Tuesday, November 9, 2010

WoW is...

Syncaine at Hardcore Casual loves to hate WoW.

He hasn't played the game for quite a while (as far as I understand it), but this doesn't prevent him from showing his disdain for it every once in a while. Most recently he did it in a post where he compared WoW of today to Ultima Online of 1997. It's yet another rant written by a jaded veteran who thinks WoW is too easy, doesn't require any skill, doesn't challenge the players and lacks a proper risk/reward balance. To be honest I think you've read it before.

He calls the game predictable, where almost everything, with just a few minor exceptions, is based on time spent in the game.
"The near-zero challenge of it all is a deal-breaker, as nothing stands out and going in, you already know the outcome. To me it’s similar to ‘playing’ a game like Candyland. When you are young, you still believe you are actually playing it, but at some point you realize that since you have zero control over anything, the ‘game’ is little more than a colorful visual representation of random dice rolls. That to me is what WoW has become; the only ‘skill’ needed to progress or to reach the next ‘ding’ is simply time."
Alice in Wonderland
It's apparent that WoW has lost its magic to Syncaine long time ago, and probably he won't ever be able to be enchanted by it again. I imagine that once the veil has fallen to the floor, you can't think it back. It's like a magician showing his tricks to the audience. Suddenly you see the mechanisms behind, the numbers that are put in a certain pattern, with a little bit of added randomness. It's all numbers, and what's the point, really?

Reading it I came to think of Alice in Wonderland, as she suddenly decides that she's done with the wonderland, unlashing her fury on the queen and her likings:

"‘Who cares for you?’ said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) ‘You’re nothing but a pack of cards!’

At this the whole pack rose up into the air, and came flying down upon her: she gave a little scream, half of fright and half of anger, and tried to beat them off, and found herself lying on the bank, with her head in the lap of her sister, who was gently brushing away some dead leaves that had fluttered down from the trees upon her face."
Syncaine noticed it was just a bunch of cards, and now he has left the Wonderland and the way back to it is closed to him.

But the Wonderland is still available. We have lands to explore, we have stories to be told and we have experiences awaiting us.

WoW is...
Following the form of a recent presentation, I'd like to give a few reminders about what WoW is.

WoW is
Red Shirt Guy standing up for himself and the consistency of the lore.

WoW is
to suddenly find yourself in the middle of an absurde game of pumpkin leeching.

WoW is
a magic night with an unforgettable, non-scripted, non-repeatable guild anniversary.

WoW is
to discover Black Temple, eyes sparkling and legs weak from the pressure and nervousness.

WoW is
to throw yourself into a Gnome Pride Parade under the glorious leadership of General Maxmilian Twinspark.

WoW is
to finally down Moby Dick, and enjoy your well deserved jammy dodger afterwards.

WoW is
to light a fire at the deserted beach at Mist's Edge and eat a Delicious Chocolate cake, looking at the stars, thinking back at absent friends.

WoW is
the unvarnished, unadulterated memoirs of Gerald the Articulate Kobold.

WoW is
to build yourself a sandcastle, with open eyes about how long it will last.

Remembering what it was

WoW is... I could go on doing those snapshots forever, and I'd yet fail in capturing the soul of WoW because it's so different to each one of us and it changes over time. It's like color in water, swirling, emerging, separating, evading our efforts to describe it and define it.

Maybe I too will toss it all around one day, like Syncaine, yelling: ‘You’re nothing but a pack of cards!’

But even as I do so, I hope I'll be honest enough to acknowledge that there was a point in my life when WoW was a hell lot more to me than just a simple, predictable time-reward equation.

52 comments:

Mister K said...

Wow is .... where my friends are. I still enjoy the game immensely and can say I still have plenty to see and do and am looking forward to the next chapter with much anticipation.

Grimmtooth said...

Wow is ...

LEEEEEROY JENKINNNNSSSSS!!!!

