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.
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.