Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Played Lately: World of Warcraft

  • With the release of Wrath of the Lich King only a few days away, the MMO blog community has been hit by a meme to look back on the success or failure of The Burning Crusade expansion. In only a couple days, we'll be standing in long lines outside the local game purveyor, waiting for our ticket to Northrend, and ready to say goodbye to much lauded and derided Outland. Now seems the appropriate time to evaluate the time I've spent in World of Warcraft.
  • Just about one year ago, I was writing about the WoW end game. (Have I really been level-capped for over a year now? And I'm still playing? I am stunned.) At the time I listed a few goals that I wanted to accomplish. So how did I do?
  • My first goal was to craft epic armor for my primary characters. Sure enough, my mage owns a full set of Frozen Shadoweave armor and my paladin crafted not only the Breastplate of Kings, but was finally able to craft the top level Bulwark of the Ancient Kings. While that makes this sound like a success, there is more to this story. With my mage, I picked Frozen Shadoweave with the intention of sticking with the Frost talent tree. When I started raiding though, it was impressed upon me that I would have to respec to be the most help for the raid. So my newly crafted armor went right into the bank where it is sitting now. As for my pally, the Breastplate of Kings worked out pretty well. At least up until I shelved her in favor of my mage. I didn't craft the upgrade pieces until just recently by throwing a lot of gold around in the auction house. I'm glad I did, so I have something nice to start the expansion with, but I don't know if it will be useful for very long.
  • My second goal was to see the inside of Karazhan and just maybe step foot in Zul'Aman. This goal I met and well exceeded, just with the wrong character. Beyond completing both of those raids, I also got to see Gruul's Lair, Magtheridon's Lair, Serpentshrine Cavern, Tempest Keep: The Eye, and The Battle for Mount Hyjal in the Caverns of Time. While raiding can be overly time consuming, I got nothing but enjoyment from the time I did spend. It's easy to dismiss as a primarily solo player how much fun it is, but getting together with 9 or 24 other people to take on a challenge makes the adventure that much bigger. I'm looking forward to raiding more in the expansion someday and I trust that Blizzard will make it just as fun.
  • My third goal was to enjoy playing my alts. That was like shooting fish in a barrel with this game. WoW is practically designed for solo players to run to the level cap and start over. Kesandru, the warlock mentioned in that year old post, hasn't hit level 70, but she's now been joined by another paladin, a rogue, and a priest in the last few days. Each alt has different goals (like the paladin leveling entirely on Kalimdor) and is played for different reasons. I've already saved a name for the inevitable Death Knight. While Northrend will give me more to do with my level 70 characters, I know I'll be back to my alts eventually.
  • Coming up on my two year anniversary in the game, you might think I would be as disillusioned with it as I have been with Guild Wars. Maybe finishing Wrath will be the nail in the coffin for me, but I'm confident that I will be found in WoW for months to come.

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