Wednesday, September 1, 2010

World of Warcraft (3WW)

I am in the midst of the first break I've taken from playing the massively multi player online role playing game (MMORPG) called World of Warcraft (WoW).

I've played this game with several friends (both online and real life) for about 4 years now.  I won't pretend that playing this highly addictive game hasn't had negative repercussions on my life but, on the whole playing this game has been a fairly rewarding experience.  I've had a great deal of fun for a relatively low price, I've met a lot of really nice people, and by God my warlock is a bad looking dude!

On the surface it's kind of difficult to see how such a simplistic game could gain such a following (11 million+ players) but, really WoW is ingenious in its simplicity.  The questing and leveling is very easy to begin with and at later levels you get to see some really visually awesome monsters and areas.

Most zones feel very mysterious the first few times through and it's exciting to discover new areas of what has become a vast environment.  Some question while mundane in their actually task offer insight into the story of the area and some even tie into the lore of the game, making you feel like you're part of something.  The shortness of the quests makes it easy for a player to feel like they've accomplished something and made some progress in the game.

So...having said all that I'm sure you're thinking "Well why the hell did you quit playing?"

Well, with 4 continents, thousands and thousands of quests, and a ton of dungeons (my favorite part of the game), WoW is a HUGE time sink.  I mean huge.  If you have other hobbies either they will suffer or your WoW habit will.  At some point you realize that you're seriously struggling with the choice between your online friends and going outside to play a game of softball (my other hobby).

While playing the game the world is so immersive that it becomes really easy to lose all track of time and space around you.  I've sat there and played for what seemed like a very short session (30-40 minutes) and stopped only to realize it was 2 hours later.  It's like the game causes a time warp in your brain...and its not the good kind.

It's been a little over a month since I've logged in and I honestly still think about playing sometimes.  Its especially difficult when I get bored.  I've started to fill my time with other things, like softball and jogging and quality time with the Translator, that to me seem a lot more productive.

I do plan on going to back to WoW as a hobby when the next expansion (an expansion is basically an extension of or change to the content that the game already has) is released.  This time however I think I might use the parental controls that are available with each WoW account to limit my own usage....or maybe just an egg timer so I know when I've played enough.  The developers at Blizzard have made WoW a lot more friendly for the casual players like myself and for that I am very grateful.

Thanks to folks over at 3 Word Wednesday for the challenge.


gautami tripathy said...

Good luck with WoW!

pitching forward

ThomG said...

An interesting look at gamer addiction.

Angel said...

Sounds sensible to me. Will make for a more rounded life.

drgngirl said...

I have friends trying to get me over to WoW as it is my type of game, but I know I would lose myself in it as you have described...good luck on not getting lost in it again.

Dreamer said...

My brother was pretty hooked on WoW at one time. So I do get what you are saying. It is a major time sink.

Anonymous said...

WoW is a piece of shit. It is nothing but a glorified grindfest chatroom. Textures and creature model are reuses dozens of times. Stop being such a loser and go get some fresh air before they have to amputed your toes.

The Bear Monk said...

While I'd agree with you about WoW being a total grindfest, I wouldn't say it's a complete piece of shit. It's still got a lot of entertaining qualities to it. Of course with the regular jogs I now take and the company softball team I play on, I've managed to find a much happier balance between my WoW game time and getting "some fresh air".


Christian said...
(dont block html >:()

Softball is baseball for girls, homie... ;) jk. Go play a real sport like baseball. You probably won't get a decent work out either as you would with football, American football, basketball, etc.

I would love to hear these wow entertaining qualities. Lets see.. go kill X amount of Y and come back to location Z. I probably just describe 50% of the missions. :p

Jay Thurston said...

Bear Monk, I'm a former WoW addict myself. Played since its release in 04 til last Nov-Dec. Even did the guild leader thing for almost 3 years. I know your joys and pains with the love/hate of the MMOs. A nice write up on the experience, for sure!