Wither World of Warcraft?

[Final Fantasy XI, World of Warcraft] So I actually spent some time playing World of Warcraft over the weekend. I play a human mage, starting a frost/arcane spec. I have gotten to level 16 so far. The question I keep asking myself, is why should I go any further.

I actually want to get to 20. 20 is the lowest acceptable level that I can do the Dead Mines instance. Instances are what really drew me to this game in the first place. In Final Fantasy XI, there are very few instances and they involve just one combat scenario. But the idea of an extended dungeon with goals that must be completed to accomplish the mission has so much intrigue for me. The problem that I am having is actually getting there.

I can’t comment on any more than what I have experienced so far, but so far I just don’t see the overall appeal of the questing system. The quests are generic, and when I say generic I mean, they are all one of three kinds. Thats it. In FFXI, let alone most other games, quest systems are far more advanced than this. The newness of WoW is also no excuse because many other new games have had far more engaging quests from the very beginning. I mean the quests get to the point of being so simple (but not easy) and dull that, at some point, I figure that the NPC’s will just walk me over to the mob that I need to kill and sit there with an “I’m waiting” expression on their face.

I love the idea of experience rewards for quests, because this is more along the line of the original pen and paper RPG’s of yore. You are also not left wanting for equipment or money. This is a good thing, for now, at least. We will see how the economy changes. I just don’t feel compelled to sit down and start playing. I did feel compelled the first few days that I played. It was interesting, learning the battle system, doing (at the time) interesting quests, and exploring new areas. Now that I have done the introduction to the game, I am having trouble finding out when the game is supposed to become intriguing.

I think there is one major thing that WoW is missing, and that is one of the things that is keeping me engaged in FFXI. There is a complete lack of cutscenes in WoW (besides the opening one, but I mean if that is the only cutscene for the entirity of the game, that is pathetic). There is a story to be found if you read the quest givers notes, but there is nothing to make me feel like I am the one that is doing this quest for a specific reason. With cutscenes, your character is inserted into the storyline supposedly as the story is taking place. This is engagement, this is intrigue, this is not “Kill Ten Rats.”

And so I genero-quest onward to 20 so I can try an instance. I have built up instances in WoW to a great level in my own mind, lets hope WoW doesn’t let me down.


8 thoughts on “Wither World of Warcraft?”

  1. Cutscenes aren’t the “norm” in MMORPGs. They’re realy not needed. Although threwout the different instances in WoW, there’s a good amount of scripted voice acting to go along with major boss fights. My personaly favorite being the opening liner Locksley the Hound Keeper in Scarlet Monastery yells “Release the HOUNDS!” har har har. And who can forget the wailing caverns boss that states “I AM the lizard king!” (The Doors reference)

  2. Have you ever played FFXI? Cutscenes make certain scenarios far more interesting. Maybe I am spoiled on the issue.

  3. I liked the cutscenes in FFXI, and of note they also occur in Guild Wars. They do tend to pull you into the story a bit.

  4. I find the text that goes along with missions in CoH more immersive than cutscenes. I just find there is more depth to the text than to cutscenes.

  5. No other cutscenes in WoW as far as I can tell. I played a Hunter up to 60 and am still playing him, so I probably would have seen one by now.

    You mention “Dead Mines.” Is that an Alliance character you are playing? What class?

    From what I have heard, Alliance get easier quests than Horde players. Also, if you are playing on a PvE server, it is a bit easier to quest than on a PvP server.

    Some of the later quests in WoW are pretty fun. Probably one of the best quests in the game is the Linken series of quests in Un’Goro crater. If you are a fan of Zelda, you will like this quest.

  6. Lets see….You have the Assasinate quest (Kill a specific NPC). You have the Assasinate w/ Proof type (Kill a specific NPC and bring me this item as proof). You have the eradication type (kill xx number of this type of MOB). You have the collection type (collect xx number of this item). You have the messenger/delivery type (bring this item to Soandso). You have the tradeskill type (make xx of this item for Soandso). You have the recovery type (go get this item from BlahBlah not a mob drop, usually a static spawn). You have the escort type (guard Soandso while they walk from point a to point b).

    So I guess if you count like this…1, 2, 5, 4, 7, 6, 8, 3 then yes there are 3 types of quests in WoW. The problem is that you think because you have played 1 race/class combination through roughly 1/4 of the levels that you know the game inside and out. That’s ignorant.

    Now I haven’t played FF XI. So I won’t comment on it. I have played the console versions of most of that series (yah I know that most of them aren’t true sequels). Cut scenes are great but MMORPGs don’t really need or use them as a general rule. Cut scenes are usually added to progress the storyline. In MMORPGs the story line is in constant movement. You may decide to do a quest or get a quest unlocked that other’s dont.

    For example while killing gnolls near Hogger sometimes a note will drop that has a delivery schedule. If you get this note you can do a quest that has you killing the guy who picks up the gold from the mines for the Defias and the gnolls. If you don’t get this drop y ou don’t get this quest. So since not everyone does this quest it’s effect on a cut scene may or may not be felt. This would require drawing up multiple cut scenes for each quest and that would take up more bandwidth etc…

    Also a lot of people will skip them. For example when y ou start a character of a given race there is a “cut scene” that explains the history of that race and it’s “place” in the world. Most people just skip right past it. EQ had some intro cut scenes and almost everybody skipped past it.

    So that too is probably part of the reason they just aren’t used.

    I would advise you to stick to it. Play a character to at least 55 before you judge the game. Remember even if you play 1 race/class combo to 50 you still have probably only experienced about 10% of what the game has to offer. If you really want to have an educated opinion about it then dig in and play more.

  7. I thought the cutscenes in FFXI were cool, especially since they ran through the game engine itself. The problem that I had with the quests in FFXI (especially the ones to increase your rank) was that they were downright punitive in nature. I was lucky in that I had some fairly high-lvl (40s-50s) RL friends that could babysit me through some of the tougher quests.

  8. Wow, Mannox is a little defensive…

    There are two kinds of quests, man. 1) Go get something and bring it to someone. 2) Go kill stuff and report back.

    There are also eleventy billion versions of techno, e.g. house, jungle, buzzsaw, etc. but at the end of the day they are all techno.

    Buddy, I would hate to ask you to, you know, READ what I wrote, but I said pretty clearly, that I had not gotten that fair and I didn’t feel compelled to go further BECAUSE AT THAT LEVEL THERE WASN’T ANYTHING INTERESTING TO DO. WoW may have the best questing system evAr but if I dont feel compelled to get that far then it is just so much pie in the sky.

    As for sticking with it (for no less than 39 more levels, five from the cap) to determine if it is a good game, this is particularly ludicrious. Also see my previous blog entry as to why having multiple “mains” also ruins the emersion factors of games.

    I am sorry if I have offended your fanboi pedigree, heaven forbid a blogger should have *gasp* an opinion! I am forever shamed!

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