Darren’s right, but I still don’t want to play WoW

Over at The Common Sense Gamer, Darren is talking about being pleasantly surprised by the WoW expansion, enjoying the finely-crafted brilliance of a Blizzard game.

I expected to hear reports like this from people who went to play WoW. Blizzard has given me no reason to doubt that they can produce excellent expansions for a game that I enjoyed for many years. However, hearing Darren talk about what he’s enjoying also reinforces my feeling that I’m done playing World of Warcraft, at least for this expansion.

Since this is a blog, this post is purely personal opinion, and sums up where I’m at with MMO’s after 9 and a half years of playing them, pretty much continuously. EQ, DAoC, SWG, WoW, and Eve have taken up most of my gaming entertainment since EQ’s launch in March of ’99, as well as brief forays into many of the other major MMO titles.

When I hear people complain about PvE in Warhammer, I do understand where they’re coming from. Having people disappear into instances removed some of the liveliness from PvE, I think. A lot of the time, without organizing groups within your guild, or talking up groups in Region chat, you’re left soloing your way through PvE content. For me, though, moving to WoW wouldn’t be any kind of fix for that situation. In fact, WoW would be like doing PvE in WAR, while subtracting the opportunity to participate in oRvR or Scenarios. WoW is a straight grind. Do quests, upgrade gear, do more quests, upgrade gear, only to top out at the level cap with nothing left to do but raid.

Here’s the rub, and probably where I differ from people who really enjoy WoW PvE. I don’t enjoy PvE raiding. It’s dead boring for me. I get impatient moving at group speed, instead of solo speed. I don’t care a lot about gear upgrades from dungeon crawls, because the gear doesn’t get me anything except the ability to do more dungeon crawls. All that time grinding, collecting, upgrading, rinsing and repeating, and I feel like I’m dressed up for a party that’s never going to occur. There’s a predictability to PvE raiding that makes me feel like I’m working.

I don’t mind PvE soloing, though. It’s pretty much how I’ve leveled in every MMO I’ve played (WAR being a very pleasant exception), and for me, there’s little difference between WAR solo PvE and WoW solo PvE. Well, beyond the fact that I did WoW solo PvE for three years, and I really don’t want to do any more. If I’m going to do solo PvE, I’d rather be doing it in Warhammer.

There are a couple reasons I’m content with solo PvE in WAR right now.

First, there’s a point to gaining levels; I get to compete against other players in ever-larger RvR tiers (note: if I enjoyed PvE raiding, there’d be a point to grinding PvE in WoW…but I don’t).

Second, if I don’t feel like PvE grinding in WAR, I can do scenarios or Open RvR. When I decide to do some WAR PvE, it’s because I want to do it, and I’m choosing it from one of three fun options for advancement. I don’t have that choice in WoW. It’s either solo PvE, or group PvE, and I’m tired of not having options.

Third, I’m actually taking my time, reading the stories in the quests, and having fun getting to know a bit about the Warhammer universe. Azeroth feels stale to me. That’s purely personal, and probably has as much to do with my WoW PvE burnout as it has to do with the worlds Blizzard produces. I’m not trying to say that the WAR universe is any better than WoW; WAR is just fresher for me at this point in time.

I’m posting this because I don’t think I’m alone. My blog has been pretty quiet since WAR released, mostly because I’m spending most of my free time enjoying the game Mythic created. It seems like most of the blogs I’m reading are talking about what’s wrong with WAR. I wanted to post what I’m enjoying, in case there’s a silent majority out there who’s also content with WAR PvE (alongside scenarios and oRvR), and doesn’t plan on leaving Warhammer and returning to old familiar grinds.

I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind. You don’t have to like WAR PvE just because I do. I don’t have to convince you that WoW is dull and uninteresting, because I don’t believe that’s true for everyone. It’s true for me, but who the hell cares what I think? :) If you still get a blast out of playing WoW, I can remember back to my glory days and appreciate what you’re enjoying. That’s a chapter in my past, though. WAR is my present and my future, and I’m having a damn good time.

10 Responses

  1. I used to think along these lines with wow, but to its credit:

    http://hudshideout.com/blog/?p=1277

    Things are not what they seem on the surface.

  2. I’m glad you’re enjoying WAR, and absolutely go where the fun is. Looking at both and all things being equal (…and they certainly aren’t…), WoW has certainly upped the PvE bar.

    …unknown if I’ll look into the rainding scene again.

