Wow

Whoa.

Update: So, in case you hadn’t guessed: I have not posted for the last three weeks because I have been playing World of Warcraft pretty much non stop.

I’d played the beta because it seemed interesting, but I wasn’t really impressed enough to want to run out and buy it. But then, when February 11th came along and the game arrived in the stores, I somehow got gripped by the WoW fever in the office and bought a copy. (Regretfully, I missed out on the collector’s edition.)

Then I fell ill for a week. Implausibly convenient, yet true – there’s been a an epidemic in Vienna. It turns out that playing WoW is just the right kind of mindless activity when you have a cold and can’t do much else.

After that week, I was pretty much hooked. And I wasn’t the only one, although there are some pockets of resistance. Luckily, I had a week of holiday coming up. It was originally reserved for a ski trip, but that fell through. I just basically decided to indulge and ignore pretty much everything else in my life.

Last week things got a bit quieter, as I actually had to go back to work.

Anyway. I like it a lot. Among other things, this game is a testament to art direction over technical prowess. Blizzard doesn’t use many fancy techniques and they don’t have a lot of polygons on screen, but they make incredible use of what they have – not unlike Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, or Grand Theft Auto. (As an illustration of what I mean: Penny Arcade made fun of Everquest 2‘s horned devil – Tobe pointed out the constrast with Blizzard’s.)

What else is good? The audio. The interface. The polishing (love that log-in screen). The writing – to my surprise, as I always had a bit of a prejudice against clichéd fantasy settings. The gameplay mechanics – Blizzard’s are masters at this kind of game. Although everything is quite simple, the game somehow always manages to avoid degrading into ProgressQuest – probably because there’s always something significant on the horizon, in multiple areas of gameplay, and on multiple scales. The pacing is excellent.

I have had some very satisfying experiences in WoW so far, and am looking forward to many more. Not bad, considering I have never been very interested in MMOs before. I could write much more, but well, it really has been a long time since I’ve updated, so… time to hit ‘Post’.

Comments 22

  1. RodeoClown wrote:

    Wha…?

    Posted 01 Mar 2005 at 1:08
  2. fluffy wrote:

    Been a while, huh?

    You might want to change your index template to be like MTEntries lastn=”10″ or something.

    Posted 01 Mar 2005 at 1:32
  3. littleguybrush wrote:

    Intriguing

    Posted 01 Mar 2005 at 7:22
  4. Jeffool wrote:

    Look! Over there! A bunny rabbit!

    Posted 01 Mar 2005 at 10:16
  5. Jurie Horneman wrote:

    Where?

    I want a mechanical squirrel!

    Posted 01 Mar 2005 at 17:41
  6. Nice Try wrote:

    Whew.

    Posted 01 Mar 2005 at 19:48
  7. Jeffool wrote:

    http://www.sptimes.com/2004/12/07/Tampabay/Meet_Rocky__a_robot_s.shtml

    For you, a present.

    Oh, wait, did you mean the WoW kind?

    Posted 05 Mar 2005 at 8:15
  8. Jurie Horneman wrote:

    Yes! Explains the long absence, no? :P

    Posted 05 Mar 2005 at 11:09
  9. Jeffool wrote:

    Now that I have a computer that will run it, I’m thiiiiis close to getting it myself. (You can’t tell, but I really am holding my thumb and index finger very close together.)

    I assume that between other game developers posting on it and your ringing endorsement I should see if I can pull any strings to find a copy?

    The fact that I don’t have it almost makes me feel “un-1337.”

    Posted 05 Mar 2005 at 19:20
  10. Not Game Illuminati wrote:

    I’m not a Game Illuminatus. If you do not start updating your content more frequently you will not be ostracized.

    Posted 05 Mar 2005 at 20:52
  11. Jurie Horneman wrote:

    Gulp.

    Posted 05 Mar 2005 at 21:00
  12. Aubrey wrote:

    I was fortunate enough to get a guest account, as well as having been in the beta. I can agree with all the points you make and still have to say that I don’t like it, despite it addicting me frighteningly close to the end of the guest period.

    The problem is that I dislike the genre as a whole. This is an excellent game within the genre, but didn’t really fix the faults that cause me to want to skip these kinds of game… the drudgery, the boredom of the combat, the repetition, the “carrot and the carrot” approach – a cynical IV drip of addictive little bonuses promising me that they’ll make the game worth playing, purely to KEEP me playing for another month.

    What’s worse is mentioning this sort of thing in an office full of players and hearing back “You fuck nut! It’s an MMO! It’s MEANT to be slow, boring, and soul sucking!”

    The most fun I had was getting a Tauran player to accept Jesus as his saviour, but that’s nothing I couldn’t do in a chat room.

    Good game. Shame about the template.

    Posted 06 Mar 2005 at 20:10
  13. Jesus Christ wrote:

    60 Minutes is running a story on GTA tonight in the U.S.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/1998/07/08/60minutes/main13502.shtml

    Because you work in the games industry you are going to hell. If you want to get to heaven you must join the Christian fight against terrorism and kill at least ten Iraqis and one European journalist.

    Posted 07 Mar 2005 at 0:03
  14. Jurie Horneman wrote:

    I live for comments like that.

    Posted 07 Mar 2005 at 0:45
  15. gamer wrote:

    wher the hell i cuold downloud this game i need it so bad plz tell me wher

    Posted 13 Mar 2005 at 20:18
  16. ja wrote:

    du you like wow whery much if i hade it i wood not go to scool for a month at least

    Posted 14 Mar 2005 at 17:48
  17. Jurie Horneman wrote:

    That would not be a good idea. You should go to school. Really.

    Posted 14 Mar 2005 at 18:09
  18. gemer wrote:

    if i had wow i wouldent go tu shool wow is much beter :)

    Posted 17 Mar 2005 at 16:07
  19. Jurie Horneman wrote:

    But how would you communicate with other players without proper English?

    Posted 17 Mar 2005 at 16:13
  20. gamer wrote:

    i now some english (everybody dose) :)

    Posted 01 May 2005 at 17:35
  21. wow player wrote:

    wow… you guys are pathetic. Sure wow is addicting… for a month. Once you reach the top lvl (60) what is there left to do? high lvl instances? Well those get boring after a few times through them. So what else is left to do? Sit at Ironforge and talk for hours about pointless topics? Not me. Anyways i would get keep paying for this game online for about 3 months. Then ask yourself. “Is it still worth paying for?” At least with a FPS or RTS or other genres there is SOME replay value. In most MMORPGs there is none. “Hmmm i spent 3 weeks getting to level 60, I wanna do it again!”

    Posted 09 Aug 2005 at 0:18
  22. Jurie Horneman wrote:

    I think it’s best if you were to spend some time learning the difference between opinions and facts. Some manners would come in handy as well.

    In the mean time, I’ve banned your IP.

    Posted 13 Aug 2005 at 23:59