Dustin Stevens vs. the World… of Warcraft (Day Three)

22 07 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

3:30 p.m. – 09:00 p.m.

Beard Status: Wife Frowns When I Kiss Her

Personal Smell: I Should Change My Shirt

Character: Tarron (Level 11 Tauren Shaman), Kniveschau (Level 1 Night Elf Hunter)

 

Hey guys! Now that I’m getting the hang of World of Warcraft, I don’t have quite as much to say about each session, so I decided to put two days together. Oh, and to clear up a couple of things in the sake of full disclosure: The intro to my first column says I’m an “MMO virgin,” which is sort of true, but I did play a couple of hours of Champions Online a few months ago, so I guess you could call that a “tip in.” Also, Mrs. Stevens wants me to let you know that’s she’s not a harpy and that she’s actually been very supportive of this whole thing… as long as I don’t get hooked. Thanks for the support, baby, and if you read this while you’re at work, bring me home some donuts.

So here we go! I was totes excited to start Day 3 and get in some good game time while the old lady was at work. I double-clicked the WoW icon on my desktop and mentally prepared myself to kick ass and take names.

Huh. Here you go again, PC Gaming.

Apparently the game was down for several hours that day, so I didn’t get to play as much as I would have liked. So I waited until nightfall and tried again. Success! I was able to log in with no difficulty.

Uh huh. The game is full, so I have to wait for 235 people to quit before I can play. Don’t hardly ever see that in Mass Effect. If I bring a hot girl in with me and bribe the bouncer can I get in faster?

Thus I decided to roll a new character in a new server. I decided to be true to myself and my RPG habits, the scorn of the Internet be damned, and make a hot chick avatar.

At first I gave up on the whole “making up your own name thing” and went with the randomized defaults but they were all taken. May patience is wearing thing, Blizzard. Finally I decided to try naming her “Kniveschau” after the Scott Pilgrim character and guess what? The moniker was available. “Zaradra” and “Taurus Bulba” no, a major character in an upcoming movie yes. This is why I drink at night.

Anyway, I jumped into the realm and watched the intro movie. Same deal as before except that the Night Elf starting city is much prettier than the Taurens’. Then I got to play. Someone in the comments to my Day One article said that the Tauren cities are mostly empty because people like to play as races that are close to human but not exactly human. (Thinking back to previous RPG’s I’ve played, this makes a lot of sense.) This theory was pretty much confirmed when I started this game—unlike the two or three Taurens I’d seen my first couple of days, this city was packed with Night Elves running around and fighting things.

Oh, and I figured out that my starting shirt had no armor benefits. So I took it off. Yes, I’m that guy.

A couple of things hit me quickly while playing the new race. First of all, my elf seemed to have a lot more health, as she didn’t die for a long time. This kind of make sense because my Tauren had a healing spell and this elf hunter doesn’t, so I guess that’s a balance thing. Also, elves move a lot faster than bull people. I guess that’s logical but I didn’t see it coming. The game was starting to show some frame rate issues with my new speed.

I’m not sure I’ll want to go back to the bull man after playing at this speed.

I ran around the Elves’ city for a couple of hours, completing quests (more of the same) and buying new armor and such. I sort of got bored and eventually quit playing for the night, but here’s the thing—just writing about it now makes me want to play again. I think I’m gonna get in trouble here.

 

 

 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Beard Status: I Don’t Want to Go Out in Public

Personal Smell: The Cat is Avoiding Me

Character: Tarron (Level 11 Tauren Shaman), Kniveschau (Level 7 Night Elf Hunter)

 

First I picked up where I left off the night before, slowing watching the objectives go from “Collect 7 Blah Blahs” to “3/7 Blah Blahs Collected” to “Turn in Blah Blahs to Captain Blah Blah.” I don’t know what it is but there’s something really satisfying about that.

Oh, and then there was a quest which actually felt like it had some story to it, when I had to take care of a spy and be subtle about it:

This was a bit more immersive than the rest of the things I’d done in the game so far, but seemed kind of out of place. It was sort of like going to a hot dog-eating contest and finding a bean burrito inside one of the buns.

Everything I’ve said over the last couple of days still holds true. Controls still work well and the difficulty ramps at a reasonable pace. I died once or twice but much less frequently than I did with my first character.

Oh, and you can sit in the game. I’m not sure what the point of this is, but I guess if you’re just chatting online it could be kind of nice. So… yeah.

After this I got a message from my friend “J,” telling me he was online. I switched back to my Tauren character to pick up where we left off. I had told “J” that there was a cave full of nasties I’d been having trouble with after he logged out a couple of days ago, and he replied by bringing in his Level 80 mage. Who, by the way, was a hot chick. So it’s not just me.

I didn’t get a screencap of the aftermath, but think of that scene in Revenge of the Sith where Obi-Wan and Yoda see all the youngling Jedi bodies strewn across the floor and you’ll get the gist. “J” ran ahead of me with his super-elf speed and killed everything before I could react. In fact, we thought we’d missed the boss I was going after until we realized that “J” had killed him without noticing. I collected loot from all the sparkling bodies on the floor and we made our way out.

Then as a special treat “J” teleported me to the Horde capitol city of Orgrimmar. This was what I expected from an MMO: Dozens of players crowding the streets, stores full of loot I couldn’t even come close to affording, and the feel of a real life city. People were sending messages back and forth asking for help with quests, forming rescue parties for cities under attack, and the like. I saw a dude on a mastodon on a rooftop, surrounded by others in the same clan/guild/glee club or whatever, but they didn’t seem to be doing anything. I asked “J” who this mastodon guy was and he said it was just somebody with too much time on their hands.

After that I logged out and took Mrs. Stevens to the movies. The game still has my interest. More reports to come. Only one problem: last night I couldn’t get to sleep because I kept picturing my avatar running around killing things. I’ve had similar experiences with Tetris, Rock Band, and Dragon Age. I need to keep an eye on that. I made a mental note not to play this game right before bed and logged out to play some Limbo instead.

Limbo? Kick ass game, but not any better for playing right before you try to sleep. See you tomorrow.

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