Anyone else can't find the motivation to play anymore?
I used to love this game to death as a kid. I loved it even more on private servers and was really hyped for official Classic. But now that I'm an adult with a tight budget and I'm more critical of things I love I just don't feel it anymore. World of Warcraft was fun back in the early 2000s when we had the excitement of finally having an approachable casual friendly MMO, AND one based on Warcraft lore nonetheless.
But then Classic came and I realized I was just chasing nostalgia. I realized the game itself gets boring very quickly because content in World of Warcraft is just a bunch of n man instances you're supposed to farm until the next content patch. This isn't what MMORPGs used to be about. Compare it to games of its era like the og Runescape or EverQuest Classic. They had a myriad of open world things to do and treasures to hunt. EQ in 2001 had twice the amount of zones and instances combined that World of Warcraft had in 2005. "dps competitions" used to be absolutely unheard of because RPGs were about having various diverse adventures and roleplaying. Yet in World of Warcraft the only thing you get to do is chase world buffs then try to top dps/hps in instances, then wait until lockout ends.
I'm sick of running instances all day and having to deal with the rampant minmax culture. My guild dissolved because of this. It's not just me. You might tell me that my concerns are invalid somehow because you're enjoying it with your friends, but if I wanted to make friends I could go outside and do that in real life for free instead of letting Blizzard bite $15 out of my ribs every month.
I might get absolutely crucified for this, but I'd rather get it off my chest.
Classic WoW's gameplay loop got stale very quickly, and Blizzard's subscription model is woefully archaic and exploitative of people who only play because their friends/favorite streamers still do.
If you still have an active guild or friends who play this game and managed to read this far without replying some snarky bitter remark about how I'm an idiot, I wish you the absolute best and I'm happy that you're having fun. It's just not the case for me, and for several dozen other people I've talked to.
I saved so much money this year by playing classic. It took up all my spare time, and even paying $45 a month for three accounts I am still thousands of dollars ahead by playing wow instead of doing stupid shit in the garage with cars and bikes and stuff. Compared to any other hobby I have, it's been by far the cheapest. I don't begrudge blizzard the $15/month per account they charge.
By now we're in the stage of the game where people burn out. The real raid boss for this game has always been player retention.
The magic of this game for me has been how much we need other players to do nearly anything in the game. Even things like the scarab lord bug grind, which on paper had to have been the most boring of grinds, required investment from other players. The scarab lord bug grind itself was by far my favorite memory from classic. Being out there 14 hours a day with my friends in the guild sucked in practice however the memories we got from running diplomacy and PVP and guarding our hives and working together was downright magical. I made some good friends just during that week alone.
You mention that you don't care about making friends in the game. I think you miss the point. The game, perhaps deliberately, lacks a ton of content. It is effectively the world's most involved and contrived chatroom. It gives us a forum to meet people, hang out in discord, and bond across months or years of shared experience.
I'm in the middle of buying a house in a state I have never lived in before. I was trying to get out of my current shitty state, and I lucked out because a couple of in-game friends I made from raiding with my guild lived there. They showed me around over a weekend, and treated me like family. It gave me an anchor to start with. I'll be moving there in a few weeks once my loan closes. This game revolves around creating friendships like this. The friendships we make transcend the computer screen. If you're not in a good guild full of good people like that, then perhaps all you see are raid lockouts and Warcraft Logs. Maybe you're not into the social aspect. But I am, and the social aspect has made Classic the best experience that I've ever had on a computer - even better than the vanilla game I played as a kid. We make this game what it is.
Depending on what server you played on the experience since launch varied a lot but generally at the early phases it was very different from how the game feels now. At this moment, for the most part (besides actual casual raiding guilds), as you said, it is about getting wbuffs and parsing no matter what. People get angry if they lose them and raids become speedruns and nothing more.
I am not sure what the original intention was but wbuffs in a sense provide additional competition which might be good for retention of players although it does not capture the essence of Vanilla. As a result it becomes this abomination it is right now.
I always wished they wouldn't introduce wbuffs. Just imagine not having them and you could actually see more balanced raid compositions or even deep prot warriors on daily basis. It rly does mess up the class balance a lot. There are other problems the game has but this is the most relevant one atm.
I was majorly in a rut myself. My druid was stuck at level 45 for months then I pushed a bit and then got to 54 and got stuck there again for months. Funny how that goes. Finally I was able to break through and pushed to 60. It feels good to finally make it since there's a lot I can do now like tank dungeons and just generally play the game like I want to with that character but it can be tough to break through it.
I lost some motivation when my guild died, it pretty much imploded with a ton of people leaving and the GM stepped down. It really started when they canceled all raiding to get people to farm for AQ mounts for weeks on end...
Now I just play casually and haven't gotten to raid in months. Looking forward to TBC though!