Greedy Goblin

Friday, November 14, 2014

The greatest hero of Azeroth

When you have something good, you can get used to it and focus only on its flaws. EVE has many. This case visiting something else, checking out the green on the other side of the fence helps.

Once upon a time, there was a game World of Warcraft. You were given quests to help finding the missing sheep or clear out pestering kobolds from the mine. For these mundane tasks you were given mundane rewards and some XP. After you reached top level (60 or 70 after the first expansion), you were given the option to team up with others for rare gear. After you had it, you could form large raids and face epic bosses from the Warcraft lore. After you defeated them, you got your well-deserved celebration as a hero. After all, you did elevate from the ranks of mundane soldiers (average players) into an elite force of very few and defeated the worst enemies of the empire you served.

In the second expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, the scheme stayed, but the tasks became easier. If you weren't completely useless, you could complete the easymode raids and become the hero who saved the World. I hated it, as it needed nothing more than participation and time spent in raid.

In Cataclysm and even worse in Mists of Pandaria, you started to become the world-saving hero for doing quests alone. While you weren't doing anything more complicated than finding the missing sheep or clearing out pestering kobolds from the mine, you were celebrated. "You alone" stopped the wall-breaking beast, saving Pandaria by literally pressing one button again and again. Everyone who cared to do mundane tasks became a huge hero.

Can it get any lower? I mean, is it even possible to lower the bar of the "world saving hero" below "kill 10 wolves"?

This heroic task naturally attracts the best of the best:

I don't expect my stay in WoW a long one.

14 comments:

maxim said...

Apparently, there are XXX games out there where you come for the girls, but stay for the gameplay and / or story.
I personally played Monster Girl Quest. Heard many good things of Sengoku Rance etc

Well, in WoW context, being hero is the "girls". Ultimately, it is not a reward for hard work, but rather something you buy with sub money.

This is a bit sad, because the big strength of first two installments of WoW has been that you bought not the "feeling-hero", but rather participation in the world itself.

However, ultimately it is just frosting on the cake. The actual cake is dungeonplay and raids. Expecting a lot out of Mythic atm

Starstone said...

The idea also seems to be (at least, since some way along Wrath) that your character is a hero already. After all, you've slain Onyxia (twice!), Ragnaros (twice!), Nefarian and the Lich King, and saved the world from Titan annihilation. Or at least, you're supposed to have done so, as the game usually doesn't actually check achievements to check for it, but just has the NPCs assume you are the hero.

And yes, that's something of a throwback to single-player games (where there is no-one else around usually to be the hero), and a slightly misguided attempt to tell a story; misguided in the way that in the story, you are the hero, which ignores there are 7 or so million "you"s.

Bocck├│ said...

It is indeed a struggle to get past this nauseous nonsense, I really have to focus on what I will be doing when leveling is over. After all, WoW never failed to provide proper difficulties for those who were capable & interested.

maxim said...

I do sort of enjoy the lore, actually. Actually reading those questtexts.
But the whole "you are a hero now we'll hail you etc" business is getting old quick :(

Stabs said...

To quote Edward Catsttronova:

it seems to me this morning that there was one factor of virtual worlds that did not "go" anywhere but proved irremediably toxic to the medium itself: The people themselves. It proved impossible to make everyone feel like a hero in a world populated by millions of would-be heroes. It proved impossible to construct mechanisms that allowed people to find fulfillment from their fellow-players rather than frustration. In the end, the concept of a multi-player fantasy world broke on the shoals of the infinite weirdness of human personality.

http://terranova.blogs.com/terra_nova/2014/09/making-it-official-rip-terra-nova.html

maxim said...

Casstronova is fundamentally wrong, though.

We are getting better and better at building virtual worlds every year. We are getting better and better at involving people in virtual worlds every year. Even Blizzards "you are a hero" approach is significantly better executed (and therefore less obnoxious) than it was in WotLk when it was originally conceived.

