On Having Fun and that Damn Moving Cheese

Ashwalker_-_untwinking_at_70

Who Moved My Cheese? is a book that most folks in business run into eventually; it’s kind of like Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus in that once you’ve heard the title you’ve pretty much got the gist of the book, which makes it perfect for business people (like me, sadly.)

The idea behind the book is that you’re a mouse, you work hard in your maze for cheese, only to discover that the cheese has been moved when you get to where it should be. How do you handle it? How do you learn to accept that your cheese has moved, that the goal you’ve been working for just isn’t worth it anymore? How do you embrace change instead of fearing it?

Today I unlocked Ashwalker’s XP and will level her up for a while, probably to 85. I’m going to run some Cata dungeons with Cynwulf as Frost DPS to get used to the style, and then unlock him, too.

Unlocking is kinda scary; it’s saying, yes, you’ve gotten really good at this level, but it’s time to move on and start sucking again. It’s saying that all that effort to make a character great … didn’t make them fun.

It’s saying, someone moved my cheese, and I can either stay and be an unhappy, cheeseless mouse, or I can go do something else.

I discovered something about the 70 bracket: it sucks for Warriors. The only times I have fun are when I’m the FC and tanking Drek, which is different than when I was leveling, when I enjoyed all sorts of different PvP situations. I don’t enjoy the other BGs on Ash anymore – a marked contrast to Cynli, my Druid, where I literally don’t care which BG I’m healing, just let me heal EVERYTHING. Not so with Ash.

It’s a similar situation to the one I’ve found with Cynderblock; I don’t really enjoy DPS PvP, but damn if I don’t enjoy being a good FC. Block, however, has so much invested in her, stuff that can’t be replaced, that leveling her would be silly – instead, I’ve learned to embrace her limitations and become the best flag carrier I can be. And it shows on other toons!

There’s really nothing sacred about tanking Drek at level 70. If I can be a good FC on a resto druid, I’ll probably remain a good FC on a prot warrior. I have other toons at level 70 now; a druid and a priest, one Ally, one Horde. I won’t miss out on the bracket if I move her.

But its not just about the Warrior. It’s also about the Warlock.

Cynwise_-_hallows_end_-_magic_broom

In the last few weeks, I’ve realized how much I prefer playing with friends. Having people that I know in BGs makes boring BGs fun. Even characters I don’t like playing all that much become fun with other people around. There are a few characters where I find them fun no matter what – my Druid, surprisngly, I could queue for BGs all day long and not worry about it – and there are a few characters where even the presence of a lot of friends doesn’t make them truly enjoyable.

My warlock is sadly in the latter camp. I enjoy hanging out with folks, but I’m just … struggling. It’s painful.

It feels like there are two different components to knowing where your cheese has gone off to – social and playstyle – and they both have to work to making your time on a toon enjoyable. If you like the activities you do on a toon, you can probably play even if your social circle is neutral (pugs, for example.) Having a negative balance in either circle can pretty much sink your interest in the character.

Characters compete against each other for your attention and cheese. When you have a main, you have one character who so clearly outclasses the others in both social enjoyment and playstyle enjoyment that they’re who you spend your time on, and with that toon you chase a lot of cheese. It can be a beautiful thing.

But when you no longer enjoy the playstyle, eventually the social ties aren’t enough to keep you playing it. So you look for something new. You look for more cheese.

Unlocking Ashwalker is a step towards embracing change. I enjoyed the heck out of leveling her – questing, dungeons, PvP, all of it – but I don’t enjoy having her be locked into only one subset of that. I’m in a guild I enjoy being part of, but I don’t actually do anything with other people in the guild – they’re either leveling or 85.

This is auditioning a new main. I’ve finally come to terms with this – I’m now auditioning a new main. I harbor dreams of getting back on Cynwise, rediscovering the spark, and writing a post called “On Waking Up From a Bad Dream,” where we’ll all laugh about how silly I’ve been and then I’ll show you this awesome PvP video I made and you’ll go AW YEAH, CYNWISE IS BACK.

But that cheese is a dream.

