[url=]World of Warcraft Beta: Diary of an Undead Mage
Blizzard’s World of Warcraft beta is about as smooth as a five-bladed razor, which you know the shaving companies will come up with sooner or later – “It’s five blades, dammit! You know you want it!” Props to The Onion.
I’m playing as an undead mage. I fireball the absolute crap out of monsters and have a magnificent time doing so, but I’m a bit worried about myself. This is the first game where I’ve enjoyed crafting. I’m to the point where I ask players if they have any recipes I can buy. That just feels wrong, like nipple rings when the temperature drops below freezing.
I kill a monster and eagerly see if he drops something I need for my crafting. Only 19 more silks and I can make crimson pantaloons. Someone hold me while I swoon!
See what I mean? I want to make fancy panties. This game is evil. I feel it is my responsibility to keep playing this game so I can report back to you just how evil it is. Oh, and if you’re in the beta and you have any recipes, let’s do some swapping. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours!
The tradeskills are fun because the stuff I need I get as loot drops or find in the wild while I’m doing other things, so tradeskills just sort of happen as I’m going along.
I need more tailoring recipes though, and more enchanting recipes. I’m almost to where I can make an Icy Cloak with my tailoring, and while I don’t know what that is exactly, it sounds cool. Yeah, I’m sure I need an Icy Cloak. Gotta have one.
They way this stuff should work. I never understood what was supposed to be fun about having to run around searching for you resources or managing your harvesters in SWG. It sounded like having to take out the trash or rake leaves up in the yard to me.
DAoC has a lot more level grind than I like. That’s probably my biggest issue with it. I played it over a year though so I really liked it.
With WoW, Blizzard is trying to make the leveling brisk and interesting by letting players focus on quests. Basically, it gives you mini-goals you can complete every play session, so you always feel like you’re going forward. The level curve is gentle too. Typically, the XP needed for each new level only jumps a few thousand XP points, and the XP per mob kill rises as well.
For the end game, WoW is going to try to have both the raid-level stuff of EQ and the factional PvP of DAoC. Do one. Do both. Take your pick.
Dammit! Enough with the WoW kudos!! I do not have time for an MMORPG. Right now I am “this close” to signing up for the AC deal. Since I impregnated my wife, I have stayed away from all things massively multiplayer. DAoC called to me and I stood strong. Not sure I can keep up my defenses much longer.
Tradeskills are fun because THEY ARE PART OF THE GAMEPLAY FOR THE FIRST TIME.
They aren’t built as a simple and empty timesink but they are really part of the backbone of the main game. Part of your character and of your adventuring in the world, not something you throw on an alt and play when you are too lazy to press more than one key every few minutes.
Blizzard has discovered once again the warm water. And again it seems a miracle when in other games crafting is a patchwork with no depth, no gameplay and no real purpose aside being a moneysink and a timesink.
Are WoW’s quests really all that? By now I am so jaded with MMO quests that usually I can’t stand them. They seem to always fall into one of several annoying molds:
Kill a bajillion generic mobs and bring back their remains. (Lineage 2 is the master of this. I don’t mean that in a nice way.)
Kill Bad Mr. Snarfypants (a boss NPC) and bring back such and such key item. (This is the staple of DAOC’s quests.)
Acquire key item by farming the cash to buy it, then bring it back to X NPC. (Some annoying FFXI quests do this.)
Not that some quests in these games aren’t great, but the vast majority of them suck! I remember a highish level quest in DAOC that had you kill all the werewolf lords in Varulvhamn and then later the King, and it was a pretty fun quest with a good story. Then again DAOC also has that master trial where a harpy can pick up a random player during the boss encounter and drop them outside the trial area so they alone don’t get credit. Also want to note that while most quests in FFXI suck, the Rank quests (missions) and the advanced job quests are generally all pretty awesome.
Still, generally speaking, when I find out I have to do a quest for something, it typically elicits a groan of annoyance from me. How exactly does WoW do this better? I love the missions that I did in the Guild Wars alpha as well. Those were a fantastic example of self contained quests that can be fun. Are WoW’s quests anything like those?
Don’t know what the quests are like in Guild Wars. Many of the quests in WoW are mundane, but some are clever. One quest required me to steal a keg of ale and replace it with another keg. Another quest had me poison a dog’s water bowl. For another quest my group had to escort an NPC through a dangerous area and then guard him as he cast a complicated banishing spell. As you might expect, we got attacked in waves by the evil forces attempting to disrupt the spell.
One quest was even a little mystery. Each part of the quest gave me another clue as to the identity of the person I needed to uncover.