A Year Of World of Warcraft
Although I participated in the World of Warcraft beta and even imported the USA version of the game before it was released here in Europe, I got stuck into Everquest 2 instead and didn’t properly start playing WoW until the end of October 2008, just over a year ago. In my year of Warcraft I haven’t accomplished as much as many other players – I haven’t hit level 80 yet and I haven’t done any raiding – but instead I’ve played it in a very casual style and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I think WoW has been the right game for me at the right time. Previously my MMORPG gaming had been a lot more full on and time consuming and I think I just needed to tone it down for a while and enjoy a game that is, by design, very easy and casual. WoW’s like taking a bath, there’s nothing new or unexpected and it’s very comforting and relaxing. I’m sure I’ll get bored of WoW (probably sooner rather than later, depending on how long it is before Cataclysm comes out) and the itch to get stuck into something more fulfilling will occur (I had it with EVE Online a few months ago) but right now it’s doing me just fine, say thankya.
Anyway, for your interest, here are couple of things I really like about World of Warcraft and a couple of things that drive me crazy.
One of reasons I started playing WoW was because I was very disappointed with Warhammer Online. WAR felt just like a giant arcade game with no sense of immersion or the player existing in a vibrant, living world. Warcraft, on the other hand, does this very well and when you log in, you feel like you’re in another world.
WoW is designed to be easy and friendly. It’s not a hardcore game and it’s not for players who want a huge challenge. Yeah, people say that it’s dumbing down the genre and that may well be true but there’s plenty of MMORPGs out there now that cater for different audiences and I’m happy enough with the one Blizzard have aimed their game at.
For a MMORPG, WoW has a terrible, terrible community. I’ve never met so many rude or childish players in all my life. For someone that successfully championed the PUG for years in Everquest 2, WoW completely destroyed my faith in grouping with strangers. Ironic and sad.
I know Blizzard pride themselves on being able to release games and expansions whenever they’re totally ready and never before but, c’mon, MMORPGs really need a continuous stream of content to keep people interested. EQ2 has had some fantastic expansions that really helped grow the game and SOE’s yearly release rate kept me interested for over three years solid. I worry that Blizzard’s slow expansion schedule will cause me to bore of WoW prematurely.
Anyway, there you have it. A year of WoW for me has come and gone. I wonder if I’ll still be playing it come November 2010?