I don’t know if it will be Ashwalker, to be honest. I’m having fun on my DK again, so I’m going to try running Cata regular dungeons (he’s locked at 84) and get some experience with him in that environment. I’ll dip my toes back in 80-84 PvP, too. I have to resolve his Doomsday Messenger issues – can’t play Arenas without losing that buff, which is one of those activities I actually enjoy doing at 85 – but that can wait. I still have a lot of twinks to keep me entertained, depending who is on.

But that cheese has moved, and I’m not finding it at level 70 on a warrior.

Time to embrace change.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “On Having Fun and that Damn Moving Cheese

  1. ILikeBubbles

    All the cool kids are frost DKs.By which I mean myself and Rades but come on.

  2. Cynwise of Stormwind

    PvP it’s like, HB HB NS HB HB HB STRANGULATE MINDFREEZE HB HB HB HB NS HB. It’s a surprising amount of fun, actually!

  3. Redbeard

    “Who Moved My Cheese?” is also business-speak for “there’s layoffs or salary cuts coming –except for mid level management or higher, of course– so get used to it.”When you hear someone in your org say that everybody ought to read that book, you know it’s time to start polishing up your resume. Needless to say, I’m not very fond of the book for that reason alone.However, the concept of dealing with change is a good one. Good luck!

  4. Ralod

    I like to use the similar phrase “Who the F*** stole my taco?” It works on that same level.It is funny cyn, I am having a different experience. I find lower level PvP, at least right now, to be so much more fun then high level PvP. It might just be that it is new to me, and still shiny. It might also be I have never gone more then a game without a win on my mage and rogue. However, when the new season ticks over, I am going to gear my hunter up for PvP, we will see how it goes there. I really love my hunter but I wonder if that is because I rarely DPS as well. PvE though, yeah I think most people just view the levels before 85 as just an obstacle to get to the good stuff. Look at how long my poor DK has set at 82, and my warrior has been 60’s since BC. After you have done that content a few times you are ready for new things.But you know Cyn, Ash, block, wise, or whatever you are welcome to play with us in any flavor you choose:)

  5. Cynwise of Stormwind

    @redbeard: That’s very true about the book, though my canonical layoff book is What Color is Your Parachute?, which boils down to “have an exit strategy planned.” But together they form a scary unemployment bible and oh god my resume is out of date I gotta go. :)@Ralod: I think you know how much I enjoy low level PvP – there’s a reason y’all stop gratsing on the first 5 WSG/PVP achievements. :)I think what I’m struggling with is that I enjoy playing with a lot of people in the guild, but there’s a big level incompatibility. I’m not really thinking about becoming a raid tank, but I’d love to pick up a guild group for a five man, maybe BG, maybe Arena. I don’t have a lot of options if I don’t bring Cynwise. I considered bringing my Druid up and over, but I think I’ll see if the Shammy works out as a healing toon or not. All this talk about lowbie twinks has me itching to roll an Ally 24 twink. I already have a Horde… Now to figure out the class. Mage sounds kinda appealing, but so does Priest… :)

  6. Ralod

    @wowcynwise You know I just happened to stop leveling Nutmeg at 24 I could turn off her xp again and she is still pretty well twinked in that bracket:)

  7. Cameron

    Good lord it’s like you’re an alternate universe version of my boyfriend, who’s been struggling (for months!) with whether or not he likes or doesn’t like various alts, PvE, PvP, if he PvPs, what should be play, hm he likes his frost DK but he really likes healing too, but the frost DK is so fun!, but now he’s rolled a baby a resto druid. Ad infinitum.By which I mean to say: good luck! I hope one or another of them works out for you.

  8. gameldar

    I totally get the social thing. I haven’t done a lot of PvPing with guildies but it applies to all levels of the game – having that social group is what makes it fun. It’s why I put down the money and transferred and faction changed my DK back to my home server this morning – I want to play him (inc 4th tank), but I don’t want to miss out on the social group that is my guild.That said, I did some PvP with guildies last night and had some fun just talking and interacting about what is happening with a green text … I need to get more of us in there and work a bit more cohesively however!