Wednesday, November 23, 2005


World of Warcraft Day 7

Today I achieved the goal of reaching level 10, which allows you to train the necessary skills in order to get a pet. This is a big step forward because the Hunter class hallmark is having a pet. The pet can attack, defend, and generally accompany you on your adventures.

I put my talent points into archery-related skills. Talent points seem to be obtained once per level at level 10 and above.

I completed some quests and tried to tame a wild scorpion, which killed me. The animation for taming is several white hearts floating up from my waving hands. It looked like I was fanning some sort of really hot stew on a stove while getting my teeth kicked in by a pissed off scorpion. It was really quite funny.

Mining and blacksmithing are going well. My blacksmithed axe is better than anything I could afford or loot up to now. I don't know if that is typical, or I just haven't been to the "good" zones. No matter, I enjoy tradeskills and using what I make is always a good thing.

I am not a fan of the color palette, the choices of the graphical design of the horde races (and most of the alliance), or most monsters. There are widespread comments about the game looking cartoonish. I think they may have a point, but to me it looks less cartoonish and more like quickly-done comic book.

The brambles aren't brambles, for example. They're one-trunked enormous tree-like objects with a few thorns on them to identify them as brambles. I almost didn't get it due to the obviousness. I was looking for waist-high shrubs, not five-story thorned McDonald's arches.

The graphics that I've been most impressed with so far are things like the zeppelins. That's a pretty neat airship. Other than that, some of the houses and buildings are nicely done.

The dance animations (and many of the others) are almost all achingly anachronistic. The first time you see one, you might think they're funny, but if you're remotely interested in roleplay, it does get old. If you find yourself wanting a more RP feel, then go with an RP server. At least maybe people won't dance like they're at an 80s nightclub or talk like they're hanging out in front of Electronics Boutique.

Another issue that might explain some of the experiences I've had in MMORPGs of various types is this snippet from the very nice website The Daedalus Project.

"The graph above plotting gender against age highlights another very important gender difference. Male players tend to be between 12 and 28, while female players tend to be between 23 and 40. Rather than categorizing MMORPG players as male and female players, it perhaps makes more sense to think of the two main groups as younger male players and older female players."

Hence, the average of 30 for age of players often given by game companies is somewhat incomplete. There is a bimodality in the demographics.

The Daedalus Project is a well-done series of studies on MMORPGs and worth a visit by anyone that's ever wondered who the heck we are that play these games. Consider participating in the surveys if you can.


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