Friday, August 12, 2011

18. Didn't you see the sign that said...


When I was younger and at the beginning of my gaming journey I played AD&D. Those are my roots. Myself and a Group of guys (usually about five of us including the DM) would spend our Saturday nights rolling dice and living in a fantasy world populated by intrigue, danger and fast food. The rest of the weeknights would be spend thinking furiously about what our characters might get up to on Saturday next. It was wonderful!

When I was older I found WoW. During BC there was limited automation. Guild members talked over chat but then moved through the world together to meet at the summoning stone. Trade chat was full of people putting together PUGs or looking for crafters. Guilds were smaller then, your Tribe knew each other pretty well and cooperated to get things done. The intimacy of a Group was not there but so many other things were: community, shared vision, shared fortunes, a sense of identity, the thrill of venturing out into the world together to accomplish tasks. Good times.

WoW has now entered a more Global era. Players queue randomly (and anonymously) for greater rewards in 5-mans and PVP; portals whip us around the world without us ever having to touch down. It’s definitely easier. In this Global phase guilds have morphed into bulky entities as the guild XP-chase necessitates larger player pools to build levels quickly. This has produced an ennui in casual players, a certain dulling of focus and lack of connectedness. These current times are a little directionless, but with the ramping up of dailies and achievements a little too led, consequently… not so much fun.

This post sounds like a lament but it isn’t meant to be. I still enjoy this game but I’m finding there are fewer ‘reasons’ for me to play. I think this is down to simply not feeling I’m actually achieving anything. We appear to have moved from an environment where just getting around the world represented an achievement in itself to one where things have been made so easy that activities feel like pointless busy work.

What’s your take on this evolution? Time for Blizz to take a few steps back to create something not quite so easy?

Oh and… Hi! Nice to be back.

: )


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