The Olde Standby

February 6, 2012 - 9:17 am 1 Comment

The Olde Standby

There’s something about World of Warcraft that just keeps me coming back for more. Or maybe it’s something about all the other MMOGs that just can’t keep my attention for long. Whatever the case may be, I’m back in Azeroth! It makes me wonder what it is about WoW that makes it the standby and not some other game. So, for my first post in a year at the World of Warcraft chapter of Die by the Arrow, I’m gonna touch on some things that make WoW special.

Certain games we play seem to grab hold and never shake loose. They become an emotional attachment. Most make an impact early in our gamer lives – Zelda comes to mind as the game that hooked me back when I was  years old. The Elder Scrolls series hooked me in my early teens. And then along came Everquest in my late teens, forever addicting me to the MMOG drug of choice. World of Warcraft somehow became the game to fall back on when all others didn’t make the grade, for whatever reason. Read through the cut to get a glimpse of why WoW is the only MMOG that keeps people coming back for more.

Story, Gameplay, Sandbox, and More

WoW truly provides an experience for all walks of life; with every major patch/expansion, Blizzard proves they intend to make the game universally accessible. People of all ages and experience levels can enjoy the game, from the novice social player to the 60-hour a week hardcore raider, WoW brings compelling content. With recent patches, WoW has become even more accessible, providing a tier of raiding that is easy enough even the most casual players can cope – creating a 25-man raid tier that is no more difficult than a 5-man heroic dungeon. The leveling curve from 1-60 was brought inline with that of 70-85, making it a joy, instead of a task, to level up. World events have been revamped to bring compelling rewards to go with mostly enjoyable content – the Darkmoon Faire revamp is a shining example of Blizzard’s adaptation to a changing playerbase. And there is always the sandbox that is Azeroth to explore. Simply put, 7 years later, WoW has continually proven it can adapt to the players instead of forcing players to adapt to it.

So why did I quit a year ago? Well, for one thing, I like to try every major AAA MMOG title that comes out. RIFT stole the scene from WoW for me. I do believe that RIFT is an excellent MMOG and if I couldn’t play WoW, I would certainly play RIFT. But as fast as Trion could dump RIFT content, it was simply never unique enough to keep my interest. It seemed like every patch was just more of the same; the facade that near monthly updates brought fresh content to the game was just that, a facade. But for six months or so, it was better than WoW – new, fresh, exciting content to conquer where Cataclysm had failed me.

Then along came Star Wars. The Old Republic no doubt draws players for two reasons: Star Wars and BioWare. Star Wars goes without saying while BioWare makes many of the single player games we have come to adore. The combination is a dream right? Not so much. BioWare has shown to me over many months of beta and live play that they just don’t know what the heck they are doing. They write an incredible story, but once the story is over, so is the game. Get to 50 in SWTOR and that’s all she wrote… the endgame is just sorry.

So with the latest two AAA games failing to really cowboy up to the challenge of keeping a subscriber away from WoW, I return to the olde standby. WoW is a monster. A beast that cannot be tamed.

Don’t Call it a Comeback

So I return to Azeroth, hook up some info from a few friends who’ve stuck out the end-of-expansion lulls, and get back on the horse. It took me little more than a week to go from heroic blue gear (i351) to fully epiced out from heroic dungeons, including my T13 two-piece set from LFR (i380). So then I started to repeat the process with my warrior and realized, “wow, I’m burning out already.” The repetition of zero new content (you can only repeat those three heroic dungeons so many times) had me starting to wonder, “Do I really want to play WoW?” The answer was simple: why repeat when you can start over?!

This, my friends, is how WoW keeps people coming back. The character creation process, to include leveling up to the cap, never gets old in WoW. Try playing a second character in SWTOR. Sure, you get a new epic storyline, but all the filler in between is the same old boring crap, and most of it isn’t even all that entertaining. While RIFT can hold its own, the options of where to go to level are nowhere near the scope of WoW’s – 7 years and 3 expansions will do that for a game.

So in my return to Azeroth, I keep my Alliance Hunter up to speed – I do a few dailies and keep the events on check – but my new poison is leveling to 85 with the Horde. Sure, I could just faction change, but like I did in RIFT, I find it enticing to level the same class to 85 with both factions. You can expect to read a lot about it right here at Die by the Arrow.

So What’s the Plan?

For now, I’ll be leveling a couple characters for the Horde. While my wife brings up a Protection Warrior, I’ll be leveling a Shaman and switching to my level 52 Hunter when she gets there. Here’s an interesting tidbit: this Hunter – Gestahl – is actually the original Aalwein; created way back in 2004 and shelved after switching to the Alliance when I met my wife. Interesting how the past returns!

In any case, until such time that a new MMOG can draw me away, Azeroth and the looming panda invasion (ugh, I’ll get to that in another post) have my undivided attention. Keep watching this page for new posts and follow me on Twitter and Facebook to get updates!

So, Warcraft peeps, the Awesomesauce is back!

One Response to “The Olde Standby”

  1. lerb Says:

    Hey, I love this! I’ve never seen this page before but one read and I’m hooked! I think you write really good :) Please, keep it coming!


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