bloody scared and use Social Media to assist you, because that's one of the reasons why it is there to begin with, TO BE SOCIAL. And, obviously, be media, but I am digressing. You do not need to do any of this stuff alone, there are other people like you playing the game and you may be genuinely surprised at those who offer to help you in your endeavours.

You will not know however, UNTIL YOU ASK.



For some people it has become almost an in-joke concerning how much they moan about the game as it stands, because we all know just what is around the corner. Better inventory space, more quality of life improvements than you could shake an Enchanted Broom at, they're all coming, JUST NOT YET... and this is scant comfort when your bags are fit to bust and you don't seem to be able to finish anything you've started. The thing is, if you're not enjoying the game right now, the best thing you can probably do for yourself is not play it, because being away from it is a far better way of allowing your brain the time to settle and work out what's bothering you to begin with. Of course that doesn't help you achieve anything, but if it makes you feel happier, it is worth considering.

If you want to help yourself make progress, enjoying things will make it all a great deal happier. For me, at least that means when I've finished writing this post there will be some harsh choices made. Who stays and who goes, I'm pretty sure of now. The Hunters remain safe, however, don't you worry about that.


The next part of my occasional Guide series is going to show you how to wrap up your Toons for transport on the way to Draenor. I'll see you there when my first one is done... :D

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