Shared Topic: Wasting Time in the Timeless Isle

I’m meant to be doing a bunch of stuff, including several labs and some log analysis for my guild. This means, of course, that my brain just really wants to do the Blog Azeroth Shared Topic for this week. Proposed by Amerence, the topic is all about the Timeless Isle: how much time we spend there, whether or not we find it fun, whether or not we do the dailies, etc.

Here’s the thing: I hate the Timeless Isle.

It may very well be that I’m a healer at heart, but grinding mobs for hours on end isn’t exactly my idea of fun.

I really tried, at the beginning. I went there, did the initial quest chain, tried to grind rep (it’s really hard when you mostly roll with two healer specs, incidentally). The thing is, I’m not a collector. It was kind of interesting, seeing if I could kill stuff in my disc spec without dying, but it wound up being slow and repetitive and none of the rewards seemed worth the grind.

It’s weird though, because I don’t have that problem doing dailies for mounts. That’s how I got my Netherwing Drake and my Cloud Serpent, and they never bothered me to the degree the Timeless Isle does. I think the main difference is doing it via quests feels very predictable. I can tell exactly how much time it will take me to get to my goal if I do them every day, so it doesn’t feel like such an interminable grind. Timeless Isle is all about random drops and variable rep from different mobs, so it’s very hard to tell when you’ll get a given pet or mount. I don’t mind randomness in rewards when it’s an activity I enjoy intrinsically, like raiding, but it turns out smiting stuff to death (or Mind Blasting if I happen to be specc’ed into shadow) is not something I enjoy intrinsically. Additionally, I think another difference that has an impact is that dailies force me to pace myself, and I don’t wind up grinding for several hours and burning myself out quickly so that I hate everything about the mobs and the place after one evening.

In short, I’ve only ever gone back with my main a handful of times (for stuff not world bosses). Once because I decided I wanted to give the Harmonious Porcupette to a friend for Christmas (that didn’t go far; I wound up buying something else from the AH) and a few other times because I wanted to practice my shadow skills on stuff that wouldn’t melt in two casts.

And you know what the best part about the Timeless Isle is? It’s alright if I never step foot on it on my main again, because it’s content that is entirely optional.

Alts, though, alts are an entirely different thing.

All throughout the expansion, I’ve been slowly levelling some of my alts so that I now have all of the healers, plus a horde DPS monk at 90. Now, I could have, upon hitting max with them, just gone the normal route of grinding heroics, then LFR and so on to get them semi-geared, but that takes a bunch of time (especially when in questing greens) so my standard strategy for gearing them is now thus: go to the Timeless Isle, do the initial quests, never engage anything that’s an elite because it will melt your face, and try and find chests until the character is geared enough to do LFR. From there, I just run LFR and dungeons, using VP, drops and JPs to complement my gear. (And, yes, I’m saying I vastly prefer healing LFR to grinding the Timless Isle; make of that what you will). It isn’t exactly fun, since the jaunt through TI is mostly running around on my mount, dying a lot. Honestly, it makes me really miss the model with different tiers of dungeons for catching up. But then, I’ve been missing that the whole expansion, because I really like healing five-man content.

Blizzard has said they’re doing more dungeons next expansion; they’ve also said they’d like to implement more TI-like max level content. If they manage to do the former, I will be happy, but if they only really do the latter, I might cry. Dailies I don’t mind (as long as they don’t go overboard – ohhai, 5.0!), dungeons I love, but if I have to grind mobs in order to get geared for raiding in WoD, it just might get me to quit. (Probably not – I just went for hyperbole to show how much I dislike the idea – but I will whine a lot.)