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Reader Comments (30)

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 4:11PM jimr9999us said

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Awesome Justin :)

My first foray was GW but it was my first gryphon ride out of Ironforge that got me hooked. I called my wife over to the monitor and told her simply, "Resistance is futile."

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 4:19PM (Unverified) said

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Yea, lots of people fail to realize that WoW pretty much had nothing to do once you hit 60. And lots of people today complain that there is nothing to do once they max level and compare it to WoW? I mean come on. You ran raids on UBRS, LBRS, BRD, Straholme and Scholomance because there was no real end game in till MC was patched in.

But still, the game was pretty good for it's scope when it first came out even though I played with a broke as heck rage mechanic a warrior had back then. Was so bad when I saved up all my rage for that nice big heroic swing only to have it parried and waste all of it.

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 1:08AM JuliusSeizure said

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@(Unverified)

That's a ridiculous analogy. Making better TVs is a matter of technological developments increasing our capacity to produce better physical products. Creating content of any kind for an MMO can only be streamlined so much by technological advances, all of which have to be developed in-house to suit the particular game engine they're using. Most of the development time is spent on concept development, art assets and testing, all of which are mostly dependent on human capacities for thought and creativity.
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Posted: Jan 25th 2012 9:55AM KvanCetre said

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@JuliusSeizure
So much this. Creating a car/tv/phone with the latest technology is apples and oranges to developing content.

You could say its like complaining a new TV show doesn't have as much character development as Lost's 5th season... But even that analogy is a huge stretch.
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 4:20PM LeBouc said

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I thought I was the only one in the world who as a kid who were fascinated by table-top RPGs, warhammer/warhammer figurine games, MMOs, read great tomes and guides on the games voraciously, but never had the courage to actually play them - it's good to know I wasn't alone :P

I'd suggest we should start a self-help group on this but I wouldn't even know what to call it :P

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 4:53PM LeBouc said

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@LeBouc

As an addenum: when I eventually decided to dive into MMO I chose Eve. And everyone know what a casual, shallow, easy to learn game that is.. :P
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 5:07PM Drakkenfyre said

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If you are still interested, D&D Encounters is run at a ton of comic shops.

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Event.aspx?x=dnd/4new/event/dndencounters

Punch in your Zip code, and it will tell you if any nearby shops run it.

It's a storyline meant for one-night-a-week play. Each session is a bit of RP, then an encounter (a fight). It's run on Wednesdays, and the current storyline is set to end on February 15th, and the next one (where everyone starts off fresh) is a week later. It uses 4th Edition rules which are much simplier than the two previous editions (and is much closer to original D&D.)

New players are given a new player kit which includes a character sheet, a map, some promo materials, and possibly a promo card (more on that in a sec.)

You don't have to buy books, you don't have to buy manuals to know how to play. New players are welcome. Just show up, and say you want to play. The only thing you need is a set of dice ($4-$7 in most shops. If they run D&D Encounters, it's almost a guarantee they sell dice) and the Fortune Cards.

The "cost" of playing is a pack of Fortune Cards. They are random cards which you can draw from to gain different benefits and effects. It adds a random chance to your games, and they can be used in home games as well. The cards retail for $4 a pack. There are special promo cards which are also given out to players at certain intervals.

So for the cost of a set of dice, and pack of cards per week, you can try out D&D without needing to buy books, learn a ton of complicated rules, find a DM, or get your friends schedules lined up to all play.

Each season the story is different, and everyone starts off new. No sitting down to a level 1 character while everyone else is level 30. They will teach you as you go.

If anyone else is interested, you should try it out. One of the local players will probably help you fill out your character sheet if you don't know how.
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 6:10PM Elinnea said

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@LeBouc I was the same. My older brother played a tabletop RPG with some friends, and I used to find excuses to be sitting in the basement when they arrived so I could stay in the room and watch. I read all his manuals and was always imagining what it would be like if I ever got to play one. I wonder now what it would've been like if I had.
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 8:38PM Cyroselle said

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@Drakkenfyre Or if you're nowhere near a decent comic of magic (the card game) shop, then iTabletop is a decent online alternative. I'm sure you could find people over on the Massively forums who would be interested in running a few games. http://itabletop.com/
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 4:29PM donweel said

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I played multiplayer games like Enemy Territory and Battlefield Vietnam. Then I tried World of Warcraft mostly because it had a Mac client. Played till end game a bit in the Lich King expansion as my first MMO experience. The whole thing disintegrated in epic guild drama with the Leader gkicking everyone but 40 players, then disbanding. Wow, still having a tast for the MMO thing I went into the DDO beta and onward to Eberron expansion and found a much friendlier community and a fun experience. Since then I played many MMOs but I still return to DDO a few times a week. But like you WoW was the first full time MMO. Although I did play the first Guild Wars beta before that.

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 5:53PM Anulla said

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My first MMO was Ultima Online when it launched back in '98. Back then, it had no quests, and no direction, people stood in lines to train on combat dummies, and you could get killed by a rat in 2 hits. Plus, I was playing on a dialup connection from Hawaii and it was just painful. After a couple months, I gave up, thinking MMOs just weren't for me. I passed on EQ and pretty much ignored WoW until just before it launched, when it really started looking good.

