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Hrothmund's random ramblings.

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Author: Hrothmund

WoW, does it offer anything to people seeking a challenge?

Posted by Hrothmund Friday January 30 2009 at 12:03PM
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WoW has been taking quite a beating from the community here, and one of the most common qualms has been that the game offers very little to experienced veterans seeking challenging game-play experiences. I have to disagree. In my opinion WoW offers the best all around gaming experience of any MMO out there, starting from the extreme casual and user-friendly content to the extremely challenging end-game raiding and single-player achievements.

"What, no way that's bull!" I can already imagine the Vanguard, EVE, and SWG and EQ 'veterans' mubmling out loud. Again, let's take a look at the facts. WoW is a game you can play at the beginner, novice, dedicated and 'hardcore' levels and stil enjoy the game, no matter your play-style or time constraints.

Let's get started with content aimed at novices. When you start the game for the first time, the menus are pretty much self explanatory, making it very simple to log in with your account and create your first character. As you log in, you are greeted with a short animation that scrolls through your starting area while a narrator briefs you with a short history of your race. Once the animation stops and you encounter the default in-game view for the first time, the tooltips, hints and tutorials make it very easy to get acquainted with the user interface, game mechanics and general orientation within the game. In fact, most individuals with some basic IT skills will be working towards completing their first quest in under a minute. So in short, getting started in WoW is extremely clear-cut and suer-firendly.

How does the casual gamer cope with the later content WoW has to offer? Very well, in fact because of the level of difficulty for single player questing and survivability in the appropriate areas for your level, many people find it almost too easy to level up character. Indeed, leveling up should not prove to be difficult for most players, however skill comes into play if you want to level up quickly.  Once you reach level 80, there are a multitude of things to do. You can gear up in instances, work on your faction reputations, focus entirely on PvP or even take a step forwards and try heroic instances and ten man raids. All of the end-game content I feel is extremely accessible to the casual gaming crowd, even the raid instances are accessible due to the toned down difficulty of the early encounters. The only encounter that I could see as a little bit of a stepping stone is Malygos, but in my opinion it is still easier in the ten man version than Magtheridon in TBC, for example.

What about the 'veterans', the 'hardcore' gaming crowd then? Well, the end-game content becomes quite challenging when you start attempting to complete the encounters while fulfilling the requirements for the most demanding of the achievements. Only under 3% of the active player base has completed the hardest accomplishments, although the current end-game content was dubbed as entry level by Blizzard and has been live for two months. Also, if you are into PvP, there are some really great players out there to compete with, just make sure you select the correct battlegroup when joining a realm.

All-in-all to play your character as effectively as possible is not a cakewalk, even in top guilds you will see a difference between the people who put in their full effort, and the loot-mongers who are just along for the ride. To all the MMO veterans out there condemning WoW as a dumbed-down cartoony grindfest, please do some reasearch before giving WoW the cold shoulder. By research I mean trying the game out for yourselves and actually experiencing the end-game content, instead of browsing through the countless anti-wow sites and posts out there and listening to your like-minded friends. You can tell me how easy WoW is after defeating Sartharion with three drakes up in normal difficulty.