Degrees of WoW – 10 Minutes

I did get a single add-on before heading out to the blood elf starting area: QuestHelper.  QuestHelper is a popular add-on that adds the location and direction of the fedex items or NPCs to kill for each quest (much like Guild Wars, Warhammer Online, or Lord of the Rings Online).  The added benefit is the add-on seeks to map out an efficient route for the player to complete the quests.  I liked it.  It made things faster.

So, I grab my first quest.  Kill weak mana creatures that are standing a stone’s throw from the little blood elf enclave.  It seems that through the first few quests that the animals have gone ape-y due to the blood elves loss of control of magic.  It starts really simply, and even though this is a new zone, it feels much like my start so long ago killing wolves in the human starting area.  My first ten minutes are really basic, and I am kind of disappointed.  This was Blizzard’s chance to redo a starting area so that it is engaging.

The NPCs might as well have been sign posts, and the animals could have been boxes.  The area was pretty, but there was no sense of inclusivity.  It was clearly a tutorial in the most banal sense.  I guess I was a little spoiled by Lord of the Rings Online immediate foray into the epic story.  And, Warhammer Online was perfect in giving players the feeling that this was war and war was where they belonged.  NPC’s were fighting NPC’s.  Things were dying.  Cannons were destroying things.  Even when I was alone in the area it didn’t feel like it.  And, honestly that might have been the problem.  I was dead alone on a workday night in a game with nearly 12 million subscribers.  I hope I will run in to someone in the next degree of WoW.

–Ravious
sleepless long nights

7 thoughts on “Degrees of WoW – 10 Minutes”

  1. I see the simplicity of WoW’s starting areas as an important asset. WAR and LotRO are more complex from the get-go, and look more likely to scare off players new to MMOs or the Diku model. It’s evident that WoW significantly increased the size of the MMORPG market. It would be interesting to see how players of LotRO or WAR hadn’t played another MMORPG. It may be that the target market is different.

  2. I play Alliance on Kirin Tor. There are always people making alts, especially in the Draenei starting area. I have done both starting zones several times (Blood Elf/Draenei) and I found the Draenei area to be more fun for some reason. I know that a lot of people have both Horde and Alliance on Kirin Tor, and several guilds will even play both sides.

    Kirin Tor, so far, has been a pretty good server for me. There are even *gasp* real RP guilds there, you just need to know where to look. There are also plenty of non-RP (but still nice, cool people) guilds on the server.

    I still have my PvP characters on another server, but I’ve been logging onto them less and less. I hope you find a good bunch of people on KT to hangout with! Have fun, if you can hehe :)

    Feel free to look me up on the Alliance side (name is Kaezel) if you decide to make an alt there – I’ll at least get you started on that side with some bags and stuff :P

  3. Seriously? Please don’t compare WAR’s banal and boring starting areas with World of Warcraft. The difference between the two is night and day and WAR is poor example of how to start any MMO journey.

  4. Hudson, where did you start WAR? The Dwarf/Greenskins pairing had an excellent starting area, especially the Greenskins.

  5. Actually the starting quests in the TBC ares of WoW are a huge improvement on the original ones :) And QuestHelper helps a lot. Without it leveling up really is a grind.

    You should roll a Draenei, there starting area is really good and you get a great feel of their story. I guess it’s a lot more appealing than Blood Elfs because they are alien gypsies from outerspace.

  6. @Jezebeau: That is an interesting point. LOTRO’s cliff face was definitely higher, but I am not sure WAR’s was more complex. It started things out very slowly, and dying was near impossible. Regardless, gameplay complexity does not have as much to do with inclusivity as the atmosphere/activity.

    @Hudson: Can you explain? I played 4/6 starting areas in WAR, and they all had immediate activity and excitement. Some (Chaos) were weaker than others (Greenskins), but there were things going on. NPCs were active. The atmosphere was active. I think this really helps in the later days of the MMO when there aren’t that many players to give the area’s feeling of activity.

    @We Fly Spitfires: I like alien gypsies from outerspace. Hmmm…

  7. I only played the Greenskins starting area and I really liked it. It was definitely much better than all of WoW’s old starting zones, but the new ones (BE, Draenei) really come close.

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