Falling Off The World of Warcraft Wagon
Just a couple of weeks after I wrote this intensely debated article about World of Warcraft being the worst PC game ever, Blizzard sent me, and everyone else with an inactive account, seven free days of game time to celebrate the fifth anniversary of World of Warcraft. Well, how could I refuse?
I logged on, and ignoring my existing lvl 80 Hunter that had brought me so much shame and pain, I rolled a Dranei priest. Almost immediately, I was beset with commands to kill 5 of this and 6 of that. I did this with good cheer, enjoying the environments and the atmospheric music.
Instead of simply grinding levels, I decided that this time, I would work on my professions. This actually helped the monotony of the game somewhat, as I could go fishing whilst waiting for my mana to regenerate, or pick up a few herbs whilst I was scouting around for the 8th bear I needed to kill.
For the first couple of days I actually thought that I might renew my WoW subscription after all. Leveling cooking and herbing and fishing had a certain thrill, and my alchemy was doing nicely as well. Then I hit the level cap and was forced to go back to running about the place killing 6 of this and 8 of that once more. One particularly charming quest involved running from one end of the zone to the other. Stay classy, Blizzard.
Unfortunately, as always, there came a point at which I realized that I had, once again, already experienced all the game had to offer. People tell you that the game changes once you hit 80, but it does not, and even if it did, that wouldn't be acceptable in my opinion. If you charge people to play a game, it better be damn well enjoyable from the moment they log on until the moment they log off. In World of Warcraft, this is not to be. You either enjoy repetitive grind game structure, or you don't. Once you've mastered the basics of your toon and gotten over the sheer joy of seeing numbers increase in your leveling bars, you're left bereft of new experiences.
Unlike other kinds of game, in which the game play itself is the reward, for example, FPS games, in which you'll enjoy headshotting NPC's from the moment you start, or say, racing simulation games, in which the thrill of racing is there to be enjoyed throughout the game, World of Warcraft is simply an endless grind towards a reward that never comes. You level up, thinking 'Yes! Soon I will be able to really do some damage,' then you realize that there is no point to it.
The game play is not good. Period. Even in high end raids, all you do is sit there and mash buttons in order to get gear upgrades. RSI is inevitable, as is losing hours of your life you'll never get back.
World of Warcraft, the scenery changes, but the ultimate pointlessness never does.