Religion Is A Disease of the Mind

I believe that religion and the concept of God are a disease of the mind. There’s very few other ways to describe how people, which presumably are intelligent, can be afflicted by something completely illogical. Or perhaps it is logical if you examine the notion through the microscope of Social Darwinism/survival.

I think the concept of God has evolved to explain to unexplainable and provide people with a false sense of hope to carry on in their darkest moments. While some situation provides no outcome except a dreary end, the presence of God exist to console people in those last moments.

By this lens, it would seem that God is actually a beneficial construct of the human mind rather than a disease, which by definition is contradictory. However, I am one that believes that people should strive for truth by which the notion of a God construct defies. God interferes in people obtaining truth by creating a crutch whenever a situation beyond their control presents itself. Similarly, when an event that has us evade some horrible fate occurs, people are quick to credit God or some celestial being as opposed to chance.

Personally, I think the concept of God is for all intents and purposes harmless by itself. In other words, people are entitled to give credence to things as they see fit. However, the real disease aspect comes from organized religion; in other words, where a select few share their value system of what God is with others in a massively distributed system. This part resembles a plague.

My belief is that those weak of mind typically are the most vulnerable. The idea of coalescing and unifying rather than fending off the tide of peer pressure is far more appealing when confronted with such choices. I mean, organized religion does have its role in society. From a spiritual sense, people need religion to engage in society when otherwise isolated. Even if the guy next to you has absolutely no relationship whether by interest or biology, sharing the same religion will provide a social bond.

The most obvious danger though is when we return to the idea of how people manipulate the concept of God for their own ends, but this time in mass. This is the point of contention that I think is the most pernicious in religion. To sway the weak willed to a few’s bidding to me stinks of politics as usual. However, the masses being unable to desire for truth any longer now assault those who want to obtain truth. But it’s not a point of negotiation in this; they will impinge on others to suck them in and here the analogy of the disease is complete.

Some people may argue, “Well, how do you know God exists?” Naturally, any atheist might reply, “Well, how do you know God does not exists?” Here, we have a Mexican stand off. But for myself, I believe that if a “true” God exists, he/she would not exists as this idealistic, omnipotent entity they many may see as perpetually benevolent. How many times has one asked for something, done everything he/she could do to be a good person but received nothing for something that was so important to them? Shouldn’t the world be better if a benevolent deity exists?

The usual responses would be things like, “God works in mysterious ways” or “God helps those who help themselves.” These are evasive pieces of rhetoric that prove nothing on either side. All it proves to me at least is that the God presented from organized religion’s view cannot exist as is.

That is not to say that a true God does not exist. God might have been one interpretation of what the Sun was, as described by some historians and ancient religions. God also could be a highly advanced species that occasionally visit the earth for one reason or another.

Sometimes, I muse over the idea that God (or the Gods) are just an alien race who either created or discovered the earth and it’s inhabitants and decided to fuck with people. I feel as though we are nothing more than some social science experiment. Or at least we’re under scrutiny. If anything and that these beings were an advance species who came to Earth as observers, the first thing that they must realize about us is that we’re fucking stupid. People never take the most logical path and rely far too much on emotions and some obscure/abstract way of thinking that defies sense.

If we were an experiment and one decided to come down and ask me, “So what do you think?” I would tell them, hey, we’re a huge failure. We’re more like a disease than a lofty species. We take things for granted, are willingly blind to truth, have no desire to care for one another nor the things around us, and just frankly don’t deserve to exist anymore.

Maybe these creatures don’t have the answer to resolving our problems either and are just trying to figure things out for themselves. But you cannot hope to hold humanity as the great savior of the universe the way things are. We need to have real change. But I think no one wants it for better or worse and that’s why we are doomed.

 

Airplane Part of My New Fantasy Story

As mentioned previously, I wrote up a quick chapter that will lead into the fantasy component of my story. I would like to share this part with the world:

That night Keith was absolutely crushed. He had hoped that the little charms he bought and his prayers would be answered. Instead, deafness seemed to strike his supplication. Or perhaps it wasn’t deafness but just the fact that nothing out there existed. He sat in the hotel pondering his life. It was almost as if he were already dead. The emotions second by second dripped from him as his realization transitioned to simple acceptance.

 

But that acceptance was the muteness of an empty body.

