Hey everybody! I wanted to share some of my views on what the community calls “Chromie Time” and why it’s causing me to take a break from World of Warcraft until the prepatch quests go live.
I rolled up a Worgen Rogue and decided to go through The Burning Crusade expansion to level up. I have to admit, going through the expansion to level was actually really fun! I made a pledge to myself (which I kept) that I would not use a single heirloom and I would not give my rogue any items or currency from another one of my characters. I wanted as fresh and as genuine experience through Outland that a retail character can give me in the year 2020.
My only real complaint during the leveling was the almost unfair nature of Elite mobs in the world and the lack of access to the “Premade Groups” section of the Group Finder. I feel like, if Group Finder could get its own section for recruiting people to take down elite mobs in their respective expansion, this would feel so much more rewarding than teleporting back to Stormwind, turning off Chromie Time, running back, and one-shotting the elites for the quest, teleporting back to Stormwind, turning Chromie Time back on, then running back and turning in the quest. Which is something I did feel like I had to do considering the lack of in-game tools such as the Group Finder being able to accommodate me.
That issue aside, I do really want to stress that I genuinely had a lot of fun with this system and going through some of WoW’s history. However, like all good things, they come to an end. And this end was far more jarring than anything I have ever experienced in a video game (apart from being kicked off the servers for maintenance). When you hit Level 50, a 30 second timer is placed over your head and, when that timer hits zero, you are immediately ejected from whatever you are doing and, in the case of my Worgen Rogue, I was teleported in front of Stormwind Keep and Chromie’s map icon was gone, indicating that I could no longer access Chromie Time.
Now I am someone who appreciates a moderate challenge. I’m not a hardcore mythic raider, nor am I someone who is particularly casual. But there were two major problems with this event that I take particular umbridge with. First, I was kicked out of what I was doing. That felt like someone cut the power while I was playing a game and it did not feel good at all. Second, I was not allowed to go back and continue what I was doing in the same way I was doing it. Sure, I could go back to Shadowmoon Valley and Pistol Shot my way to Outland Loremaster (which I had to do in some quests and I am not happy or proud of that), but that’s not what I wanted. I wanted to preserve as much of the challenge as I could with the tools I had at my disposal.
Now, I am actually a bit upset by this (I know, it’s just a game), but I want to talk about some changes that I would make if I had a magic wand and could change Chromie Time in a way that would make it much more enjoyable for folks like myself.
1.) Remove the Timer and the Boot.
Instead, maybe wait until the character is out of combat and out of instanced content and pop-up the Adventurer’s Guide, saying that the player can now “Explore the Shadowlands” and give them a one-time soulbound teleportation scroll to where they can begin that content. The pop-up would, of course, be annoying to veteran players, but it would be leagues less annoying than a forced teleport, I feel.
2.) Make Chromie Time Its Own Content
You might be wondering what I mean by this. What I mean, basically, is that, while Chromie Time is active, the expansion selected by the player becomes THE current content. You can keep the item levels as they are so as to not affect the balance of the latest expansion, but at the same time, make it so that items that are earned while traversing through Chromie Time regain any legacy effects that they once had. Then, when a player decides to turn off Chromie Time, those items become “Displaced in Time” and lose all of their effects until they re-enable Chromie Time for that expansion. I feel that this would make each expansion feel more relevant than it does now, where it’s like WoW is changing clothes every two years and the old clothes go into the attic forever.
Now, I don’t know if anything will happen by writing this, but at the very least, it’s cathartic and it will hopefully spark a conversation about how we can improve Chromie Time. Thank you very much for reading this excessively long forum post and I hope something will come of it.