World of Warcraft: What's All the Fuss?

Okay, so I finally broke down and got myself into World of Warcraft. I figured it was high time I figured out what all of the buzz was over, since it is arguably the most successful MMO in today's market. But, why? What makes this game so fantastic that it is the monolith of today's gaming genres?

To be honest, as of yet, I'm just not sure. I mean, yeah... it's interesting in terms of eye-candy. The graphics are non-traditional in comparison to other games out there. It has its own look and feel way beyond what any other title offers. But is that enough? I don't know... I've played many games in my time, and what I look for is not only look and feel, but also the other aspects of great gameplay: UI-friendliness, music, lore, immersion. I want to believe what I'm playing, and I don't want to be frustrated in the process.

WoW already frustrates me, although not in a completely negative fashion.

Listen, before you go off on me... the one thing I cannot stand is corpse-recovery. I mean, seriously. So I die... I should take an armor hit if I choose to find something else more fitting to my level to do and don't want to head back out to the area that killed me in the first place?!? Really, don't make me chase my corpse. Let me revive and move on. Way back when, EverQuest II had something similar... it was not your corpse, but a "shard". Basically, a portion of your "soul" that would be in the world. You could either return to retrieve it, or you could choose not to and be at a reduced health for a period of 24 hours until the shard disappeared and was "reabsorbed" into you. This was very annoying and frustrating, especially if you died in a dungeon or surrounded by beasts. You had to actually gain the point of death to retrieve your shard.

SOE eventually realized their folly with this, and corrected it. No longer must one retrieve their shard. They merely take an armor hit for dying (10% for every death on all equipped items at the time of your demise). While it can get expensive in the higher tiers - especially if you're broke - it is much more preferable (at least in my humble opinion) to be able to revive and move on to something else without worrying about health loss or repeated deaths by attempting to retrieve my corpse. And a 25% armor hit doesn't give one much freedom if you are like me and enjoy exploring areas of the world, even if it's likely to kill you.

Now, while we're on the subject of reviving. Why can't I have a choice of where to revive? Maybe I'm stubborn and want to continue again and again with the mobs I'm actively trying to beat, and in World of Warcraft, I have to run all the way back across the map to get where I was. I much prefer being able to choose the location of where I revive from a variety of areas around the map. Maybe I want to return to town... or what if I'd prefer to go to another location and start on something different? In WoW, there is no choice. There are Spirits in select areas around the world and that's it. You revive there. Period.

Yes, I like challenge. No, I'm not lazy. But for someone with limited play time, this could be a constant source of irritation. Half of my play time could be spent running back to an area I want to be in after I died.

And don't give me the "Well, don't die then!" speech. You're all MMO players, right? You all know that death is imminent at one point or another, regardless of your level. You'll either die in PvP or in PvE at some point in your playing career, and to tell me otherwise would be a blatant farce. So why does death have to be more annoying than it already is? I mean, I curse at my computer screen along with the rest of you when I die what I deem to be an unfair death. Naturally, I should always win. Right? C'mon... you know it's true!

Believe it or not, I do not hate on WoW - I'm merely providing some thoughts on what has annoyed me so far. And some annoyances actually add to immersion. The death aspects do not. When you die, you shouldn't be expected to recover your corpse... it's just not... natural!



So let's talk about some of the other things that annoy me, but I accept as a part of the immersive quality of the game.

Run speed. I hate going slow. Seriously, I want to get where I want, when I want, and as fast as I possibly can to do what I want to do. Don't we all? But... if you think about it... if you don't have a mount, you're stuck on foot. And unless you've got a family of cheetahs in your background somewhere (I know my mother liked cats, but not that much!), you're going to naturally move only as fast as your legs can carry you. So, kudos to Blizzard for not automatically giving people some silly way of moving faster. In EQII, players can make or purchase totems that will grant the user a limited run-speed buff. It's magical, for sure... but I think I prefer the actuality of natural speed. Yes, I know... once you're level 30 and all that jazz. And there are some potions that you can buy. But still, for total immersion, natural run-speed is the way to go in my book. And even if you're not seeking immersion, at least you'll appreciate that mount or potion all the more once you're able to have it!

Regenerating health and power by sitting to eat and drink is another quality that, while annoying, is based on realism. Granted, in today's society we tend to eat on the run, with drive-through hamburgers falling apart in our laps while we're speeding on the freeway and dodging each other like a friendly game of bumper cars, or NASCAR, whichever you prefer. But in truth, in the time of the world in which we choose to play, this was not the case. People ate while sitting down. Even in Lord of the Rings, Frodo sat to eat his elven bread with his buddy Samwise, and the ever-plotting Golem.

One thing that I truly do find fun is the avatar movement when talking to another player. It's nice that Blizzard was smart enough to give us some interaction beyond just standing and staring at each other while typing. If you're having a conversation with someone, your avatar is also having a conversation! It's a fantastic and innovative way to bring players together when face-to-face. Add to this the voices when emoting... I do love a good hearty chuckle when I type /laugh! And it's great to see that we're not just making strangled noises at each other. The vocal aspects of our avatars add dimension to the game, along with the movements when interacting with one another.

Some other fun things? While also annoying to the person who likes to "just get on with it", having to let NPCs go through their entire spiel before I can accept their quest is time consuming and basically a foot-tapping issue. "Dear , our forces need your help! Due to 's massively unpopular behavior, we cannot achieve our goals without you! Please, help us!" While this is not necessarily what every NPC says, it's all pretty much the same. They need you to do what they want in order to get what they want out of the deal. Perform their quests and you shall be richly rewarded... which is often a few silvers and/or an item that isn't worth more than resale to a vendor. So just let me click "Accept" and move on, already! I was given direction into my options panel where I can click "instant quest text", but not everyone goes directly into their options, do they? I'm "Optionally-challenged", as I like to unwrap the box, insert the CD's, load the game, and start play. I don't want to have to adjust everything to get what I need.

Yes, how very single-minded of me. But I'm a gamer! We want what we want when we want it... right?!? /looks around the room

However... it is true that if this were reality, interrupting a possible employer in the middle of their speech might get you a turned-up nose or a withholding of promised riches for being insolent. I mean, we all know that the nobles were not famous for their pity or patience, right? And, I suppose it adds to the immersion to force us to listen to their babbling... but I don't like feeling as though I'm being held hostage just to gain another quest. So this particular annoyance is a "six of one, half-a-dozen of the other" level frustration, I suppose.

