Slow weekend on the blog!Â Sorry about that guys. I want to catch you all up on what we’ve been doing.Â It’s actually nice that there’s a reason for the blog being slow other than pure boredom and nothing to write about like the past, and that it’s because we’ve actually been playing a game.Â The journey into WoW is going quite well.Â My Hunter is level 56 and leveling at lightning speeds.Â The experience curve is really silly and it’s not hard at all to stack your log with quests and get two levels after one excursion out into the field.Â Alterac Valley has been ridiculous experience in the 50’s — something like 20% of a level per loss and 50% per win. I’ll be 80 in no time.
To those who said I wouldn’t last a week:Â HAH! I laugh at you sirs.Â HAH indeed.Â Really though, it’s been a lot of fun.Â WoW has a hook that most games lack.Â A serious hook.Â There’s a reason to play and want to progress faster and faster.Â There’s a reason to want to do content.Â These reasons are perhaps defined by nothing more than the potential to do them easily.Â There are ways to get you to whatever goals you set.Â While it’s dumbed down a great deal, it’s also a masterpiece of accessibility.Â You’re given this sense that no matter how bad you are at the game, or how casually you want, that youÂ can be something if you work towards it.Â Even if this truly isn’t attainable for the majority, this is the exact same hook that existed in UO, EQ, and SWG.Â Â It’s not unique to WoW in any way.
The answer to why so many MMO’s fail in the first three months is because they lack this hook and defined purpose that has expanded beyond simply leveling to reach the level cap.Â Lets look at Aion as an example.Â I’ve never had more people come up to me and talk about a game being so linear and lacking in scope as I have Aion.Â It might not even be true in the end yet this is the image that Aion projects on the players as they level up.Â I felt it as early as level 28 on my Chanter while leveling.Â What was my purpose for playing other than reaching the end?Â It’s one of those situations where the player figures out on their own what the outcome will be and then the illusion is gone.
Players need to to have their imaginations and sense of self importance captured and fed immediately.Â Since every single person stepping into a game has an imagination and the ability to picture their characters as become something special, that thought process should be the near the top of the ‘important things’ list.Â Sandbox games capture this well because players feel like there is this malleable world ahead of them with endless possibilities.Â When a game actually makes good on that expectation then we get something like UO and SWG.Â Â Themepark games are great as well — perhaps the best given who is currently the top MMO — because they give a more structured path to the top while being able to tell a story.
In the end, players will ultimately reach a point where they’re no longer imagining the destination.Â When they do, you better hope that when they look in the mirror they see what they thought they would.Â What happens when they don’t?Â Warhammer Online.Â This is where the treadmill for WoW — the part we all hate — helps the themepark progression style game.Â It’s almost like a player says “I’ve reached the top!” and Blizzard interjects “You’ve done so well and achieved your dreams, but why not dream about this next?”Â Â The illusion is continuously expanded and even if it’s artificial it keeps the player going.