Wednesday, June 30, 2010

One Game World, Many Games

Bainbridge, whom I refereed to earlier, called World of Warcraft a Game World rather than a game. This distinction is becoming increasing more obvious. In this post, I would like to distinguish among several of the potential games that one might play.

Game 1: The Stranger - In this game, you create a single character and pursue solo requests until you reach the desired level.

Game 2: The Stranger with Many Faces - In this game, you create multiple characters to explore different capabilities and give each one different professions.

Game 3: The Bastion of the Battleground - In this game, the player advances by repeatedly going to battle grounds rather than pursuing quests.

Game 4: The Guildie - This person joins a guild as soon as they can find an appropriate one and focuses primarily on their role in the guild.

Game 5: The Twink - This character is usually an alt and thanks to gifts from a higher level character is way over specified for their level.

Game 6: The Griefer - This character focuses on harrassing newbies.

 Game 7: The Tag Along - In this game, a character is 'escorted' through dungeons and difficult quests by another player of advanced level and capabilities.

Game 8: The Grinder - The sole purpose of this character is to hang out in an area where resources can be farmed and acquire resources. 

Game 9: The Vendor - The sole purpose of this character is to hang out at the auction house looking for deals and trying to get the best price for items they have to sell.

This list is neither exhaustive nor mutually exclusive. However, it does provide an idea of the variety of games one might play in this 'Game World'. Over the next few posts I will elaborate on these roles explaining their game goals and providing some tips on how to play these different games.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

If it's Tuesday, This Must Be Azeroth

There was a TV show, many years ago, about Americans traveling to Europe on multi country package tours. The show was called "If it's Tuesday, this must be Belgium." The point of the show, as one can almost infer from the title, was that racing through European countries is not the way to appreciate the experience of Europe. The point of a European tour is not, of course, to be able to say "I was in this country and that country and so on". The point of the tour is to experience each country.

The title of this post plays off of this observation because we see this same sort of behavior in World of Warcraft - people want to level up as fast as they possibly can. In some accounts, I have heard claims that you can level up to 80 in less than two weeks. The question I would ask is - why would anybody want to do that? If you recorded a football game, would you fast forward through the whole game just so you can say that you saw it? Of course not! The point of watching the game is, well, watching the game. And the point of World of Warcraft is playing the game not just racing through it so you can say that you played it.

There is one exception that I can think of. Let's say you have a high level character with a lot of gold on a server that does not provide the challenges that you are looking for. So, you do a character transfer to a more desirable server. On the new server you may want additional characters for any number of reasons but don't want to spend a year leveling them up to the point where they can raid and do heroics. In that case, you may be interested in fast forwarding.

To go back to the travel analogy, this would be like spending months in Belgium and then popping in for a day to do some shopping. You have already had the Belgium experience and popping in for a day doesn't detract from that.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

World of Warcraft Progess

I have been playing World of Warcraft for just over two years. If you subtract the time when I had no idea what I was doing, it is just under two years. In that time, I have created and deleted many, many characters, and tried most races, classes and professions. I tried a few guilds and became somewhat more adept at the Auction House than at the Battlegrounds. I thought it might be a good idea to document where I am at the moment and some of what I have learned.

I currently have around 20+ characters on three servers. My alliance server is Maiev and my horde server is Vashj. I have a few characters on Dalvengyr in the event that I need to do some demos or training. Not counting the spare parts on Dalvengyr, I have five hunters, three warlocks, two mages, two death knights, a rogue, a warrior, a paladin, a shaman and a priest. There are two level 70, six between 60 and 70, six between 50 and 60, and the rest below. The lowest one is 23.

My prefered class, as you can probably tell from from the above counts is the hunter. Second is the warlock. Both the hunter and warlock are ranged classes which means they stand back and shoot rather than run into the thick of things hacking (which is called melee). Both have pets as well. I suspect that there is some sort of psychological statement in one's preferred class. I prefer strategy to raw power. So rather than run in hacking, I prefer to stand back and pick the mobs off one by one. I have a warrior who specializes in melee and is now 60+. But I find leveling that character to be tedious in the extreme.

Over the next few posts I will provide some of my observations about the game, game strategies and the people who play the game. I have really learned quite a lot and if I don't write some of it down I will begin forgetting it.