Trying to Avoid WoW... and Failing

Trying to Avoid WoW... and Failing

I, like about 8 or so million other people worldwide, have a fever. And the only cure is more World of Warcraft, or so I thought.

For a long time, I was one of the devout -- the addicted, if you will. I distinctly remember buying the game on its November 23, 2004 release date, and logging into (or at least, trying to) the packed, day-one servers. It took me about half an hour to decide on my first character choice, a painful decision that most fans of the genre can surely attest to. Picking a class that matches one's playing style can be an agonizing experience at first, and the last thing I wanted to do was get stuck playing through the game's "newb zones" ad nauseum.

Drakh the mighty human Paladin was born shortly in the evening of the 23rd on the PvP-friendly realm of Kil'Jaeden. And for the most part, life was grand. As I tended to keep odd and/or busy hours in college, I found that playing as a Paladin allowed me to solo a lot of the game's non-party-necessary content, and when I needed to rely on others, I made for a half-decent healer.

Paladins, for the uninitiated, are the half-healing/half-tanks of the game -- you can absorb a good deal of damage and hold out for a decent bit of time against most enemies, provided you make good use of your fancy little abilities. And while they do heal, they're hardly as effective as the game's Priest class. Then again, healing priests can't really do that much attacking damage, et cetera. Balance, balance, balance.

Anyway, as I mentioned, life in the virtual world was pretty grand. Little Drakh made it through his baby years with not much trouble, and chugged all the way to a mighty level 47 before he felt like busting Horde heads instead of an endless barrage of computer-controlled critters. Alas, this was to be my undoing, as I quickly learned a tragic fact of Paladin Life while on the PvP battlegrounds: they suck. Or, rather, their hybrid nature makes it tough to be a truly effective killing machine when compared to the other classes. Sure, you can heal... a little. Or you can stun enemies... once every five minutes. Or you can whack them with your hammer... which does hardly as much damage as a few Rogue backstabs, et cetera. In short, I found that they were too "jack of all trades" for my liking, which in my MMORPG mindset, is a character's death sentence.

About a week after he began PvPing, Drakh was no more; that version, at least. For in his place came Drakh #2 -- same name, mind you, but different character. While I'm normally inclined to magic-tossing classes in most RPGs I play, I felt like being totally different this time around, as WoW fatigue was starting to slightly set in and I needed something fresh to keep me entertained. Hence Drakh the Rogue -- a stealthy assassin that made me cackle with glee every time I stumbled across some poor horde Mage soloing in the wild. Easy meat.

I took that guy all the way to 60, but since no guild ever needs rogues, I was only able to burn through the "typical" endgame content. Alas, 40-man raids were not going to be in my future. It was frustrating, and my general feelings of cyber-inadequacy were compounded by my increasingly busy school schedule. And social life, or lack thereof; it's hard to go out when you're running one instance a night. I ended up quitting WoW in early 2006, as the endgame simply required more time than I had available to contribute. And if I wasn't playing 25+ hours a week, why bother paying $15 a month just for the occasional Battlegrounds visit?

Ever since WoW's expansion came out, I've been fighting the urge to jump back into the game again. The thought of new content -- flying mounts?! -- is just too tempting. Too tempting. And I must confess, the (far-away) dream of going toe-to-toe with Illidan is simply too awesome to pass up. And new battlegrounds? And world PvP? Hmm.

I still worry that the game hasn't changed much since I last left it: that endgame content is still dominated by the power guilds who aren't LFM, that certain classes are virtually worthless in said endgame, and that, as before, I'll have to give up my crazy Californian social life just to experience all the joys of a... virtual... world. And we know how I feel about that. And this is going to sound purely selfish, but part of me still can't get over the selling-of-all-the-items, delete-the-character experience from when I quit. Yes, I know, I should have just kept him going on Blizzard's servers. I'm a damn fool, but I was also assuming that I'd never, never, never jump into Azeroth ever again. Might as well play nice, sell the stuff, and donate it to the guild bank, right?

I feel like I'm in a bit of a lull right now, games-wise. Aside from the week or so I spent beating C&C3, there just isn't really anything out there right now that I'm dead-set on playing. Yes, there's always Guitar Hero, but one's wrist can only take so much daily punishment. Jumping into WoW might be the best possible decision for me right now, but it's a tough decision -- playing an MMO tends to sap one's time (and interest) for playing other games, depending on your level of obsession. I just worry that I'll get hooked again and have very little to show for it a year down the line, save for another deleted account.

Is WoW the ticket, or should I look elsewhere for my multiplayer gaming fix? I suppose I could always wait for Warhammer...

