(Predictably) WoW: wow

World of Warcraft ScreenshotI spent much of today playing World of Warcraft. And much fun was had. On the right you can see Elmlenamor, my Night Elf. He’s cool. He has odd dress sense, granted, but he’s cool. He is a hunter. He has a bow. He has a dagger. He can hide in the shadows. He is what I would be like were I a an elf and stuck inside a computer game.

I’ve only been playing for a few hours, but World of Watcraft has impressed me so far. Things that I like:

  • It loads quickly. Really quickly. You double-click the icon and you’re into the login screen. Half-Life 2 is great, but I don’t ever think “I’ll have a quick play of HL2” because it takes forever to start up.
  • The introductory cinematic was very dramatic.
  • The music is non-repetitive and actually quite good.
  • The patches come via peer-to-peer, so that their server doesn’t get overloaded.
  • The game seems to have a real depth. There really is a huge amount that you can do, be it questing, trading, gaining skills, exploring, fighting…The thing that turned me off City of Heroes eventually was that it was entirely based around combat, and I just got bored after a couple of months. I can’t say that won’t happen with this, but there does at the moment seem to be enough content that you can decide to go off and do something else without it mattering.
  • The quests are interesting – granted, they don’t stray from the standard kill / collect / visit formula, but that’s understandable (what else is there, really?). For example I had to rush around finding herbs so that a man injured fighting spiders could be healed. Then there was a time limit during which I had to get the resulting potion into his hands. It felt exciting šŸ™‚
  • You can only see chat messages from people in your local area, which cuts down on the puerile spam somewhat!
  • Although grouping is encouraged and has advantages, there’s no need if you don’t want to (the manual says, anyway). CoH got to the stage where you couldn’t complete most of the missions without a group, no matter what level you were.
  • If you die you don’t lose experience. While I can see how that makes sense, in CoH I ended up going backwards, which was infuriating. Upon death you are resurrected as a spirit at a nearby graveyard and have to spend a few minutes travelling across country to get back to your body. So it’s annoying enough so you want to avoid it, but doesn’t actually spoil the gameplay.

Do let me know if I start using bullet points too much, won’t you.

Oh, and the Big Leafy Man I’m in front of is in fact a city guardian, so I didn’t have to fight him. Not that it would have lasted very long.