 

Physically, he existed but his mind and soul drained away like a clogged toilet. In some ways, he already knew what the answer would be, but no matter how much he mentally prepared the answer was something he never wanted to hear.

 

He didn’t care nor need sleep. Well, maybe he needed sleep since the following day would be an intense bureaucratic orchestra of airport theater. But his life was meaningless so all that was just an inconvenience.

 

Eventually, he forced himself to sleep through the catharsis of tears and the gradual blanking of him mind. In the morning, he hobbled out of his tiny weekly apartment and took a taxi to the ANA Hotel in Akasaka. From there he waited patiently for a few hours for the Airport Shuttle to arrive. After boarding, he peered out the window at possibly his last glance at Tokyo and Japan. The images of the road and all the familiar sites of Tokyo like the Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Tower, Fuji Television studio, the Midtown Project, Roppongi Hills, etc. flew by and faded away. He never gave a second glance to any site, letting the memories disappear permanently.

 

When he arrived at the airport, he listlessly went through customs, immigration and security. Each point felt like a lifetime being lifted away from him as he neared his plane. Eventually, he came to his gateway and sat at a seat, staring at nothing in particular. At this point, life was just a countdown to the next meaningless destination.

 

Towards the evening as the sky darkened around Japan, the plane was ready for boarding. He received a window seat near the emergency exit. He took to his seat gently but silently. Still suffering from a cold, he removed a Japanese mask to respect his neighbors’ health but beyond that he was just a shell waiting to return to his quiet, lonely room in Los Angeles.

 

Outside, the winds were quite heavy, blowing up respectable gusts. Inside, various passengers complained or worried about the plane’s safety. About ten minutes into the boarding, heavy drops of rain started to pelt the windows and gradually picked up. The captain told the passengers that they weren’t going to be deterred and soon thereafter began moving the plane after the final passengers were confirmed to be seated.

 

The plane had some competition that night in terms of the use of the runway as a few other flights had been delayed as a result of the storm. Since theirs was an international one, they could ignore some weather conditions. Eventually, it was their turn and the plane took without a hitch. Some passengers mumbled relief but Keith’s face remained impassive throughout.

 

Weary from the general lack of sleep and his cold, Keith started to nod off against the window. He peered outside at the dimming lights of the end of his days in Japan before even those diminished completely. Sometimes though he thought he saw other lights in the distance twinkling, at first believing that the wing’s blinkers or another plane or ship could be the source. However, the dense rain clouds opposed that idea for him. Then again his eyes had become poor over time and his mind often played tricks on him. For instance, there were times while walking he would swear that he was being attacked by a small dog or bug when the object in question was merely a large twig that fell next to him. After dismissing that idea, he tried to fall asleep again.

 

As the plane leveled out above the clouds, the turbulence eased slightly. Keith was able to see the night sky almost clearly minus the occasional flashing derived from the plane’s wings. He peered at a particular bright star, possibly Venus, Jupiter or Sirius. He admired the twinkling, the poignant spokes that emitted more brightly now that he was far above the city and atmosphere. His mind relaxed a bit but somehow he felt connected to the star as if it was able to speak with him. Then again his mind was always overactive, even after his latest emotional trauma. So he humored himself in conversing back with the star.

 

“All that I ask is to somehow one day be happy and find true love in my life.”

 

The star for a minute seemed to wink at him. But it could’ve just been something obscuring the object transiently. He looked around the cabin for the first time and wondered if there was anyone else paying attention. Everyone inside were either fast asleep, watching the tiny LCD screen or doing some other self-indulging activity.  He looked back outside to see the star gazing brightly back at him, this time barely flickering.

 

A few minutes later, the plane started to experience some heavy turbulence. He watched as the wings viciously shook while the seat belt sign flashed back on. The captain speaking in Japanese gave warning of the turbulence and started to dip the plane slightly to stabilize it. However, they were back in the clouds and Keith’s only companion of the night faded away.

 

With only dark clouds to stare at, Keith sank back in his seat, deciding to join the rest of the cabin in some time wasting activity. He tried the various movies but none interested him. Each one was a generic Hollywood plot that only updated the dialogue to match the current cultural fads. His stomach felt similar in terms of the idea of regurgitation so he scanned for something different. The Japanese programming reminded him too harshly of the realities he just left, so he avoided those vehemently. Instead, he turned his attention to the flight progress meter. The 8 additional hours gave him some bile in his stomach as he anticipated more bureaucracy upon landing.

