By Joshua Temblett (Dontkillmydreams), OnRPG Journalist
There was always something stopping me from playing World of Warcraft. It could have been the addiction I saw my friends spiral into, or it could have been that I didn’t want to Pay-to-Play. Whatever the reason, I’ve never really been attracted to WoW. That is, until now. Earlier this month I decided to give the game a go and start one of their free trials. I can say that the results were very surprising and that the game has certainly made a good impression on me.
Although I hated WoW for what it had done to my friends, I never actually thought the game was bad. In fact I always thought the opposite. I thought the game featured some of the best game design around for MMORPGs, and certainly did enough to advance the genre from its hard core roots. What did annoy me about the game was that the people playing, the casual gamers buying the game, weren’t purchasing it for its outstanding design. Instead they bought it because the game was all their friends talked about and, as is human nature, they just wanted to get in on the action and not be excluded from countless conversations. That annoyed me for some odd reason, it aggravated me to see people just buying a game, and then getting addicted, because they felt so left out of conversations with their friends. Peer pressure?
I went to worldofwarcraft.com and signed up for the free trial. There were a few things I was amazed by. The first being how quick and easy the signup was, the second that the trial downloaded as you played the game, which meant that within about five minutes of signing up I was playing.
I decided to create an Undead Rogue as the premise for that class seemed pretty appealing. I joined a PVP server, named Zuluhed, as I felt it would make the game slightly more interesting and exciting, and it turned out that was the case. Throughout my play sessions a message popped every now and then informing all the Horde that we were being raided by the Alliance. On one occasion I tried to find the raiders, as they were attacking near me, however I failed as I couldn’t find them whatsoever. Instead what I did find was rows of corpses down the main pathways. I assumed this damage was done by them; it was either that or just a bunch of players died all at once, right next to each other.
I had always wanted to play WoW for the interesting raid system that my friends kept talking about. The idea of a bunch of Alliance players going into enemy territory and killing loads of Horde seemed pretty cool. It seemed even cooler when my friend talked about one particular time when the Alliance were attacking a Horde’s main city and the two warring sides lined up and charged towards each other and battled in a large style war. With the newbies dying first, of course.
The only problem with all of this awesome content was that it just seemed so far away from the actual beginning of the game. You had to get to a certain level to experience the really awesome selling points of the game. After you had spent god knows how long to get to all this wonderful content, you’d probably find that in reality it was all really boring and not as utterly awesome that as your friend made it out to be.
My character began his journey in the Undead starter town of Deathknell. There I was taught the basics and given a few simple quests. These ranged from killing monsters to finding someone and talking to them. I guess there wasn’t a lot of variety, however most of the quests were rewarding and didn’t take a lot of time to complete, which made them all the more enjoyable and enticing. I decided to complete all the quests around the area before moving on to the next town of Brill.
Brill happened to be a very long walk away; I did bump into some quest givers on my travels though and decided to take the time out of my journey to kill things. Once I got to Brill, I was mildly over-whelmed by the amount of quests there were to do. Knowing that I would probably do all of them before moving on again, I felt like I had no idea where to get started on what felt like it could be a chore.
After exploring the small town for a bit, I decided to just dive in and take the plunge by accepting all the quests in the area and complete them, and complete them I did and I’m happy I did. I felt like my speedy levelling was because I did the quests, and also I felt much closer to Azeroth and the story surrounding it.
I ask people why they stopped playing World of Warcraft, and for most of them the answer is that they found out it was just a huge waste of their life. After all we only get one, what’s the point of spending a year of it somewhere else in an imaginary land? The only thing is, did you actually waste your time playing WoW? In my opinion no, because even though you may look back on your memories and think about how sad you were, at the time you were surely having a lot of fun. After all, if you weren’t you wouldn’t have kept on playing.
I guess I didn’t want to end up like one of them. I didn’t want to end up getting sucked into the game. You can get addicted to anything, yet World of Warcraft seemed very easy to get addicted to and this was because it was an excellently made product that appealed to a lot of human desires.
After about five hours of gameplay I hit the level 10 marker and managed to duel wield (through achieving a passive skill). I thought it would be really cool, however it seemed slightly less so. I got two daggers and tried out my new skill. It occurred to me that my attacks seemed to miss more wielding two weapons, and the damage didn’t seem to be much of an increase. Maybe that’s just me. I was sure that if I levelled up further, my character would get stronger and better at attacking.
After wrapping everything up in Brill I decided to head to the Undead Captial City, which is especially named “The Undercity”. When first entering, I thought that it didn’t look so big and impressive as I thought it would be. That was until I went underground. My jaw dropped as I got off a lift and first saw the expansive and beautiful city. At this point I realised just how well made World of Warcraft was and I felt like I understood how someone could get addicted to what was a fantastic, vast and carefully created world.
If you haven’t taken a trip to Azeroth yet, I suggest you try out the free trial. Even if you only play it for a couple of days, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised like I was. It’s a brilliant world, just try to make sure you don’t get too sucked in.