Noobosaurus On The Rampage
I came up with this blog title whilst in the bath tonight. It made me chuckle. Anyway, on a completely unrelated point, my brother has been slowly getting to grips with World of Warcraft some more.
It’s funny how so many of us think of WoW as being too easy (often said, whether we honestly mean it or not, in a derogatory manner) yet I wonder how long it’s been since we’ve approached the game with fresh eyes. It’s certainly simple compared to most of the other MMORPGs on the market but is it too easy to those unfamiliar with the genre or even non-gamers? I used to think so… but now I’m not so sure.
My bro is a pretty smart guy and a lifelong geek, hardcore C++ programmer and wannabe Trekkie. Although he hasn’t played many computer games in the past few years, he’s not unfamiliar with them and yet, given all of this, he’s still experienced a reasonably steep learning curve with Warcraft. Stuff that I just take for granted or assume as basic, common knowledge, he’s struggled with. It’s not like he’s mentally disabled or anything either, I honestly think it’s just because WoW does have a learning curve which we’ve all forgotten about now.
It tends to be subtle things that get him too. Like remembering to put points in his talent tree every time he levels, how to properly set up his action bars and abilities, what add-ons to download and install and when not to camp out in the middle of an area full of aggressive mobs (OK, even I’ll admit that was a little dumb). He’s learning though, like a monkey learning to operate a spaceship from the ’60s, and one day soon he’s sure to manage lift off.
I guess I see a lot of my own experiences in his and the learning process that he’s going through reminds me of what I went through when I started playing EVE Online last year. Yes, that’s a little bit like comparing brain surgery to first aid but, still, you get the point. However, it does make me think that we should remember what it was like for us all that first time, before we really had any clue what a MMORPG was or how they work.
It also reinforces my suspicions as to WoW’s success. It’s so popular because Blizzard managed to tap into a long dormant player-base… the non-gamer.