Jul 16 2008

Who are these people, anyway?

I’d have to say my biggest complaint with raid and dungeon-based content in World of Warcraft is that there is often only a shallow background or motivation given to undertake a particular task. While this hasn’t always been the case, it’s certainly the case with newer content. Most boss mobs and instances seem to only serve as opportunities to reward less casual players with better item rewards.

Now, you’ve got to do things this way. The only difference between a person who plays seriously and a person who plays a lot is their skill. And if you allow anyone who can spare the time the opportunity to get the same rewards as a seriously, hardcore player, then there’s less reason for those hardcore players to bother with that same content. A large part of why hardcore players put themselves through 25-man raids is because it gives them access to material that a loner with time on his hands could never get to. And this part is key: they then get to show off their new hawt lewt to everyone else.

But one of my creative issues with World of Warcraft is that these high-level dungeons often seem like little else than difficult tasks for difficulty’s sake. Sure, we all know who Kil’Jaeden is; there’s plenty of background information on him. When you face him in the Sunwell Plateau you know full well who he is and why you’re there to kill him. More than a few quests, NPCs and other in-game materials are available for you to understand why you need to kill him.

But who the hell are the Eredar Twins? Why are they in between the First and Second Gate? What purpose do they serve other than to give you one more fight to work on, one more drop opportunity?

This is a big problem in World of Warcraft. There’s no motivation given to you to kill some of these incredibly powerful monsters except for the fact that they’re in the way. I’m not saying every mob in the game with a name should have a hundred hours of background material written about them, but I am saying that only a little effort would go a long way here. Even if it’s just: “Watch out for the Twin Eredar. They are servants of Kil’Jaeden and will try to stop you. Show them no mercy.”

I dunno, it sucks but at least I’m trying.

Jul 16 2008

Lust, Caution

So I’ve finally reached the point with my main where I’ve started to get loot envy. It started when I saw my brother chainsaw his way through mob after mob with his two self-constructed epic swords. I thought: “I should be doing that kind of damage.”

Never mind that I’m playing a hybrid, and that Paladins should never do as much damage as a Fury warrior, even if they do spec pew-pew. In my opinion, the ability to bubble and heal pretty much robs us of truly ferocious damage, and rightfully so.

Really I just want a good purple sword. For the first time in my life I’m feeling that loot envy that drives so many people to grind through dungeons every night.

The only problem is, I’m entirely too casual to dedicate two or three hours to a good, long, and most importantly profitable dungeon crawl. I like being able to play for a half hour at a time and still get things done. And when I sit down for a full night, it’s with my relatives, not with people I barely know.

So for the first time in my life I’m also looking into personal servers, just so that I can experience what Molten Core, AQ and the other big raid-content dungeons are like. Why pay to play a game that I’ll never get to experience in its entirety?