Confessions of an ex-World of Warcraft gamer.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Me, extended.

In the last post, I included a link that provided the details of the event. I'll talk a bit about my gaming background here and what element of World of Warcraft addicted me. I have gamed since I was 7 and roleplayed since I was 16. Never has either impacted my life in such a negative way. They had their moments, but I didn't flunk out of school or lose jobs over either of them.

When I played WoW, I first played a PvE (Player versus... Everything?) server. No PVP, no RP, just kill, quest, and kill. It was drab and people constantly talked about their real lives. It was too close for comfort for me and I did not enjoy it. The game aspect itself was hollow. Had I stayed on just that server, I would have quit in two months of playing.

I decided to roll on an RPing server. That's when things got bad. It started out okay until I began posting on the forums and whatnot, getting more and more well known. More people to game with, more hours on the game. More roleplay I got into, the more eager I got to find more. To find people to roleplay with could be kind of tricky. I used to RP on Yahoo chat. Around this time, the user rooms had been shut down due to rampant solicitation for underaged sex there, putting a huge hamper on the RPing community. Instead of looking for lighter alternatives, I stuck to World of Warcraft. WoW being my first MMORPG that was pay to play seemed sensational: you had characters that looked halfway decent, a world you could explore and impliment in your roleplay, items, pvp, everything: that reeled me in.

When the honor (for Player vs. Player rewards) and battlegrounds (instanced areas exclusively for PVP games) came out, I really got bad. You see, in WoW, skill does not matter in Player vs. Player- not usually though a good few work their way through it. The better your loot, the 'better' you are in PVP. Your skills and stats are enhanced by these epic items that usually take 5-20 hours a week to aquire. Enchantments, which are acessible to anyone with the gold, make these items better.

I, too, got caught up in this upsweep. While I didnt have the patience to join a rading guild, I still tried to raid and keep up with the new wave. People were starting to tune out RP more and more, which upset me. I wanted to keep up with my PVP honor/loot-happy 'friends.' The server was beginning to go downhill- and maybe for the best. There was already unecessary dramatics from the RP. Now people on the server forums complained about "unfair PVP" and treated the game more and more like a job with raiding and gaming.

When a friend, who had been one of the top players on the server, decided to quit and told me how much he missed his old life, I felt the same way and eventually followed suit. School is now my distraction but I still have a long way to go.

I want to make a game, be it online, offline, portable or home console. When I do, I don't want it to be a shallow and beautified hole that WoW is- or has become (it's original goal was to appeal to the casual gamer). I want it to be casual-friendly and actually require some skills, tact, and thought process. WoW has become a rape of what gaming should be, I think. I think anny MMO made with Everquest's and World of Warcraft's formula that passively encourages people to work instead of game is a rape of what gaming should be.


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