Truly, few games match WoW for both in-game and out-of-game lore. Red Shirt guy being the most recent addition to that constellation.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading these comments quite some time about how easy wow is. I am just going to have to disagree. Now, I will give the veterans this, it's easy to get gear right now. You may say too easy. Especially the newest conversion to justice points. My newest 80 was in full t10 well before they would have been with badges. It would have taken me nearly a month to get the other two pieces with the frost system. (Due to my schedule and lack of raiding.)

Now, it is easy to get gear, but wow is not the extreme faceroll that these veterans claim it to be. Consider the amount of players that blizzard boasts all the time. 12 million. Now take the report of Lich King kills. 429,000. Isn't it safe to say that if wow were such an easy game this number would be more in the millions? 1 even 2 million? I know some guilds have ICC and the LK on farm by now.

Another example. When you reach level cap which any person can do since wow is an end game game. Did you know how to play your first maxed character when you got there? Did you know how to maximize your damage or hold everyone to you like glue? Were you the perfect healer who kept your party up 100% of the time? Do you now plow through ICC without a single death??

Wow is a simple game for some but not everyone. I can see the veteran's points having been around and understanding the mechanics of the different classes and boss fights etc. However, there will always be new challenges, new content, and new experiences with friends and even family.

Because you have blown through the content and raids X amount of times does not mean it wasn't a challenge.

Janyaa said...

This is a beautiful post. Thank you, Larisa, for stopping to smell the roses (Tiger Lilies?) and reminding us to do the same!

Wow is...
hearing the shouts over mumble as we down a hard boss for the first time.

Wow is...
a community of fun-loving, creative people who know when not to take themselves too seriously!

manifestpixel said...

Seriously a very enjoyable post. Thank you.

Ratshag said...

WoW is ....

A journey, not a destination.

An excuse to call someone a "glubbernugger."

Fist pumping when that one item finally drops.

The chance to meet the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.

Grimmtooth said...

@Ratters - D'AWWWWWW :)

Sorry, us dwarves get a bit sappy when we've had a few ales.

Which covers a lot of territory ...

Grimmtooth said...

@Ratters - D'AWWWWWW :)

Sorry, us dwarves get a bit sappy when we've had a few ales.

Which covers a lot of territory ...

Janyaa said...

lol- Apparently dwarves double post when they've had a bit of ale, too!

:P

Jod said...

I think so long as there is something to look forward to on WoW there will always be a reason to play it.

When it comes to a point where nothing in it amuses you anymore then nothing anyone including the developers can do will make it right again.

WoW is .. playable by everyone

Frostys said...

Thank you Larissa for such a nice post. It make me feel like the little gnome is becoming more happy about her blogging than she was prior to her break. Hope you really are having pleasure writing all of this.

As for the topic, I guess the magic keeing us in fade at different pace for everybody. It is getting long for me these days. But it does not remove from teh overall quality of the game and how good it will probably still be for quite some time.

On this, I'll ahve a beer.

Grimmtooth said...

@Janyaa - heck if I know what happened there. Must be because tonight is Gin and Tonic nights at Casa de Grimmtooth.

Talarian said...

WoW is ... a game designed in such a way that, literally, millions of people can play in hundreds of different ways.

Difficulty matters very little to the people taking their time, leveling, seeing the sights, role playing, or just hanging out in 5 man heroics in tier 10.

Difficulty matters a lot to the guilds like Paragon, who took months to down the hardest boss in the game. It took many high-skill-level guilds weeks to down Algalon, weeks to down Sarth3D, weeks to down Heroic Halion.

Anyone complaining about the difficulty is not looking hard enough (and frankly, it doesn't take much looking to find). Gear and skill have been conflated in the past, and that's biting veterans in the arse today because they haven't changed their mindset when the game philosophy has clearly changed.

I, for one, will enjoy the Cataclysm for it's new vistas, for the new quests, for the new races, for the new dungeons, for the new raids, for the new healing model, for the new abilities, for the new water, and for my old friends. And when we hit the level cap and begin raiding again, I will enjoy that too.

Azryu said...

