Wednesday, October 10, 2012

World Of Warcraft-A Beginners Journey

It won’t surprise anyone when I say that the people who originally got me into gaming were my parents. My dad introduced me to the idea of PC gaming, he being a flight simulator engineer at the time, and a game we all loved gathering around his office and playing was Warcraft. The game was one of the first Real Time Strategy games ever and I loved it. As soon as Warcraft 2 came out and it’s little expansion pack we bought it up immediately. Unfortunately when Warcraft 3 hit shelves my computer at the time was the unfortunate victim of a power surge and burst into flames.
No that wasn’t a joke.
So my adventures in Azaroth had to end there. Since then though, Blizzard has come out with World of Warcraft, one of the most popular games of all time and with each expansion I’m tempted a little more to hop in and see what happened to my childhood playground. With the latest piece, Mists of Pandaria throwing its enticing trailers all over the internet, I was finally convinced to pick up the 20 level free pack and try the thing out for myself.
Here we go.
Before I even loaded the game, I announced on Facebook that I’d be hitting the Massive Multiplayer Role Playing Game soon, and the responses I got were interesting to say the least. I have of course heard the same rumors of people being lost in the game; I myself once had a friend who forgot to eat for several weeks during play, so I knew the risks. It was actually this phenomenon of the game being compared to drugs that added to my curiosity. I’ve played hundreds of games in my time, and while some were fun, I don’t know any that I would leave my job over, certainly not forget to bathe or eat.
The download was simple, only took 5 hours to get the thing on my computer, and about an hour in a little alert popped up on my screen saying that even though the game was still downloading it was apparently downloaded enough that I could play it. What? If the game is downloaded enough to play it then what else is it downloading? Does this thing come with Microsoft Time-Turner 4.0 or something? And what is so great about this game that people can’t even wait for the stupid thing to properly load before having to jump into the action? My curiosity was peaking already, but I had dinner plans so I just let the thing sit.
I ended up with a Blood Elf Hunter named Jexo that had blue hair and big floppy ears. The first twenty minutes of play were interesting, since I had to keep switching back to my desktop to ask a friend how to control my character. There is absolutely no tutorial level whatsoever, like they just assume that their game is so popular that humans have evolved a natural sense of how to play it and can work their dumb game from birth.  
Once I stopped slamming into things I found myself adventuring in the Blood Elves base, a city called Silvermoon. Along with skipping a tutorial WOW skips story and context as well, so I had no idea who I was or why I was there. The NPCs (Non-player characters for the non-gamer folk, meaning characters built into the game) I talked to kept telling me to be careful of magic and how their race was once addicted to magic but now wasn’t. It was like if Lord Elrond was hosting an AA meeting. I found their words of warning hypocritical, considering it was mages, warlocks, and guys with pointy hats who was telling me all this straight faced. When I saw the towers with giant floating crystals I just stopped listening to them and went on my way.

Adventures in WOW are pretty simple: You walk up to a guy with a giant glowing exclamation point sticking out of his head and he tells you to go kill X amount of whatever monster you’ve killed on the way to get to him. Sometimes you have to bring back items that the creatures only drop when you’re looking for such items, but that doesn’t make any sense since you don’t always need them, and the quest givers seem keen on taking your word for it if you don’t have to bring back purple hats from the Purple Death Penguins inhabiting the area. Occasionally you get something like “Hop in this giant Steampunk robot suit we ripped off from Alien and go get firewood”, which can be fun asides, but most of your game is hunting whatever wildlife is handy.
Speaking of hunting, I said I chose the Hunter class earlier. Later I chose to specialize in pet training, which essentially turned the game into World of Pokemon collecting. I started out with some cross between a sting ray and a dragon, but his big obnoxious wings kept blocking my view of the enemy, so I swapped him for a velociraptor. My main battle strategy from that point on was to point at an enemy and my dinosaur would attack it, while I stood in the back and pecked at the thing with my gun. At one point I started wondering if my pet dinosaur was helping me on my epic journey or if I was tagging along behind it.
It didn't take me too long to reach level twenty, and I had been having enough fun with the game that I bought the full version (That and they offered it to me for half off). Overall it’s a fun game, but I’m still waiting for the boom. I just can’t see why so many people are addicted to this game. Some say its social interaction but in my entire time playing I only talked to two people in game and both of them just wanted me to join their guilds. At one point I started getting guild invitations from random strangers that I’d decline every time because the last thing I need is to join the “Pink Ponies” guild and have government agents question me about my connections to the KKK or something.
If anyone plays, come find me and we’ll play. J


