To WoW? Or not.

I haven’t subscribed to WoW since March 2009, and that was just for two months, although I think I only played a week or two.

I haven’t seriously played WoW since 2006. I enjoyed Burning Crusade for the first 20 levels as a Draenei, but I skipped Lich King entirely.

I’ve been curious if Cataclysm would finally draw me back into the game, but I really hadn’t been excited by any of the news or announcements I’ve seen. I an interested in the idea of Worgens as a race, but having them belong to the Alliance seems odd to me.

I have actually been playing WoW a bit for the last week. I hadn’t planned to but I was curious about the new 1-20 experience after reading Pete’s thoughts, and I was eligible for a 10-day free trial. So I figured why not and rolled a Dwarven Hunter on Silvermoon. Quick digression: I agree with some of his points but so far I don’t think Blizzard’s new 1-10 experience holds your hand much more than the current LotRO tutorial, except that WoW’s might be longer.

Still, a free trial is a long way off from buying Cataclysm and actually resubscribing.

Seeing comments from friends on Twitter and blogs, has a couple of times taken me to the Battle.net site with the intent to buy in. But then I see long discussions about what plugins to use, tales of account hacks, or the news about GearScore, and I remember why I don’t play. I assume I’d also have to buy WotLK since Blizzard isn’t good about rolling up expansions like SOE has been. Even playing through the old dwarf started zones on the 10-day trial hasn’t awakened any feelings of nostalgia for me.

So will I play? I won’t say no yet, and I’m open to convincing, but if I do it’ll end up being an impulse buy. Besides I have dozens (literally) of other games that I can play.

27 Comments

  1. ScaryboosterNo Gravatar says:

    Seriously, don’t look at the end result. You will never have fun with the game if you don’t play it for now and the experience you are having at that moment. It’s not all about Gearscore, end game raiding, bad chat channels, or elitist jerks, it’s about you having fun. The game is really fun if you play it and not worry what X level is like. Enjoy what you are doing now and you will have a blast. You might even laugh a bit. I’m playing a Goblin and it is on rails, but they are the best rails in any game ctge reason for that is to get you into the game and excited for your character. They play a goblin as a cheating,stealing, punk that is in it for themselves. Worgan have a different story of struggle. Blizzard made 2 great stories with the new races. Forget about the “politics” of WoW and play for you or don’t.

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      Even though I have no intentions of participating in the end-game, it’s hard not to take into account the raiding focus and the community. Still your last piece of advice is perfect, “play for you or don’t”.

  2. MoxieNo Gravatar says:

    It depends… when you were playing during the trial, were you having fun?

    As far as the concerns… addons aren’t absolutely necessary, particularly while you’re leveling. Even at end-game, unless you’re doing hardcore progression raiding, there isn’t really anything you absolutely need.

    Account hacks are rampant, but an authenticator and using a unique (not used for anything else) email address for battle.net will take care of that. And GearScore… at the risk of sounding like a snob, I figure that most of the people that use it are folks I probably don’t want to play with anyway. The usage of GearScore is popular for pick-up group raids, and that’s about it. If you’re in a guild or just doing 5-mans, it’s not a big deal. Sometimes I think it’s an issue that’s blown a bit out of proportion.

    That said, I’m not trying to convince you to play, just putting some of the issues in perspective. Play it if you’re sufficiently interested and find it fun and worth your while… even if it’s just to level through the new starting zones and to see what they’ve done to the old world.

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      Playing the trial, I was feeling pretty ambivalent honestly. I mostly popped on to play towards the end because I knew I only had a few days left. That may be because I rolled a Dwarf though and only got to level 9. The 1 to 9 experience was very close to what I remember it being before. Probably wasn’t the best choice for me.

  3. ScottNo Gravatar says:

    It’s your money and your time, do with it as you please! I took measures to make sure I’d never go back to WoW so I won’t be. The one thing that could potentially (such a big “if” though) is if all the blogger/Twitter folk were on a common server like the CoW or how we have the STO fleet, but that isn’t the case — everyone is spread out everywhere.