WoW introduced me to one of my best friends, and got me to meet up with him in the physical world and make a roadtrip to Blizzcon.

It also led me to my first experience getting drunk >.> My guild's party was definitely fun... :D

Copra said...

Sadly I have to agree with Syncaine on the fact that there is next to nothing in WoW which you can achieve by spending enough time to do it. It's too easy, predictable and simple to be anything more challenging and every time there is something challenging to general population, Blizzard comes around with a way to nerf it to suit the general slob with enough time in her/his hands.

Then again, it's the most entertaining and most polished one there is at the moment.

Sadly so, too.

C out

Shy said...

WoW is...simply more than 'just a game'.

To all those people out there finding the game too easy I would like to say that you've been playing for a reason that no game could ever withstand.

Of course you will find out the game mechanics and how things work, and they all become tricks which you can counter trick. Every game has that.

There are no AI games on the market yet. You can probably only be happy with PVP if you absolutely want unpredictable game results.

WoW is different from other games because of the community. Not because of the game itself. We, people, is what makes this game different. Not how hard a designer can make it.

Larísa said...

@Mister K: very much so. Looking at the WoW is… list I through together without much thinking, it’s very much about community and comradeship.

@Grimmtooth: Gin & Tonic at Casa Grimmtooth! In the middle of the week! I don’t know what to say. Is there something wrong with the drinks we serve at PPI?

@Anonymous: what becomes a little bit silly is when the veterans whine and whine and whine about the lack of challenges, when they as a matter of fact haven’t tried any of the harder encounters in the game for themselves. For someone who is still struggling to become the best she can be, it doesn’t make sense. Do they really consider themselves THAT good? Even Paragon thought that ICC provided some good challenges…

@Janvaa: thank you! I like your flowers too.

@Manifestpixel: thank you, glad you enjoyed it!

@Ratshag: “The chance to meet the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.”
You made me tear up a bit there.

@Jod: I think so too. There will come a point when you’ve just had enough, regardless of what the developers will come up with. But this doesn’t mean that what is there for us now is bad.

@Frostys: Hehe, yeah it was a fun and quick post to write. I could have gone on forever with that list. It’s good to remind yourself about those things from time to time.

And here’s your pint. Cheers!

@Talarian: The thing is that I think there still IS content and challenges that can be interesting to even very skilled veterans. However, as you say, the philosophy has changed so it won’t require them to put a full-time job equivalent of hours into the game to keep up. But really, isn’t that for the good? I think they will change a couple of things that weren’t ideal in Wrath, like the one-instance-at-a-time effect (1 year in ICC, zzzzzz) and the gating of hc modes. The challenge seeking players will get to the core quicker without having to farm as much. Which is a good thing. Maybe even whiners like Syncaine will like it?

@Azryu: Hm… your first experience getting drunk, is that a good thing really? ;)
It’s great though to see how you can meet ral life friends through WoW.

@Copra: I’m sorry, but I’m not with you here, and I know already that you’ll be upset about it as I’m writing this. (I think we’ve been through this before :)) But honestly, how much of the most challenging content have you tried for yourself? Does it really make sense to complain about the easiness of the game when you haven’t tried it that much for yourself, but are relying on the reports from others? Dwism brought it up the other week and I can’t help thinking he, although being a bit unpolished and grumpy, has a certain point. http://dwism.blogspot.com/2010/11/one-month-till-cataclysm-time-to-look.html

@Shy: very much so. If it wasn’t for the people and the community (actually especially the blogging one), I doubt I’d be playing it anymore. As you say: you figure out game mechanisms, but that’s something you do with every game in the end.

Jen said...

@Copra: do how do you explain the number of guilds that are working on LK and haven't killed him? Not spending enough time?

This argument has always baffled me. You can't just "spend more time" doing something wrong and then have it magically start working. The hunter in my group who couldn't run with the plague spent a lot of time not learning to move her ass... how can that behavior be corrected by longer raiding hours?

Krytus said...

Larísa, you've touched this paladin's heart so many times that the only thing I can say is: I love you.