  1. What realm do you play on? I have yet to roll Horde, it would also be fun to have someone to adventure with.

  2. I haven't played in over a year, but I can honestly say it's the most fun game I have ever played. I played for a few months before quitting for the first time, then started up again and I knew more what I was doing. I have a couple of tips for you to help you have the most fun:
    1. Bookmark and use it often. Blizzard has made questing very easy compared to vanilla (the original without expansions) but sometimes it can still be confusing and annoying.
    2. Play with people you know. It doesn't matter if they are friends from high school, college, the local ward, or some previous quorum buddy or whatever (I played with one of my high school friends' mom even) it makes the experience so much enjoyable.
    3. Realize that WoW is ALL about end-game content. if you get MoP (Mists of Pandaria, which will take me to number 4) the game really picks up at level 90
    4. Learn the jargon/lingo so you can actually understand the chat in the cities and in dungeons and pvp. which takes me to my next point.
    5. PVP and run the dungeon finder while leveling. If you win a battleground, you gain a TON of XP. Dungeons are great for finding the gear you need and for gaining xp fast.
    6. Have fun with your character. My friends all wanted me to play, and I said the only way I'd play the game is if I could be a bear, thinking that that wasn't possible. It was, the druid class can shape shift into a couple different animals, the bear being one of them. I got a little bored, and went to a different class. Trust me, the way to keeping the game fun after years of playing is trying out various play styles and characters. I DO currently have 5 level 85 toons (characters) all with purple gear.
    7. Learn the basics of gear. Every expansion, there's the saying "green is the new purple" that's because the better the gear, the different the color= grey<white<green<blue<purple<orange. BTW, don't waste your time on orange. it's for hardcore players who seriously live for the game.
    8. Don't feel like you absolutely have to get your money's worth out of it since you're paying 15 dollars a month. WoW is partially addicting for that reason.
    9. If you are on one realm and your friends are on another, add their blizzard emails so you can be "real life friends" and do dungeons/raids/pvp together. Since you're still relatively new, it might be worth it to start a new character on friends realms. I wish I had done that before getting 3 lvl 80 toons on one realm only to realize that most of my good friends are on other realms.
    10. Horde is not better than alliance, Alliance is not better than Horde. It all depends on the realm you are on. for that reason, it MAY be worth checking out - you don't want to be a new player on the alliance side on a heavily horde dominated server, unless you want to get ganked constantly.
    11. This goes without saying - don't get sucked in to where you start losing friends. I quit twice, first time because I had a girlfriend who I wanted to spend time with instead of WoW, so I quit (Stephen knows her). After I picked it up the second time, I played with a roommate. I Then played for a full year and a half, being absorbed into it. I quit when I started realizing I was blowing off relationships for the game. It's fun, and addicting if you put yourself into bad situations... but then again, anything is.
    12. Don't ever play a gnome. Have some self respect and don't play a gnome.

  3. Do you want to try a guild that a Mormon would be safe in? Latter Deis Sanctus is a part of a larger community at On the Horde side, we are on the Kael'thas server and the Alliance are on the Vek'nilash server.

    We have mostly Mormons, but not entirely. However, they do have to follow the same code of conduct.

    This is not meant to be a guild promo, just a note if you are wanting to see the social side of the game.

    1. As a member of Mormon Battallion, I approve of this comment!