WoW Considered Boring

I just wanted to say that I’m officially bored with WoW. I predicted that this will happen, but it took a bit longer than I expected. Remember all these posts I made in which I said how the game continues being interesting despite repetitive game play? Yeah, I’m over that now. Repetition has just became tedious. At this point I’m seriously considering canceling my account. I’m having second thoughts of course. I mean I leveled up this character up to 40 so I don’t really want to just toss him. Blizzard says it will probably save my character for all eternity when I cancel, but they don’t guarantee it. So it’s different from a normal single player RPG game where I can just abandon it for 6 months and as long as I don’t lose my saved game files I can come back to it with no problems. My “saved game” is on Blizzard’s server, and as soon as I stop paying them they don’t really have any incentives to keep it around. I know they usually don’t purge cancelled accounts and their characters because there is always a chance that a former subscriber will come back when a new expansion rolls out. But again, I can’t really bank on that.

Don’t get me wrong – I think that WoW is probably still the best MMO on the market right now. It is definitely the best one that I played. I tried Guild Wars, Eve Online, and Anarchy Online and WoW is the only one that actually made me fork over the money for the monthly fee. The game is immense, it runs great on my crappy old computer, and the art direction gives it a unique look and feel that sets it apart from everything else out there. The world is immense and the level of detail put into the design of each location is breathtaking. If you never played an MMO and you want to check one out, WoW is the way to go. That said, I’m bored with it. Here is my post mortem report on what probably killed the fun for me in the end. I will make it a point to log into the game few more times before I hit that cancel button and see if I can locate the fun again but I’m not very optimistic.

Repetitive Game Play

I have said it before, but I’ll repeat it here once again. 99% of WoW missions are a variation of the classic RPG staple known as “kill 10 rats”. They mix it up a bit of course. It’s not always rats. In fact, when I say rats, I really mean a generic monster or humanoid mob that spawns in an area. But it’s all the same – your task is always to exterminate them. Like rats. It’s not always killing exactly 10 rats either. Sometimes you have to kill 15, 20 or just 5 of them. But every mission involves you going somewhere and killing things. Even when the quest doesn’t mention killing of any rats, you can safely assume that it will end up being an implicit requirement. For example, if a quest require you to to find 15 shiny doodads you can bet your sweet ass that these doodads will be either dropped by some sort of rats (or other creatures) at a very low rate, or will be located in an area that spawns new rat mobs every few minutes.

No matter what you do and where you go, you will eventually end up killing rats (or some other sort of local vermin). You are a hunter? Great, go hunt some rats! You are a rogue? Go assassinate me some rats. You’re a spell casting class? Go exterminate some rats with magic! There is very little variation. Once in a blue moon you will stumble upon a currier mission which requires you to take an item to a distant point on the map but those are rare, and far between. Invariably each of these currier runs starts a chain of missions which sooner or later culminate in killing some rats.

There are different modes of game play of course. For example there are instances, where you team up with a group of people and enter specific enclosed area to kill things. The area is instanced, which means that each group of players that enters it gets their own unique copy all for themselves. The enemies are harder and, and the loot is better. They can be an interesting experience if you can find a good group of people to play with. Unfortunately it is not that easy. See my next point about the social aspect of the game. I had one awesome Scarlett Monastery run in which we were all lv. 30-40 and had to work together not to wipe. People had their assigned responsibilities, the leader marked the targets for aggro, and for crowd control and we were hacking away like a well oiled machine. It was great experience, and one that I was never able to replicate again in any of the medium level instances with a rag-tag groups of random players.

Typical approach to running instances such as Scarlett Monastery is to bring a lv 70 alt with you who will plow through the enemies while the rest of the group runs up as swipes the loot from the fallen bodies (always voting need for everything of course). This is not much fun, since all you do is to follow the high level character and bicker over the drops with other players. Supposedly this issue goes away in the end game (since by that time everyone is level 70 and you just have to work together to survive), but I’m nowhere even near that point yet and I’m already sick of these type of instance runs.

