Monday, September 1, 2008
Recently, I finally found a really good guild. Before the summer, they were a very active raiding guild. True, we only raided Karazhan or on occasion Gruul's Lair, but still it was something to do. Now, the leadership has decided that since it's so close to the expansion, they don't want to organize a heavy raiding schedule because of the money sink it tends to be. You see, if WOTLK is anything like TBC, after finishing the first quest players will get a reward item that is better than what can be won from a Black Temple raid.
So the leadership spends all their time doing Battlegrounds and Arenas. Which is just as crazy, but even though that gear will have to be replaced it doesn't cost any repair money to achieve, just time. Which since we aren't doing anything organized, they have plenty of.
What is there for the rest of us to do? Well, some try to organize a few Karazhan raids, do dailies or just farm materials to sell on the AH. The Karazhan raids are hard to form when there is no one from upper management supporting their cause and dailies are just as boring as farming at times or dangerous depending on how the Horde are feeling that day.
What else is there for me to do? Why level another alt, of course. Which by now, after working on so many, it's hard to find anything fresh and exciting about running over the same old ground doing the same old quests for the 5 or 6th time.
This all results in me finally saying, I'm bored with WoW, but I'm not the only one stuck in this hole. There are lots of people, who are still going through the motions of WoW only because there isn't a decent replacement. Many set their sights on AoC being the one, but with their buggy launch and steep system requirements, it just couldn't get nor keep the people that jumped over from WoW. This will not be an issue with WAR. As many have already stated, WAR is very close in structure to WoW. The history and story are different, but for the most part both have a scalable graphics engine, PvE content that works well and a great PvP mechanic. The only issue is that WAR does all of those things just a bit better.
True, a lot of fan's of WAR don't like the comparison to WoW, but I think it will do nothing but convince the die hard WoW players to give it a try. I recently heard WAR being described as WoW's sexy older sister that will do more stuff and give you a better time without boring you. That pretty much hits the nail on the head.
WAR will not be revolutionary, but it can be an evolutionary step up the MMO ladder. The idea of a presistant world always at war, with a story line, Public Quests, epic world PvP, living guild system and many innovative ideas. True, none of them are new to the MMO community, but they have been improved and isn't that what we all want? It will be the same but different, which can't be all bad.
Course, WoW plans to steal all the ideas that WAR has come up with so they can win your hearts back when their expansion is released. They are going to offer world PvP with siege weapons along with an achievement system that will give the player more abilities and possibly titles. Between level 70 and 80 you'll be able to participate in skirmishes that will keep everyone happy till they reach 80 and can do arenas again. I hope that's not the same as a scenario?
But that is just the way the guys at Blizzard roll. If you can't beat them fairly, you steal their ideas and make them your own. They've stolen from SoE so why not Mythic. Blizzard didn't do anything revolutionary when they brought out WoW. They took everyone elses ideas, simplified them, made the graphics simple so more machines could run it and added on PvP so the gankers would have something to do. If anything, WoW is a step backwards if you look at it in that light.
I'm not saying that easy is a bad thing. But, it gets old after a while. I've harped on SoE when they started charging for EQ2 adventure packs, but if Blizzard had been doing it, then people wouldn't be as bored as they are now waiting for an expansion pack to be released. They tried by releasing the Sunwell content, but I don't think it was enough. They need to release stuff every 3 to 6 months. I'm not saying it needs to be an expansion, but something that keeps the hardcore people from burning out so quickly. When people are thristy, you don't give them an cup of water you turn on the fire hose.
I just think people are ready to try something and I think WAR will be it. AoC might have filled the void, but the system requirements were too steep and the launch was plagued with bugs and missing items originally promised to be in game. Funcom implimented that game poorly and I don't think it will survive another two years. They've been leaking members since launch like the Titantic. They probably only have half of what they had at launch and once WAR hits the streets they will probably lose many many more.
WAR was pretty stable during the Preview weekend. Were there bugs? Sure, but it was a beta. But the devs have been keeping the gaming community up to date on their fixes and I'm confident that the game will perform even better at launch. Does it look a little like WoW? Yes, but that's one for the plus column. Players familar with Wow will be able to jump right in and pretty much understand how everything works. The game does have some complicated features like Moral attacks, Tactical slots, Influence and the Renown system, but that just adds more flavor to the game. It can't all be as easy as WoW, otherwise we would get bored really quick if all we were playing was a true WoW clone.
The Tome of Knowledge was the only aspect of WAR that I was excited about but was disappointed when I saw it in action. In my opinion, it gives out too many titles and achievements for mundane stuff. I think titles and achievements should be harder to get, not passed out like candy on Halloween. But it's a living, breathing database and in the end that will be it's most important feature.
Basically, players are bored with WoW or more accurately this player is bored. Blizzard is trying to hype things up a bit with WOTLK leaks and trailers, but nothing is really appealing to me enough to stay away from WAR. My suspicion is that Blizzard will deliver yet another lack luster expansion. Sure it will keep players busy for a while, till the first ones make it to 80, then it will be the same grind for rep and end game raiding loot. Sure, there is a new heroic class, that will be played by everyone to death, no pun intended.
Now, I'm not saying that I won't be playing WOTLK. I just think most of my gaming time will be spent in WAR, as will a lot of bored WoW gamers. Will they got back to WoW after a month or so? I'm not completely sure. If they can find the fun that WAR has to provide, I think they will be hard pressed to go back to the same old grind that is WoW.