Like I said earlier, my guild is casual/raiding pve. People in-game often ask me, "What is casual/raiding?" So I thought I would answer on my anonymous blog and then never link to it.
I'll start by saying that Magister's Terrace (MrT) is wonderful from start to finish. It's beautiful to look at, the music is great, the bosses are fun, and the gear potential makes me want to bring all my characters there. If it were none of those, it'd still be a new place to go with my guildmates. But it's great, so kudos to Blizzard.
(Also, the in-game cinematic should be something that they do ALL THE TIME. Not just in instances, but quests. ALL THE TIME. When you create a soulwell, or a ritual of refreshment. You should get an in-game cinematic when you click your hearthstone. Just get that world of warcraft narrator talking, and you feel epic.)
The game mechanic corrections and tweaks are all welcome, as always. New crafting rewards are welcome, new faction, new zone. New combat log, new portals coming. New zomg epics. I was glad to see the excitement of my guildmates as they purchased Nether Vortexes (Vortices?) and upgraded their crafted gear.
All good fun.
Maybe I've been following the game's development too much, but I'm still underwhelmed. Not by what's been given, but by the long barren months between here and the next expansion, which is presumably six or more months away. The new 25-man raid instance is going to keep the high-end guilds happy for a while, but it means absolutely nothing to me and my wife, as well as our guild. I'm guessing that it took Blizzard a while to make.
The dailies? Well, they're mostly kill X quests. Yes, the quests eventually open up new parts of town, and it's fun to progress as a server and feel actual community with all these people I've been bumping shoulders with for a couple of years. But the Ogrila quests themselves were more fun: you have a roping quest, a bombing quest, a portal quest. Here, you have a bunch of kill quests and one bombing quest. I'm just saying, we could have some story quests mixed in with the unlocking of phases.
Oh, a note on the Sunwell bombing run: get a partner. Otherwise I don't see how you could do it in one pass (it's taken me three tries every time when I've tried it solo). With my wife, we did it in one pass.
I'm really looking forward to Wrath of the Lich King. It's a long way away. In the meantime, I'll be doing the dailies and enjoying Magister's Terrace.
The game indicator of winning in WoW is receiving an epic item. In vanilla WoW, the vast majority of epic items came from 40-man raiding. I'll grant that there was an epic hunter quest, a few limited crafting bits, some world drops, and a top-level pvp set that only a handful of people could get. But overall, if you wanted a reliable way to get epic gear (and win), you hooked up with a raid guild and started raiding… whether you liked raiding or not.
I started off playing World of Warcraft because my best friend said that he loved it. He's usually a great gauge for what I will like, although I hated Heavy Metal 2000. (In all fairness, it was one of those times where he loved the original Heavy Metal in his teenage years and was horrified upon seeing the sequel ten years later) He asked me over to his place so I could try it out, and my first question was "Where's the run button?" He laughed.
A couple of years later, and I've solo'ed to max level, had my wife join me in game (to great joy), grouped up to max level more than once since then. We've been in a couple of guilds, and ultimately found the guild that became our WoW online home. In this guild, I've been: an enthusiastic member, a newbie officer, a raid leader, guild master, and am now a veteran officer.
My guild is casual/raiding pve, which translates to max-level/light-endgame. We're all adults with jobs, we play well when we're on, but all of us have real lives that we don't put aside for the game. We're good friends.
I raid with a healing priest and a tank warrior (whichever as needed), and dabble with other classes as time permits. My wife raids with a combat dagger rogue and dabbles with a druid. We know a little about battlegrounds and arena, but not much.
The game is fun; it was my primary hobby before my daughter was born (less than a month ago). Now I'm a casual dad. I play when I can. I help out the other officers in other ways when I can't be online.
I'll expand on most of this over time, but this is a decent overview of where I'm coming from.