Why You Should And Shouldn’t Play World Of Warcraft
No matter how you slice it, there’s one stigma that World Of Warcraft cannot shake: addiction. It’s the reason why seasoned players choose not to return and why new players actively stay the hell away. However with the game creeping up to it’s 9th birthday, I returned after years of playing to discover why it’s safe for first timers to dip a toe into uncharted waters, and why retired veterans should never swim again.
As many before me, friends set up my Human Rogue as I set up friends on their own adventures, and at first it was an exciting and enjoyable trip through the low-lying areas of Azeroth. But as time ticked over, short bursts of gameplay turned into energy drink-infused overnight marathons and combined with unemployment, WoW became something that I didn’t seem to enjoy, but something I felt like I needed to do. Battling for supremacy against others that played with me was an obsession, been the best in a game that never sleeps fueled the addiction. Uniting as one in a guild group of 25 until 2 in the morning was something I’ll never forget, the teamwork and dedication required in order to receive the treasured chance at a reward at the end was always a satisfying goal and probably was one of my favourite parts of the game itself. But as WoW’s age progressed, so did the need to lure back in the dwindling casual gamer and Blizzard started changing things for the worst, allowing casual players to suddenly purchase all that delicious gear that I’d spent months of raiding to get. From there my time became sparing thanks to employment and I finally made the decision to leave behind not just memories from the past 3 years, but friends who’s faces I’d never seen and characters that I’d built from the ground up. I axed my 60 day subscription and closed my account.
It was odd that a few years later, it wasn’t a world-ending dragon or a deadly Ice King that brought me back to World Of Warcraft, but a panda bear. The lure of WoW called and my once dormant characters were reactivated and fumbling around with all my old key bindings and addons, I attempted to pick up where I left off, however I began to discover a game that had completely change from something I once knew to something that leaves me conflicted and confused. Has it improved? Is it still pandering (lol) to the casual crowd? Now with WoW lining up to see birthday number nine, I thought I’d take a look at why the game is something that virgin players should embrace and elder players should avoid, allowing you to make the safe choice on whether you should delve into the World Of Warcraft.
Let’s get the most necessary part out of the way; World Of Warcraft isn’t addictive, at least not anymore. Any notions you still have from past players screaming at you not to signup should be ignored as the game has changed in your favour. Thanks to Blizzards dwindling subscription rate, it forced them to cater the game away from those who wanted to loiter under their lofty branches and more towards players who just wanted to enjoy the fruits of their labor. What was once hours on end looking for groups to run with and endless grinding, has now become applied cross-server dungeon queue systems and other features that remove the need for spending countless hours trying to actually play the game. Even the levelling system has been redesigned, the quests are more active and interesting, the lore is fantastic and everything is streamlined to make your experience an easy one. Even though the game is designed as an online MMO, there’s more of a single player feeling to it’s lower levels, one I’m sure you’ll enjoy. Play this game and make the decision for yourself, but take my word that it’s far more difficult to become a junkie.
There’s one word in the above paragraph that defines everything to hate about WoW: streamlined. It’s hard to read that last part and not cringe at what’s happened to the game, the gates have now opened for the flood of 16yr old COD gamers spooling in to scream that they’re not getting their loot drops for doing literally no work and spamming trade chat with inane bullcrap. Queue systems have removed any challenge at raiding, epic loot is no longer something that you work for but something that you can collect in the free hour you have between fap sessions and any form of social bonding to achieve a common goal has flown out the window. Never would I have thought that 10man raid’s would become more difficult than 25′s, never did I think that professions would become so easy to level that they become useless and not worth achieving (you can now literally fish in any body of water in any zone to level your fishing ability) and never did I think that basic systems like talent’s and abilities would get watered down to a point where you now don’t even need to bother selecting what abilities you want as the game automatically does that for you. The semblance of the game is there but it’s been totally gutted and all you’re now getting is the shell, making it the most single player MMO on the market. This is a bad thing. We want our tight-knit guild’s back getting loot that noone else can, we want to actually explore the world without been able to fly anywhere or have flight paths now automatically given to us. But mostly, we want the challenge and unfortunately that has now completely dissipated.
No matter what distinction you have with it, make your decision how you will but please make sure you don’t instantly dismiss World Of Warcraft for all it’s past stereotypes as I can guarantee that most of them are no longer true. Log on and make the choice for yourself.