Wolflore said...

Congratulations Larisa for such well written post!

I have to say your blogging is reaching new literary and philosophical heights. keep it coming!

Color me impressed by your writing skills.

Barrista said...

I just don't understand your need to namecall syne when he says nothing bad about you personally, only about this game you like. I use to come here because the view was better. Every time any one says anything bad about this game you come back with a personal attack. It is like you are Smeagol and WoW is your precious.

A truly rational person, one whose addictions are not controlling their emotions, could easily see that syne is right in some aspects. A good gear score is easily achieved. That is why a gear score is asked for. If you can't get score x and enchanted then you are just lazy. Seriously. And there is a reason this game is popular. You think people actively seek out the hardest game to spend their time in? Syne wasn't talking about just raiding... but the game as a whole. Heck, it is even easier to get the right build, you don't have a choice but to get the right one now.

Syne was talking about the game play itself as well. People aren't complaining about FFXIV because the game play is too easy.

And lore is an afterthought in WoW. The only thing exciting me about Cataclysm is the archeology. Maybe it will help me figure out why we are doing quests for who, but will likely
just be a copy of the shiny system in EQ2. But I can hope.

Grimmtooth said...

@Larisa - Nothing wrong with the PPP's selection, but we gotta have something to imbibe while they change out the ale kegs. They're big!

@Copra - Neither raiding nor successful PvP* are time-dependent, though training and practice DO take time, but so does training for flying an F-22, repairing an X-ray machine, or designing a building (the first ten sank into the swamp, you see...). Point being is that these are not elements one masters merely by showing up. Try it some time.

I have no quibbles with those that are too leet to play WoW. There are plenty of games out there to suit every taste, and those people should go avail themselves of them rather than be miserable about something that's not going to gimp itself to suit them.

*(unsuccessful PVP IS a skill mastered by showing up, of course - learning to be a corpse is easy!)

Larísa said...

@Krytus & Wolflore: thank you very much!

@Barrista: ??? Now you're actually baffling me. Am I "calling Syncaine out" just because I disagree with him? And Syncaine of all people isn't exactly my picture of a skinless poor blogger who would suffer terribly from someone objecting against his posts. If any blogger is confrontational, it's Syncaine.

Your Gollum analogy is hideous. If anything it probably reveals something about your own dealings with the game.

Anyway: if you truly don't like the views presented here I have a very good suggestion for you! Don't read it! honestly! I won't mind at all! For your own wellbeing - stick to the blogs where bitter ex-wow-players rant about how horrible the game they don't play is.

I'm sure you'll enjoy it better there. I really think it's a better solution - for both of us.

Akycha said...

I just wanted to chirp in and say it is posts like this that drew me to your blog and continue reading it. It is nice to read a blog were there is though and depth to the posts, but they also can just stop and look at the simple things that make wow and life fun. :D

Tam said...

This is a beautiful post, Larisa. I love it. I especially love that you can still find wonder in Wonderland when there’s such a atmosphere of apathy and “been there, done that” permeating Azeroth at the moment.

@Barrista
Hmm, the only name-calling around here seems to be coming from you. If I say “I don’t like cheese for these reasons” and Larisa says “I like cheese, and this is why”, it’s not a personal attack, it’s an alternative point of view. Just because I don’t like cheese, doesn’t mean Larisa can’t talk about why she does. Also this is not a post about whether WoW is “too” easy, or “too” hard, or “too” like cheese, it’s a post about the way the game offers different things to different people, and the equal validity of all of them – including, of course, the people who have lost their love for the game and chosen to stop playing.

Perhaps you should consider actually reading Larisa’s blog before responding to it. I know this is a controversial suggestion but you might be surprised how much it helps with commenting.

Grimmtooth said...

@Barrista - Hey, Syne is the baddest of the bad, I doubt he cares if some gnome challenges his bluster with some counter points (in fact, I'll bet money he doesn't care about any contrary opinion).

However, I have bandages and bactine handy if he needs it.

syncaine said...