There is something that I thoroughly enjoy in World of Warcraft over most other MMOs I've been privileged to play... the mapping system. I am quite excited to see how Blizzard has created the world map and the particular areas you're in - and you move through it as you're going along! That is to say... as I am on auto-pilot running through the world, I can bring up my world map and see where I am at, and watch my progress through the area. The fashion in which it is presented to the player is very friendly and pleasing to the eye, as it doesn't force you to remember where things are, it just shows you. However, with that being said, I did find it a bit disappointing that you have to download an add-on just to get some sort of in-game help as far as where to find things for your quests. Yes, the quests themselves offer hints... great hints, in fact. But again, I prefer a bit of ease to my game play as I have limited time with each title I get involved in. However, all in all, I thoroughly approve of the mapping system. It's a wonderful feature, and I applaud Blizzard for their forward-thinking in this respect.

Oh, alright... I'll admit something else I'm enjoying; the races and creatures. Sure, some are traditional... like bears, elk, and carnivorous plants. But the blue butterflies, the ghastly-looking women, and the funky fur-covered ettin-like creatures... definitely some very creative thinking going on in the world of Blizzard, as these creatures are great fun and interesting. So are the races, such as my Draenei. It's nice to not see a bunch of half-elves or dwarves running around for a change. Instead, there is a wide variety of things that offer everyone something they might be interested in playing, thus creating a balanced world of races on which to feast our eyes.

Of course, I'm just beginning my World of Warcraft career. I'm still a young Draenei, with much left to explore. But I've always found that the first 20 levels of any game will either catch or release you from its grasp, and so far, while World of Warcraft is slightly intriguing, I still find myself drawn back to my other titles - one of which is capturing me in the early stages of game play. Does this mean I'm done with WoW? Most likely not. I'll keep playing to see if I can get hooked on it like a street walker to spandex. Until then, I'll remain slightly unsure of the title and curious what everyone else sees in it.

And I invite anyone who cares to show me to send me an email, and I'll be happy to be taught a lesson or two in the finer things of WoW!

Tomorrow, our very own Brian "Wordaen" Kincaid will give us his insights into WoW, including his thoughts on my experiences so far.  Join us then!

Maggie "AutumnKiss" Olsen
Senior Editor, ZAM Network

Comments

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Hmm
# Jul 14 2008 at 10:33 AM Rating: Decent
7 posts
AutumnKiss, firstly welcome to World of Warcraft. A world of new discovery, quests, achievements and pretty gear.

I've been playing for about 18 months now and am still making new discoveries, finding new quests on alts and meeting new people each time i log on, it's the variety and diversity that attract new players and keep the veterans coming back for more.
The desire for advancement, completion, competition, 'i want it now!', and the social environment is what makes wow fun and exciting for me.

Sure running back to your corpse is a pain in the butt, but as other people have stated, there are plenty of ways to use that time, with little penalty, but all have forgotten to mention, that while you are in spirit form your speed is increased and if you're a Night Elf you become a wisp when dead with a movement speed increase of 50% (25% faster than a normal ghost.) You complain about a lack of choices when there are plenty if you bother to look into it.

You also seem to contradict yourself..

Quote:
I've played many games in my time, and what I look for is not only look and feel, but also the other aspects of great gameplay: UI-friendliness, music, lore, immersion. I want to believe what I'm playing, and I don't want to be frustrated in the process.

Quote:
While also annoying to the person who likes to "just get on with it", having to let NPCs go through their entire spiel before I can accept their quest is time consuming and basically a foot-tapping issue.


How can you believe what you're playing, immerse yourself, know the lore, if you can't even be bothered reading a bit of text? Those NPC's provide a font of information into the background and story of WoW, allowing the player to find out who, why and where their next exploration will take them. What's the rush? Do you have to hit 70 tomorrow? You want immersion, then there is plenty to be found if you just take the time. And don't complain about your limited play time either, you take what you want out of the game, there are many options available that can speed up leveling. Find a leveling guide, there are hundreds available, get quest helper that draws all over your map and provides a helpful arrow to lead you to the next quest with the fastest route, there are literally thousands of add-ons that will make leveling faster, all of which are encouraged by Blizz, even if they aren't provided by them.

The music in the game is unbelievable (personal favorite is Nagrand) each zone has something different that adds to an already amazing atmosphere. And you can't get more UI friendly than a company that allows so many features to be added, altered or completely changed than Blizzard do.

Basically, what it all boils down to, is that yes, it does take time to achieve things and get places, but there are more than enough choices on how to get there if you care to look, and honestly, where is the sense of achievement if you don't have to work for it?

I'll be very interested to here from you as you progress, how your views and perceptions may change as you go through levels, as you learn new things about the game play and your experiences as you quest and interact with other players. Don't give up on it, others have said that the lower levels suck (and they really do) and it's not until around 30 that you truly get a taste of what the game has to offer.
This death is nothing
# Jul 14 2008 at 8:13 AM Rating: Decent
1 post
See, I'm back to MMORPG's after I used to play Ultima Online in 1998. When you died, you were a ghost AT your corpse, and it was necessary to run around, FIND a healer, res, run back to your corpse alive with no weapons, armor, reagents for spells, etc. to protect yourself, and collect all of your belongings which, BTW, were available for any random player to loot if they wanted (plus, for good measure, MOBs would occasionally rummage through and steal something).

Those were the good ol' days. That kind of system really redefines what you consider valuable and how you take care of yourself and make decisions. As one apt poster mentioned, there's a lot of realism and challenge in that.

I played EQ back then for like a month, thought death was for wussies.

Death in WoW, therefore, is quite tame, and it is also (btw) one of the best, most well constructed games that I've ever played. If everything in WoW was easy squeezy pie, we might as well watch cartoons instead.


Errrrrmmmm...how long did you actually play the game???
# Jul 09 2008 at 12:27 AM Rating: Decent
1 post
We all have to start somewhere, and we were all a noob once but at the same time when I started out in WoW over 3 years ago now, I didn't immediately go onto a community site and start making sweeping statements about the inadequacies of the game because frankly at the time I didn't know whether the game was lacking or it was merely my knowledge.

Many of the critisms made in your post actually make it sound like you are unlikely to have got past level 10!

