For the last three years or so, I was constantly thinking about those online RPGs, but the high amount of micro-management you had to do and the steep learning-curve, the newbie-killers and all those other factors led me to ask myself: “Why spending money for that kind of dubious entertainment?”
Then I’ve read many good things about Blizzards World of Warcraft: It was said to have a nice learning curve, few micro-management and to be entertainment-centered – now we where talking…
So I went ahead and bought it last tuesday.
While there were some problems at first when I tried to create my character (Blizzard was quite overrun by the many people trying it out here in Europe), they were solved the same day and since then I had no problems with long waiting lists or disconnects. So from a technical point of view, it’s very satisfying.
And then there’s the gameplay of course.
This is very well done: There are many small things where the designers have tried to minimize the problems other MMORPG seem to have: There’s no senseless doing stupid jobs with your alter-ego just to earn money (you earn money by beating quests which are somewhat diablo-like). There’s this concept of getting double experience points when you log in after a larger pause. Then, if you don’t want to play in a designated player-vs-player-area, it’s immensely difficult to be slaughtered by another player – if you get killed by another player, it’s entirely your own fault. And besides: Other players cannot steal your inventory.
While the game provides an incredible amount of options how to progress your character, it introduces them nice and slowly. I’m still quite the newbie (playing about 2 hours per day I’m now at level 9) and I never felt overwhelmed. Very nice.
The most interesting experience I’ve had so far was yesterday when I was having problems concluding a certain quest alone: The boar I had to kill was just too strong for me.
So I did the logical thing: I went to the nearest tavern and asked around if there was someone willing to kill that beast with me. I soon found someone and we succeeded. This is what I expect from a MMORPG – not forging horseshoes and selling them for much too less money becuase of ebay-caused inflation – each horseshoe taking about 1000 senseless clicks to build.
So WoW is definitely getting my $11 monthly after my one month trial runs out.
Oh. There’s one thing though: Here in Switzerlad, you just get the german version of the game. This is very unfortunate for me as I prefer playing in english realms. Now its quite difficult to talk about something with an other player if I just have my own translation of the german name instead of what’s on the screen of the other players.
This is partly my own fault – I could play on a german realm, but partly blizzards too – here in Switzerland, many of us are used to read and understand english – all the movies are shown in the original language (mostly english) with subtitles for example. I think, that many of us would really prefer to have an english version of the game.
I for myself will probably do as I always do: Use the CD-key of the german original with an english copy I get via other channels. This is not particulary legal, but not that illegal too, I think.
Please, Blizzard, if you hear me: Provide us swiss with an english version of your games in the future.