I’ve never been a huge fan of MMOs. From a gamer’s per­spec­tive, the whole idea of a game with­out end is great in the­ory (like eat­ing pizza for the rest of your life), but sucks in prac­tice. That’s not to say it’s bad from the publisher’s point of view. In fact it’s quite lucra­tive. With­out an end (goal), there’s very lit­tle sense of accom­plish­ment built into MMOs. There’s no pay­off in the form of end-game cred­its and cutscenes for the time and money invested. So the player is forced to set goals for them­selves within the lim­its of the game. For example…

I got dragged into play­ing World of War­craft the Decem­ber after it launched. As the group of us did not have any other alter­na­tive we could all agree to play for gam­ing night, WoW filled the void. Dur­ing that period, the most fun we had was milk­ing the auc­tion house. Suf­fice it to say, we got bored after about 6 months. Unfor­tu­nately, we exhausted the replace­ment games too. And so we got pulled into WoW once more. Part of the prob­lem with our first stint, we attrib­uted to pick­ing pansy Alliances char­ac­ters. We also researched our classes a heck of a lot more and twinked them like crazy using our Alliance funds. G-zan FTW!

We also made the game more chal­leng­ing. We con­cen­trated on instanc­ing only, lev­el­ing to the point where we’d be high enough to go into an instance and fin­ish it in one run (where pos­si­ble) but be low enough in level that we didn’t over­power the mobs and bosses. Our best was when we 3-manned Sunken Tem­ple with one death dur­ing the fight with Eranikus. Play­ing this way made the game much more enjoy­able the sec­ond time around, but shows that it was only fun because we found a way to make it fun, bring­ing me back to my orig­i­nal point.

Since we could level how­ever we wanted in between instance runs, I opted to do PVP because the War­song Gulch rewards were eas­ily attain­able. Plus I missed play­ing FPSes and this was the clos­est I’d get. Even­tu­ally we exhausted all the instances we could 3-man and that was pretty much the end, which left me to decide whether to con­tinue with PVP or not. I did get what I orig­i­nally sought after which was an epic mount. As much as I liked the fact that we com­pleted instances in such a way that we got a sense of accom­plish­ment, I ulti­mately decided it really wasn’t enough. So I fig­ured I had the skill and time to push for High War­lord. I also real­ized it was also an invest­ment because once a High War­lord always a High War­lord, and the PVP gear auto­mat­i­cally upgrades as the lev­els expand which means every 10 lev­els of expan­sion I can sim­ply buy one of the top three items in the game depend­ing on the con­tent at any given time. Being HW means never hav­ing to care about a drop again. Update: Bliz­zard changed the honor sys­tem such that honor is now treated as cur­rency instead of a mea­sure of rank which is a wel­comed change but it just means only my title is worth any­thing. So no easy upgrades for me. At least my weapons lasted me til 70.

So seven months after I started PVP (Remem­ber what I said about it being lucra­tive for the pub­lisher?), Polio attained rank 14. Of course props go out to Maskimxul, Nel­grath, Black Raiders, Star­shadow, The Asy­lum, and every­one else who offered sup­port. It’s good to be the king. It’s also good that I could walk away feel­ing I accom­plished some­thing. Granted it’s much more a mea­sure of time played ver­sus skill but that’s a whole other topic.

Comments are closed.