I don’t talk much about MMORPG’s because I don’t really play them anymore. I’ve mentioned Wildstar once or twice and I have a couple max level characters on Rift with some very fancy dimensions (because decorating is awesome) but World of Warcraft and I have an interesting yet troublesome history.
Back in the day I played a game known as Asheron’s Call. It was my first online game and I was highly addicted to it. The game is still around and people still pay a monthly fee to enter the world of Dereth. Asheron’s Call was known for free monthly content updates a tradition they have continued for ten years. Every month new armor, new quests…new everything. My best friend in the world I met playing this game and we were about six thousand miles apart.
I was introduced to World of Warcraft by a friend. I logged in on his account and tinkered for a bit. I didn’t get it. Instances? It looked like a cartoon. I couldn’t really put skill points where I wanted to put them and instead found myself frustrated with the talent system and the UI. After a few hours I left it. For a year.
I wound up buying the game out of sheer boredom when Burning Crusade launched. The servers were down forever and I left it again for a week or so.
I can’t pinpoint the moment I became hooked on the game but I’m pretty sure it was in my first instance and I met the Holy Trinity. Tank, Healer and DPS. The idea of working together to accomplish something really impacted me. I wanted to do more, learn more and keep pressing on to see what else Blizzard had in store for me.
World of Warcraft will be that game which holds a special space on my gaming shelf. The immersive storyline and the engaging lore sucked me in to the tune of $15.00 a month, not counting expansions. The first time our guild took down the Lich King there was a tank, 3 dps and a healer (me) left and I literally jumped out of my chair screaming.
We downed Onyxia Pre and Post level 60. Amazing, although I found myself highly frustrated with people who couldn’t stand on the right side of her without getting tail whipped into the whelps.
No other game has been able to provoke an emotional response out of me like World of Warcraft has. Ever.
Then Cataclysm came. It was an abomination unto the gods. The old development crew left to go work on the now defunct “Titan” project and the new development crew came in and changed everything they hated – and if you were a healer, and I was you know that we were grabbing our ankles on the front yard. The changes made to the game were too much, too extreme, too poloraizing and too fast. The game went from being fun, to being irritating.
Sure I got my flame bird mount thing from grinding tons of quests. Sure we took down Deathwing…but it wasn’t fun. The grind was too much and the new mana system flat out stupid. Still I can’t find anyone who fully embraces those changes, instead what you find is that people tolerate it. Not long into Cataclysm I cancelled my subscription and played a month or two here and there but the love was dissipating.
Mists of Pandaria was announced and I looked at it. Pandas? Really? No…really? Still I hoped that Blizzard would learn something from their pasts mistakes and do something to take us back to the good ole’ days.
Mists of Pandaria was worse (if you can believe it) in the grinding area. No longer could you grind rep with tabards, now you were forced to do the daily quests from hell. They never stopped. Want to have a farm? Here do 9000 dailies. Want a cool cloud serpent mount? More dailies. Want some shitty armor you’ll outgrow after your first Raid Finder? Seriously do we live in China? What the fuck Blizzard?
I hated doing dailies for my stupid mount in Cataclysm…the fiery one whatever it was called but I did it because I wanted my 100 mount achievement. Apparently Blizzard said oh they love daily quests! Fuckers.
This week we got new iMacs…the nice 27″ with Haswell i7′s and the 4gb Nvidia card. I said what the hell and tossed Blizzard a $20.00 to see how the game played. The game plays awesome if you don’t mind the game sucking and the ridiculous amount of add ons you need to play it these days.
By the way, most servers are dead. This is why Blizzard is combining them and pissing everyone off with cross realms. Statistically the game is on the decline. Subs are dropping, servers are empty…Hell I logged into Stormwind at peak time and I saw a rabbit and the same three student npc witches wandering around having the same conversation they’ve been having for the past near decade. Bitches, if you haven’t figured out the answer you’re not going to now shut the fuck up.
Leveling is boring even with heirloom. Queue times are long for most anything you do and the economy is wrecked. I’m sitting on 120k gold and have no idea what to do with it. I guess I could buy that 90,000 parrot pet on the AH that doesn’t do a fucking thing but you can call me cheap.
Trade chat is still inhabited by the same seven year olds who are obsessed with Anal Obsidian Daggers…they make me want to snap my keyboard.
But given the low population levels, the shitty economy the kids who still seem to control chat in the major cities…and those really bad tanks…there’s just something magical about the game. Hovering above Stormwind and looking over the city at 140fps you can see the amount of detail Blizzard put into their baby. You can see flocks of birds passing over…rats running in the streets and the lighthouse keeping watch over the harbor.
No other developer has created such a beautiful immersive world. The game still has a quality about it that beckons you to come back.
So, I’ll play for the month. It might not have the same excitement level that hooked me on the game so many years ago. I’ve also read that the lead producer for their next expansion was the guy who headed the Lich King expansion so yes, I’ll probably buy it…even if I only play for a couple of months…because…nostalgia.