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Ramblings and misconceptions...

The following are just ramblings and probable misconceptions about WoW and gaming in general. Ignore if you like.

Author: Kodell

The spectacular game called World of Warcraft

Posted by Kodell Friday April 18 2008 at 5:39AM
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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.

The end of WoW?

Posted by Kodell Monday April 14 2008 at 12:53PM
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I find many of the posts on various forums about the end of WoW due to the release or beta of some new MMO to be hilarious.  Of course, when I played EQ, I also laughed when WoW was the MMO of choice that was gonna topple EQ.

I started playing WoW during the very first closed beta.  I was fortunate to work for Dell and somehow we got a ton of beta invites from Blizzard which were passed around the facility.  I was in a big EQ guild at the time and while I enjoyed the WoW beta, I didn't see WoW as something that would cause any real problems for EQ...  but within a month of release the majority of my guild announced they were closing and/or selling their EQ accounts and moving to WoW.  Since the social aspect of MMOs is what I like most, I moved right along with them.

It's been a number of years since then and I quit playing WoW a few times for a few months, but missing my friends always brought me back.  It is this social aspect that has me in a quandry today.

I logged in this morning to find that my server was down again (having been down most of the weekend).  I am no longer surprised.  The game is really starting to show its age and the constant crashing of servers is only one symptom of a game that I think is finally coming to an end.

Oh, it's not gonna end tomorrow or even in the next few months.  But more and more I see people who are bored of the game.  Bored of the same thing over and over.  The only thing that keeps them playing are friends and habit.  But even that can hold you to something for only so long.

I have tried a number of other games including LOTRO, Warhammer Online beta, EQII, but none of them gave me any real compelling reason to abandon my friends.  But crashed servers can definitely do the trick when I can't get online with them.

I don't know what the next big MMO is gonna be, but whomever can manage to make it will reap huge rewards.  I'd guess that at least half the population of WoW is READY for a new MMO.  And if such a thing ever did hit the market you'd see the population of WoW drop as dramatically as EQ did when WoW was released.