    GearScore/PlayerScore (stupid name, the player isn’t wearing the gear, but it certainly drives home the blatant elitism of the addon) would keep me out as well, though it goes a long way toward proving that all the mechanic changes since I left, WoW is still systemically WoW, and I want no part of that prevailing community mentality.

    Gee, didn’t mean to get carried away griping. If you do, just be sure to blog entertaining stories for me :)

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      Having one server is one thing I really really love about Cryptic’s games and I think makes the instancing worthwhile. It’s a huge drag to meet someone, find out that they play one of the MMOs I do, and then find out they’re on a different server.

  4. stargraceNo Gravatar says:

    Have to agree with the two previous comments. Were you having fun? That’s the most important part. I’ve set up a small casual guild on Argent Dawn, one for alliance one for horde. I don’t raid, and I have very little motivation to get involved with the community. That being said, I do like to have a ‘home’ and I do really like earning guild experience and leveling the guild. I love the new starter zones and I really think they’re worth checking out. You don’t need to ever use a single addon or playerscore or anything else to enjoy the game. Don’t let others dictate what is fun.

    Of course, since I’ve been playing pretty steadily for the last month or so I guess I’m slightly biased. Whatever decision you make, I know it’ll be the right one for you! That’s all that matters.

  5. ScaryboosterNo Gravatar says:

    Like Scott said, it is basically still WoW. If you don’t enjoy WoW, then buying WotLK and Cataclysm is a waste of money. Stargrace is a great person and I’m sure you would have great time in her guild. That would add a great community. The problem is, WoW is WoW and at level 85, the blinders have to come off. That said, 1-85 is a great PvE game a person could enjoy without talking to a single person. I know WoW is MMO, but if you want to play it like single player game, it has the potential of being a great single player game. It all in your mindset.

  6. ScopiqueNo Gravatar says:

    I used to HATE WoW. HATE. Like a baby hates a diaper. But when I realized that there was really no point in taking pride in being so anti-WoW, I started to enjoy it.

    The thing with the negative aspects: those are all people-based. Gearscore in itself is beneign; it’s people who abuse it that make it so poisonous. But if you are playing for enjoyment — and not the glorious satisfaction that you’ll get knowing you have won a video game by having bigger numbers then everyone else around you, which obviously entitles you to be a total asshat — you can easily avoid people who’d reduce you to a number. I’ve been playing for a few weeks now, and spend a lot of time using the dungeon finder tool. Out of all the runs I’ve made via that system, only ONE has been agonizing…and we easily slipped away, re-queued and ran with a friendly group.

    There are good people, and there are bad people, in every game. We tend to think that WoW is 99% bad people (the good 1% is, of course, people WE know), but that’s really NOT the case. Even if you DO run into someone who is a smidge on the immature side, there’s SO many people out there that you can just…walk away, and find someone else.

    As for the ease of the game: yes. But we don’t expect operating the space shuttle to be easy. We don’t expect CNN to start playing cartoons, and we don’t expect MENSA meetings at Wal-Mart. The key to enjoying WoW, IMO, is to take it for what it is, not what you might want it to be. Don’t worry about what’s under the hood. Don’t try and “fix it”, or wax about how it could be better if only they did X or Y. Take it at face value, FIND some fun in there that you can enjoy, and run with it.

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      That’s true, it’s been so long since I’ve played that I’m sure a lot of my opinions of the community are colored more by what I’ve read than any actual experience. That said, I haven’t set foot in a Wal-Mart in years and intend to keep it that way.

  7. I was curious as to how the new level 1-20 experience was handled now too, so I was glad I got to play through the night elf starting area the other day with my friend. For someone familiar with MMOs, I have to pretty much agree they hold your hand the whole time. However, I felt there was a distinct difference between 1-10 and 11-20. I personally felt 1-10 was pretty dry, it was all quests designed to teach you how to play. Quests from levels 11-20 are still pretty straightforward, but here I found the fun increased by multitudes. All your quests started to have context, and here they start really using the phasing technology for storytelling. For instance, I couldn’t believe how amazing Westfall got. Every zone I tried now felt like a chapter in a story, instead of a bunch of disjointed quests from a bunch of NPCs that have nothing to do with each other.

