Posts Tagged “Gaming”

  1. The Story
  2. Socialising
  3. Progression

Progression

Larisa has perfectly explained (I think) one of the most attractive parts of playing WoW (using a great onion metaphor) – you begin small, with a couple of abilities and some basic tasks to do. As you level and progress within the game, you build upon this understanding, and delve deeper, finding more new and exciting things as you go. You also become more adept at playing your class, and discover new and better ways of doing things which you hadn’t really thought about before. As you become more comfortable you experiment a little, and push yourself to achieve more difficult things. Each more difficult thing you accomplish both creates enjoyment and drives you to go further within the game.

The sense of achievement and the enjoyment that accompanies progression is another reason why people stay interested in the game. People always want to reach a level which is slightly higher than where they are currently at. Improving yourself and learning new things about the game is exciting and entertaining. Even something as small as a new piece of gear can leave me incredibly excited (I just scored a new helm the other day, and I was literally bouncing up and down on my seat with joy). The things that we achieve are also scaled well (for the raider, at any rate). Smaller achievements as well level happen more frequently, but provide less of a ‘rush’ if you will. As we improve, the achievements happen less often, but are much more rewarding when they do happen. Obviously, progression can be a reason for some people not playing as well – if you are unable to progress any further because of real life commitments, or just not wanting to spend any more time within the game, then you will often quit in frustration. However, there are so many branches of progression that someone can branch out in. Different friends of mine all have different goals, and these also help ‘fill the void’ when nothing else in the game is quite as satisfying anymore. I have one friend who has levelled a character of almost every class to 70, and that is one of his main goals. Another friend is determined to hit the gold cap. Many others collect a variety of things, whether it be mounts, pets, titles, or recipes. PvP also provides another opportunity to experience progression, especially arena. Being able to ‘better’ your character means that you feel more excited about playing.

Make sure you go read Larisa’s Onion Theory – she explains the motivation behind progression much better than I!

Tags: ,

Comments Comments Off

  1. The Story
  2. Socialising
  3. Progression

Socialising

One of the most entertaining aspects of World of Warcraft is that it is a social game. You have the opportunity to do most everything within the game in a group, or tagging along with a friend. I am one of those people who does not enjoy one player games – if I am playing something on my own, it is generally a game like The Sims which I can do while keeping myself entertained with other things (this could explain, of course, how so many of my Sims managed to soil themselves in public, starve to death, or set themselves on fire. I am a bad Sim Mum). I get easily distracted if there is no one else around to entertain me, especially when I am doing a horribly repetitive quest – kill 50 of these dragons, why don’t you? *sigh*. It’s much more fun to get a friend or two together and really pwn instead. I also enjoy doing instances (apart from the inherent anxiety attack that accompanies every PuG – what if I am not good enough? Good Lord they are going to hate me! Oh no oh no oh no!) because i get to interact with people and tackle a problem from a team work perspective. Playing with other people is much more fun than playing on your own, take it how you will.

You also have the ability to meet and talk to people from all sorts of cultures and backgrounds, one which you perhaps would not get in the real world. Some of the people who I identify with very closely in World of Warcraft I would never have spoken to in real life, whether it be because of the age differences between us, or the differences in our background (I may be a little bit of an elitist snob, but I still believe that people tend to be friends with people who come from a similar socio-economic background to themselves. Obviously this isn’t true in every single case, it is just a generalisation). The faceless nature of computer games means that you don’t really know anything about the person on the other side apart from their attitude and the things that you pick up about their personality and interests. People who are talking to me can generally tell I am female by the way I say things. They also gather pretty quickly that I am not an American because of the way I spell (colour anyone?) or the things that I happen to mention I am eating, which you apparently don’t sell over there – quite a list by the way, I should make a page out of it or something and explain what each of these things are, with wikipedia references. Some people assume that I am older than what I am because I never use abbreviations/sms-isms such as c u l8r, or whatever people say. That’s more because I am somewhat strict about grammar and things (but not too strict, or my writing would be a hell of a lot better!) than because of my age. The point is that the only way you generally start to learn about the people you talk to is through what they say in general conversation. They can’t really determine much about me and I can’t tell a whole lot more about them either. The best thing is, I kinda like that anonymity in WoW. It lessens nasty things happening such as prejudice and it means, as I said before, that you get to meet all sorts of interesting new people.

Let’s have a look at the people who I am close friends with in World of Warcraft. We have a very broad age range (from memory, anywhere from 16 – 45), live in three different countries, and all come from incredibly different economic backgrounds. We all have different levels of education – some of us did not complete high school, while some of us have completed tertiary education. Some of us are parents, some are married, and some are single. The odds of many of us becoming friends if we had have only met in real life? Very low.The thing that draws people together in WoW I think is the shared interest in the game – it is something which we all enjoy, and something which we can enjoy together. This means that you can build up some absolutely amazing friendships based on a tiny little aspect of the game. In particular, I am good friends with a number of people who play warlocks, even though we can’t group together very often obviously. We like to share stories, discuss the boring nit picky stuff such as spell rotations, specs and gear, and just have a blast.

