Having a Whale of a time.

Or how I’m wringing enjoyment from a mediocre expansion via the medium of cold hard cash.

Now the argument could be made that I’m ostensibly rewarding Blizzard for producing content that inspires the ever increasing use of alts (ie very little worthwhile content for mains), but I prefer to think of it as me playing the game in a way that gives me satisfaction.

So far this month for example, I have:

  • Bought a WoW Token.
  • Bought 2 x cheap boosts.
  • Bought a race change for my Horde Hunter.

All in all that tots up to about £82 in a month. Not that that’s entirely typical, it’s actually atypical as it’s a fairly heavy spend for me on WoW in a given month, but I would tend to buy little extras every other month or so. A Token here, a race change there, dotted with the odd server transfer or faction change in between.

This makes me one of Warcraft’s so called “Whales”, players who spend more than the average player who balance out those that would spend less, for example players who pay for their sub entirely in gold every month.

If the game were to lose too many of its Whales, Blizzard would find themselves in a very sticky situation indeed, especially with Activision looking like they’re taking a controlling interest in the running of the game.

Now BfA is, by anyone’s account, so far a failure. In terms of player engagement and satisfaction it’s most definitely one of the “off” expansions.

Long-term players will be well aware that every other expansion after TBC seems to more or less stink:

Wrath of the Lich King
Mists of Pandaria
Warlords of Draenor
Battle for Azeroth

The game had it good for the first 3 releases. Vanilla was for many players the best the game has ever been (not me, I thought it was turgid and dull), TBC has always been well regarded, and Wrath remains one of the best expansions to date.

However after that the game has demonstrably suffered from alternating good and bad expansions.

So it’s during the “bad expansion” cycle that I tend to do more stuff with alts. So this time round I’m on double alt duty as I’m now playing both factions as equally as I can. In fact I’m doubling up on classes, as I want one of each on each faction.

It’s for that reason I chose to buy a couple of boosts* during the recent “Holiday Sale” (call it Christmas fgs).

*The expansion was on sale for £23, which came with a free account wide 110 boost, which vs the regular boost price of £49 was less than half price.

So I boosted a Horde Paladin and have bought another one to also boost a new Horde Monk.

My next alt to 120 will be a tank class, and it will likely be either a Monk or a Pally. Warriors are still in the process of tuning, DKs and Druids by all accounts are a bit dull after being really good in Legion, which leaves Demon Hunters, which are allegedly pretty meh to raid with.

I still really love Prot Paladin after all these years, and Monk is still a pile of fun, so I chose those two classes for my budget boosts on Horde.

I’ll probably have to rein my spending on the game in for a few months now, but at least I’m in a position where I have all classes on both factions within spitting distance of being 120!