Tuesday, 1 February 2011


I need to do something, anything to stop me staring at the Spreadsheet of Doom (aka the wedding costs spreadsheet) before I go (even more) bonkers than I already am.  Poor Himself must be wondering who abducted his bonkers (but-in-a-way-he-understands) fiancee and replaced her with bridezilla. So off I toddled to Blog Azeroth (my go-to 'I need to blog but have no inspiration' site) to see if anything gripped me and came up blank.  The current topic 'Digging Archaeology' doesn't apply as I... umm... haven't, and the previous topic 'What causes an encounter to click?' doesn't really apply either as I haven't raided in the best part of a year.  Le sigh.  Inspiration, why hast thou deserted me? Happily my blogging circle of lurve means that sometimes comments lead to thoughts, and thoughts lead to the germ of an idea for a post.  So for this I thank Kam, Saga and Jen for their input on my last rambling post (yes, I'm now going to have pink linkies because it makes me happy) and Himself who tried the beta for another MMO last week, but appears to have gotten bored very quickly and returned to WoW.

Azeroth really does seem to exert a hold over people.  Despite all the much publicised WoW-hate within the MMO blogging community (and sometimes within the WoW blogging community itself) it's still a phenomenally successful game whether you agree with the game tweaks and the numbers or not. I've never tried another MMO.  Most of the people I know in-game (which isn't huge number admittedly, but is a fair few) haven't either (I'm not counting CoD as an MMO by the way...)  Some have flirts, one night stands, or short flings with other games, but return to WoW.  In my experience, people quit playing for a load of different reasons, but I don't think (and I'm racking my brains here) that I know anyone who's stopped playing because they've been lured away by another MMO.

The game Himself has been playing (dire intro aside - really, WTB decent voice actors???!) seemed to be to be kinda ok.  It looked like WoW, but then I'm led to believe that a lot of games do, and that WoW's interface came from Everquest or whatever anyway.  (There is nothing new in the world.  Le sigh again. Oh ennui, why doest thou hound me?)  It certainly was pretty.  Pretty and shiny.  Which, interestingly, didn't hold much appeal for Himself.  He likes WoW graphics - the fact that they are slightly... cartoon-like... isn't quite the phrase I'm looking for, but it'll have to do.  I liked the game he was experimenting with because the graphics were more... realistic.  Again, not the right phrase.  Bah.  My daughters, plugged in via boy mates to CoD and the like, roll their (heavily mascara'd) eyes at WoW for many reasons, but one of the things that bugs them are the graphics.  To them, they're clunky and old fashioned.  We explain server-loading to them in vain - they just think it's like sooooo whatever... God, play a modern game Mum... Which is fascinating, because when I started playing WoW I couldn't believe the lack of load screens and the detail in the graphics.  How things change in 5 (or so) years.

I don't pretend to be plugged into the MMO world - I get rumblings through blogs that are more MMO orientated and less about just WoW tso that even I know that every so often a game comes along that's talked up as 'the one' that will finish off WoW.  The one that will lure away the huge subscription base. Whether it's Aion, Rift or the Star Wars thingthey will all cause the death of WoW.  Or, y'know, maybe they won't.  Don't get me wrong here, I accept that eventually WoW will falter and stumble but I'm not sure it's demise will be because of a similar fantasy MMO.  Surely people who want to play fantasy MMOs and who already play WoW will, in all likelihood, continue to play it?  Because of the investment we have made into our characters?  Possibly.  Because of our social networks?  Possibly.  Because basically it's a solid, bug-free (in the main) game?  Possibly. Because of the breadth of the game?  Possibly.  Because of a combination of the above?  Very likely.

That last point, by the way, was one that Kam made.  She said: "I don't even have enough time for everything I want to do in WoW, let alone any other MMO!  Perhaps it's a difference between wanting a depth of MMO experience -- exploring all the different aspects of one particular game, such as WoW versus wanting a breadth of MMO experience -- exploring all the different aspects of the MMO genre as a whole by dabbling in a variety of MMO games."  And that's a GOOD point. If you made a list of everything you can do in WoW; alt levelling, all the classes and races, the RP aspects, professions (primary and secondary), achievements, instances and raids, playing the AH and getting to gold cap, PvP (battlegrounds and arena), guild levelling, and more than I can't think of right now, you've got a HUGE game.  And, leaving aside the people who really play a skewed (i.e. massive) amount of time per day, who really has time to fully experience all those things?  I understand that some bits are more appealing and more attractive to individuals than others, but isn't it great to have a game that covers so many bases?  And I know from experience that what you 'want' can change.  I used to be a srsbznz raider and really struggle with levelling.  I think we have seen that that has now... changed.  Himself plays the AH game and whilst it doesn't appeal to me, I can't deny that he's good at it.  I get madly addicted to professions (I never used to bother with First Aid - and now all my characters appear to have it - go figure...) and have power-levelled fishing and cooking on too many characters to comfortably count. The sheer variety of stuff to do is incredible.  And I don't think, in the midst of all the post-expansion blues and the WoW-hate, that we're that good at sitting back and looking at what we do have. 

So thanks Blizz - I know you get a fair amount of stick, but all in all, I like WoW.  Don't go changing (to try and please them)... That said, what would an MMO have to do/have to lure you away from WoW? I'd be interested in your thoughts!


  1. I know that I play WoW these days because yes, I enjoy the game - but even more than that I enjoy playing with the people that I play with. I live in a small town after moving back home from another country, so I don't really have any local friends anymore. Enter WoW - I can stay in contact with friends who play and I've made some new really great friends as well.

    I've tried some of the other games you mentioned, but they're just not my cup of tea. Maybe it's because I'm too attached to my characters in WoW, I don't know.. but I always end up sticking with WoW (I never quit though, I just try one of the other games "on the side")

    There's definitely a lot to do in WoW. Sometimes too much, cause I sometimes feel like I'll never finish everything (and I won't!). There are things out there I want to do, but I haven't found the energy/time to do it (yet at least).

    In the end, while I love raiding - I mainly play for the people (as mentioned above). There are just some really awesome people out there and I'm glad WoW allowed me to meet them :)

  2. I was given a copy of Star Trek Online about a month a ago. That's the only other MMO I've ever tried, and I didn't like it. Maybe I was comparing it to WoW too much, but it lacked the story telling, when I last logged out it was partly in disgust because I didn't really know what I was doing. I don't want to have to read a manual! Also; in the character creation ('I can *only* have Starfleet? I wanna Klingon!') the default female stance is 'feminine'. /headdesk

    Starting on the back foot there, Cryptic...

    Anyway. WoW is much more intuitive. Other video games I've played are more intuitive (hello, Fallout 3!) and Blizzard seem to have their alchemy just right. I don't mean the profession...

  3. I gosh, you made me remember the first time I logged into WoW... My first MMO was GuildWars which has a much more subdued colour-palette. Then I logged into WoW and basically went:

    Oooohhhh, what kind of drugs are the devs taking (and where can I get them?) because everything had a much more vibrant colour scheme than I was used to. I think cartoonish describes WoW's style pretty well. If I compare Guild Wars and LotRO to WoW I have to say that on a first look they really seem to be more realistic. Until you realize that both game's characters fall right into the uncanny valley. They look more than animated plastic manikins to me, than "real" persons. I never had this disconnect with my WoW characters, even though they look much less real. Hmmmm.....