 

So he simply changed it a last time to watch the boring point of view from the landing gear side. It had a bizarre calming affect upon him where his mind could relax as the emptiness of the dark skies complimented the black hole-like visage embedded inside of him. The camera was partly obscured by the rain particles but the high velocity in turn would cleanse it shortly thereafter. In the distance, he thought he could see the periodic flickering of lights from the occasional deep fishing boats. However, they were a fair distance away from land by now and the altitude and clouds would not permit such detail. It could’ve been another plane too, but strangely the lights had a celerity that defied the typical smooth glide of any normal plane.

 

Soon those lights all but vanished into the night and for Keith it could’ve been another trick by his overactive imagination or wishful thinking. A minute later, the plane started to ascend again above the clouds so that he could perceive the horizon.  Once more his tiny distant companion rose up loyally and Keith felt a small bit of serenity entering his body. Despite the easing of turbulence, the seat belt light remained on. Perhaps the captain or an attendant forgot to turn it off, he pondered.

 

Just then a thunderous blast shook the plane causing the plane to dramatically heave. Many passengers gripped their seats and moaned at the sharp descent. The captain managed to stabilize the craft even though it still felt slightly rocky. Curiously, Keith peered out his window, attempting to spot any particular cause.  For the most part, everything outside seemed normal. His companion continued to wink at him feverishly. It seemed to get brighter by the second; at first perhaps millimeters, then centimeters and eventually it became the only light in view. Or perhaps something was blocking the rest of the horizon.

 

From there, things occurred in blurred milliseconds. It was like a photo gallery with only the snapshots in between the most critical events being emphasized. Keith simply remembered an entity outside like a smooth perfectly sculpted metallic orb. The light that might’ve been the companion probably was the reflection of some other lights back at the craft. However, the orb seemed to possess a mechanism of illumination of its own, not generated by an external device that Keith could perceive. From the limited area of the window, Keith was for a single second bathed in the illumination. Then things grew completely fuzzy as the world reacted faster than he could imagine. Passengers with agape mouths being thrown about in chaos. The top of the plane ripped off with several unbuckled passengers being launched into the air. Keith’s ears nearly splitting as the plane descended into the sea. His sole reaction was lurching under the chair and quickly grabbing hold of his backpack, containing his most important possession: his giraffe. As the plane dropped, the last few seconds he could remember at that point was once again seeing the illumination bathe his body and a general calmness bestowed over him before he was knocked senseless.

Ever Wonder When and How You Will Die?

I used to worry quite a bit about when and how I would die. Would it be from a disease? A stroke? Car accident? Plane crash by terrorism? Or when. When I was too young? At my peak? Too old to care anymore?

I stopped wondering and started asking can it come sooner. The method won’t really matter but I anticipate that it will be a very lonely death. I believe I am destined to that. I think I have accumulated too much bad karma in my life. My biggest fear wasn’t stairs, nor a certain movie, nor the popping of a balloon or bugs. All this time it’s been dying in solitude.

If there was a single person in this world that I truly wronged it was my father. When he needed me the most, I did nothing to care for him. I didn’t do enough and let him die alone in a feeble, stroke induced state. Although I managed to see him one last time before he left the world, I feel that the damage I had done was enough. I could see in his eyes when my mom and I stood near his bed at the nursing home that we weren’t anything anymore because we left him by himself for too long. Now, I feel his retribution and the karma returning to me.

I suppose I deserve it. I was too selfish when I found out that he first got his stroke to provide him with the proper help. Now, I am paying for it.

Some people who read my Facebook may realize that I was severely hurt tonight. I think it’s the last time I will let myself get hurt like that. But I think it’s either my father’s curse (if you want to call it that), karma, or something that I’ve done returning to me. But I think it’s okay because I can move on.

I can move on in terms of accepting the fate of dying alone. I guess it’s the only righteous thing that I deserve. My ending will not be that of a fairy tale type. Instead, I will die quietly, alone, without mourning. I don’t mind. I don’t want people to mourn me. My life for the most part has been insignificant and I lacked something whether it was destiny, courage, size, looks, luck, etc. to go beyond my capabilities. My problem has been that I always aspired beyond the attributes given to me. I was not humble enough to accept the things granted to me and thus I took life for granted.

