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 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.

Looking Forward to 2010

If the release schedules and expectations hold, 2010 will be an interesting year. There are the two huge science-fiction IP’s coming via Star Trek Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic, Blizzard is doing something of a reboot of the Warcraft world, and the DC/SOE juggernaut is expected as well. SWTOR is also interesting since it marks Bioware’s entry into the MMO genre, and I’m very very interested to see how well they are able to bring a focus on story over to a massively multi-player environment.

My biggest concern for 2010 is a repeat of the Warhammer effect on SWTOR.  Warranted or not there seem to be a lot of players who are expecting SWTOR to revolutionize MMOs, kill WoW, and possibly cure cancer. I hope I’m wrong, but I think that most of the gamers disappointed with 2009 will also be disappointed with 2010.

So here are my bullet points for the coming year. (more…)