I think the points about rezzing have been covered adequately by others, the system isn't great but I've yet to find a system that is perfect. If you were to allow instant resurection at the point you died then the whole game dynamics of pvp combat would be a joke, with corpses popping back to life to land that killing blow after you had so heroically killed thm in the first place.

Next thing is you start whinging about having to wait for npc's to finish their speeches before you can get the quest. Erm yet another case of "you haven't got a clue what you are talking about!" try checking the game options before making statements in a forum.

I'm not going to sit here and argue that wow is perfect, it's not, but you are only just dipping your toe into a very successful and highly polished mmo. Yes it can still improve and Blizzard do listen sometimes. For me travel time and durability costs are things that really need sorting out.

To be frank, your post sucks, it lacks any credibility that you actually know what your talking about, and I expect to see you standing in the middle of Ironforge spamming "how do I get a glow on my weapon?" any day soon. You've probably made some good comments, but they just got lost in the retarded ones.

My advice is play the game, learn a lot more about it then in a year or two come back and criticise it, cus atm your opinions have the credibility of George W Bush receiving a Doctorate!
Errrrrmmmm...how long did you actually play the game???
# Jul 17 2008 at 7:24 AM Rating: Decent
33 posts
My dearest Yardin, this was not a forum post; this was an editorial piece written by Allakhazam staff, in which she clearly states that she just started playing the game.
Blah
# Jul 08 2008 at 8:40 AM Rating: Decent
14 posts
posted wrong spot, sorry.

Edited, Jul 8th 2008 12:42pm by Kimid
____________________________
--"There's enough youth in the world... how 'bout a fountain of SMART?
Re: What's all the Fuss?
# Jul 08 2008 at 8:16 AM Rating: Decent
14 posts
After reading your article, I couldn't help but throw my two cents in, in response to your editorial. -- I know it's a lot of text, I put a lot of time into writing it :P

In your first paragraph, you mentioned that you enjoy immersion and lore, but haven't found much yet in World of Warcraft. WoW has more lore stuck into its environment than any game I've ever seen... unfortunately, being a draenei somewhat limits your access to it. Because the draenei just landed on Azeroth, they don't have the kind of long-standing story line that the other races do. All of their story is told in Outlands mostly because that's where they've been living, and that's 60+ content. From day one as a human, night elf, gnome, or dwarf, however, you run into books in taverns around the world telling you snippets of the back story. Walking into Stormwind, there are giant statues of heroes from the previous Warcraft games with plaques detailing each. In Ashenvale, there's a grave marker where Grom Hellscream died fighting Mannoroth. Sometimes you even run into the legendary characters from previous Warcraft games (see: Sylvanas, Varimathras, Illidan, Lady Vashj, Priestess Tyrande, Uther Lightbringer, Prince Kael'thas, etc).

Warcraft 1 was based entirely around the initial invasion of orcs and the war with the humans. Stormwind City and Stromgarde both played a very important part in Warcraft 1 and 2. Stormwind was rebuilt after it's destruction, leading to an entire plot line with the Defias Brotherhood, a Masonic guild turned bandit after they were refused compensation for the restoration of Stormwind. King Wyrnn was captured by the Defias in conjunction with the Shadow Council, which is an arm of warlocks that serve the Burning Legion indirectly. Both the Shadow Council and the Burning Legion have been features of the previous games. The Guardian, Medivh, was possessed by the evil spirit of Sargeras (leader of the Burning Legion) and coerced into creating the Dark Portal, which lead to the original invasion of the orcs. You not only visit Medivh's stronghold (Karazhan), but you actually speak to him directly by visiting the Caverns of Time. In the caverns, there is an event where you must go back in time and maintain the time-line by protecting Medivh from the Infinite Dragon Flight, who seeks to kill him and unravel our very reality. Not only that, the man who gives you this quest is none other than Kadghar himself, Medivh's former apprentice and the same man who killed Medivh's corrupted form and lead an expedition into the Dark Portal to close it. He is alive and well in Outlands, and leads the Sons of Lothar (Lord Lothar is a paladin from Warcraft 1 or 2, now deceased) in resistance against Illidan, the fel orcs....... I can go on for hours about the story lines. The ones I touched on are maybe 2 or 3 out of the thousands of them in the game. The threads of these stories weave in and out of the game so fluidly that you can play the game on several different levels, depending on your desire to immerse yourself in lore or play just to play, which is essentially the goal of every MMO - you decide your level of involvement. It's out there if you want to find it.

As for corpse recovery, I came from EQ1. I remember solo-kiting Plane of Fear on my bard for 4 and a half hours while 3, count em, 3 armies full of people (that's around 180 people) recovered multiple corpses from the area. In that game you lost XP and had to run back to your corpse, not as a ghost, but as your corporeal self - completely naked. You were completely helpless as most of your ability came from gear so if you needed to kill monsters in the way, better hope to God you could get some friends to help. CRs in WoW are much more lenient bordering on "too easy." If there's no penalty for death, then it's easy enough to progress by dumb luck and stubbornness. I, for one, prefer a more rigid penalty for death. If that were the case, being level 70 would mean something more than "I played for X hours and may or may not know what I'm doing."

Another angle on this: the entire point of a role playing game is immersion. There needs to be a mechanism to make you fear death somewhat, because without a penalty for death, people would do much crazier things more often and the line between "good" and "amazing" as a player qualification would be much less defined. When someone defies death in such a way that it could go down in the history books, that's something to cheer about. If death meant nothing, if you could just pick up where you left off with only a bit of cash cost, people would be a lot less inclined to say "I don't want to do that, it's too dangerous," and lean more towards "Yeah, f!$% it, why not." I think the reward for saying you did something awesome and lived to tell about it is worth the risk of the humbling ghost-walk back to your broken body :P

As far as the "don't die!" speech... you're right and wrong there. Death WILL happen. But there's a difference between being explorative and being stupid. Lets face it, no matter how much I would like to go see Iraq right now, as an American citizen, I'm not "high enough level" to go there. By that I mean I haven't received proper training. Now, if I go there and someone kills me, that's my own fault for walking into a war zone unprepared. In the same way, a lenient death mechanic shouldn't allow a level 10 to run around in eastern plaguelands "because they want to explore the game." There's just some places you shouldn't go until you're ready, and you can find out simply by looking at the first enemy you see in the area :P

You mentioned run speed. In the last days of Everquest, there were a million areas to explore and instant transportation access to every one of the "good" XP areas. What this meant was that the average EQ player knew 12 out of 100 zones, but had no clue how to get there on foot, or any idea how big the game was. The true sizes of Norrath and Luclin were absolutely enormous. Being a bard I had a run speed buff, so I explored freely on foot and discovered areas that I'm sure even veteran EQ players had no clue about. To avoid this, Azeroth is constructed in such a way that you have to travel to explore, but once you have charted it you can use the flight masters to get around. I can't tell you how frustrating it is when you get a group of high levels together in a game like EQ and say "hey lets go to X area" and 80% of your people don't know how to get there, die along the way, get lost and can't find their bodies.... count your blessings, the taxi/mount system in WoW lends itself to immersion, a sense of world-sized play area, better skilled playmates. Hooray.

