I first started playing World of Warcraft during the last couple months of beta before its initial release. At the time I was heavy into Everquest and laughed when I read threads about how WoW was gonna be the end of EQ. (Much like those who laugh today at all threads about the end of WoW today.)
In the coming days/weeks I plan on bashing WoW pretty hard, but I thought I would start out with something positive. After all, if there wasn't something I still liked about the game, I wouldn't still be playing... right? Some of the things I will praise in this blog, I will later bash in other blogs, so take what I say here with a grain of salt. And btw, these are in order of random thoughts.
Casual Friendly - I discovered this truth after leaving the game for 6 months just after The Burning Crusade was released. I found it interested that when I came back, I wasn't that far behind in progression and since I had leveled to 70 before my sabatical, it was fairly easy to get geared up for Kara in a matter of a couple weeks. Daily quests make it easy to earn gold. The latest changes to the honor system and the addition of Arenas make is very easy to upgrade green/blue gear with epic purple gear to speed up PvE progression. I also love how much I can do solo without being forced to group for most quests.
Voluntary PvP - I really don't enjoy PvP and I play on a PvE server which means I rarely participate in PvP. I spent a couple weekends in Alterac Valley to get my Ram Charger for my Gnome Mage. And a couple days earning badges in the other BGs for my mount and various S1 temporary upgrades. I much prefer world PvP, so I do jump into defending Halaa or helping to take it now and then. It's a quick and easy way to get the Kurenei mount and it actually feels worthwhile, unlike battlegrounds for me.
Socialism - When I played EQ I discovered that many older people like myself (I am now in my 40's) play MMOs. As I have gotten older through the years, my toleration level and patience for "teenagers" in games has started to seriously wane. Fortunately, it's real easy to find mature people like myself to guild with and hang out with. A number of people I met through the game have become really good real life friends. And I'm one of those rare people who actually met someone in game that turned into a seriously relationship. My wife and step-daughter also play the game with me (trust me, playing with your family rocks!) and the guild I am in is mostly adult couples. We have a couple teenagers in the guild, but they're surprisingly mature for their age.
When I first started I felt the graphics were great, although they feel dated now. And the sound and music were spectaculer, but blizz has screwed that up pretty good lately. I'm sure there are other things I like about the game, but the three items above are what will keep me playing.
In upcoming blogs, I'll give details on what I think is wrong with the game and why TODAY I think people should avoid playing it if they haven't started.