I'm crying on the inside, you big bully! The personal attacks are just too much, I quit!

Two points of irony here: one, you link to events that are more sandbox in nature than themepark, in a game that defines themepark, related to a post comparing WoW to the game that defined sandbox. And you point to the community, which if you polled all MMO players, WoW would win in a landslide as being just below XboxLive in terms of 'quality'.

That aside, nice post, and my point was not that WoW is a bad game, just like Candyland is not bad or worse than Risk overall.

My point was that 2005 WoW was far closer to Risk than Candyland compared to the 2010 version, and hence my distaste for it now (or one of them, anyway).

The game changed, which is something WoW players have, for some reason, trouble admitting, and hence jump to it's defense, even when no attack was made.

Copernicus said...

I played a text base MUD for seven years and loved the heck out of it. What finally made me leave was when I peeled back the curtain and found out how it all worked. I researched the combat system and figured out how critical strikes worked. (everything in the game was hidden except damage done.)

Once I had broken the mystery and turned it into just an interaction of computer programs, I lost all enjoyment in playing the game. When I started playing WoW, I swore to myself I would not do it again.

For that reason, I don't worry about how much haste is optimal, or what gems would be the perfect setup, or finding just the right amount of hit rating. While I do find that type of thing enjoyable, it takes away from what I feel is an even bigger enjoyment: playing the game and getting lost in the fantasy of it.

In the big picture, I'm gaining so much more than I'm losing.

Grimmtooth said...

@syncaine - Really, no sane person denies the game changed.

Most of us just don't OBJECT.

So, perception will often be that you are attacking the people that like WoW.

I suspect you probably know that.

SpiritusRex said...

One of your best posts you have written, Larisa.
I am glad the magic is returning to you. The magic still remains for me and therefore I continue to play and will continue to do so until that day where I've peaked behind all of the curtains.

@ Barrista

I think you may have missed the point in Larisa's opening paragraph where she was not name-calling, but was, in fact, offering up an example of a player who has become jaded with the game (a fact that I do not think Syn would dispute although I don't wish to speak for others). From that point of reference, Larisa then explains contrary to the jaded veteran how the magic still remains in tact for her. Truth be told, you're comment does not seem to represent an actual reading of the OP, but rather a defense of Syn - a defense that, quite frankly, is irrelevant.

theanorak said...

On the matter of "time" vs "skill"

Time is the resource you spend to acquire skill, surely? Your years in school? Time spent to acquire skills. Every on-the-job training course you ever attended? Time spent to acquire skills.

Having tier X gear doesn't mean you're skilled. Doing things that require effort, co-ordination, understanding of mechanics and doing them successfully means you're skilled. Those elements still appear to be in the game, at least the way I look at it.

Nellisynthia said...

"You know Mezzy ..."

The little gnome lass carefully counted her coins, bright and shiny and new, as she lightly walked down the steps before the Argent colesium.

"You know, if Mister Kul had a lick of sense we'd be outta a job. I mean it. Every night he gets all riled up in the tavern, someone dares him to go pick on the cultists, an well, every afternoon we go and get him out, again. Dwarves. Dwarves and beer and and double dog dares ... "

Her words were light, couched in good humor, as she looked across the snowfields. Her oldest companion shadowed her, a cobalt swirl of magic and dreams. The voidwalker only rumbled a bit, drawing the warlock's attention.

"I can see why some might say that. It is repititious, and it's not like the cultists are any trouble. I mean if we want trouble there's plenty to be finding between here and the Frozen Throne."

"But you want to know something?"

A tilt of her head followed, that and a small and very assured nod.

"If I didn't enjoy it, we'd be gone faster than a kobold whose lost their candle."

Clasping her hands behind her back, she started down the trail. Actually, slipping off it a bit, so she could kick up the powder from the morning snowfall.

"An cool afternoon in the company of my oldest friend, workin' together as close as night elves and moonlight, and knowin' there's nothing we can't conjure out together, and by the way, doin' a mote of good for folks.

