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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Late to the Game: World of Warcraft


I mentioned WoW here, and got it before the Steam sale (where I bought a ton of new games). And I did create that blog I talked about, although it's hard not just regurgitating events. Turns out WoW is not as social a game as I thought. At least not at the low levels. I'm at level nine and I really haven't had to interact with anybody. But I've put in about five hours or so and feel I can deliver a verdict on the game that's become a worldwide phenomenon, multiple award winner, created an entire conference, media tie-ins, an Emmy-winning episode of South Park, and billions of dollars of revenue.

It's not very fun.

I mean, it's all right. It's about as fun as a Facebook game, with about as much depth. All you do is walk somewhere, talk to or kill something, then go back. Fighting takes no strategy. I only have one offensive spell and a handful of largely-useless defensive ones, because all the enemies are one-on-one and my health regens after each battle. No puzzles and no tactical planning. So it's essentially click-click-click, which I've criticized before.


If you're a priest (like me), there's even less variety of gameplay. Part of my purpose in being a healer was to help in groups -- they're a coveted position. Well, there's no groups yet. There's just me, walking back and forth between farms and getting lost in a city that's too big for my level.

There are a few irks regarding the trial version in that you can't send mail, can't talk to people higher than you. That's not a real impact to the gameplay, but it means you can't participate in the things that make World of Warcraft fun.

And the rest of the time you're micromanaging yourself, figuring out what buttons do what, and looking on forums just to figure out how to sell something because there's no instructions in the game, no hint system, and poorly designed interface. Half the game feels like a desktop application, with windows and dragging. Grand Theft Auto has more gameplay depth than this -- there you have to run, choose weapons, steal the right vehicles. This... this is just busywork.

At this point I'm more into playing Lego Lord of the Rings. It's the same deal. You've got party members with multiple abilities, swords and sorcery, immediate resurrection on death. And you get the bonus of watching cute Lego guys walking around.

What an adorable couple

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