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June 24, 2011

Dear Reader,

Two relatively quick things today.  These two links were on separate blogs on separate days, so really I’m just relinking them here together for your convenience.  If you haven’t already seen them, I strongly recommend you do.  If you’re only willing to watch one, watch the second one; it’s more relevant to WoW, in my opinion, but both are fascinating in the way the discuss game behavior and deconstruct some of the tricks Blizzard has been playing on us for years.  Neither is specifically about Blizzard, just to be clear, but both are so strongly related that I felt they deserved a mention.

http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1014555/Social-Mechanics-for-Social-Games

http://codingconduct.cc/#1523514/Don-t-Play-Games-With-Me

At any rate, I hope you enjoy them.

On a totally different note, I’ve been pondering the question “Once you’re there, how to you break Azeroth’s orbit?”  Or to put it another way, “How can you get away from WoW if you want to?”

I’m beginning to wonder if you can.  MMOs have pretty much ruined single player games for me.  Sure, I might play through them, but I get nothing from them compared to the way I felt about Final Fantasy or Neverwinter Nights (or Baldur’s Gate, for that matter) anymore.  The vast opportunities WoW offers make any single player game feel limited in comparison.  Not to mention that I’m a penny pincher (despite my seemingly constant server transfers), so only getting even 40 hours from a game seems like a rip off, let alone 5 or 10.

I can’t really move to another MMO, because that’s not really breaking WoW’s orbit, is it?  Since FtP are constantly filled with (the equivalent of ) immersion-killing corporate billboards and most of the other “pay” games play just like WoW (Rift, for example, not that that’s a complaint; I enjoyed Rift a lot, but it was just WoW, so I went back to WoW – also, I still need to try EVE, so it may be an exception), so MMOs really don’t provide any escape.

My wife says I get this way every summer, and perhaps I do, if I check my track record on when I played other MMOs.  I don’t know, though,  the second presentation linked above, plus some bad BRD runs (bad in that the tank in every single one was a arrogant doofus), plus Beru’s story all in one day sort of made me want to vote with my feet.  Where, though, do the feet go?  I can read a lot, which I frequently do when I’m not playing WoW, so much in fact that I get tired of reading.  Then what?  Back to WoW or some clone thereof.  I’m just not sure.

How do you break WoW’s orbit?

Sincerely,

Stubborn (down but not out, and still leveling nonetheless – 2 to go to Outland)

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 24, 2011 10:25 am

    Play Minecraft if you want to break the orbit and dream about was is possible ;)

    • June 24, 2011 3:04 pm

      Coincidentally, I swept up Terraria on Steam on day when it was one sale, so while I haven’t played Minecraft, I do have some experience with the more sandbox style games. However, I’ve found that while it’s “sandbox,” it’s still an RPG; there are bad guys, bosses, and goals. I’m not sure if that’s true for Minecraft or not, but I’ve heard that Glitch is going to be combat-free, so I’ve very interested in how that one turns out. Have you heard anything about it?

  2. Gaia permalink
    June 24, 2011 12:44 pm

    I am a relatively recent member of your readership. I’ve generally enjoyed getting to follow along with your views and things that you have chosen to share with us. You seem to have sort of fallen into a rut recently though and it feels like you’re sort of floundering around in search of something.

    I felt inspired to drop a quick comment here because reading this reminded me of something I saw yesterday. If I had more available time nowadays I would probably try and write something for a larger audience but instead you get to be the lucky recipient!

    Some not-so-rhetorical questions for you (I’m hoping you’ll answer them, I just don’t need to be the one that hears the answer)

    What are you hoping to get out of your experience in WoW, what sort of return on you looking for the time that you are investing?

    What is standing in the way of you finding or maximizing your preferred form of return on the time and energy you are investing in the world of Azeroth?

    Lately, you seem to frequently drop hints into your posts that you wish you could find somewhere else to call home (be that a different guild, group, or game) and then often seem to attribute those feelings of homelessness with Blizzard and the world of Azeroth at large.

    There are 11million+ people playing this game. I guarantee you that there is a group of players matching nearly every description imaginable among that player base. I would be shocked if there are not many groups that already exist to match your recent guild idea for example.

    Figure out what you ideally want.

    Figure out how much effort you are willing to put forth to find it, and balance that level of effort with –> What are you willing to settle for if you exceed your allotment of “search effort” points.

    This is actually the thing I saw that inspired this response:

    http://acciohedwig.tumblr.com/post/6800480897/house-pride

    If I were looking for a new guild, and when I interview people interested in joining my group, I approach it with the same attention to detail that I would any other serious and adult relationship that I anticipated committing to for the next 3-5 years.

    For the people I see struggling to find a group (and this is not necessarily directed at you, I mention it here to add perspective) that treat the process the same as they might treat the quest to find themselves a date for this upcoming weekend, it makes me chuckle to hear them ask why they can’t find a serious relationship and keeping ending up with a string of one night stands.

    If you don’t like any of the people in your circle of freinds and aquaintences, there is no shortage of other “circles” out there that are always looking for new members. how much do you value your own contribution to the people you are spending time with, and is the group your spending that time with putting forth the same level of effort/commitment?

    ROFL, that all just sort of spurted out into this little box, sorry for the drive by *Blarrgh* into your comment box! Have a great day!

    • June 24, 2011 1:15 pm

      I see a number of old WoW guilds, including mine, decide lately to widen their net and become a group of people who play multiple games together and not just WoW. My guess is that these kinds of gaming communities will become even more popular in the post-WoW MMO landscape. So I totally agree that there is a huge variety of “circles” out there for each player, even some that weren’t as commonly available when WoW launched.

    • June 24, 2011 3:08 pm

      Gaia, I’ll be answering all your questions as my Monday post; just wanted you to know since I’m responding to all the other comments now that I hadn’t ignored you. Thanks for the input, and I’ll certainly give it a fair shake Monday.

  3. June 24, 2011 1:09 pm

    Interesting question! I quit seriously WoWing just over a couple of months ago after six years, and while it’s not to the same degree as it was I do find myself back on it idling around a bit now. In truth I’m really not happy with Blizzard and some of their business decisions over the past 18 months, but you’re right that there isn’t really another different MMO to play except for EvE. Basically, I’m leveling a goblin for kicks, but I am mad at myself for doing it. >.>

    • June 24, 2011 3:21 pm

      I’m not even sure Eve’s different, I’ve just never played it. I’m leveling a shammy now, for the same reason (and to try out another server) and feeling about the same way.

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