Another interesting social aspect of the game is that you have the opportunity to organise a diverse range of events. Not everything in the game has to be progression focused – sometimes it is fun to do something just for the heck of it, such as a Five Man Ironman, or a massive event like The Running of Da Bulls. Even small things such as a group fishing party can be great, with everyone kicking back, levelling up their fishing while enjoying some conversation (and perhaps a brew or two?). This flexibility is something which makes the game entertaining and fresh. Running events like these, as well as your regular questing/instancing, can be a powerful motivation for playing the game. People also feel at times like they have to log on, because otherwise they will be letting their friends down – another powerful reason to keep playing WoW. I certainly know that the friendships I have made are the main thing that keeps me playing!

Tags: ,

Comments 1 Comment »

Well, I am going to begin this post with a small sob for what may have been. I had just written a rather immense amount, and was really getting into the flow of things, when I somehow hit a combination of keys which all at once highlighted everything I had written, deleted it, and replaced it with the letter ‘v’. Now, I don’t have anything at all against the letter ‘v’. It is quite an attractive letter in its own right. It just isn’t as great as a good three quarters of an hour’s worth of work.

Back to the regularly scheduled program, I was planning on writing a post discussing the addictive nature of World of Warcraft. I often get lost in thought about the game (especially lectures at uni), and not long after I start thinking about the game, I start wondering why I am thinking about the game. What is it that keeps me playing, for anywhere between one and six hours a day, most every day of the week? What is it that also compels me to write about the game when I am not playing, to read about the game, and to talk about the game? The game in all reality has become a fairly significant part of my life, whether I like that or not. This seems to happen to a lot of WoW players, and there must be a reason that ‘Warcrack’ is so addictive. So I decided to explore some of the reasons why I personally keep playing, and keep on being interested, in World of Warcraft. Now that the post has expanded, I think that I might have to break it up into a series, because it is just far too large for one sitting to read!

  1. The Story
  2. Socialising
  3. Progression

Part One: The Story.

Cupcakes - a True Motivation?

I am sure you know some of those people who go see a movie and spend most of the time watching it pointing out the flaws and mistakes. Those really irritating people who can’t just accept things as they are, and try to ruin everyone else’s experience by criticising it… constantly. Well, that’s me! Even in films I enjoy, I will point out every single flaw that I can find, loudly and obnoxiously. I just can’t help myself (like in Ironman? I thought it was a great film. But at the end of the escape scene, how the hell does he survive? Saying he is a superhero just wont cut it either folks. His suit is super, not him – well, except for his ability at mathematics. But that hardly counts. Well, when he was absolutely engulfed in flames while he was in that metal suit – how did he not cook? And supposing by some strange miracle that he survives being roasted, how the the bejebus does he survive that fall? He should be completely broken!) Anyway, I quite often take these completely harsh expectations and impose them on games as well. If I can’t understand my character’s motivation for doing something, then I get annoyed and bored. You are crusading against the forces of evil because they stole your cupcake? Well now that’s just dumb. Why the heck would I want to go around shooting people over a cupcake? Of course, if someone stole my cupcake IRL, there would be hell to pay!

Now WoW was much more sneaky about the story line aspect. In some ways, it deals with story line well, in others, not so well. However, I was suckered in from the first moment I looked at the game, through the introductory cinematic (A new cinematic, by the way, is one of the things I am really looking forward to about the expansion. No doubt it will bring tears to my eyes. I love their cinematics THAT much). The little ‘blurbs’ about the different classes on the character creation screen just added that little more flavour for me. Not only do they explain each classes main purpose and abilities, but also how each class is viewed from a lore perspective within the game. When you begin playing, you don’t get completely overwhelmed with storyline. It just slowly builds itself up over time, as you gain some familiarity with the different races and their stories, and then the different groups within the races. Somehow though, you magically build up an understanding of what each group stands for, and who you like and who you don’t. Broad things such as the differences between the Alliance and the Horde have a massive impact upon the game. I can not even comprehend creating a Horde character and trying to play it seriously. All this time as Alliance has made me feel something like a loathing for the Horde, and I automatically distrust anything that they say or do. When the Alliance and the Horde are forced to work together side by side, I always keep a careful watch on what exactly it is that they are doing, because I am sure that they are going to sneakily undermine it somehow. Irrational? Maybe. But I just don’t trust those filthy Horde! (no offense intended to any of you dir.. ahem, Horde players out there).

I also find that there are certain races which I trust more than others. While I have found that every race that I have played to a high enough level has corruption within its leadership, I find it much more easy to forgive in the humans than, the night elves for example. Humans can be forgiven in many cases because they are led astray by the meddling of dragonkin (Thanks alot, Ony!), or simply disenchanted with the poor leadership that has been displayed in the past. The night elves manage to disgust me just a little more because they portray themselves as so in tune with nature and pure… yet Arch Druid Staghelm is possibly the most disgusting, corrupt figure I have seen in all of my travels across Azeroth. Sneaky bugger.

Can This Man Be Trusted?

Favourite Quest Chain: “The Unsent Letter” through to “Items of Some Consequence” (the Stockades quest chain). Great story line, and I am a sucker for political intrigue. I also get a kick out of Jailbreak though (apart from having to go into BRD… eeeeew). I just love seeing Onyxia reveal herself in the middle of Stormwind in all her shining glory!

Tags: ,

Comments 1 Comment »