Regenerating food/drink. In the original EQ, there was no mechanic to do this. Instead, you had to sit ALL THE TIME to regenerate your mana. Your mana regen was tied to a meditation skill, and only clicked on when you were sitting. That meant if you were a caster, you were forced into one spot, a "camp." WoW's moving assault type of play is, I think, much more exciting despite the need to occasionally take a break.

Quest text too slow? Defaulted to "instant quest text" as of now, pretty sure. If not, ask in any general channel - you'll get 12 answers on how to do it, and character settings are global so every character you make from the time you make the switch will have instant quest text. With all of the meaningful concerns you posted before, griping about this when there's clearly a setting for it in the interface menu seemed a bit nit-picky :P

As far as the mapping system goes, using allakhazam or thottbot location codes is essentially cheating :P The XP reward is as much for finding the location of the quest as it is for completing it. How much easier do you need it to be? The quests hold you by the hand, give you detailed instructions on how to get there, and if it's an item you need to pick up off the ground, it sparkles :P

In conclusion, I would like to say you're giving World of Warcraft a bit of a bum rap. Being a lowbie, you haven't experienced even a quarter of what the game offers... things like pvp, raid content, flexible character creation from talent specs (which in my opinion is the crowning achievement of WoW -- all of the trees are extremely well balanced). It sounds to me like you're just looking for instant gratification. Any MMO that gives you something like that isn't going to offer a sense of accomplishment, because you get all the warm fuzzies up front.

I know it's a wall of text - thanks for reading it. I put a lot of thought into my responses. I was a bit irritated with some of the critique and was tempted to drop something like "um, L2P nub" but I think part of the problem with the WoW community is that people want to write something like this, but choose the shortcut instead :P Anyways, hope this helped, enjoy WoW'ing or whatever you decide to do. As for me, I've got about 5 70s, and I still keep finding things that make this game interesting for me. Ciao.

James

Edited, Jul 8th 2008 12:27pm by Kimid
____________________________
--"There's enough youth in the world... how 'bout a fountain of SMART?
Re: What's all the Fuss?
# Jul 11 2008 at 4:44 PM Rating: Good
*
170 posts
Quote:
As for corpse recovery, I came from EQ1.


I, too, came from EQ1. I finally quit EQ after five or six years. The thing is, I'm not an inveterate gamer, I don't play any games for hours each and every day. My issues with EQ were such that if I grouped with some good folks on Monday night, by Friday they were often too high a level to group with me again. Also, when dying represented a loss of what, for me, amounted to a week's worth of game time experience-wise, it got quite frustrating.

I always loved exploring, as a kid, going to a new park or bit of woods was quite a treat. To wander a world and discover its hidden secrets was a great pleasure of gaming. Both EQ and WoW are full of such joys. I avoided online gaming for years, playing games resident on my own computer, since game time stopped when I logged off. Diablo II, Morrowind, Oblivion and even Sid Meyer's Pirates were fun for awhile.

Then Blizzard did it. Same sales philosophy as a drug dealer. This Christmastime they offered a month of WoW for free. (C'mere, try this, the first hit is free.) So now I'm playing and paying for WoW.

I like that I don't lose exp for dying, a corpse run is enough of a wrist slap for me. I don't try to do stupid heroic things I think are beyond my character's capabilities. I just enjoy playing.

Z
____________________________
What, me worry? Me have mana!
Re: What's all the Fuss?
# Jul 08 2008 at 8:43 AM Rating: Decent
14 posts
heck, I didn't even mention the little things in the game that make you laugh, like silly NPC names, easter eggs -- One of the game designers is Pat Nagle and there's a character in game named Nat Pagle, there's a quest named The Scrimshank Redemption, quest named "The Kessel Run" (reference to Han Solo's legendary flight in the Millenium Falcon, he talks about it in Star Wars 4)...

And after you read, explore, and find all of the plot lines and back story... after you play Warcraft 3 to better understand all of the things going on in WoW... after you read all the books in all the taverns around the world and catch all of the references to Highlord Mograine, Uther Lightbringer, The Ashbringer, Bartolo Ginsetti, Tirion Fordring, all of the people in Scarlet Monastery (Inquisitor Whitemane, Herod, etc), Captain Sanders, Stalvan Mistmantle, Helcular, Nathanos Marris, Kel'Thuzad.... after you play 4 or 5 characters up to 70 on both sides, horde and alliance, and know and recognize these names and what they all mean...

After you've done all of that, go to Old Hillsbrad in Caverns of Time and head over to Old Southshore for the biggest mindf#@^ of them all...
____________________________
--"There's enough youth in the world... how 'bout a fountain of SMART?
Re: Easter Eggs
# Jul 12 2008 at 1:51 AM Rating: Good
*
170 posts
I found a list of easter eggs in wow some time ago, and searching for it came up with this:
http://www.blizzplanet.com/content/91/

I was astounded at the number of them, but felt that Bliz was pretty cool about such things after watching the infamous South Park episode.

Z
____________________________
What, me worry? Me have mana!
meh
# Jul 08 2008 at 7:28 AM Rating: Default
*
55 posts
I played EQ up until Sept 2004, played it for just over 3 years. It was my first experience with MMO gaming and was very exciting. It was also extremely time exhausting as well. Experience came very slowly and after level 10, it starting costing you exp when you died. I absolutley agree that in the MMO gaming world, you are going to die, period. But what I could never quite understand is how you could actually go backwards an entire level upon dieing. The frustration upon realizing that the gear on your corpse and the new spell are things you can no longer use, until you re-gain your level is absolute.

