Word of Warcraft, not a love story


My blue crab slayer. I think that should be an STD medicine
brand

My first visit to WoW was a bit of a disappointment. Draenei, while interesting looking, was a bore as a character. It bodes ill from the start when the first task made you kill some inane root monsters. At the point I was killing crabs on the beach I was already thinking Blizzard was playing a practical joke on me with quests I'd been given. But surely there's more about WoW than this, I thought. Maybe I just drew a poor lot and took the worst possible character to start the game as a new player.

So, thinking I might have erred, I decided to create a new character, or two in fact, just to get a bit of a feeling that I've covered all my bases. So in a bit more traditional fantasy spirit I created a dwarf and an orc. Surely neither would be hacking walking roots or bucks in the forest.

Sure enough. The other seems to have a whole quest trees revolving around beer, because, you know dwarves if know what I'm saying, and the other, well, in all honesty, the orcs seem to be the most interesting of the three. Sure, there's occasional killing of boars and scorpions, but there's at least a human enemy presence as well and a feeling the orcs are doing something about it.

My orc rogue. The most interesting of the three races I tried.

 Okay. The dwarves are at odds with some sort of rockjaw things and trolls, but I really didn't get a sense of urgency from there despite what the quest givers were saying, as the dominance of the beer quests felt so overwhelming.

But the thing that really does bother me about WoW is this: it lacks a sense of accomplishment. At least for me, it does, as accomplishing something for me doesn't mean that I get to the next level after another. See, just like in pretty much every MMORPG out there, you don't really effect on the world around you.

It doesn't matter WHAT you do or WHOM you kill, as all those things are soon forgotten and each quest returns to the starting point for the next player to do and the next after that. Things don't ever change. You might not be able to do those missions again, but when you go back to the mission area, there's the same monsters and same quest items respawned, only with new players after them. In a sense doing anything in a game like World of Warcraft is a fools' errand, as you don't effect on the status quo of the game.

Dwarves Co. Beer is our business.

 The world of Azeroth is a big place. It has a huge variation in the landscapes, flora, fauna and cities and architecture and still, it feels like all that is a bit wasted. It is a static world where time stands still for its inhabitants. For a short moment, it spurs forward only to be reset back to the point where the quest needs to be given again and again and again.

And then there are those little issues when a lot of players are trying to complete the same quest at the same time. They all skulk the same little area, trying to either kill the same enemies or trying to pick up the same object. It's a small annoyance, but an annoyance none the less, as at that point the game kind of locks in an irritating stand still, when everyone is waiting to be the first to do something.

I don't know, maybe my disappointment towards WoW also stems a little from the fact, that it has for ages been the biggest and the most acclaimed game of its kind. At best it has had over 10 million paying players, which is insane. It is a game with devoted fans, who have been around since it first launched. And I would dare to say it has invented and perfected many of the mechanics and gameplay elements most of the other modern MMORPG's ape blindly.

This at least feels like a war, not like playing a character trying to pass his biology exams

And still, despite all that, I feel it doesn't offer anything for me. I mean, technically speaking I've only tried a small bit of it, but that bit hasn't been very compelling more than it felt bland, generic and forced. Despite it is technically a well-made game, as you'd expect of a game that's been in active development for better part of a decade, it still feels like it has very little in terms of variety, as most of the quests, at least in the beginning of the game, are  either fetch or kill quests or a variation of both.

What does intrigue me a bit is one possibility: when WoW as it now dies, would it make sense for Blizzard to try and remove that MMO stuff from the game itself as a try to make it a single player game?  When there are no other players around, it would be possible to make the world more responsive about the things you do as a player. To make it feel like the things you do actually matter. But something like that is probably not going to happen, as it would be a humongous task. When an MMO dies, it just fades away and is often forgotten.
Let me just go here to complete one of the many drink related quests. Ah, the manly things the dwarves love.

But anyhow, in the end, I did not fall in love with WoW like many others have done before me. I can now say, despite my feelings about it, that I'm glad that I did finally experience it though. It's not a game for me, but I might eventually play my free characters to level 20 at some point, or maybe I just experiment with the other races, just to see if it continues the same way or if it does manage to pick itself up.

But I'm not holding my breath about it.

If you want it, you can get it from its official site, or just shamble into the nearest store, as they still might carry an actual, physical copy of it. But it would make more sense to download from Battle.net, as the game has a free to play option to level 20, which should be more than enough time to decide if you like it or not. And as it is a monthly subbed game, making sure that you like it makes just more sense.

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