Insanely long essay about World of Warcraft

You’ve got to love HRose’s bright-eyed optimism. He truly cares about these pitiful mortals^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HMMORPGs. Brings a tear to me eye, it does.

I disagree with him in everything he’s ever said, and he’s clearly without a doubt wrong in every case, but the attitude is certainly refreshing.

Well, for a cure to kill-stealing I think FFXI has a great solution… lock the fight to just the party and the mob unless the party cries for help. Heck, I’d have cheered if they’d gone a step further and made it a “classic” FF combat system where the screen spins to the side and the monsters and party line up across from each other and trade whacks. Still, it’s close enough to earn a cigar.

For me, the fun in FF is definitely in combat. It hasn’t stopped being fun either. However, where the “gotcha” comes in is where you are periodically forced to complete some stupid fame-enhancing quest like collecting 100 bottle caps or whatever. If I’m having fun doing what I’m doing, please don’t slam the door shut on that and force me to slog through something I least desire with the goal being “getting through it and back to the fun.” That’s not a game, it’s JAIL. That’s not a reward, it’s a punishment.

A lot of these games are like having a job. You get a paycheck (level up! Bling!) every so often. Going to work and doing the job is not the reward - getting that paycheck is. Now, if seniority at my job meant that my paychecks came less and less frequently the longer I’m there - I won’t stay there long. However, if the job itself is it’s own reward and so much so that the focus is no longer on the paycheck - it’s just an added bonus - then the dynamic changes completely. However, nobody has succeeded in doing this for me yet.

Now designers say “Ah, to break the monotony and give you alternative activities - we’ve introduced CRAFTING!”

Right. Crafting is not something most people do for the satisfaction of doing it. The purpose it serves is in providing an advantage in time spent on the advancement treadmill (through bonuses to combat ability and reduction of downtime) in exchange for time sunk into clickety-click mind numbing manufacturing. Ask anybody if they make widgets at the widget factory for the joy of knowing they can make a lot of widgets. No… crafters do it because they see their sacrifice as benefitting their comrades - a means of giving their friends an advantage against the treadmill, and/or trading that time advantage for a monetary advantage in game. Why money? Because if you don’t want to play the fight=money treadmill, this is an alternative. However, nobody in their right mind should mistake crafting as a satisfaction granting hobby in and of itself. If they ever make one that is, then I’ll gladly trade my sword for a widget crafing kit.

This is an awesome system and one that I hope Blizzard adopts.


That makes sense. Thank you. It still sounds (from previews) that all you do is combat monsters. That doesn’t sound too appealing. It makes me think of an online version of Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance. Note that I never played an MMO, so I am just curious where the appeal is. I would like an MMO if you are spending most of your time role-playing.


That makes sense???

Of course, it makes perfect sense. Apparently, the revolutionary aspect of WoW (according to HRose) is the fact that it is designed to make you enjoy being there, instead of chasing a carrot on a stick. The game is polished, a joy to play, with good interface and great graphics, and one does not have to be painfully aware of the level grind all the time. At least that is how I understood it. I can not attest to the truth of the statement, but I can see that it would make you love a game.

Why doesn’t it make sense to you?



Let alone the fact that declaring something “art” is already veering pretentious, calling WoW the first game ever that is a real work of art is completely silly.

Point 2 says it is first game ever without mechanics based on frustration. I guess there might be a way this point makes sense if he said MMORPGs in particular, but he didn’t.

So, point 1 is complete fluff, and does sound suspiciously like fanboy frothing.

And, point 2 is obviously untrue.

Does it not make sense to you now, too?

PS. The “no killing” MMORPG already exists, it’s called A Tale on the Desert ( ). People say good things, not that I’d know, because I really like killing stuff. A lot.

Also we could very easily get into a revolutionary vs evolutionary argument here, where I might argue that mere polish quite obviously doesn’t make a game revolutionary, and so on and so forth. I would obviously be correct if I were to make this hypothetical argument. But really, why bother?

The gameplay is fairly “evolutionary” EQ-like fare, it seems. You could argue the dungeon instancing or quest-focused leveling are revolutionary, but when you come down to it, its foundation is the basic MMO concept we’ve seen released over the years.

However, the concept of making the game accessible to all players and less frustrating to play is a “revolutionary” concept. That sounds absolutely insane, I know, but it’s true. Up to this point, every MMO has had timesinks, grinds, treadmills, and other unenjoyable aspects meant to prolong the game at the cost of fun. Blizzard is trying to create a MMO where the journey, not the destination, is the truly fun part.

That’s revolutionary.

It is silly because I haven’t explained it in a good way.
Just replace “first game ever” with “first mmorpg ever”. I use to mistake “games” even when I speak just about a genre.

But, anyway, this is the first game in which everything feels like art and in a cohesive, harmonic way. This is new to me, both in mmorpgs and in other genres.

Morrowind, for example, is absolutely immersive, with its own mood. But the gameplay sucks greatly and the models of characters and monsters feel just way too awkward to fit with the rest. You can see that different teams have worked on the project with different results.

What is really surprising is the teamwork at Blizzard. It really seems like a dream coming out from a single and very talented mind. The artistic mood is simply the same throughout the whole game. Involving all the different parts of it, like the music or the interface.

I’ve found a post about J. the Yellow which could be tied to this:

What they do is called “iterative software development,” sometimes known under the fancy market name “Extreme Programming”. Instead of the classic method known as “waterfall,” where you go step by step through the master schedule, with testing at the very very end, with “XP” you test, and retest, and have nearly every aspect of the development team talking to each other. It’s along the same lines as the “design cabal” made famous by Valve’s Half-Life team back in the mid-90s, though XP had yet to come into vogue – it had been around since the early 90s when it was grew out of an in-house project at DaimlerChrysler. (Read more.)[/quote]

The way they built it could be just “evolutionary” (but read J.'s post above to see that it couldn’t be the case). But the result on the player is revolutionary. The feel you have playing the game is the exact opposite of what you get from current mmorpgs. And it’s a concrete demonstartion that the flaws we have seen till now aren’t “built-in” the genre. It’s not impossible to solve those flaw.

Demonstrating this is revolutionary for me. Even utopian.

I am never sure if this child-like glee is because the writer is European or retarded. They both seem to often share this complete lack of cynicism and over the top glee.

HRose, are you drooling while you type?


Ahh, the wonder of being HRose.

In order to make your life more efficient and ease the strain on your heart from scouring individual posts, I propose that you go straight to the source, the Corn Flakes FACTORY, and piss in the corn flakes there. That way you’re sure to cover everyone, and kids all over will get a little bit of Chet in every box.


That post was brief, funny and to the point.


What is funnier is that the impression I gave is shared.

I received a mail from another european webmistress asking me to share my account and promising me to write a very good review with a lot of screenshots. As if I would really care about spreading the hype.

And at the bottom of her e-mail she also placed an image of herself making me cute puppy-dog eyes.

Ah, luckily the account doesn’t belong to me.

HRose has an internet girlfriend! K-I-S-S-I-N-G!

Puzzle Pirates

  • Alan