Your friend asks if they should try WoW

| Wednesday, November 30, 2011
How do you answer?

For all my complaints, I think I'd still say yes.

Having played it recently, even after having played much newer, more graphically-detailed games, I can still say that WoW looks good. It doesn't look realistic, but it looks good. It is getting dated, but I don't think the graphics are going to seriously harm it for another few years. And frankly, Im not sure I want to play with the "I want a pretty game" crowd.

You can still jump in and play, without wondering what all these buttons do. Not that there are a ton of buttons early on.

Ultimately I think the issue is expectations. When I play WoW I expect, or wish for, a different game than what it is now. A new player would not have that burden. Without that burden, I think they could have a great deal of fun.

For reference, I've given a little bit of time to lotro, rift, and eq2 and none of them quite caught me. I just felt disconnected from my character, as if I were controlling a marionette with very loose strings. Also, the fonts: I am very used to WoW's fonts and eq2 and lotro did not work for me. Has anyone else had a problem with the different fonts between games? I know it sounds silly, but I often felt like I was reading over someone's shoulder rather than reading words meant for me.


Syl said...

Funny that the fonts should bother you. that said, I really disliked EQ2 for all its markers and highlighters and whatnot.

It's an interesting question how we would perceive WoW today as newcomers; I think it's very hard to judge, as much as you might try. not knowing anything about vanilla and TBC would certainly have a big effect - still, I am not sure I would play WoW today. I would try, the graphics certainly wouldn't bother me, I would be less biased by days past - but would I like the current crowd and game focus? I doubt it. I wouldn't be so passionately negative about that though! ;)

I think Rift can really suffer from having played WoW, by the way; I didn't catch me either, but I know part of it was that it's more or less blowing into the same horn as WoW (and I only just left that and really wanted something different). objectively speaking Rift has a lot to offer if you don't know WoW, there's polish and certainly nicer graphics too if you want to compare it.
So, as a complete newcomer I might prefer Rift to WoW.

Skiter said...

Actually this is quite a funny thing. I do have an issue with fonts on LotRO because they don't seem as natural as WoW's fonts also! But overall I don't feel like I'm reading over soemone shoulder, but more like sometimes the font is rather tiring to read for a long time. But overall, I've been playing more LotRO lately. I don't know why, but Deathwing didn't "click" with me as much as the LK (maybe because we saw his rise, his conflicts, etc), and I can see Saruman "clicking" more with me (even though I'm low level and probably will keep leveling slow to see everything and when I get to him he might already be not-the-latest-boss-so-noone-kills-him.

Btw, great blog! I'm sort of a lurker, I've been following your blog on RSS for some time now and just took my first time to comment.

Dwism said...

yes I've become one of those guys.

But after having tried swtor beta, I think the only one I'd recommend wow to, is someone like my cousin, the 12 year old first time mmo-gamer. Because starting people of playing mmo's is something noone can beat wow at.

Paul said...

A few wmonths ago, I had a coworker (who had played the Warcraft RTS games, but never the MMO) whether he should try it.

I told him it was a massive time-sucking vampire and was falling apart, and he'd be well served to avoid getting addicted to it. I don't think he started playing it.

LifeDeathSoul said...

You know it's actually surprising but, I think that WoW will still remain one of the most finely tuned MMOs there is. 7 Years of constant iteration and improvements do show in the game. Now hear me out before you get all your pitchforks and stakes out.

I tried the TOR beta and had a gander at their talent tree system. It's basically a rehash of the early Wrath tree's with some slight modifications. Sure you could create some truly hybrid specs, but I'm not sure about the efficiency of them.

Ultimately though, it has a lot of the old WOW stuff, like tanks getting a automatic reduction to their damage. TOR will be released the same way as Vanilla WOW will be released but I think that's a mistake on EA side. I would expect that from something released 7 years ago, but with all the new advancements in MMO, i am really surprised that they would still stick an old formula. Granted the emphasis in TOR is story, but still some basic stuff like macros and improvements to party forming is kinda expected in the more recent MMOs.

and Yes, I would still recommend people to start on WOW before they go to any other MMOs. For the more hardcore crowd though, I would suggest any Asian MMO like lineage 2 XD

Shintar said...

Well, it would kind of depend on the friend... but I think I'd say something vague and non-committal like: "It's alright."

I do agree that not having the "baggage" of knowing what the game used to be like should still allow current newbies to have some fun, but I also think that the game has become a lot worse and wouldn't actively endorse it anymore.

sam said...

