As part of a feature I’m writing (which won’t actually go to print for a few months), I’ve been forced (see the flowchart) into doing something I’ve resisted for a very long while now.
I’ve installed and started playing World Of Warcraft.
Yes, I have reviewed MMOs before, and of course I’m not ignorant of the massive impact that WoW has had on the gaming world, and especially on the PC gaming world. With Blizzard raking in the money (and arguably, the PC gaming market collapsing elsewhere as a result), I’ve known more than my fair share of WoW tragics, including a few people who’ve (allegedly) lost their jobs because of it. I wasn’t so much worried by the addiction angle as I was not keen on the whole subscription model. Well, that and the fact that I could stack games higher than the combined height of my family that I haven’t finished just yet, so adding the never-ending WoW to the mix seemed like pure folly…
Anyway, all of those objections fall away when there’s writing work to be done, so this morning I fired up my XP gaming rig and downloaded the 10-day client. I don’t have article space to cover off my early findings (it’s not that kind of article), which is why I felt inspired to comment on it anyway, right here. Whether or not you get ten of these things, or I fall headfirst into the WoW abyss remains to be seen…
As an aside, it appears I was lucky to get the client when I did; as I write this, the www.warcraft.com domain (which redirects to the signup for the client) is down. I can’t say I’d be that enthused about paying a subscription to something that falls over often — perhaps it’s just a glitch.
The install is impressive, if only because it streams the data down, so while you are faced with a multi-gig install, you don’t have to worry about that all at once. Having churned the necessary bytes, I set about creating a character; in my case, a Night Elf Rogue. Being something of a fantasy nut, I rather like Rogues, and a Night Elf because, well, real Elves (with the distinct exception of the world’s finest Blood Bowl catcher) are wimps.
I was in a hurry, so I hit the randomise button for physical features. I was rather surprised to then be facing someone who looks a little bit too much like the ex-editor of PC Authority, Tim Dean. Or perhaps Tim is a Night Elf. That might explain a few things, actually…
“Hmm… so I have to go and kill a whole lot of Thistle boars. Thistle be fun…”
“Nightsabers, too. But it doesn’t seem to count if they’re mangy nightsabers, just young nightsabers. Why can’t they be both? A nightsaber who was never taught to keep himself clean (and with all this mass nightsaber genocide I’m engaging in, that seems likely) could quickly become mangy in this damp climate…”
“Hmm… it’s actually more fun hunting rabbits. They squeak in a really cute fashion when you stick a dagger into them…”
(from my S.O)
“If this is a dark fantasy world, and you’re a night elf, why are your arms bright pink?”