    Anyway, I don’t know how far you got with your Dwarf, but definitely for me the game “started” at around level 10-12. By that I mean that was when I finally actually started enjoying myself as a lowbie, and actually “got” where Blizzard was going with the new quests. I admit I found everything before that a total snooze.

    The zones for the new races excepted, of course. Haven’t tried goblin side yet, but it seems Blizzard crafted the worgen experience to be the engaging storytelling experience I described right off the bat, as even as a level 1, with phasing and all that in place already. I haven’t had so much fun as a brand new character in ages.

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      Only got to level 9 before the 10-day trial was up. I probably would have played more if I hadn’t had another limited-time game event distracting me over that weekend. So I really barely even scratched where the new content was I guess.

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  9. LarsNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, I still don’t like WoW’s community, but once I learn to look past that, the game is actually quite good, and vastly improved since I last tried it. I’d just say don’t worry about Gearscore, find a casual guild or solo, and do it your way and don’t worry about the rest. I’m hoping to find a good casual friendly guild somewhere and take my time, reading the quest text, and not rushing through the levels.

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      Sounds like Stargrace is starting something small. I’d recommend asking around on Twitter, now’s a good time to get in with a group since so many people are heading back to the game.

  10. YeeboNo Gravatar says:

    I had a lot of fun in the gnome starter area. However, for a while after that the dwarf area seemed pretty similar to what I remembered, just with fewer easier quests. For me where the old dwarf 1-10 zone started to click was when I hit the airport, and new quest hub. It’s towards the end of the zone, if you have a few days left it’s well worth getting that far. If you’ve been playing at all you can’t be more than an hour away from it.

    From there on up the game has been firing on all cylinders for me. The 10-20 has a new look, a new quest hub, and has had the excoriable old island trogg quests removed. The wetlands has been completely revamped, I think I recognized maybe one quest there from the old WoW.

    All that said, it’s still WoW. If you can’t be entertained by relatively shallow linear MMO, no matter how well presented, it’s still not going to do much for you. To be honest, I am amazed that I’m enjoying such a straightforward game so much.

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      I agree that the initial part was mostly the same, although I do think they streamlined it a bit. I didn’t quite get to 10 before the trial was over so I missed out on the airport part.

  11. I just re-started playing WoW again today after a bout a 10 month break. Most have done today was just download the game doing a full installation which took several hours. Then most done so far was trying to clean up my characters bag and banks of all the accumulated stuff thats no longer as useful.

    But reading through all the comments i can clearly for the most part agree with all the previous commenters that really don’t need to chime in and add much else.

    The game is still WoW, every game has jerks and such so worrying about gear score and all that is no need to worry. You can play WoW with a friend and have fun or you can play WoW entirely solo and have fun. I tend to play allot solo but thats my style. If your leveling 1-80-85 then gearscore, addons and all that is not something you have to worry about.

    The main point is this, are you having fun playing the game at whatever level your playing the game. And if your having fun thats really all that matters and there is allot of fun you can have. Its all up to you. WoW caters to allot of different kind of play styles and i’m sure it can fit yours.

  12. BronteNo Gravatar says:

    Technically speaking you might be experiencing just The Shattering, and not Cataclysm…

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      Totally was, but that was where the new 1-80 content was supposed to be. I think I just picked a bad race to try out, it seems like the Dwarf content was mostly the same up to level 10, which was all I had time for.

  13. xXJayeDuBXxNo Gravatar says:

    I think you should play cause I hear the game is different than it was before. But my comment comes a little late cause Raptr show that you have already started playing!

  14. AnjinNo Gravatar says:

    Wow. Lots of great comments already. I don’t have much more to add except that most of your worries are endgame worries. You don’t need to even think about addons and Gearscore until you are deep into the game.

    Account hacks are an issue, but you can take steps (and you should!) to protect yourself. And honestly, these are steps we should be taking to protect ourselves in every aspect of our computing lives. WoW just happens to be the most high profile attack vector.

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      No kidding, I need to become a WoW blogger I guess. ;)

      The hacking thing just bugs me. If Blizzard needs everyone to use authenticators that badly, they should put them in the box with the game. NCSoft seems to have a lot security problems as well and that’s my only concern about GW2.