Sunday, February 12, 2012

Four Da Whored!!!

"You know you can take a noob, to like, water, but you can't, like, make a noob drink" - Jeremy, Pure Pwnage

I swore I would never play and pay for an MMO ever again. A game that has no end, no conclusive end goal or conditions to meet is not a game I want to be paying $30 a month for, and that's not including initial retail fees. To this day I have not broken that vow. Not even with what I am doing now.

Where's Wally?

What am I doing now? Well, its very simple. I am playing Vanilla WoW. For free. My end condition is to PvP my guts out. Not for gear, but for glory. For fun, whether that be derived from nostalgia or generated from happenstances, I know what it is I want to do with the game. So far it has worked out pretty well, though perhaps I should start from the beginning.

Roughly 3 weeks ago, before a trip overseas, I stumbled across what appeared to be a very popular and well maintained private vanilla WoW server. Advertised as 'blizzlike', it had a few notable changes to game play, some of which I much approve of. The most notable of these changes is simply a 12x increase in experience your character gains while leveling. This makes leveling ridiculously easy, fast and enjoyable, far removed from the painful grind to 60 that was the original WoW experience. I know this must have been difficult for some because I know of so many casual players who could not even reach 60 in the time that they played vanilla WoW, which in all honesty was only like 1/5 of the actual game.

You level so fast that quests go grey before you can even hand them in...

Leveling aside, the community also seemed incredibly active with up to and including 3500 players during peak and possibly up to 10,000 players total. This is smaller than your average Blizzard server, but for a private server that number is apparently considered huge. Someone, somewhere would at some point be doing or at least want to do the same sort of things you do, guaranteed. My experience in a few groups with members of the community have also been positive, the vast majority being experienced veteran players who are mostly playing classes they have played before. This also makes them competent PvP buddies/opponents, but I will get to that in a second.

Excited, I mentioned this 'opportunity' for potential free fun to the majority of the friends I thought would be interested. I remember thinking that a group of five of us instance hopping to 60 in a matter of days would at least be entertaining, with 12x experience, non-stop action and blues dropping by the bucketload fueling interest levels. Alas, after my two week vacation, it appears I have misjudged everyone's interests, which is unusual considering many of them complain about us not 'doing anything game related' together anymore.


I know exactly how you feel ...

This, however, did not stop me from undertaking this mission by myself. Even without company, not doing a single instance (until 60), and having terrible gear along the way, I still found the process to be quite fun. When you are not struggling to make a dent in your XP gain, attempting to maximize your questing efficiency and make travel times a minimum, you can comfortably explore and wander around the world at a much more relaxed pace. Knowing you could power level to 60 in a couple of days, but choosing not to is an interesting perspective, one that is unnatural in a game like WoW. It completely changes the leveling process and almost makes it optional instead of required. The 'grind' simply doesn't exist.

While I still feel this was a massively missed, face-palm worthy opportunity for a group of us to not be doing (hence my noob related introductory quote), I have decided not to let other people slow me down this time. In fact, I have moved onto something I have wished for for quite awhile, that being a return to objective style battle arenas set in a fantasy, RPG setting. Or, more simply, battleground PvP. I did my fair share of this back in the day and while I have no incentive to put in the number of hours I did back then, I am keen to experience the glories of yesteryear once again.

I'm talking about the massive 40 vs 40 AV battles that lasted hours, the intensity of close 1990:2000 AB games and carrying the flag in WSG into an open field to face off against the enemy team, with your own team at your back. The entire reason I kept playing WoW was mostly in hope of this aspect of the game to continue and not to be replaced with dueling matches in a box (i.e. Arena). If I wanted a dueling game I would go back to TTM in UT99. But, it wasn't meant to be and BG PvP slowly dissipated from the minds of players, even resented and branded as noob by the rating obsessed, gear spoiled elitist jerks of the WoW Arena community. But that's a topic for a different discussion...

Arcanite Reaper HOOOOOOO!!!!

So I got to 60 in just under two days 'played', and that was with a LOT of fucking around. Mining, afk, leveling smithing and first aid, doing quests for gear etc. I could probably have done it in 1 day played if I didn't care about it. Now that I have gear suitable enough to PvP with, I will turn this game into the game I wanted it to be so many years ago, that being a casual BG PvP game. Think League of Legends, except in 3rd person, less hero classes, more randomness and a billion more buttons to press and you get the idea. I don't care about ranks, I don't care about gear. I just care about fun.

And by golly will I have it. With or without company.

Edit: The following video is a quick edit of my horribly geared warrior in PvP. As much as I will probably never edit to Eminem ever again, I thought the editing style was interesting and effective at points and I will probably use it for another video in the future.

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