Castronova just couldn't handle the slow speed that is required for that sort of change on any relevant sort of scale. Instead, he just got frustrated that his small-scale toys were not improving fast enough.

StoneJager said...

@ maxim: I disagree. I've been involved in several group oriented games (EQ, WoW, SWTOR, even cell game like Marvel War of Heroes) and the one thing that has ruined them all for me? The asshattery of the players. Every time I think of coming back to EvE or WoW, I remember those past experiences, realize I'm better off with single player games, and go back to Skyrim.

Casstronova is fundamentally right.

*vlad* said...

Yes, stupid that one minute you are the hero,and the whole of Azeroth is depending on you; next minute you are marking trees for peons to cut down and looking for salvage on the beach.

I really wonder at the IQ of people who think typing the word Anal over and over is funny. Beavis and Butthead might think so.

99smite said...

I am one of the few persons who never have and never will play WoW.
so, basically, the game has become so easy that NPC's in the first screenshot are winning a battle while the "player" is AFK. So, leveling in WoW can be and is done AFK...

The second screenshot is more of a puzzle to me.
Is it possible that WoW players act even more childish than EVE players? Rectal "jokes" seem to be "le dernier cri" in WoW... Seems my decision to stay clear of WoW has been right from day one on...

Anonymous said...

@stonejager

I play most of those games, and manage to play them the same way as I do skyrim.


On topic: If you are playing WoW for the complex and difficult PvE, then you are playing the wrong game, and mostly have been since just after launch.

This expansion seems to be about flattening out the levelling curve, so that you can get to 100 fairly fast (in hours) then do whatever.

The garrisons are the main change, and as such, turn it more into a solo experience than ever, which depending on your viewpoint, is either a good or bad thing.

Many people play MMOs as single players with a chatbox. Others cannot imagine playing an MMO without being in a group of at least 5 at all times.

maxim said...

@StoneJager
My condolences on your inability to find good people to play with.

That doesn't mean that there is no potential in MMO games and it doesn't mean, as Castronova says, that there is no longer any need for intellectual writing in that scene.

Actually, the fact that all the smart people in current scene happen to be such touchy-feely delicate creatures unable to lead by example is one of the major reasons why the community at large remains stupid

Anonymous said...

@99smite:

Levelling in WoW has basically evolved into advanced storytelling, where you participate. It's supposed to be an experience, not a challenge.

However the PVE endgame is the best of the best, and where none can get carried. There are 'light' versions of this endgame, that come close to sightseeing, but no one takes that serious. And there are multiple ways to distinguish players who have completed current content on hardmode and players who only completed the light version.

As for PVP: the skillcap is immense at the top.

Unfortunately Gevlon has a tendency to only report about casual gameplay in WoW and project that to a whole different context.

dobablo said...

@99smite
This is an example of the story-mode content that WoW has. It is typically used as to present key events, such as at expansion launch or during key events. They are effectively interactive cut-scenes. It is also very infrequent. I think I've clocked up two occurrences of these conditions during 18 hours of gametime. The vast majority of PvE content is run without the support of overpowered NPC actors.

Lyxi said...

Oh, Christ.

Come on, give it a break.

This is the story-telling approach to WoW, that, incidentally, is NOT invented by Blizzard. No.

If I'm not mistaken, the first time this was tried in a MMO was in Guild Wars (and its expansions), and has been continued in Guild Wars 2.

Thing is, despite being a MMO, Guild Wars could be played SOLELY as a single-player game, with multiple expansions cementing that trend.

This made Guild Wars the first MMO where other players were a backdrop for your adventure, not a mandatory player experience.

Your message is conflicting. While you decry the quality of other players, it is disingenuous to not show that the first leveling zone must be executed ALONE. Turn General off. There, problem solved.

Seriously, you do not have to group with these specimens.

Even from the Burning Crusade, I've balked at the notion that what OTHERS do in their game has an impact on your enjoyment. Take responsability, make your own enjoyment, c'mon.