So while inconvenient, the WoW death process is not so painful as other games. To me, eating and drinking add to the gaming experience, but I believe that being able to eat while riding, for example, should be available as well as when flying. Peanuts anyone?

Traveling in the game of WoW is actually not so very bad, except the Barrnes. ugh. The flight paths are a brilliant addition to the gaming experince and also provide a nice scenic ride to your destination. While I do agree that running from one area to another can take a long time, there are only a few times when I have had to actually run for a huge period of time, say 30 minutes, unless I wanted to get to a specific zone, usually above my current level. In EQ, it was nothing to run forever and hit a new "zone" and run some more. Remember Lake of Ill Omen?
Getting the mount at 40 is a huge accomplisment in the game and is a marking point in your progression. The flying mount was a wonderful addition to the game and is yet another milestone for all players.

Your take on the game is one of a person who has yet to truly play the game. Being of a mind where things should happen now, quickly, before patience is lost does not bode well for your longevity in this game. imho.

So, come back after level 60, which only takes about 30% of the playing time that EQ did, and you can even do it alone and not have to find mobs 5 or 6 levels below youm and then give us a review of the game. I believe you will have a different opinion.

While not perfect, but what is? WoW generates enough playing pleasure, mixed with just enough pain, to keep us coming back for more. And playing this game, you realize that even if you are not a hard-core gamer, you too can reach the endgame.

Edited, Jul 8th 2008 12:06pm by senchen
My 2cp
# Jul 08 2008 at 4:44 AM Rating: Decent
16 posts
I am an old Everquest player, now turned to WoW. Back in the earlier days of Everquest(EQ) when you died you were required to get a rod, run back and try and guess where your corpse was located at. Sometimes people spent as much time looking for their dead bodies as they did playing the game. (EQ finally changed that). Not to mention the loss of experience. People got so paranoid they refused to take on any real challenges for fear of loosing a level.
In WoW I have found it to be much easier on the time. EQ required 6 players to make a group, WoW only 5. Quests in WoW don't require 2 hours of lookups on the net to figure out if it's even worth doing. Same goes with item drops, by color coding the drops it's a whole lot easier to determine if that drop you got is vendor, or actually worth something.
In EQ once I hit the level 60 area, soloing was out of the question (I was a cloth player). You only got advanced by getting into groups. In WoW, I've made 2 level 70's all soloed.
Tradeskills in EQ are worthless for the most part. By the time you can make something you can use, the item is well below what you have gotten in a dungeon, and worthless. Not the case in WoW. I'm still making stuff I can use.
Speed and travel. No one likes to run or ride back if you died. Speed comes with playing. Part of the rewards of leveling is getting new mounts. When the new patch comes out, people will get mounts at level 30. As it is, its level 40. Want to fly? Get the flying mount at level 70 or even the faster epic mount. Still not fast enough, get the carrot and the riding crop. Want more, get the riding chant on your gloves. Cant get a mount yet, get Boars Speed chanted on your boots. WoW has done a lot to increase speed when it come to getting somewhere, in comparison to EQ. They have made it more interesting with the different mounts such as the bear mount from ZA.
The last area I will mention is PVP. WoW has made PVP fun. PVP in EQ was a joke imo. You could try it, but there was no class balance. WoW has balance. A rogue against a mage or pally, has as much of a chance of winning as losing, it's mainly a matter of skill. (Yes, I know gear helps too, but on equal terms of gear, they both have an equal chance of winning).

I'm sure there are games with better game mechanics or even better graphics, but all in all WoW provides a good platform to play for both the new, and experienced players.

Edited, Jul 8th 2008 12:13pm by Auger
Uh....yeah
# Jul 06 2008 at 12:48 PM Rating: Good
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whenever i die, say in an instance run or from a gank while soloing, it irks me. however, im quick to never let it bother me too much, because i have the blessing of perspective. having played FF11, i know **** well what its like to die and lose anywhere from one to four hours of your game time making up that one death. when compared to that, the 5g per-death repair bill i pay on my main is nothing, especially once one considers the ease of wealth acquisition in this game.

in other words, ive had it much MUCH worse. WoW has one of the best (if not THE best) death/penalty systems in game. you lose a bit of time and some money in most cases, and at worst you lose a decent chunk of change and a solid ten minutes while you wait for rez sickness to wear off.
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# Jul 06 2008 at 12:04 AM Rating: Decent
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Well i have to say your ideas about WOW are interesting they are slightly flawed. Like dieing and haveing to run back to your corpse (and as stated in the newest artical on the front page) is much prefed to Exp loss or a long wait to recover your full strength in a game. I have played City of heros/villans and I loath the death penalty where you have to "pay" for dieing with exp before you can actually get exp again to go towards actual lvling again. Also tryed Guild wars and i ended up dieing a few times in a row which weakened my chara enough i could not kill even the beggining monsters in the area i was in. So for me in wow running back to my corpse is no biggy especially with the only draw back is you come back half health and mana which can be recovered fairly quickly. that and you take the slight duribility loss in equipment from dieing which at lower lvls is really all that expensive (couple of copper to a few silver) and higher lvls if you die quests pay for repairs easily. once lvl 70 you have dailys to rely upon for gold and can easily pay for the eventual repair if you let your durability get low enough.

As for run speed yes its annoying at lower lvls and i still loath it every time i make a new chara. though some classes like druid, hunter or shammy get a nice speed increas at lvl 30 the norm is getting your mount at lvl 40 and finnaly being able to move faster. And again at lvl 60 gettign an even fater mount. but over all in the lower lvl areas they really arnt needed since everything is usually close enough together not warrenting a mount.

as far as mmos go i think WOW has one of the better systems in place so you dont lose money (except for repairs from the actual death itself) and you dont lose exp in any form which in my opinion speeds game play up since you dont have to spend hours fighting monsters to try and gain the loss of the exp. and as also stated in the front page artical you dont revive naked haveing to run back to your corpse naked and hopeing to dodge another fatful death which would most likely happen with no armor on. So just be glad that all you have to do is spend a couple min walking back to your corpse and not haveing to worry about really any other downfalls other then that couple of min instead of hours trying to regain that lost lvl.
Hellgate London death system
# Jul 05 2008 at 12:44 PM Rating: Decent
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One of the few good things about Hellgate London is the game's death system.

