World of Warcraft players are serious. Well, some of them. Trying to purchase tickets to Blizzcon, Blizzards yearly event of Warcraft/Starcraft/Diablo nerding the f out, sells out within seconds. Actually, to be more accurate, in under a second. I was sitting at my computer at the ticket sales web page, clicking refresh two times a second waiting for the magical BUY TICKETS box to pop up. I was on the phone with a friend who was doing the same.
“It’s up!”, he yelled.
As he was saying the word “up”, the box appeared on my screen. I clicked the drop down menu, selected the number of tickets I wanted to buy, and clicked checkout. This process took maybe half a second. Thus, because I was so on the ball and ready to go, I got into the line at…..6742? REALLY? WTF! For the record, my buddy managed to get in at about 2500, which makes sense, seeing how we was in a full quarter of a second faster than me. I will be attending Blizzcon 2010, and expect epic updates on this very website!
But back to the point, WoW players are serious. Tophat shared his thoughts on the MMO experience and lamented the hardcoreness of end game WoW. This casual vs. hardcore debate has been raging on forums everywhere since the game came out, and will continue to do so FOR ALL OF ETERNITY. I’m staying the heck away from that disaster.
To be really “into” end game WoW is to be wired a certain a way. The disconnect, and thus all the friction, is that the process of leveling your character from 1-80 (soon to be 85) is so much different than max level stuff that it might as well be a different game. The problem at end game becomes, dare I say it:
As you level a character, there is no definite way to play. Using skill A over skill B is a matter of preference, as the monster will usually perish in about the same time period anyway. Then the end game rears its ugly head. Blizzard has tuned the raid encounters against better than average damage, healing, and tanking from the players involved. So all of a sudden, that spell you’ve been using a ton of because it looks badass? Well, you don’t want to cast it that much. Its only worth casting if a different spell triggers a certain effect. Oh, you don’t have that talent? Then its never worth casting.
(NERDY EXAMPLE ALERT: Paladins have a talent called Eye for an Eye. If your the victim of a critical hit, it in turn deals 50 percent of that damage back to the monster that crit you. Sounds awesome! Except its totally useless. If your tanking as a paladin, you have to be at the defense cap, which makes you uncrittable, or you will die easily. The defense cap is 540. No, the game doesn’t tell you that anywhere. If your not tanking, the monster should not be hitting you or you will die, so its useless there too. So to get to the point where you take that talent, you will NEVER BE CRIT. So it does nothing. Unless you’re pvp’ing, in which case the set of numbers your working with becomes entirely different. Lets move on!)
Now, it may sound like I’m crapping all over Blizzards end game model. I sort of am, and it is most definitely flawed. That being said, I am INTO IT. I read outside websites (www.elitistjerks.com is your best bet to learn anything). I use online damage per second calculators to determine my ideal gear setup. I know the aforementioned defense cap is 540. The expertise cap is 26. The hit cap is 264 rating, or 8 percent. The spell hit cap is 17 percent. If you don’t play World of Warcraft your probably thinking “Those are a bunch of numbers I don’t understand, but hey I don’t play the game!” The problem is that there is probably a good 50 percent of people who actually PLAY WoW who couldn’t tell you those numbers or what they exactly mean. To be an effective end game player, you need to know the spell/skill rotations and the above kinds of numbers. Only then will you be ready to begin raiding, which brings us to another issue:
Tophat said it; Internet people are terrible. If the WoW experience you have been through involves mostly pugs (public groups, meaning people you just find randomly and don’t actually know) it can be infinitely depressing. You will find terrible players. You will find good players who just constantly yell at the terrible players. And, of course, you will find that most pugs involve terrible players who just constantly yell about how good they are and how much everybody else sucks.
So, I really feel bad for Tophat and others that are in his boat. I was very lucky. I found a guild when I started playing WoW (about 6 months after launch) and have been gaming with them ever since. We laugh at our screw ups instead of yelling. We schedule events so there isn’t 45 minutes of trying to get a group filled out before attempting to actually do something. A common problem we have is when a great piece of equipment drops is all of us try to pass it to each other. We are 10 people who get together as a team to tackle some of WoW’s tougher content but we have fun doing it.
The single most important thing in making WoW enjoyable is who you are playing it with. If you are stuck in pugville, get in a guild that is at about the same level of progression as you are. Learn the end game together. That experience is where this game shines and what keeps about 11 million people hooked.
So, I even surprise myself. I hate math. I hate people! But there I am, two level 80’s, both having better gear than Tophat (IN YOUR FACE, HAT) and both having their own sets of numbers to worry about. Really, MMO is a misnomer in this case. You want no part of the “massive multiplayer” piece of the game. What is best, and what keeps so many hooked, is that when you find those few like-minded players to go slaying internet dragons with, it is gaming nirvana. WoW is terrifyingly like the real world in this instance (GET IT?! Ok, sorry). If you can a learn a little math and meet some people you don’t hate, you’ll go far.
Now if I only my l337 WoW skills translated to real life…….
Filed under: Commentary, Games | Tagged: blizzcon, blizzcon tickets, critical hit, elitist jerks, Elrood, guild, hardcore vs casual, hating people, MMO, MMORPG, nerdy, PC, pc gaming, pug, pugs, raiding, scary math, World of Warcraft |