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elrabin

I've been playing since launch and I still have fun with WoW. I'm not in an uber-guild and I mostly solo or small group play. I have four characters on my account and that's it. Three are level 70 and the fourth is on his way up.

The guild I'm in is mostly real life friends and it's fun to get online and help each other out or pick random instances to do. We've never done anything more than a 10 man raid.

My point is, WoW is still fun for a lot of people, even those who have been playing since day one. It just depends on what you're looking for out of the game.

I really enjoyed exploring the new areas in the expansion. I really enjoyed getting my first flying mount. I have never enjoyed grinding for epic items just for the sake of having them.

I think that's where most people get burned out on the game. I know many people who got into raiding guilds and would spend five hours two nights a week just doing one 40-man raid, over and over until they got the drop they wanted. All of those people have quit the game. It was like they set a personal goal of getting all epic gear and then got burned out because they were running the same instances over and over.

Is that a fault of the game? Yes. It shouldn't be designed so that it's your only option to get the leet epics. But at the same time players have the option of not getting all epics and enjoying all the other aspects of the game.

I'm not a fanboi. I don't bleed WoW if you cut me. But it's still fun and a lot of people have forgotten that fun is what it's supposed to be.

My 2 cents anyway.

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jamielucinda

Word on the street: Some chick has all your old gold from when you vendored/AH'd all your stuff.

You should gank it from her.

;)

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oihorse

If you are looking for the ultimate in fun PVP gaming that enables you to play with any of your friends at any time at any levels and still be effective then check out Planetside.

Sony's red-headed stepchild of a game is still really, really fun to play, you don't have to give up your life to see everything the game has to offer, and you don't have to rely on Outfits (guilds) to get all the cool stuff.

While grouping up enables you to pull off grander things, there's nothing you can't do solo in game that you can do with 10-30 guys. Plus, there's no FPS out there that can touch it's truly huge battles (300+ guys in one area).

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Nuxes

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/01/24

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sc123

It's in beta and the localization is horrid, but it's fun and you control three characters at the same time - http://www.swordofthenewworld.com/. Free beta play with a Fileplanet.com account.

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graill

i am one of those that prescribe to "first impressions" . Wow is AOL with a different wrapper. its a simple game that anyone....can play. everything is done for you down to the smallest detail, simply click one or two buttons or hit one or two keystrokes and everything is done for you, simple things for simple minds (no offense to anyone still playing wow). The big draw in wow is sadly only one thing, epics. gear and weapons make the character in WOW nothing else, the arguments that skill is the deciding factor, nope sorry, its the loot, that and macros...and macros...and macros.......

wow has no endagme worth mentioning, the everquest devs taking over wow ruined the storyline. it has tons of content a large portion of the population will never see, because the haves and have nots are the rule of the day in WOW. the art dept needs an academy award for creating "things" that kids want. If you say your hooked on wow because of the pvp, ahem, please.

After wasting money on the burning crusade, and 3 years of hope (the first year was enjoyable i will admit) i called it, deleted my toon, and yes, threw the collectors edition in the trash (oh my! blashpemy!) i am better for it.

WOW copied kings quest and......(that was a joke) anyway, better, newer games are out there, LOTR, Warhammer..soon, and wow is being left behind, deny deny, yes it is.

Oh, i heard the fishing skill now yields a fish everytime........incredible!, makes me want to run mindlessly back.... (sarcasm for those not getting it)

When it comes right down to it, if you type a piece on wow saying how hard it is to stay away because of this or that, you have a problem that you might want to look at.

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Avery

Leave WoW alone, look to the future. This is kind of a dull time for mmorpg's, but on the horizon we have Age of Conan and Warhammer a few months after. Reading up on these games are more enthralling than a trip back to Azeroth. WoW has had its day, time spent on there is worthless now, BC was disapointing. Slippery slope ahoy! The WoW mass migration has begun just look and read around. The public want new innovative aspects in there games not rehashed crap.

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mentalhawk

The game has changed TREMENDOUSLY! No longer are those super guilds around with the beefy looking gear. No longer do I drop my jaw in awe. 40 Man raids? No thank you, I think I will keep to the 25 mans in Burning Crusade. Not enough time for a 25 man raid? No problem! I'll go do a heroic instance (which is a basically Hard Mode, that drops those oh so precious purple goodness, epic items).

The game has taken a turn from the EQ addicts 8 hour raiding and geared for the people who want to pop on for a couple hours here and there and not miss out. As far as little Drakh the Paladin is concerned, he is the single most effective healing class in said instances and preferred over a priest. Giving that his pvp skills has not softened since the days you have played, as a matter of fact they were redesigned to do more damage! Rogues however still do what they do best, doing it from behind...

I have enjoyed WoW from its release and will continue to do so. Warhammer, however, is still looking mighty fine.

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