Upon death, the player gets 3 choices:

1) Port back to last-visited town

Player is sent back to their last-visited subway station. No penalty.

2) Respawn as ghost at entrance to zone

Player appears as a ghost, at the last entrance to the zone they died in. Ghost has super speed, so there is very little waiting during a corpse run. Upon reaching body, player can reanimate with reduced HP/MP but unattackable by monsters for a short time (to allow movement away from monsters to a safe location). Small penalty, reduced XP gain for a few minutes, hardly noticeable.

3) Pay money for instant respawn

Player instantly reanimates with full HP/MP right at place where death happened. No need for a corpse run. Other than having to pay money up front, no penalty.

Very convenient. The only option that really costs the player something is #3, which is optional. Most players choose #2, or if they're tired of playing in that zone, #1 for a free port back to town.
:disappointed:
# Jul 03 2008 at 11:18 AM Rating: Excellent
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You complain about not having something then complain that it's actually there but then you complain because it's an easy on/off option in setup?

WTF?!

Not everyone should have the same setup and every game, every single one, I have ever played has had basic setup options to do. I've never seen a game where I didn't have to adjust options here and there to get it to play the way I like.

You're not a gamer if you don't realize this.



Your whole quest thing is stupid too. Quests are just puzzles. Blizzard has done a great job of keeping the information about quests very easy to follow and understand. You want your hand held all the way to a mob or drop and a red line on your screen telling you where to go the entire time? Where's the challenge? Where's the freedom of exploring? The excitement of the hunt? Blizzard didn't do this because real gamers need a challenge. However at the same time they've made their game extremely customizable and anyone can create ui exponents and abilities they want. Downloading and installing an add-on is almost as fast and simple as turning an option off/on. Why the complaint? If Blizzard had this already you'd be complaining that things were too easy and you shouldn't have your hand held everywhere.


The reason behind WoW's resurrection mechanics are due mainly to problems in pve and pvp in previous mmos. Before you make quick judgment on WoW's mechanics you should get a better feel for what the genre does. It's like a hardcore FPS gamer complaining about a 3rd person adventure game. It's a different genre, different mechanics and gameplay. That's fine if you don't like it but realize that the 'negative' mechanics are usually there for a reason. It sucks if you strike out in baseball but imagine if that rule wasn't there and the other team had a player who wouldn't swing at anything. You'd be there all day. Boring.

MMOs are about interaction, co-operation or challenge, with friends and other players.

WoW gives players a good variety of gameplay. I decide how I want to play; raid, solo, group, arenas, etc. It's kind of like those 3-in-1 type games.

:disappointed:
# Jul 12 2008 at 2:23 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:


Your whole quest thing is stupid too. Quests are just puzzles.


I love the aspect of questing and its giving real exp. I have leveled doing a single quest line. A player in a game like this has the option of grinding solo, grouping, questing or whatever they want to do. I hate the linear game story type games where if you get stuck on one thing you're done. I played several games that were like following stepping stones across a river.... miss one stone and you're not going any further. If you're stuck on a particular quest, leave it for awhile and go do something else. You have options in this sort of game. Too low a level to get past something? Go do something else, level and come back. Or go to the auction house, but a better weapon and armor and come back.

Quote:
Downloading and installing an add-on is almost as fast and simple as turning an option off/on.


Yeah, Bliz was cool with allowing addons. The Atlas is a great help. And, yeah, you can have it or not, just like you can look up a quest on Alla or not. The player has all the options.

Z
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# Jul 03 2008 at 11:02 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm not entirely sure that your giving WoW the credit it deserves. As a former Final Fantasy Online veteran I had my doubts about World of Warcraft at the start. My friends convinced me to "try" WoW and me being the stubborn person that I am spent the first 20 levels complaining about how it was no fun and this would only be the 30 day free trial. But then something happened. I cancelled my FFXI account and became a full on WoW junkie. Making the change from any game that you enjoy playing is a difficult transition. There are a few things you should take into consideration about getting the most out of your WoW experience.

Very few games are all that exciting in the beginning. Its a given that you will have to spend the first 20 levels getting accustomed to the interface and your class specifics. I highly suggest that you look for a guild that takes on low levels as this will be a good source of game information without having to call the non-existant GM's.

If your not on an all PvP server go ahead and change to one. Come level 20-25 this is going to add a whole new plateau of excitement to the game. Sure it makes you easy prey for the high level jerks, but Contested zones are the best places to level. Getting stabbed (or stabbing someone) in the back adds a nice refreshing break from grinding monsters/quests all day. It can also give you that adrenaline rush your looking for in a video game as you get to higher levels. And lets be honest, Role Playing servers are for 30 year old virgins.

As for the death system I feel your pain (slaps knee). While it does suck having to run to your corpse, choosing to let the spirit healer revive you does not mean your SoL. It just means your gonna have to be carefull. Plan on hearthing back to town and working on your crafts for the next 10-20 minutes. This will help with the frustration of dying excessively. I find that quite often the ressurection sickness counts down extremely fast due to my uncanny ability to spend money on materials for enchanting and constant guild chatter.

I know you'll begin to see the WoW "hype" after you've spent a good 50-60 levels in the game. At that point your trapped and not going anywhere. This is when the real frustration will begin. The fact that the game never ends.

Enjoy


WoW and all that jazz
# Jul 03 2008 at 10:47 AM Rating: Good
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WoW is an OCD game. For me, that is perfect. If you enjoy collecting things, spending countless hours trying to obtain reputation, and amassing gold to buy one item, then it is for you. If you want something a little less intensive on time, then WoW will never fill that need. It isn't intended to. The first 20-30 levels suck. Plain and simple. Unless you twink, you will not find all the glitz and glam of WoW until at least level 40 when you finally get your first mount (Yes, I know 30's are getting them soon, but for now it is 40). And the game really opens up when you reach the Outlands. Finally, there is hitting 70 and collecting your Epic gear, doing Arena, and raids. Blizzard has realized what works for them (The 70's Club) and they have taken steps to help people get there faster with increased exp, low level mounts and faster rep. If you truly feel WoW is not for you, try this simple test: Stop playing for two weeks. If during that 2 week time you don't feel the urge to log back into your toon and see if you can get a group for an instance or buy better equipment from the Auction House or any number of other things, then it is not for you. If you do though, welcome to the World of Addiction. :)
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# Jul 03 2008 at 10:19 AM Rating: Excellent
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I remember when I first started Warcraft over 2 years ago. I had great expectations from everything I'd heard and read. The first couple of hours I couldn't understand what all the fuss was, either. It was mildly entertaining, but didn't seem revolutionary.