No. A new player will never catch up at this point. For anyone who cares at all about progression or keeping up it's pointless at this point. Questing alone sucks, Questing with people with Heirlooms sucks. Dealing with LFD and people that have been playing the game for 2 to 5 years and are leveling their umpteenth alt and have no patience for anything they consider less than perfect sucks.

the game is just stale at this point and even for new players the negatives outweigh the positives.

Klepsacovic said...

@Syl: Rift might be a better fit, but I wonder if the flood of abilities could be a problem.

@Skiter: When did you start? Deathwing, or at least the black dragonflight, got a lot of coverage in vanilla. But they were mostly out of the picture for BC (tangential netherwing topic) and even in LK they only got a brief bit in Dragonblight.

Thanks for commenting!

@Dwism: Maybe I'm too old-timey, but 12 seems a bit young for MMOs.

@LifeDeathSoul: TOR hasn't really caught my attention. I know, that seems impossible.

Asian games frighten me. This might be based too much on a friend in college who played one of the Final Fantasy games and the language barrier intimidated me.

@Shintar: What has changed that would be less fun for a new player? I may have to demand a post about that, from you and from myself.

@sam: How much does a new player really care about progression? I know I didn't at all. Even if they do, catching up is quite a bit easier now with fast leveling, badge loot, and rolling raid outdating.

Stale for new players or old?

NetherLands said...

I'm on the same page as Sam.

The friend who finally managed to talk me into p(l)aying WoW a few years back also convinced me to wait for Cata ("they will revamp the 1-60 content so 'out-Greying' zones will probably not happen anymore, and Quests rewards will be made more relevant too ") and give it a fair shake, but Blizz actually managed to make things worse from WotLK.

As it is, if you're looking for a 'serious' game (ie one you're willing to pay for & 'invest in'), you're better off not playing :
the frequent gear resets make your end-game endevours transient and meaningless (the hamster wheel, without the simpleness of WotLK),
Heirlooms being way too powerful make it so that investing in the world & levelling content is meaningless (if you're ever going to do group/PvP content you're better off to rush to end-cap ASAP & get heirlooms for your alts than actually playing the actual levelling content).

Add to this that they made some crucial and horrible mistakes with the Questing content (removal of Class Quests, too many mingames that make playing a certain class/race even less important and hence unique, no more Orange/red Quests so just one too easy play setting, Zones like Loch Modan that offer barely any Equipment at all and the Vendors still offer too expensive White gear etc. etc.) and there is very little why I could recomend it to people.

Shintar said...

@Kleps: Well, off the top of my head I would think that...

1) While the world is still visually stunning, it offers a lot less of a "sense of place". New players will get teleported to locations they've never been to, with no idea of what or where they're supposed to be. With the faster levelling they'll also find themselves zooming through zones at a speed that makes it hard to form a sentimental connection with any specific area.

2) With no group quests and the dungeon finder it's harder to find in-game friends that pursue the same goals as you. In the dungeon finder new players are likely to face a lot of rudeness and could find themselves kicked from groups without even a chance to ask for an explanation.

3) You can't really get that attached to your possessions either. I have many fond memories of loot drops that I did and didn't get, and of items that served me for ages. Nowadays most loot is simply "ground out" and then obsoleted by the next patch, which makes it quite forgettable.

Targeter said...

I would recommend they start off with TOR, but the game seems designed around the seasoned MMO audience, you know? It may be difficult for those new to the genre to jump right in (since they don't do a good job of explaining stuff at first). WoW is a good touchstone to start your MMO career, but getting 'spoiled' by some of WoW's 'features' such as LFG and Raid Finder may not be the best approach.

Injera said...

The main issue I have with recommending WoW to anyone I know is the community. I mean, I wouldn't want anyone to read standard trade channel discussions and associate that with me. Or even worse, I meet up with them two weeks later and they say, "those anal jokes on WoW make my day."

Fonts are peculiar things. I absolutely can not play WoW without a font addon. I hated Rift's text font but loved ones they used for big announcements and combat text. Lotro's fonts are just blah, which is really a shame.

Klepsacovic said...

@NetherLands: The leveling game did take a lot of damage with Cata. So there's a big one.

@Shintar: 3) Quite true. But I do remember being quite proud of my badge axe in BC. I suppose the heroics were different back then.

@Injera: I wish I had a time machine to go back and compare then and now. I don't recall a time when trade chat was filled with happiness and trade, but I don't remember things being quite so immature and hostile.

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