Tomorrow I fly out of Tokyo. In my recent fantasy novel, I had forgone writing a beginning that leads to my character entering into a fantasy world (similar to Thomas Covenant in Stephen R Donaldson’s White Gold series). The reason why is because I already knew the beginning but did not want to say it directly. Whenever I write something, it becomes true. So, I had waited until tonight to declare the beginning.

Near the beginning of my story, my character is about to leave Japan when the airplane receives some engine trouble. So it plummets to the earth and supposedly all the passengers die. However, I wake up in a strange world and am captured by orcs and tortured.

Originally, I did not want to write that part because I was worried that something good would’ve happened while I was in Japan (i.e. finding a girlfriend). But since that did not happen, I feel free to declare that as how my character entered the fantasy world. The thing was that my character left Japan as a result of being extremely sad and cursed the world for causing him grief. In turn, he enters a world that is able to accept him and where his existence has the potential to make a true difference and have meaning.

Some may call my writing a sob story that stinks of self pity. I call it therapy because I prefer writing something that helps me attempt to deal with my life. This story isn’t for other people, just myself.

That said, if tomorrow by sheer coincidence a UFO shoots my plane from the air and I depart this earth into a different realm or dimension, I won’t be scared nor regretful. I think I lived enough here on this world and am ready to accept whatever fate that may bring me.

Norwegian Wood the Movie

I finally managed to see the movie version of Norwegian Wood. Definitely, I was disappointed by the director’s interpretation in how he ended up cutting numerous parts and emphasizing the sex aspects over some of the more critical dialog or introspective parts. But I have to say that the general look and feeling of the money were quite nice and gave me somewhat of a feeling of the 60’s Japan,  something I had a difficult time imagining just from reading the book.

I suppose unlike many of Murakami’s novels, Norwegian Wood probably is the closest that I felt very personal. Obviously, the main character’s name is Watanabe, just like myself. However, there are so many aspects of his character that I strongly feel resemble my own life. For instance, Watanabe studies literature much like myself. Also, he’s very concise and straight forward, maybe to a fault. He presents himself more of an introspective observer and at times hesitates in making the correct move at the proper time.

While I do not have the tragic best male friend who commits suicide, I feel as though I had my Naoko in the past. My Naoko was someone I prefer to call “Crazy” because she used to drive me insane and broke my heart on numerous occasions. I think this book was somewhat therapeutic for me as it made me realize that holding on to someone who was hopelessly lost only would continue to hurt me. Eventually, I had to let go.

Right now, I am seeking my Reiko and Midori.  For Watanabe-kun, Reiko represented a cathartic point in their sexual intercourse. Each orgasm with her symbolized the various relationship failures Watanabe-kun had in the novel. However, his release might’ve helped clear his mind in helping him to recognize Midori as the one true positive element in his life.

For myself, Midori seems like she’s everywhere. There are many women I would like to call my Midori, but pinpointing the exact person is something I’m having trouble dealing with. The character of Midori is described as energetic, positive and aggressive. Her character represents progress for both Watanabe-kun and Murakami in suggesting to Japan to “move forward.” In my case, I know two people in particular that resemble Midori’s attitude. Hopefully, when I approach either of them, they’ll reciprocate my sentiments.

Beyond that, I think the clear message for myself that Murakami’s novel attempted to state was “Take the world!” There’s too much baggage from my past that I must slowly let go. Or maybe let go faster because there’s too many opportunities right in front of my eyes that I’m missing. I’m certain other people have their own interpretations, but I feel that this is what he was attempting to convey.

The Generation War

Right now, there’s a huge war going on, but it’s not a physical one being waged. It really isn’t class structure either, although part of it involves classes. The war being waged is a generation one where there’s a lot of older views that are conflicting with the way the world is evolving. This isn’t to say that it’s just old people vs young people. Instead, the situation is which side of the equation you belong to.

When I look at the Occupy Wallstreet movement and see the political battle being waged over SOPA, I feel as though at first what seems to be going on is class warfare. Essentially, the have’s vs have-not’s. But not every powerful person or group are necessarily on one side or the other. For instance, in the situation with SOPA, you have numerous major internet companies (such as Google) fighting against SOPA, which is heavily supported by Big Media. In the case of Occupy Wallstreet, you have some famous people lending support and their voices to the cause (I’ll name Rowdy Piper as one person as he mentioned it in his tweet).