But the next day I found myself wanting to play again, and without ever realizing exactly when or how it happened, I was completely addicted. Digital crack, indeed.

My complaints with WoW are very few. I always thought mounts should be available at a lower level, and for less gold, and they've addressed both these complaints in the soon-to-be-released patch (although a couple years late, in my opinion). That's about it. I can't find much else to complain about.

Corpse running is annoying, but it's worse in most other games. There has to be a penalty to give people incentive to die as infrequently as possible.

To each his own; if it's not your cup of tea, that's fine. But I'm very curious about what other games are tempting you away from WoW. I've never found anything that even comes close, personally.
missing options essentially
# Jul 03 2008 at 10:10 AM Rating: Excellent
A lot of the things that you're complaining about, such as the quest speech thing, are simply options that you haven't found in the interface. Quest speech can be instant. You can rez immediately if you wish, you don't have to run to your corpse. There isn't even a penalty for this at low levels. Running is annoying sure, but you really don't need to do much and at 30 you get a really cheap mount, so even that problem goes away pretty quickly.
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# Jul 03 2008 at 9:54 AM Rating: Excellent
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It sounds to me like your biggest problems with this game are all a time issue. Run speed, corpse-runs, NPC quest texts, etc. where I agree that this all takes up a large portion of time, it is what separates players. If all of this was faster it would make leveling any toon way too easy and you would never see anything but twinks and 70's.

You did mention that you were into the lore of games, and WoW certainly has a lot that can be seen within the quest text.

Also, as your running, it gives you the chance to talk to guildies and such without having to worry about dying because you weren't using the right spell rotation while trying to talk (all of this can be solved with ventrillo, but I dont have it).

Since you metioned your issues with travel, I do have one complaint/wish. I wish that Blizz would make fflightpoints like the zeppelins and boats where it has a few seconds after takeoff, and a few before landing, and skips the time in between. I HATE 8 minute flights. This could also be solved by putting in more boat docks and/or more zeppelins.
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# Jul 03 2008 at 9:52 AM Rating: Excellent
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I totally agree. I am currently working up 2 70 in terrokar with my hunter at lvl 67. I have spent the est part of 3 days looking for groups for the endless number of group quests that are in terrokar. If a 70 hadnt helped me with 2 of them i would have abandon and gone on to nagrand because NO ONE wants to help anyone anymore in this game. On another point i have been lvling my priest and im jsut doing instances while rested to lvl up instead of solo questing (too slow for me) and 2 out of 3 instance i run when we dont have a 5th someone chimes in "I know a 70 (or really high lvl not necessarily 70) that can run us through" What happened to the days when people wanted some challenge in their games and not just skim through instance and quests with the help of higher levels...
Nice read
# Jul 03 2008 at 9:39 AM Rating: Excellent
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Nice read. I would agree with you on most of your points. I do however prefer the wow style of death myself, compared to XP loss or other methods in other games. The punishment of dying is time.

I also like the style of running, making players have to purchase items just to make the game not horrible (run speed potions, etc) is not a lot of fun for the early gamer.

And you should of seen the early days, the option of instant quest text didn't even exist! You needed an addon to do that for you. :)

Nice post AK, looking forward to your future fealings, and Word's feedback.
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# Jul 03 2008 at 9:15 AM Rating: Decent
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Who are you again, get DF in here I want a real admin to play with.

Smiley: nod
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# Jul 03 2008 at 9:21 AM Rating: Excellent
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bodhisattva wrote:
Who are you again, get DF in here I want a real admin to play with.

Smiley: nod


Hey doll, sup?
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# Jul 03 2008 at 9:27 AM Rating: Default
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Doing well pumpkin, can you tell the new girl that we need less posting and moar bewb pics.
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# Jul 03 2008 at 9:30 AM Rating: Excellent
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See my post below somewhere.
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# Jul 03 2008 at 9:33 AM Rating: Decent
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I would but the page is bugging out for me, posts are placed in random order and unless I go back and click the original link any post after the post I replied to is removed so I cant see the whole thread.

Kind of wonky,
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# Jul 03 2008 at 9:41 AM Rating: Excellent
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Post in feedback would ya? That might need to be looked at. I said her tits were yummy.
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# Jul 03 2008 at 9:47 AM Rating: Decent
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Basically my replies are linking under the person I replied to not in order like an actual thread. Not sure if that is the way its meant to be but its odd. Also like I said when I reply to your post I wills see my reply and yours and thats it until I hit the original link /shrug

As for her tits, as the saying goes "at least she is a looker cause she sure as sh'it ain't smart". Feel free to describe them in detail for me or send me a PM with a pic. I need to get something other than going through the motions of demeaning a sh'it poster for the 6,000 time out of this thread.
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# Jul 03 2008 at 9:09 AM Rating: Decent
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But I've always found that the first 20 levels of any game will either catch or release you from its grasp,


I think more than anything that WoW is, now more than previously, more or less dependent on having a high level friend to help you. But then again, the next expansion comes out in four months, so that may have something to do with it. I don't want to sound discouraging, but I like to think I'm an avid player of WoW, and recently have become disillusioned in playing my toons anymore... But part of that is due to the people on my server, so it may be a little different. If you've had the opportunity to run instances or try out a battleground, I think maybe those are some of the more fun things you can do in the game (depending on your preference of PvE vs. PvP).

And, of course, WoW may not be the game for everyone. If you like it after everything, you like it. If you don't, you don't.
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# Jul 03 2008 at 10:53 AM Rating: Good
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actually battelground and also arena is not really very funny, because in low-lvl you have all the pvp-twinks and in high-lvl it is only the real pvp-players with all the enchants and things

so if you are pve-specced your just screwed in pvp nowadays
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# Jul 03 2008 at 9:02 AM Rating: Default
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Don't mistake my observation that your observationss were pointless and trite as being an observation that you dislike the game, I am already running on the assumption that you are only half bright since you took a job as an admin for Alla's, don't make me assume that you need to be reminded not to breathe through your mouth.
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# Jul 06 2008 at 5:50 AM Rating: Decent
i whole heartedly agree with you....

