Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ten Days In Sunny Azeroth pt. 3: Young Brightmace Takes A Holiday

(Couldn't update earlier through no fault of mine)

It was right around the time I got to Westfall that I discovered that I could heal myself. Yeah, DURRR, N00B, but come on, it only said “friendly character,” which I assumed meant “people in my party that weren’t me.” The problem with that line of reasoning is that as of writing this, I haven’t teamed up with anything for anything.

My enjoyment of the game is dropping swiftly. Westfall has proven itself to be a blasted wasteland of repetitive death. The roads aren’t safe because coyotes and ugly vulture things will jump at you even if they’re four levels below you. The fat, ugly scarecrow golems aren’t so bad, but they can be pretty tough to take down, but they don’t hover around the paths. I can’t find a trainer in the settlement, just a few dinky shops, a gryphon depot that charges 99 copper to fly you back to Stormwind and some people who want me to take the fight back to the bandits. Fighting bandits and gnolls makes sense, but when I’m fighting them the coyotes have a nasty habit of coming around and bushwhacking me.

Which brings us to the death system. Running back to your corpse can be annoying, but its fecking infuriating when you run back to your body, come back to life and are immediately torn to pieces by coyotes before you can get your auras back up and heal yourself! And the graveyards aren’t a better alternative anymore. In addition to the durability hit your equipment takes, now your combat and magic abilities are crap for a set amount of time. I’m around 13-14 and I have to wait three minutes before my abilities are worth anything. Its as though the game is taunting me. “Don’t feel like running back to your body? Then you’re a pussy! Enjoy three minutes of uselessness!” I could live with that, really. Gives me a chance to get up, stretch, take a piss, get some iced tea, whatever. HOWEVER, after rezzing at a graveyard and getting ready to wait, three more coyotes charge into the cemetery and gangrape helpless old me. The word “fuck” doesn’t even begin to describe the rage this inspires, and it happened MORE THAN ONCE.

So running around Westfall is enough to shake even Brightmace’s faith in his Shovel God. No, that’s a bit too tame. It makes him want to smite himself with his own hammer repeatedly until he concusses himself enough to feel like the pretty visuals of the game and potential “phat lewt” are worth the effort. Maybe it would be more fun if it wasn’t such an “lulz, every man for himself” atmosphere, or I could actually stand up to multiple enemies at a time. I kind of hate to keep pointing to CoH, but that’s been my other MMO experience. My lowbies in that game, even squishies like controllers or defenders can stand a reasonable chance against five guys. Scrappers, Tankers and Brutes can regularly handle groups of enemies that are three levels higher. Hell, on teams, I can engage those same enemies and type out one liners at the same time without fear of death. A paladin who can heal himself, debuff enemies and hit things at a slow-but-not-unreasonable rate shouldn’t have his ass handed to him by an even leveled bandit spell caster. Travel powers in CoH (flight, teleportation, leaping and super speed) become available at lvl 16, temporary jetpacks with limited charges are available even earlier. There’s no way in Hell I’m getting a mount in WoW in the ten day trial.

I dunno, maybe I’m just unlucky playing this thing. Maybe if I fell in with a regular running crew like a guild or some people I know well in real life I could actually enjoy this game. A gnome paladin would be pretty sweet to roll up. As it stands, I honestly don’t think I’ll be wasting any disposable income on this after the free trial expires. I feel like I’ve gotten to know Brightmace pretty well over the last week, but no amount of paladin-y moxie can keep me riveted to this boring dice rolling simulator. It just feels so… Well, the crap about crafting, grinding enemies that you don’t actually enjoy fighting anymore, having to sit through actual travel times if you want to go somewhere. My God, that’s it! WoW is simulating everyday life. THAT IS THE OPPOSITE GOAL OF ESCAPIST FANTASY! There’s a reason why that shit is skipped over in movies!
I shouldn’t be running away from a trio of bandits in the game. I should be running toward a bandit camp, spade raised high, spittle foaming from my mouth as I shout prayers to my Shovel God to guide my hand as I bring down righteous fury on the skulls of the wicked who would dare threaten the peace of the land.

This game is only marginally more exciting than fantasy football. Or is it…?

I hear Warhammer Online’s got a ten day trial. Its got race-specific classes and their orcs are, well, orkier. Maybe Brightmace will ride again as a warrior priest of Sigmar.

No comments: