Friday, August 14, 2009

WOW - My (second) Initial Impression

Got my WOW on for the first time in about 4 years last night. After jumping into the game as troll hunter my initial reaction was that I remember the game looking a lot better. It was like watching an old movie that you remember looking really awesome but upon revisiting it you realize that it’s pretty cheesy by today’s standards. Oh well, the engine runs quickly and it supports my new monitor’s 120hz refresh rate. The lack of in game anti-aliasing support is somewhat disappointing, but not a game killer.

The buddy system is an interesting new feature the helps new players get in the game and get caught up with everything. Basically, my friend sent me a WOW trial invite. By creating my account from his email invite it linked our accounts through the buddy system. Now when we play together our experience gained is tripled. We both hit level 13 last night in 2-3 hours and that’s including slacking off time and relearning the game.

Is this a good thing? Yes I like leveling fast but it’s pretty clear that the game was not designed for this speed of leveling. With the experience gains tripled our levels soon outgrew our wallets, and I found myself unable to buy even half of the skills that were becoming available to me. It also didn’t make sense to do every quest because we leveled so fast they became obsolete before getting to all of them. It’s kind of like sampling a bit of each area and then moving on. For someone like me, who hates grinding through quests, this wasn’t a horrible thing.

The new interface options are nice. It’s no longer necessary to download extra spell hot bar mods as it’s all included now. An interesting mod that my friend was using was allowing him to see the area of operation for each quest. This is exactly like the feature that is built into Warhammer Online. Again it makes questing faster but at what cost? You no longer have to read any of the quests to get directions as you essentially have a built in GPS navigator to tell you where to go. Even though it sometimes took a while to find the area one needed to go, it felt rewarding upon finding it. This is no longer.

I still haven’t tried the PVP leveling. I intend to give it a go during our next session. I know that you cannot exclusively level through PVP as there are low level quests that give you essential class skills, such as pet taming for the hunter. So low level questing is still a necessary task.

After the session ended I sat back and decided if it was a fun experience. Talking to my friend who I haven’t spoken with in a while was a fun experience. Some of the questing was a little fun, while others felt a bit too grindy. It’s all too early to decide if WOW is fun to play or if it’s just a good medium for being social. One thing I do know is that I’m looking forward to the next gaming session.


  1. When I started playing again when I was dating the most recent ex...I found the achievement that they have in there very entertaining, you have to check those out such as the achievement for jumping a certain number of feet and not dying or the one for killing all these pests.

    I still say Wow is a mainly social game as it just isn't as fun when you're playing alone. However running around with a few buddies is vastly entertaining. I'll also grant I miss it a lot. At the moment my game time has expired...again...It makes me very sad.

  2. Having friends in the game is a HUGE plus. I started alone the other night but quit when I died repeatedly trying to find some mine for a quest. I should have used my fast ghost to go find it before returning to my bear chewed corpse.