Experiments in Azeroth: Da Beginning

So I’ve been playing World or Warcraft for a couple night ago and unsurprisingly don’t hate it. It feels like I’ve played it before anyway for years and more get that comfortable feeling when playing, like wrapping myself up like some kind of doona caterpillar

It’s all very familiar to the point where I really don’t have to think at all just yet about how to play. Just keep clicking quests and following the mini map, rinse repeat. There is no break out points, interesting and new mechanics to think over and learn and everything that is kind of different is usually based on a familiar principle. I think remembering that B is for the inventory instead of I as been the hardest thing to deal with so far.

I ended up making the Druid that lead the polls for a  harasser to level. Went horde because that’s apparently were all the cool kids are and created a troll. A troll like any other really since the character creator is extremely limited. I expected far more in fact but only a handful of options for each part that really don’t change much.

Not that it matters being a Druid though. I ended up specialising in  the Feral line as I’m almost permanently in the awesome mountain cat look.

MY tigers holding a balloon.. your arguments invalid

MY tigers holding a balloon.. your arguments invalid

Combat is the same as expected, dots and resource builders with feral punctuated by heavier attacks. I don’t have a rotation yet but really, that’s not needed much until later.

The one thing I’m rather impressed about is just how polished the experience feels. I know a lot of people who have said that about WoW and when playing other mmo’s like it but now I seem to understand this. It just feels more polished, far more than any others and playing it does feel better because of it.

JUst the gameplay itself during combat is a lot more responsive. It’s weird to say but it’s rather nice to hit a skill, ability or action and have the character enact it almost instantly. Coming from aus to a US server I usually expect a certain amount of latency in that. I am used to thinking more ahead of time when I’m activating skills, even knowing when to finish them off earlier because technically, on the server they already have. In Archeage their where many things with the combos people from Aus just weren’t able to do, those half seconds of latency between commands, activation and such meant they were unattainable. Here, it feels as though I’m actually playing, weird thing to say but yeh…. I’m rather interested now to see what the aus server is like. Drooling with anticipation in fact.

That does all make a difference to the feel of play. The feel of combat. A feel that is often too muted in other games. It’s weird how much a game being responsive makes a difference. Quitting gw2 probably had a lot to do with the shitty wvw responsiveness, Wildstar PvP was annoying because of it. Getting the interrupts right in dungeons often frustrating. And Archeage… yehhhhhhhhhhh. Even Eso had a few problems with input lag and latency issues.

The game itself is incredibly polished now as well and I guess that is a product of just how many years it’s been running but not running into bugged quests, errors here and there and random game glitches is a big deal in this day and age. Every mmo I’ve played lately have been crippled for months with bugs and such, some more than others and it does wear down on you.

Even when you find elements of the lore, Through quests cutscenes or just playing out before you it all has a solid vision it seems to be working towards. You get a sense of how in depth the lore is, how extensive and expansive. The interplay between characters, factions races and the world. I’ve only just begun and from what I’ve seen speaks of events and elements so much more complex and meaningful.

Wow-64 2014-11-23 21-12-00-708

Blizzard Polish in a way and it makes sense when seeing this why they take so long to bring out patches and expansions, to an extent. They just have an eye for detail and for the most part don’t make any allowances when it comes to the quality now. I’m not saying that is the right thing to do at times but it’s certainly noticeable as an outsider.

So, after this I guess I still want to continue on> the early game is telling as to the general experience but I think I want to experience this end game as well that is one of the main experiences of the Game. That means getting that level 90 Paladin created and starting that new level up to cap, experiencing the dungeons and raids. Probably the PvP as well. This one will definitely be on the Aus server though, need dat ping.


2 thoughts on “Experiments in Azeroth: Da Beginning

  1. When I read people describing their experience of playing WoW in the way you do here I have to wonder if they are playing the same game I played. Certain things almost always come up – the polish, the responsiveness of the combat, the depth of the lore. I never felt WoW was much different in any of those areas than a dozen, a score, of other MMOs I’ve played.

    On the fluidity and responsiveness of combat – I don’t even understand what that is. Playing on US servers from the UK as I always have done I never notice any lack of responsiveness in combat in any MMO (unless there are actual lag spikes or lag storms going on, which is an unusual and exceptional event). I press a hot key with my mouse pointer and my character does a thing. End of.

    Never once when I played WoW did I think “oh my character animations exactly match the attack I just triggered” – that’s what happens in every MMO I’ve ever played. I can see plenty of difference in the aesthetics of animations between games (WoW is one of the less visually appealing – very plain and straightforward) but a disconnect between my mouse click and what the character does? Never seen that anywhere.

    Of course, I’m not someone who watches my character much during combat. I prefer to watch my hotbars and those of the enemy, glancing up periodically to check positioning and reading the tactical situation. Maybe it all seems different to players who use the keyboard by touch ad focus their gaze on the action.

    On the lore side I never got to grips with any of it while I was playing. There seemed to be a lot of it but then there always is. Blizzard have a particularly stilted, unnatural house prose style that I find puts up an effective emotional barrier between me and the NPCs, a barrier I rarely encounter in other MMOs. They also use a font that I find mitigates against emotional involvement and a color palette and aesthetic for quest text that seems designed for emotional distancing. Consequently I tend to feel less involved with the narrative in WoW than in many other MMOs, most of which feel warmer and less technocratic.

    I’m going to have to fire up my free WoW account and do what I’ve wanted to do for a long time – a full textual analysis of WoW’s quest structure. I might also look at the combat animations and see if I can make out what everyone else sees there that I don’t.

    • Maybe it’s just that I’m playing from aus, the land of rather spotty internet as best. I do notice it, I think wow might just be better optimsed with it’s tunneling procedure to make it more noticeable on our Poor ping and shitty connection. I think you uk peeps must just get a faster more stable connection so it isn’t as noticeable.

      It could be to do with focusing on the screen more, playing with a gaming mouse makes pushing buttons rather easy so i do spend more time actually watching the screen.

      Also with the lore I’m not calling it TSW good but there is certainly far more depth, and a far more cohesive story than the regular mmo. Not really quality either, although it not hard to beat the mmo standard, but just the sheer quantity of it that matters.

      Im not reading most of the quest text either but even I can pick out the main characters so far, mostly and that’s far better than every other mmo of played lately.

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