"What more could a girl ask?"

**********************************

If one was to ask a lil' warlock's player, they might look at it a bit differently. Someone said there's a reason why millions of folks play warcraft, inferring that this is so because it's easy. Well, to tell the truth, scouring a roasting pan that's been left out too long isn't the most challenging of tasks either, but I somehow think an MMO called "World of Doing Dishescraft" would get much of a following. Even if that baked on grease is an epic challenge. The reason WoW succeeds is not because it's easy.

It's because it's fun.

Most folks - the majority of folks I suspect, the majority who don't read blogs or forums, who haven't heard of Elitist Jerks or knew what it was like to be a warlock caught by a rogue ... before there was a Dire Maul ... are playing the game for one reason; they enjoy it.

They are having fun.

Is it fun for every one? Prolly not. Are there no more challenges? Until downing the Lich King on Heroic with No Buff becomes an everyday occurance, yes there are still challenges. And if not, well I remember before there were achievemnts, as before there was an outlands, we'd get together and say ... okay ... how few people do we need to take down Nefarian and run our own undermanned instances. The challenges are there, or if they can't be found, they certainly they can be made.

However, is it possible for someone to have enjoyed the game and now not? Not only possible, but probable.

Is there anything wrong with that?

Absolutely not. I would never gainsay anyone elses enjoyment, what they consider fun. And if, for any reason, someone stopped enjoying WoW from either actual or perceived conditions? Then they should stop playing! It's a game, silly! Well unless they have certain masochistic tendencies, but that's just too icky to think about ...

In return, however, those who still do enjoy the game deserve the same respect as those who have left.

Anonymous said...

The point I think that is being missed is that the game is much more difficult at the start of a new expansion. My guild did heroics right after the start of expansion and they were very difficult. Of course things heroics get easier as an expansion matures and everyone has much better gear. But to compare WoW to Candyland is stupid and absurd. It is said only to anger people. If Sycaine wants to talk about a hard game, how about the mode in Daiblo where when you die you lose not only your gear but your character as well.

Nils said...

In return, however, those who still do enjoy the game deserve the same respect as those who have left.

I support that.

The criticism of players is real. Their concerns are real. Their feelings are powerful.

Sure you can ignore them. And many arguments that are brought forward are silly - on both sides.

But to ignore players is to ignore the chance to improve the game.

Larísa said...

@Akycha: Thank you for your kind words!

@Tam: Thank you! Your support is very much appreciated. I don't have any Chas around here to chase out the trolls as you know.

I can't deny that it happens that I'm bored and whiney too. It's not sunshine and fireworks all day long. But thinking about it I didn't have to look hard to find those bright moments in my own and other bloggers gaming experience - a different way of looking at WoW than only by measuring gearscore, counting achievement points or checking the stat calculations in a spread sheet.

Larísa said...

@Syncaine: Awww! I'm so sorry I hit you so hard! Here's a pint of our best draught that I hope might help to cheer you up. It's all on the house!

Now to the discussion: actually not all of my events are sandbox events. Several of those links go to posts about ordinary raiding as a matter of fact. The "themepark" experience, if that's what you want to call it.

But even so, I think that you still can use WoW as a sandbox and make your own events and adventure if you want to, just taking advantage of the sceneries and tools around you. If you actually CAN run player created events in WoW and I'm talking about that this exist and that it's fun, what's the problem? There's really nothing in WoW that says that you can't.
About the community: actually we're a bit careless when we talk about "one" WoW community. I do it too, but if I think closer about it I think it's a little pointless. I don't spend any time hanging in /trade and I barely read the official forums at all. On the other hand I spend silly amounts of time reading blogs and listening to podcasts and don't tell me that there's anything wrong with that community. It's a wonderful place to hang out for geeks and it's like my second guild, a place full of intelligence, creativity and friendship. Mind you, PPI is also a part of the WoW community, or one of them. Is this such a horrible place you think?

