Oct 10, 2007

[A Hilarious Take on Game Violence]

It's not an oxymoron!

It's technically a review of the game itself, but Yahtzee hits on the topic of games and violence in general.

[By the way, WoW is not hardcore]

In case you've missed the memo; the consensus about World of Warcraft among 'established' MMORPG players, is that it's cheap fluff, dumbed down, too easy, and lacks any 'real' substance. In an average month on gaming forums, you can often find many topics dedicated to sneering at the game's percieved (and real) flaws. It's basically a hobby for some folks to keep reiterating everything they don't like about WoW -- it's the price of popularity; lots of people will hate you for it because they feel you don't 'deserve' it. With games it's no different.
So I was kind of confused when I read Plaguelands' rant on the upcoming Patch 2.3 changes to the lower level content of the game:
"WoW players can finally stop pressing their stylish red ‘More Ez-Mode’ buttons because leveling between 20 and 60 just got a lot easier come the 2.3 patch.
 * 15% reduction in experience needed per level between 20 and 60
* Overall experience gained by questing between 30 and 60 boosted
* Say goodbye to the difficult to kill elite mobs that chill outdoors in the sunshine, they’ll also have same if not better quality loot drops
* New quests (approx 60 or so) and a new goblin town smack dab in Dustwallow Marsh (levels 30 to 40)
* Dungeons will be retuned to a narrower level range. (example: SFK currently is 18-25, but will be gimped to 18-21)
* Dungeon quests will yield a higher experience reward and dungeons will also see revamped loot tables
Removing the challenge. – Check
Dumbing down the game. – Check
Serving 9 billion. – Check.
...Overall, not bad changes, but some of it feels like, damn, this is for sissies."

This is WoW... the game that personifies, in many people's minds, 'dumb and easy'. Why the streamlining of the lower level game content in accordance to what, in most everyone's mind, is already the case with the game as a whole, is being considered some kind of cheapening of the game, baffles me. The game has always been about 'fun' over difficulty when the choice had to be made. Since day one.
WoW is the game for people who have never played a MMORPG, those who don't have the time/desire to play anything more time consuming, and those who are just a fan of Warcraft's storyline.
But some people don't consider those things legitimate design choices -- they're considered 'cop-outs'.
If you are playing WoW, and feel a twinge of annoyance every time the game makes an adjustment to suit the 'non hardcore', be prepared to be annoyed a whole heck of a lot.
To be honest, I see this as just a rehash of the other million topics ever posted about how WoW is dumb, filled with idiots, and only for people that are lazy, unskilled noobs. It's not saying anything new, and it's frankly getting annoying to the rest of us who play the game and are getting tired of being insulted for doing so by just about everyone, any chance they get. Yes, WoW is not a hardcore MMORPG. We all know that already. 
WoW has plenty of issues that can be discussed on their own merit, and as long as people can't get past simply repeating 'Dumbed-down, too easy, filled with idiots' over and over again as their main point of discourse about the game, it's hard to get any kind of substantive discussion about the game's merits and flaws and gameplay possibilities. I seriously doubt the game it's ever going to change to suit the people who think it's too dumb and easy as it is now -- so I think we can safely move on from that point.
Hopefully, once the '08 crop of new MMOs comes out, we'll have some more quality 'advanced' MMORPGs to choose from, and perhaps some folks will be able to forgive WoW for not being what they wish it was.
Anyway, for people like me, leveling their 6th alt through the Old World content, those patch changes are a godsend. I guess that just makes me a sissy. But hey, since I don't play games in order to prove that I'm not one, I guess I can live with it. =P