The world of Azeroth was what finally got me to try it in '04. Yeah, the endgame may have been non-existant at launch, but what Blizzard really got right was the world, the sense of exploration and how the quests gradually opened more and more of the world to the player. WoW really nailed the new player experience and for better or worse, became the model that most other MMOs have followed. It's the reason I've been willing to try other MMOs like Eve, Rift, Age of Conan, and others. I played it for 5 years.

It's easy to carp about a lot of things in WoW and second-guess what Blizzard plans to do with it in the future, but it can't be denied that they did a great job of making a game that just about anyone could find something to enjoy in, whether you were a hardcore raider or a casual carebear. The world of Azeroth was big enough for all those players.

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 5:53PM Vandal said

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This article echoes similar to mine and probably millions of other gamers back in the day when MMOs were a niche market. We had all heard about MMOs but we never played them. Although it was not out of fear, it was simply never seeing anything that was remotely worth the money (I suppose you could say it was the fear of being ripped off).

I think it would also have been helpful to remember the attitudes of MMO developers and experts back then as well. How so many thought it next to impossible for any MMO outside of Korea to break 1 million players. Two million was crazy and suggesting an MMO could have 3 million consistent players would have gotten you laughed out of the room.

WoW's success was due to the factors mentioned in the article. Blizzard created polish and mechanics which finally tapped into a market of players that had been always there but which old-school MMOs never managed to reach. Whatever people think of what WoW has become, it was a much-needed evolution to a stagnating genre.

.

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 6:17PM BigAndShiny said

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For me it was just going into that amazing world, feeling like you could explore and progress. I didn't rush to endgame, I just enjoyed an amazing universe.

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 7:26PM jimr9999us said

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@BigAndShiny
100% agree...It amazes me how few dev's realize the key to WoW's success is exactly what you mentioned.
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 6:49PM Ryn said

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WOW was my first MMO. I got into it after being introduced to it by my then 60yr old boss at the time. He was already established in a great guild of friends and family, and I had awesome support from the start. He also had a passion for gaming like none I have seen since.

I started playing in 2005. I found myself drawn to this incredible world, wanting to explore and see what was in the next zone or around the next hill even. I hadn't seriously played video games in years til that point. Then, I was hooked. It was just fun. I was in a fun game with a great built in family that would do anything to help out.

A few years later down the road, some of the guilds members circumstances have changed and some members have moved on. I have yet to find in any game the kind of family I found in this guild in WOW. I know from most posts this is not the norm. Most dont find what I did, and I can't help but feel sorry that you haven't. I truly tapped into something special, and only later really realized what I had.

I still play from time to time, and I have fun, but not like in the in the old days. I can't begin to tell you how fun it was to quest/ raid/ hang with these guys. Karazahn was a blast with this group. Many a great night.

The party can't last forever, and now it's pretty much over. But I had this opportunity to meet and get to know this awesome group of people because of WOW. It brought us all together, not to mention it was fun.

The thing that brought all of us together and kept us was it was just fun. Polish doesnt hurt either.

Brilliant article Justin. This brought back a lot of memories I had place aside. Thank you.

The most important game is the one that gets you hooked indeed...

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 7:42PM DarkWalker said

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Another tidbit about WoW's importance:

According to Blizzard, there are already more former players than current players. And this does not even count those that just did the trial.

With over 10M current players, and over 10M former players, I would guess most players that are into MMOs nowadays have experienced WoW at one time or another.

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 7:56PM (Unverified) said

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I really enjoyed reading this article. It's interesting to learn about a person's gaming history. You get a lot of emotional insight into what that person has experienced and how they came to be where they are.

I look back on my time with WoW as really fond memories, particularly the times when I had social interactions with friends. It's a game I had been invested in for the longest time. Though I'm now not so happy about the current state of the game, I still have a soft spot for it. And I don't criticize anyone who still plays it, seems silly to me to belittle people because of my dislike for what they enjoy. I still consider going back from time to time. I did enjoy a month of playtime not too long ago, but at this point I'm just too burnt out on the game to stick with it.

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 8:07PM Airdefier said

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"The bizarre wasteland of its endgame."

???

40 man raids are one of the biggest things I miss about WoW, as well as open world raid bosses...
thats why its called a MMO: MASSIVE multiplayer blah blah blah.
now its just an instanced thempark. I will always love this game, but it is but a mere shadow of itself at this point.

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 9:46PM (Unverified) said

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@Airdefier

When WoW came out there were no 40 man raids. When u reached 60 you just kinda stood around in IF and ran Strat, scholo, ubrs and brd in 10 mans. There was no MC till later.
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Posted: Jan 25th 2012 10:10AM KvanCetre said

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@(Unverified)
Not true, Molten Core and Onyxia were at launch :)

Source: 1.1 patch notes (as odd as it seems, 1.1 was the launch day patch)
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