There is always PVP but it doesn’t really do anything for me. I guess I’m just not that interested in pwning other players or anything even remotely related to that. Every duel, and PVP brawl I have fought ended with me being raped by a higher level close combat oriented player who could avoid my ice trap ignore the concussion shot, close in, and then end me with less than 4 close combat attacks. I do understand that people love this aspect of the game, but I never really was big into PvP in MMO setting. I can’t imagine playing on a PvP server where ganking n00bs is just a part of the experience.

Social Aspect of WoW

I know that many people play this game because all their IRL friends do, and they get to hang out and do things together in a virtual world. My WoW experience was a lonely one. I basically only know the following 5 kinds of people:

  1. People who don’t play MMO’s and/or video games in general
  2. People who don’t play WoW (at all/anymore)
  3. People who do play WoW but on a different server (usually a PVP one)
  4. People who do play WoW but are hard core alliance players and don’t want to create Horde character
  5. People who do Play WoW but are never online when I am

The fact that the WoW world is so fractured into servers, and that you actually have to pay for server transfer does not really help. It means that if you pick the wrong server you either have to pay, or start a new character if you want to join up with a friend who is on another one. Mostly though it is scheduling – I play at odd irregular hours and my style is very much touch and go. I pop in for an hour, do few quests and sign off. I usually have clear objectives in my mind when I log in (finish quests A and B, go to a town, unload, visit trainer, see if I can level, etc..) and I rarely actually have time to “hang out” and chat.

So without close friends to hang out with in the game world, and no work/school/online buddies with similar schedules or preferences I was left to play with complete strangers. This is not the end of the world, but it is sometimes hard to find decent people in this game. And by that I mean people who do not fall into one of the two extremes: immature wow-tards, and hardcre wow-tards. The line between the two is fuzzy but it usually boils down to this: and immature wow-tard will call you a “fag” for tanking without a shield. A hard-core wow-tard will kick you out of the guild for it.

That is not to say there are no nice people in the game. There are, but they come and go and I’m not the most social person when I’m playing. As I said, I’m on a schedule and I want to accomplish certain things before I sign off. So while I may meet some kind and helpful stranger every once in a I usually don’t hang around long enough to “get to know them”. Sometimes you luck out and you hook up with a really great group of people. Most of the time you run around with bunch of idiots or assholes trying to convince you that they totally “need” every single item drop.

Running solo missions gets boring after a while for the reasons I stated above. Grouping up with complete strangers can get annoying unless you luck out and find some decent folks. Obvious answer to this problem is to join a guild but once again, not all guilds are created equal. I need a slacker guild which consists of people like me – casual players who are just looking for non-idiots to play with at weird hours. I really don’t want to have a schedule, I do not want responsibilities and another job. I don’t want a hard core riding guild!

At some point I actually did join a loosely organized guild like that but it did not deliver what I hoped for – a sense of community. Out of 60+ members I never see more than 4-5 online at the same time. The guild message board is a ghost town, and the guild chat is silent 80% of the time. This seems to be a common problem for small, non-riding guilds. Folks like me join up hoping to meet new people and form alliances but without responsibilities, common goals, perks, strong leadership and organization everyone just drifts apart and keeps doing whatever they were doing before. I don’t really know anyone from my guild. A lv 70 guild mate once ran me through the Scarlett Monastery and sent me some low level loot that was sitting in their bank for months which was nice. We never really met in-game after that.

Here is a request – if you are a regular/casual reader, you play Horde on Kirin Tor and you are happy with your guild let me know! I want in!

Anyway, let me know what draws you in? What makes you keep playing this game? At this point I’m a bit bored. I’m not sure if I’ll ever reach lv. 60. I will probably never get to 70 and venture into Outland because why should I invest in a game that already bores me. Is there a lot of interesting stuff to look forward to in the expansion and the endgame? Did I reach some sort of boring plateau that happens between levels 40 and 60? Let me know if I will miss out of some great fun if I cancel right now, but keep in mind the comments above.

In the meantime I think I might take a break and fire up Morrowind once again.

