World of Warcraft – the good and the bad
Ok – something else I’m geeky about.
World of Warcraft is a great MMORPG that basically allows you to take on the role of a character, in a fantasy/cartoony world. An MMORPG is a Massively multiplayer online roleplaying game, which breaks down to explain as such:
Massively multiplayer – thousands/hundreds of thousands of people all playing online all at the same time. MM’s break down into shard based (servers split into segments or ‘realms’) or persistent (one huge server instance, such as Eve).
Online Roleplaying game – you take the role of your character.
MMORPGs are growing in popularity, but one of the biggest is World of Warcraft.
I’ve been playing since about four months after the launch – on and off. My partner has been playing since it launched, and as a family both the kids also have an explore and play. So in some ways, it’s a family game for us.
We’re now into our third expansion – Burning Crusade, then Wrath of the Lich King and now, we’ve hit Cataclysm. Cata’s been out for almost a month now, and it’s really reinvigorated my love of the game, unlike the last two.
Why it’s good
World of Warcraft is basically a great game – one of the best things about it si being able to assume the role of someone else, even for a little while. My main character is a hunter – with one of several pets. I can play and ‘level’ on my own, but I can also fit into predefined roles within groups – and take on bigger things.
This gives you an experience you may not find elsewhere in other games – I’ve played several MMO’s and to be honest, I think I’ll always stick with WOW.
The content itself is interesting and varied – there are one-off quests, chains of quests, and even a special Plants Vs Zombies content to win a small non combat pet that is just adorable. More importantly, the realm and scope of interaction on the server gives people the chance to actually roleplay and make stories of their own in the environment they’re in.
Why it’s not so good
Some of the things I’ve mentioned that make it good, also make it bad. The worst I’ve found, unfortunately, is that some tanks think they are gods gift to RPers and treat the rest of us like dirt. Even when we’re HEALING THEM!!! Tanks are warriors and Paladins, Death Knights, or druids. All classes (Death Knight, Shaman, Hunter, Druid, Mage, Warlock, Warrior, Rogue, Priest) can be dps (damage per second or just lots of damage in real terms). Druids, Paladins and priests and sometimes Shammies are healers. The ‘average’ instance run is made up of 1 tank, 1 healer and three dps. That’s not to say the DPS can’t help with other roles, but that’s what the primary make up is supposed to be. And for some odd reason, it’s almost always the tanks that cause problems, if there’s going to be one.
True, it’s very difficult to do low-level instance runs (groups of five players taking on an ‘instance’, or a small segment of a world with a focussed quest line, story, and big bosses) without them, but it’s just as difficult, if not nigh on impossible in some cases to do it without a healer.
Another issue of the game is again, is role players. One of the biggest issues I keep encountering is people assuming that because my character is a girl, that I want to ‘cyber’ (play intimacy), or alternatively, I’m continually accused of being ‘gay’ and it is assumed that because I talk to my best friend and my fiancée online and refer to them as ‘hon’ or whatever, that I’m a gay man. We’ll ignore the fact that some of them cyber with other characters and have relationships in game whether they’re male or female – and good on them too. The slur specifically though, is pretty hard to take – especially if one follows the other.
I’d like to highlight that I play with some very good tanks – including my fiancée – but that the majority of my party issues are created by tanks – hunters and tanks seem to butt heads a lot – and I’ve frequently quit the party for being called things like a ‘huntard’. I’d also like to highlight that I’m in an amazing RP guild who actually do more than play out high drama relationships, sex and more (though, I’m fairly certain that goes on in our guild too – just far less in public).
Another bad thing, specifically associated with hunters is that many people believe the class is ‘easy’. It’s not. I’ll talk about that later, but there’s a massive finesse, IMO, involved in playing a hunter well. But I’ll discuss that later 😉
What could make it better
World of Warcraft is constantly under improvement, but I think that there should be more in-game control over reporting the various idiocies other than flagging to a GM. A system like that would be highly abused, given the levels of childishness that appears sometimes in there, so it’s impractical, but in an ideal world, it would be nice to be able to vote to ‘mute’ those that sling slurs just because they aren’t getting their way, or are pissed because they’ve been shown up as poor players.
I know I make the game sound really stressful, but to be honest, it’s been a great thing for me – I just wish I wasn’t needing to always keep a weather eye on our tanks – one of our solutions is to keep a core of close friends and play with only them, but pugging (randomly picking up (a) group) is one of the most stressful things currently in-game for me.
****Please note – I do not play a warrior or paladin, simply because I don’t suit that play style. I know many pallies and Warriors who aren’t bad players, but those guys are usually in high demand by the various guilds on the servers that people play on and are therefore difficult to go on runs with. So I’m not saying *all tanks*. Just some of em. And I seem to meet lots of em on my server 😉 And yeah, I’m aware that I’m coming off as sanctimonious right now – you should have seen the grief I took recently on my droo because I couldn’t split myself in two and chase after both halves of the party to heal our tank running in one direction and our mage running in the other, both out of my line of sight. That’s a whole other level of duh, right there 😉
If you want to come play with me, I’ve got a rogue hunter called Rem battering around on a nice European server. Holler at me when you want the details.