Thursday, 24 July 2008

World of Weirdness: Part One

The first – and last – time I played World of Warcraft, I played as a ginger Paladin and promptly got annoyed at the number of kiddies offering to fight or fornicate with me. My character ended up hitting things with a shovel, and then got consigned to the recycle bin after two hours.

This happened about a year ago, and I've never been tempted to come back. Today, however, I was off sick from work and in need of some entertainment. In the interest of science, I decided to put my newfound internet connection to good use and install the Trial version of WoW.

The WoW Trial is so easy to download and install, a cynic might assume that the game was made for idiots. Indeed, a couple of hours in the game only reinforced this view; there is nothing that cries “lowest common denominator” louder than the sight of a giant axe-wielding bovine called “Halojunkie” bouncing across the horizon before leaping to its doom off a cliff. Of course, you can’t scoff too much at this: it’s the ease of use that sucks you in faster than a Thai hooker.

Having spent an intense eight and a half minutes conducting research on the various races and classes in the game, I created a Welsh cow, which the game calls a Tauren druid. After some initial naming disappointments – I wasn’t allowed to call my cow ‘Minty’, for some reason – I selected the old standby of ‘Notwelshman’ and entered the world of Azeroth.

Considering that Blizzard routinely touts a number in the region of eight million when asked how many people play WoW, Azeroth seemed awfully quiet. Peaceful, even. I supposed it was lunchtime, but where were all the Cheetos-scoffing students? Where were the unemployed addicts? The gold farmers? Someone tried to sell me a level 60 character, so I politely wandered off and found a quest.

WoW isn’t known as online crack for nothing. In a manner reminiscent of how nicotine hits you hard and fast to draw you in, the first few level ups are practically thrown at you, and in no time at all I was beating on piglets in a an area that reminded me of the Elephants’ Graveyard from The Lion King. Which is where I was challenged to a duel.

Having checked my opponent’s level, I accepted. With a bit of faffing around with my spellcasting – the reason I chose a druid for a character was for the ability to both hit things and heal myself – I managed to win. Then the same guy challenged me again.

The fourth time he challenged me, having been beaten three times already, I accidentally manoeuvred the fight into the path of some wandering pig-beasts, which promptly leapt to my aid and actually killed my opponent – usually, a duel ends with one player down to a few health points. This gave me a chance to wander off, as the challenger would have to run all the way back from the respawn point to find his corpse. Which he did, and then he challenged me again.

At this point, I checked the clock. It was four in the afternoon, and I realised that this person had evidently come online somewhere around the time the schools finished for the day. I was trouncing a twelve year old.

Anyway, as I finished today, my cow druid was at level seven, and had his very own stick to hit things with. I’m going to come back to WoW soon, and I’m going to blog about it a bit. If anyone wishes to join me online, I’m on the Blade’s Edge server, and you’ll need to pick a Horde race. Otherwise I’ll have to come and moo at you.


Melvin said...

Say goodbye to the rest of your free time :)

notwelshman said...

Strangely, it didn't grab me. I may follow up this post (I originally planned to, hence the part one), but on the other hand, I haven't bothered to get a subscription.

Maybe I just prefer being anti-social in my gaming. I rather suspect, though, that I found WoW to be over-simplified as a game. That is, everything it did was done better (gameplay-wise) by a single-player game (FF, KOTOR, etc), and the social aspect wasn't good enough to pull me in.