About the comparison back in history, I have to admit that I'm the worst person to do it, since WoW is my first and only MMO and I really don't have firsthand knowledge. What I do know about is my own experience of WoW as it is now, and my point is that there IS much more to the game than an endless chase for gearscore and achievement points, a progression by numbers. It's very much what you do about it. However, once you've gotten your illusions smashed, I reckon it's hard to rid yourself of the feeling, like the one you got from Candyland.

Anyway I'm glad you liked the post and that we can run a civilized conversation, for all what some of your protectors may believe. In the end I think neither you, nor I am entirely black-and-white in our views. But it sure makes a lot better blog posts to take a standpoint, doesn't it?

Cheers!

Larísa said...

@Copernicus: I think that sounds like a good approach to prevent too early burnout.

@SpiritusRex: Thank you very much SpiritusRex. I'm glad you liked it. The magic comes and goes. Not every night is blogworthy and unforgettable of course. But there's still a lot of things that are fun to me and I just don't recognize the picture of the game being just a timesink and predictable numberjuggling.

@Theanorak: I think this too. Sure, there are some fights that are very number depending, thinking Patchwerk. But there are still other fights that aren't like that at all and the ones who love to bash wow for being too easy tend to disregard of this. Which becomes a little silly when they're only referring to second hand testimonies, never having tried them on their own.

@Nelisynthia: So very much this! Whant an enjoyable and wellput comment, even including a bit of fanfiction. It's lovely, like a blogpost of its own. Thank you!

@Anonymous: Actually Syncaine was fairly nuanced in his post, which I happily disregarded of (yes, people who are into PR tend to wring the truth to suit their own purposes, I'm an evil, evil gnome in that manner ;)). He actually said that there were exceptions and that there are a few challenging things you can do in the game, but I disagree with him about the volume - I think there's more of this than he believes - and I disagree with him that this is all there is to do in the game. I tried to remind him and others of the fact that there's so much more to wow than just gearing up, waiting for your numbers to increase following some curve relating to your time spent. The comparsion to Candyland was a bit silly, I agree on that.

@Nils: I honestly think that it would help a bit if the players who have left the game became a bit more nuanced and didn't sound like a spoiled three-year-old laying on the floor yelling " I want...(insert something) I hate you if you don't give me XX/do as I say etc"
Sometimes I wonder if they fear that noone will hear them unless they cry out very loud. You know... It's not forbidden to admit that there are a lot of good things in WoW and then come with suggestions on the few things you'd like to change. If you do it in a civilized manner you might end up discussing with GC, and who knows, maybe he'll listen?

We need dialogue. But sure, it is a challenge since there are so many different opinions among the gamers on what the game should be like. And everyone wants to make their voice and opinion heard.

TyphoonAndrew said...

"the ‘game’ is little more than a colorful visual representation of random dice rolls"

This is true, but what computer game is available where this is not true?

None that I have ever heard of, as everything you can achieve is pre-developed.

If you want an open ended story where your character can do almost anything within the story context then play pen and paper role playing games.

I enjoy wow for what it is, a darn good online game,

Nils said...

Larísa wrote:

It's not forbidden to admit that there are a lot of good things in WoW and then come with suggestions on the few things you'd like to change.

The point I usually make here is that part of the responsibility is always with the reader.

If somebody plays WoW a lot and then complains about something, it doesn't make a lot of sense to criticize him for not listing good things in WoW first.

He plays it!
Quite obviously, he thinks that there are a lot of good things in WoW!

If you as a reader do no realize this - or even turn this upside down by telling him to unsubscribe, since he dislikes WoW, the fault is with you!

Nobody has ever complained about something he did not care about. The louder the complains, the more somebody cares! What he cares about are, obviously, the good things.

If you, as a reader, want a nuanced debate, start with yourself. (And I am not just looking at you, Larísa :).

Do not assume that somebody is a madman, because he complains about a game he plays, but conclude that he obviously likes the game for several reasons and complains because he cares.

Larísa said...

@Nils: But does Syncaine actually play WoW? As far as I understand it he doesn't.

Nils said...