  3. Your thread hits the nail on the head for me. I’ll take jumping into a warband for 30 mins – 6 hours of RVR anytime. WAR has its issues, but I am done with the 7 pm shift in raid instance x. And RL prolly won’t let me do that again if I change my mind b/c… The one thing that WOW has is a bunch of my buddies that still don’t mind running that gear treadmill.

    Hopefully, Mythic hasn’t made endgame WAR into a similar treadmill …

  4. I’m where you are too. WOW leveling is amazing. Blizzard polish is legendary but I still have no interest at all, in returning to WOW.

    WAR let’s me solo, group, do instances and PVP in a way that’s different from WOW, and suits the game play styles that I happen to prefer. WAR’s bugs will eventually be fixed, population problems solved and oRVR density issues resolved. When all of that comes together this will be a great game for people who prefer this type of content.

    WOW’s not inherently better than WAR or visa versa. They’re different games and will suit people differently.

  5. If anything raiding right now is nowhere near the grind, 3-4 years ago.

    I don’t blame folks who got burned out during the 40man raids … hey I was there I certainly remember those nights.

    Blizz went casual which is a good thing. Right now I can see myself doing some raids while at the same time enjoy leveling toons with the wife. Pretty good deal for me.

  6. I’m kind of curious what the definition of ‘raid’ is now. Is a 10 man a raid? What about a 5 man, but one that requires high end gear? Is a raid anything instanced at the level cap?

    Part of the appeal to raiding (for me at least, back in the day) was the epic nature of it. Organizing 40 people to stay focused and take down a stupidly hard instance felt like a huge challenge, and overcoming it was great motivation. How much motivation can you muster up when you full clear an instance in the second week? Most gamers are not like Curse, but if Curse does it in 3 days, how long will it take the rest?

    Post derail aside, reading about happiness in PvE does little for me as well. Even if the 70-79 content is gods gift to gaming, that short burst of leveling followed by the ‘real’ game at cap is rather unappealing. If the content was new and of this quality 1-60, sign me up, but not for just a quick 10 levels.

  7. “Part of the appeal to raiding (for me at least, back in the day) was the epic nature of it. Organizing 40 people to stay focused and take down a stupidly hard instance felt like a huge challenge, and overcoming it was great motivation.”

    That’s exactly where we differ. And it’s just personal taste. Organizing 40 people was tedious to me, and I got very impatient. I have no interest in running WAR dungeons either, although I’d prefer easier rather than the type of challenge you’re describing in WoW. It’s too much like work, and too predictable. There’s little spontaneity in a raid. Some people enjoy the highly choreographed encounters. They hold little interest for me.

  8. Whatever game you play, eventually you will grow tired of it.
    What we all need is alternatives; no-one should be wanting WAR to fail.
    At present I am very happy playing WoW, and don’t want to play anything else, but come the day when I have had enough, I want there to be other games out there, and reading about all the current problems with WAR doesn’t make me feel smug or superior that WoW is (for me) a better product; far from it.

    Lets hope Mythic sort out what needs to be fixed to make the game a better experience for everyone, and not just the hardcore.

  9. I was very bummed out about WoW, but I’ve found the perfect guild to hang with, now that Casualties of War jumped the track and started a WoW guild. To make it even more interesting, I’ve competely started over, enjoying all the old content and instances with a new bunch of people, some of them have been away from the game so long, they have forgotten everything about it, which is nice.

    I’m not saying its for everyone, but sometimes putting a spin on something old can bring new life to it. Besides, starting over pretty much keeps me away from the new content in the expansion till everyone has leveled their poor hearts out, so the newbie areas will be less populated by the time I reach them.

  10. This pretty much sums up my whole feeling about WAR too, except you put it better than I could.

    I personally see PvE as a means to an end; either for specific quest items or for quickly leveling between scenarios.

    I admit I tend not pay too much attention to the details of the quests, but what I like is that, while the actual content is generally of the Kill Ten Rats type of questing, WAR seems to do a pretty good job of keeping the endless back-and-forth between NPCs to a minimum.

    The Dwarf areas tend to be particularly good – lots of nicely clustered quests you can nip round and do in one go.

    Long story short: It’s efficient, relatively painless (apart from Avelorn perhaps) and gives decent rewards, so I likes it.

    PvE raiding, on the other hand, can bugger off as far as I’m concerned. I used to co-run a raiding guild in WoW and it was hard, time-intensive and thankless work. Not going back there any time soon.

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