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# Jul 03 2008 at 9:08 AM Rating: Excellent
bodhisattva wrote:
Don't mistake my observation that your observationss were pointless and trite as being an observation that you dislike the game, I am already running on the assumption that you are only half bright since you took a job as an admin for Alla's, don't make me assume that you need to be reminded not to breathe through your mouth.

OMG!! I HAVE MY OWN TROLL!!!

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#bodhisattva, Posted: Jul 03 2008 at 9:09 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) I do this for everyone, sugar tits.
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# Jul 03 2008 at 9:13 AM Rating: Excellent
bodhisattva wrote:
I do this for everyone, sugar tits.

Oh damn... can't I call you mine, just for a day?
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# Jul 03 2008 at 9:21 AM Rating: Excellent
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She does have sugar tits, sweet and yummy!
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# Jul 03 2008 at 9:01 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'll go ahead and add my two cents early. I dislike WoW as a game for me. Not that it's a bad game, lots of people love it. But me not liking it doesn't make me evil, anti-Blizzard, or wrong. It just means it's not the game for me!

I agree with most of AK's findings, and all together, it means that WoW just isn't my cup of tea.

One of the great things about this genre is that there are games for all of us! Journalistic covering is not what we do here. We're about gamers giving their opinions of the games we all love. Anyone is welcome to write a rebuttal, or a review of their own, and submit it to editorial AT allakhazam DOT com or use this link!
Interesting view
# Jul 03 2008 at 9:01 AM Rating: Excellent
Interesting points on the game. A few problems that I have:

You have the option to resurrect (as you noted) right at the spirit healer, you take a durability debuff (as you mentioned in EQ/EQ2) and have a lessened HP (resurrection sickness) for a short duration (maxed at 10 minutes).

I think that the reason there is a run-to-your-corpse is because it puts at least some penalty on dying, and compared to most other MMOs the one in WoW is very very minor. No XP loss/de-leveling/XP-debt (as in EQ and Vanguard) and other things where you take much more loss when you die, almost making you not want to risk anything for the chance that you will lose the last 3 hours that you spent leveling, or finishing the day with LESS experience then when you started.

As for the options thing, maybe I am unique, but the very first thing that I do when I install a game is head to the options menu, change my video/sound/keyboard/mouse settings to get it the way that I want it. I go through and check every setting to see what it does as many things, of course, are not defaulted on and maybe I will want them.
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Interesting view
# Jul 03 2008 at 9:50 AM Rating: Good
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think more than anything that WoW is, now more than previously, more or less dependent on having a high level friend to help you. But then again, the next expansion comes out in four months, so that may have something to do with it.
Utter tripe.

WoW is hugely solo friendly, the Quests are now tweaked to give even more Xp than before, I didn't start playing until after outlands was the place to be and yet my server is full to the brim of alts and newbies leveling.

In fact my only leveling issue is occasionally having to wait for a spawn due to the amount of players leveling alts having got bored of high end.
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Interesting view
# Jul 03 2008 at 5:47 PM Rating: Excellent
That and Blizzard made it even easier to level some of the more difficult quests at lowbie areas by getting rid of the elite-nes.
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# Jul 03 2008 at 8:59 AM Rating: Decent
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Your problem is you're only lvl 20. Your class usually doesn't start to stand out and be fun until like lvl 30+ and unless your a hardcore PvE person, 99% of the fun to be had with WoW is at lvl 70. I hate leveling alts, but I do it to learn the class and get to 70 asap. WoW at 70 is a completely different game than WoW under 70.
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# Jul 03 2008 at 8:52 AM Rating: Default
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Not that your opinion matters in any way shape or form but if the worst you have to **** about is run speed (and believe me travel in wow is a bajillion times easier than trying to get around RoK) and running 30 seconds back to your body (which is actually less negative on time than a 10% xp that you have to pay off as you go in terms of smooth leveling) then you really have to ask yourself "is it really that bad or am I nitpicking".

Edited, Jul 3rd 2008 12:55pm by bodhisattva
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# Jul 03 2008 at 8:57 AM Rating: Excellent
You're correct - my opinion doesn't matter in any way, shape or form - except to me, of course.

My "nitpicks" are more things that I see as a new player. Sure, I could be more accustomed to another style of play, and this is something new and different. I'm still playing the game, working to get myself more involved with it. Which is why I invite people to show me what makes this game so fantastic for them.

I never said I didn't like WoW - so please don't mistake my observations as a dislike. They're merely... observations. And I already knew that not many people would agree with me.
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# Jul 03 2008 at 6:39 PM Rating: Good
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AutumnKiss wrote:
You're correct - my opinion doesn't matter in any way, shape or form - except to me, of course.

My "nitpicks" are more things that I see as a new player. Sure, I could be more accustomed to another style of play, and this is something new and different. I'm still playing the game, working to get myself more involved with it. Which is why I invite people to show me what makes this game so fantastic for them.

I never said I didn't like WoW - so please don't mistake my observations as a dislike. They're merely... observations. And I already knew that not many people would agree with me.


hmm...

I'm a Gamer, I've played my share of mmo's and single player games.. When I read your artical my Jaw dropped.
Your nickpicks at best were very petty at best.
I honestly wondered (after the 1st few sentences)
have you actualyed played other other games??? as a FFXI player currently (I miss Wow ; ; ) That is what I was wondering.

Vary poorly done imo

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# Jul 04 2008 at 9:12 AM Rating: Good
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917 posts
I agree with the above post.
I have not played any other MMO than WoW, but the rezzing and running speed did not seem big problems at all. About the rezzing I have heard, like others have mentioned already, that it is a much smaller problem/penalty than in other MMOs.
And about the quest text option, you say that you have played many games but then you say you don´t like to check the options? So why complain for a setting easily changed that you chose to ignore?
The review is very disappointing in my opinion, focusing on very few aspects of the game and focusing very much on minor ones.

"Yes, I like challenge. No, I'm not lazy." Your review does not show that at all I am afraid.

"Half of my play time could be spent running back to an area I want to be in after I died." In that case you either have such limited playtime that you would do better to not play at all, or you are playing your character naked with no weapon and no skill at all.
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