You are right. Syncaine is somehow special and I actually do not read his blog anymore. Still: He complains, so he no doubt cares.

Some of what he says might be stupid, because it is plain wrong for the current WoW-version.
(Reputation grind? I'd love to have it back, but no - there is almost none left in WoW!!)

My point is this:
If Syncaine writes a non-nuanced blog entry, do not make the same mistake, by also writing one. You know that there are things about WoW that Syncaine likes - otherwise he would not care!

Larísa said...

Hehe, deep down he probably does. I guess that's why I'm trying to reach out to him? Maybe my findings, the things I see in WoW can remind him of the aspects he has forgotten about and help him find the way back to Wonderland. Even though I doubt it. Once you've seen the dice and the mechanisms it might be hard to rid yourself of that way of seeing the game.

But do you honestly think this post was that unnuanced? At least not compared to many other posts I've written in the past. I can't see what's so controversial about listing what WoW is to me. Admittedly MY WoW isn't YOUR WoW, as pointed out by Raging Monkeys in a post today. Still: I can't really write about Syncaine's WoW, can I? I think he does that better for himself.

Nils said...

But do you honestly think this post was that unnuanced?

Just look at your very first sentence ;)

Larísa said...

@Nils: That is not controversial imho. It's a fact ;)

syncaine said...

@TyphoonAndrew: "This is true, but what computer game is available where this is not true?

None that I have ever heard of, as everything you can achieve is pre-developed."

MMORPGs.

Now normally I would rip you front to back over this, but the new gentler me is just going to point out to you that the above is EXACTLY why the MMORPG genre started, and is EXACTLY why WoW is a near abomination in it. I'd also normally point out that this mentality is one of the reasons WoW players are like a plague in other MMOs, but that would be mean, and I leave the meanness to Larisa now.

As for what Tobold 2.0 wrote, I care about the MMO genre, and since WoW is a major factor in it (obvious IMO not a good one), it's hard to talk about the genre without mentioning WoW. This post in particular came about from someone asking a question, and if it makes everyone feel better, replace WoW with 'standard mass-market themepark MMO'.

Don't get that confused though, if I controlled everything, I'd shut WoW down today, hoping 90% of it's players went back to Halo and GTA and never coming back to this genre. That whole 'tide raises all boats' theory has long since passed with WoW, and its reputation in other games is well deserved.

And, ultimately, the original post was not even a debate about WoW, as I think even people here have seconded that the game IS easier now than it was, and only a fool would argue the peaks and valleys of 97 UO are even remotely comparable to 2010 WoW. The point of the post was to see if someone who enjoyed the style of a game like 97 UO would enjoy 2010 WoW, and I think the post covers that aspect well.

Larísa said...

@Syncaine: I'm glad you supported my statement that you love to hate WoW! Nils, did you see that?

"but that would be mean, and I leave the meanness to Larisa now"

<3

Larísa the kindhearted carebear is gone. Now I'm a pink pigtailed meanie.

I feel my eyes glowing devilishly! Am I turning into a DK?

It's a new experience and so exciting! I wonder if it will be permanent?

SpiritusRex said...

@ Larisa

"It's a new experience and so exciting! I wonder if it will be permanent?"

I hope you didn't pick up the helm that Arthas dropped!

Nils said...

Saw it, Larísa.

But I refuse to let go of the believe that the world would be a better place if the people wouldn't fight fire with fire ;)

Natalie said...

I agree! =) Very lovely post!

Anonymous said...

This is sickening. You sound like chapters from a self-help booklet.

Grimmtooth said...

Somebody needs a hug.

Redbeard said...

WoW is...

Finding a spot in Eversong where you can watch the waterfall while leaves flutter around you. Then you look outside and see the leaves coming down from the trees in perfect mimicry.

WoW is...

Logging in, saying "Evening everybody," and seeing "Q!" "Hey!" "How's it goin'?" pop up in return. Whispers and other conversations start up as well. (Everyone should have a Cheers moment like when Norm walks in the bar.)