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7 Responses to WoW Considered Boring

  1. feeshy Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    Call me crazy, but gaming is something I do in my own time and for my own pleasure. The easiest option is to stick to single-player games. I spent more time than I care to mention on Quakeworld back in the day and I still think there is a space for that sort of multiplayer gaming – “jump in”, “kill stuff” and “jump out”. Admittedly you’re going to get owned by guys who know all the spawn points and can navigate maps in their sleep, but it remains fun and requires as much effort as you want to put into it. RPG’s on the other hand require an investment in time – and lots of it. I tried WoW as a MSPORPG and found that at around Lvl 30 if you weren’t co-operative with other players you were going nowhere. At that point I cancelled my account. I enjoy playing alongside, but not with other players. Give me a decent single player RPG and I’m happy. In fact anytime I read a game review that says “focuses on single-player” or “no multi-player” I’m a definite customer. I sympathise with you completely – playing WoW solo or lonely is pointless and very soon it becomes boring.

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  2. Steve CANADA Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    As you know, I created a toon on Kirin Tor (Sleez…warlock). But I so HATE the early stages of constant killing this and getting that, that I honestly could no longer continue. I have one toon at 70, and levelling up that one was excrutiating enough (that one, also called Sleez :) is on Bloodhoof). I cannot imagine slogging through another grind to level up another toon.

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  3. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    Ok, I fixed some of the atrocious typos in that post. I should really proofread these before they go out. :P

    @feeshy: I’m like that too. MMO concept sounds great on paper, but when when it comes down to the actual experience, single player games simply deliver more bang for the buck. Better story, a persistent world and no idiots ruining your fun. :P

    @Steve: Yeah, I figured as much. I did the same thing. I created couple of alts to see starting areas of other races. I made an Undead Rogue, a Gnome Warlock and an Night Elf mage… None of these guys ended up beyond level 10. It was just to much grinding for little or no rewards.

    I really don’t know how do people end up with 4-5 lv.70 characters. Dedication? Obsession? Or perhaps they just respond better to the repetitive gameplay, or found in-game buddies they can hand out with as they level. Meh…

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  4. Aaron UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    I leveled up a 70 and now I’m leveling two more and they are both mid 40s to low 50s. I’ve found that the grind isn’t so bad depending on what zone you are doing it in. Some areas (Blasted Lands and the Badlands most recently) they are obviously kill 10 rats, 10 frogs, and 10 ratfrogs and Blizzard didn’t even try anything else. However, some zones are actually fun because they have enough variety that it doesn’t seem like 10 rats every quest.

    The guild thing, you need to find a good social guild if you want to have fun. I just left one like this, but it was a great group of people who could talk about stuff totally unrelated to wow and just have fun together.

    Frankly, the worst grinds are around your level, then once you get into the higher areas, Blizzard put more effort into storylines and quests, so it seems lest grindy.

    You can tell what areas were made when WoW was young and which ones weren’t because the latter are far more interesting and intriguing. (At your level, the Hinterlands is really fun and Ferales is a little annoying, but beautifully laid out.)

    Outlands is really fun because even though you are still killing rats, these rats are interesting and there are some great storylines along the way.

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  5. Aaron UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Oh and I wouldn’t worry about them deleting your account, my account sat as trial for over 6 months, and they still have NPCs in the game that haven’t been useful for YEARS just in case someone starts playing again and needs them to turn some stuff in.

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  6. Mack UNITED KINGDOM Safari Mac OS says:

    *courier

    Grammarnazism, godwins law, etc

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  7. ikaruga UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    Yeah, that pretty much sums up why I’ve stayed away from these types of games.

    Although, @feeshy@ in the past I found it impossible to play FPS games because of hardcore players. I just don’t have the reflexes to keep up. I did have more success in Starcraft…as long as I survived the first rush, if I recall, tactics and strategies made the difference.

    I think the “idiot” problem of games like WOW is that you don’t have any motivation to play cooperatively. There is no *deterrent* to keep veterans from killing newbies and there is no *incentive* to work in teams (other than, “this is my roomate.”)

    Games like “Left 4 Dead” do that — and I found that to be really fun. The enemies are designed so that (1) unless you stay together, you get picked off and die, (2) if you don’t help each other out (healing, etc), then everyone usually ends up dying.

    At least in brother’s case, who is normally an “idiot” — does things like shoot you in the face for no reason — he’s a team player in L4D. I’m not sure how the online world is though, cuz I haven’t tried it yet…

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