And the chaos isn’t just in the states. Britain, Egypt, Libya, Greece and Italy all have shown internal turmoil. Sometimes it’s a matter of economics. But on many occasions you’ll also see that it’s the young people who seem to be the most vocal in many of these situations.

This has led me to ask why this all is. I think part of the issue is that the internet has been able to spawn a new era of consciousness in the world where countries, people and cultures no longer are isolated as heavily as before. The internet with services such as youtube, Facebook, Twitter, blogging, wireless networks, cellphones, peer-to-peer networks, etc. have created methods to share information freely that has disrupted governments, industries, cultures and ways of thinking at a pace like no other in history. We, as a species, are more connected and bound to each other in some way because of how information now can be delivered in mere milliseconds once something occurs.

The problem I see is that the people who have been able to adjust and embrace these technologies are the ones who are reaping the most benefit while the others have been horridly slow to accept this new way of thinking and handling things. This is why it’s not necessarily an age issue. I work with older people who manage to keep up and even have a wonderful vision of how technology can be utilized. At the same time, I know people who are younger than me in other countries who distance themselves away from technologies either out of fear, lack of knowledge or laziness to adopt it.

That said, no matter how much the people who refuse to accept this new era of thinking remonstrate, things have changed and cannot revert to whatever format they’re used to. Even if legally they gain small victories, the number of people who have embraced and wholeheartedly accepted into their lives the technology and ways of thinking aren’t going to disappear in a day.

The people in charge are losing and will eventually lose because I truly believe that this new era of thinking already has penetrated with their children. Those that control the older mode of thinking, imo, are fewer. Even if they are able to indoctrinate their children with similar thinking, those numbers will likewise be fewer. As a result, the real issue to me is just figuring out how to deal with these people who consistently blockage progress. All I can say to that is just look towards Libya, Greece, Italy and Egypt to see how their people have responded. Is America next on that list?

How You Can Contribute To Prevent SOPA

The big controversy in congress is about the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act). The thing is that the primary supporters for this bill are Big Media. In my opinion, this is the last desperate attempt by Big Media in their fight against new media (i.e. the internet) by giving the government and themselves the ability to essentially shut down the internet. Without a doubt the ramifications for this act is huge, including unprecedented control without democratic input for a few select, the potential for the equivalent of the Great Firewall of China to be brought here to America (something Hillary Clinton and others had protested while on their foreign trips to China, etc.), the massive loss of jobs, economic downturn and essentially setting us back to the 80’s (or worse).

Obviously, this is NOT a good thing if we want to protect one of the greatest innovations in current times and one of the last bastions of freedom on earth.

If this passes, then there’s some ways to help prevent or fight the ramifications and here’s some suggestions:

  • Refuse to vote for any member of Congress/Senate that support this legislation and tell them straight out that you refuse to support someone who refuses democracy in favor of corporate lobbyists.
  • Demand the government to put stricter limits on corporate lobbyists.
  • Support internet companies fighting for the bill.
  • If you are an internet company, band together with other companies because THIS IS YOUR LIVELIHOOD.
  • If you are an internet company, refuse to support the companies who support this bill by pulling the plug on them, charging higher fees and doing everything in your power to make Big Media companies suffer.
  • Create a new internet that isn’t controlled by a single entity using a peer-to-peer wireless network that is completely open and secure such that it cannot be cracked nor sniffed by any technology
  • For everyone, stop buying products from Big Media. This includes movies, music, books, magazines and halting watching any form of television.
  • Support independents exclusively.
  • Make your friends, family and associates aware of what the Big Media is about.
  • Stop paying for cable TV, etc.

The thing about Big Media and these traditional companies is that their ways of doing things are archaic and dying because of the threat of New Media. However, these companies refuse to give up because they are addicted to power. These companies are horribly sick and corrupt though. Ever hear about how they treat everyone on the lower rungs? Unless you’re the crop on top, you’re basically a slave to these people. Or watch how these people force their workers into doing drugs and getting into illegal things to the point where their lives are all fucked up. Don’t believe me? Look at what happened to the singer from Alice in Chains. Or Motley Crue. Or the so-called artists in Japan who have to prostitute themselves just to make it. The list is endless.

