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November 27, 2006

World of Warcraft, Free For Ten Days

It's a long, nearly 3 GB download. Maybe some will want to play just to see what that South Park episode was all about. (That's partly why I downloaded it. That, and abject boredom.)

I have to say I really don't get the game's appeal. It's basically just a huge-map, 3-D version of Diabolo with millions of players logged on at the same time. Just like in Diabolo, there's that initial feeling of (false) accomplishment when you improve your "Worn Shoes" to "Rusty Chain Mail Boots" and thus boost your AC, or when your skill at swords goes up, etc. It's fun to watch your numbers go up and buy stuff.

But... well, I played a warrior, and there's no skill at all involved. In first-person shooters, at least, what you do with the mouse actually has some bearing on your success. You either have aimed at the target correctly or you haven't; you're either moving or behind cover to reduce your chances of being hit or you aren't. It's a minor bit of hand-eye coordination, but still, you're sort of in control of how effective you are in the game.

In this game, like in most if not all role-playing style games, everything is more or less determined by your scores. You have one attack option, called "right click." There's no timing involved. You just sit there hitting the attack button, trading hit points with your enemy. Then he dies, and you take his crap. And you get some experience points.

At higher levels, and with magic, and with lots of dudes in your group, tactics will play a bigger part. (As Cartman says, "Hotlink your Divine Shout.") Still, even there, I'm not sure what the big deal is.

It's definitely not a one-player game; the fun comes, I guess, from joining up with other people and devising tactics and teamwork with them.

Still... it does just seem like more playing = better armor and better spells and higher Agility scores, so the fundamental "skill" involved is how much of your free time you're willing to invest to get some kickass magic swords and spells.

Plus, possibly owing to this free deal, it may take over an hour (or even two) to even log in to server during peak hours.

Anyway, figured I'd mention it. It's a big download, but the first hour of it is kind of fun, I guess. It all looks pretty good.

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posted by Ace at 04:34 PM

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