Thursday, September 11, 2008 03:51 PM
(Last updated on Monday, November 10, 2008 02:40 PM)
WoW
 by Fëanor

This past weekend, my brother and sister-in-law were good enough to help me fill in a gap in my geek experience by having me over and letting me use one of their accounts to play World of Warcraft. (Thanks again, guys!) I chose to play as a Night Elf Hunter named Fëanor (natch). I found the control scheme a little awkward, but learned later there are other ways to play that probably would have fit me better, and that I think I would have gotten used to over time. As a game, it's actually quite similar to Diablo II in many ways. I found myself nodding in recognition at a lot of the things I was seeing. Of course, there are many differences, as well. Item and character management are a little easier, in that you don't have to be constantly playing Tetris in your inventory, and you don't have to stop and make a bunch of complex decisions every time you level up (although I kind of miss that a bit, as it means there's less chance to craft your character - but I understand that later on there are skill trees similar to those in Diablo II that actually do provide that kind of experience). From talking to my brother, it sounds like what you do in the game changes a great deal as you continue to advance in it, with more of the world opening to you, and more options, abilities, and items becoming available to you as you hit different level plateaus. The part of the game I saw involved me walking from one person to another and receiving quests of various sorts from them, which I could then complete in any order I wanted. Some involved finding items, one was timed, and most involved killing monsters. I didn't go much beyond the early tutorial-type part of the game, so it never seemed particularly challenging or even all that exciting. In fact, it was a little repetitive. But, like I said, I understand that it changes a lot as you keep going, and there are lots of things I didn't try.

I don't believe I've ever really played a massively multiplayer online game, so it was interesting and a little eerie to be roaming this huge world and very often running into other players doing their own thing, which would sometimes affect me. They might kill a monster I had planned to kill, for instance, or help me by casting a spell on me - or I might find them lying dead by the side of the road (not very encouraging!). My brother and his wife's sister logged on, as well, and I met them in the game. My brother killed some monsters for me, and Claire was good enough to craft some items for my character. I found it very difficult to keep track of, and participate in, in-game conversations while also playing the game, but I assume that's a skill you pick up as you go. It was also a little weird to be talking to my brother in the real world, and in a virtual world, both at the same time.

I feel like I understand WoW slightly better than I did before, but there's still this whole culture and language there of which I barely scratched the surface. It's fascinating to me, but more as an abstract thing than as something I really want to dive into. As I believe I've mentioned before on this site, I was a little afraid that once I played the game once, I'd become addicted and lose my life to it, like some people do. But I think I'm safe. It's been a number of days now, and I haven't experienced a crushing desire to log back on. I definitely see the attraction of the game, and if I had easy access to it, I'm certain I would keep playing. But given that it would suck up a lot of my money and time to get into it... I think I'll stick with Diablo.
Tagged (?): Diablo II (Not), Video games (Not)



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Welcome to the blog of Jim Genzano, writer, web developer, husband, father, and enjoyer of things like the internet, movies, music, games, and books. For a more detailed run-down of who I am and what goes on here, read this.

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