Supporting this trade is supporting immorality. Just like the fast food industry, Big Media is completely unnecessary but people have become too dependent upon them because of how they’ve been brain washed. But you have an ultimate choice. The choice should be to kill this industry and let it start up with a clean slate.

Tempest Keep First Try

After reading that Tempest Keep was doable solo, I decided to give it a shot with my two friends. First note: LOTS OF GOLD DROP. Great place to farm if you want to do something outside of Heroics and Cataclysm raids with just a few friends. I think you probably need between 4-5 people, at least for the last fight. Up until that point, the boss fights were fairly reasonable. We haven’t downed the last boss yet, but I hope to finish it up tomorrow night.

Another great reason to farm this is just for tier gear in preparation for the upcoming Transmogrification feature  for patch 4.3. So far I’ve managed to get a few tier pieces.  Of course, one of the best reasons to go is for the mount. With the low drop rate, you have several excellent reasons to asks others to come with you.

Beyond that, I think going for both personal and guild achievements are excellent reasons to bring people here. I don’t think you need that many if you have a bunch of 85’s, but just enough to DPS things down. At least, one tank and a healer (hopefully a shaman) to help you during some of the CC moments.

Finally, a great reason to do this is that it’s a good chance for your guild to practice as a team and get used to each other. My guild at the moment has mostly soloist who quests. They might do the occasional random or battleground. I’m certain though that people would love to try new things if presented with the opportunity.

Making Progression With My Warrior

Since this weekend was rather slow in terms of people being on, I decided for the most part to push my warrior finally. I finally managed to get her over the hump of level 60 with some power leveling help from a few friends. Once she hit 62 though, I took her to Zangarmarsh to propel her forward on my own. I find levels 60-62 to be a pain because of the way Hellfire Peninsula was constructed. So it’s better if you have some higher level friends to give you some help in leveling you and just skip the vast majority of the region.

I managed to get her two levels in the marsh and decided to do something different for once. So this time around, I started in Terokkar Forest rather than going straight into Nagrand. I gained two levels and then moved her to my usual spot of Nagrand. Right now, she’s sitting at level 67 and just questing to get her ready for Northrend.

Thus far, the questing gear I’ve been finding hasn’t been that great for her. She still is using old gear from pre-BC zones. I think that may just be a consequence of skipping  over Hellfire Peninsula entirely. Lucky for her, she’s equipped with a few BoA pieces (chest, sword, shoulders and cloak) so I don’t  have to worry about that type of gear. On the bright side, I’ve been able to make some money with her because the quest rewards have mostly been stuff she already has.

Tomorrow, I hope to finish  up with Outlands and move her to Northrend. As I level her, I’m also splitting time for her professions. She’s the last toon who has a profession I haven’t already maxed out yet. Meaning that all the major professions minus engineering for me have been maxed out thus far. This will be good for me because I do miss Northrend.

Probably, I should get back to finishing up my other toons. However, I’m somewhat bored of doing the limited number of Cataclysm quests. Perhaps, when she reaches 80 or so, I’ll switch to another toon and do some other quests. Down the line, I’d like to get back to leveling my mage and rogue. But that might be in a month or two

Why Dailies *ARE* A Good Game Mechanic in World of Warcraft

There was an interesting topic on the Blizzard discussion boards that I could not post to since the limit was reached. However, the original post described dailies as being a poor design to World of Warcraft because “it feels like a job.” While I acknowledge the sentiment, I think that the poster has failed to see what makes the concept of daily quest a great mechanic in WoW.

I think dailies are a great idea for the game. Quite a few RPGs just “end” once you finish all the regular quests and kill the primary opponents. I think the problem with dailies is that there’s not enough of them in terms of current content in order to achieve certain rewards. the Molten Front for the most part is fine, but just takes a while before you can reach your goal. the only downside to the Molten Front is that the gear is limited compared to pure raiding/instancing.

A bigger issue isn’t so much the repetitiveness of dailies but more or less that it becomes one of the only things to do if you’re not a raider (if you want to obtain gear) upon hitting level 85. Also, the rewards really don’t scale after hitting a certain point. lastly, there’s just not that a large enough pool of dailies in these zones so it probably feels boring just doing dailies on 2-3 different areas.

With regards to Cataclysm, I think some of the weaknesses in the daily quest system was a result of the revamping of the pre-Vanilla world. The problem I feel is that so much attention probably was spent focused on streamlining the pre-Vanilla world that not enough time was devoted to the higher level zones. When the Molten Front opened up, it offered some epic quest lines, although grinding to reach towards the end takes a long period (as to compensate for the probable time to get equivalent raid gear).

But I like the idea overall. it’s really a nice, guaranteed method to get money, reputation and eventually more gear. I just wish that each zone had a larger number of quests. For instance, Uldum only provides a measly two quests while Vash’ir has nothing at all.

Second, it would be great not to just have chained quests. I like the idea of quests being loose and optional. Molten Front did a little of both but I wasn’t an entire fan of choosing one line or the other then making it all phased. I liked the Vanilla method of questing where most quests were kill, item loot, find item, etc. I think if the dailies just stick with that it should be fine.

Why Power Leveling and Instance Grinding Isn’t the Best Method for Leveling in WoW

A while back when I was leveling my first few toons on a PVP server, I got into leveling via instance grinding. At first, it was pretty fun because you just had to learn the instance and “go with it.” Sometimes, you met horrible players and other times you met great players. But the thing for me was that I could avoid PVP and just sit around Orgrimmar most of the day while waiting for the instance to queue up.

Later on, when I switched to a PVE server, I decided to start a hunter from scratch just to re-learn how to play after the massive changes to the class. In starting over, I just went questing all the way up to level 60. I found that I leveled somewhat faster than just instance grinding because of the way the quests now were structured. Also, I could avoid asshole players and not have to deal with the waits and wipes of pugs.

But the thing I learned while leveling my hunter and my other toons was that I could learn how to play my class at my own pace. Now, soloing differs greatly compared to raiding and instancing. But sometimes, you can learn just what each little ability is, where it belongs and more importantly when to use it.

Sometime though, a friend and I started to do the Refer-A-Friend thing. Most of the time, we just instance grinded. Because of the experience bonus, we leveled incredibly fast. I had BoAs and received a 5% bonus to experience on top of that from the guild. However, I found that I would skip some abilities and lose out on drops. Sometimes, I would have a crappy piece of gear that was 10 levels old. More than that I missed many opportunities to really learn all the new abilities for my class.

In the case of my shaman, that wasn’t a huge deal in gaining a few levels here and there. I leveled a shaman before and didn’t find it that much different. But for my warlock, it was a huge deal. I haven’t leveled him for a while but am missing quite a bit of gear from the enormous gap from getting free levels from RAF. Also, I feel somewhat off in terms of picking up where I left off. I’m certain that it’ll be a little challenging picking up the class again.

That lead me to realize that just power leveling and instancing grinding potentially are detriments to leveling. Power leveling for certain because you end up not really learning how to play your class and you end up taking things for granted. I had a friend who just wanted me to power level him for SEVERAL levels in a row. He’s not really a great player to begin with and incredibly lazy. But just having me power level him makes him lazier and a worse player.

Then the whole instance grinding thing really isn’t that fun in the end. It feels really repetitive and you end up missing out on a lot of content if that’s all you do in trying to rush to hit 85. I think starting with WOTLK, instance grinding became tougher because the developers want people to quest to experience the world. And it’s been stated for a while that questing really is the best way to level. Coming up in the next 4.3 patch, questing pretty much will be the best way to level hands down with regards to Outlands and Northrend since the experience is being nerfed and that many group quests are being retooled for soloing.

Coming from a PVP realm, I can tell that instance grinding is fine for avoiding world PVP. But I think people end up getting into bad habits and not really mixing things up.

So where does instance grinding and power leveling come into play? I think instances are great for the occasional level and gear upgrades. Maybe if you’re on the border of a level, like 3-4 bars, sticking yourself in an instance would give you that little bonus. Also, it’s good to mix things up since questing too can become monotonous (I’ve leveled 5 toons to 85 thus far).

Power leveling pretty much is similar in this regards except that you’re essentially asking someone to give you a quick boost. If you have a friend who has a higher level toon, then power leveling isn’t so bad once in a while just for a slight, quick edge. Or perhaps you can do power leveling for others to meet people and maybe help build out your guild a little.

Either way, there’s more ways to play the game. But these are just some points to keep in mind, especially if you’re a beginner.