World of Warcraft – Beta Impressions Pile-On(III)

Bree: I was also happy to discover that I always had something to do, since my quest log was always full. The variety in the types of quests available keeps things mixed up so it never gets boring. I was always able to find a quest to kill whatever beasties were nearby, so I could get quest experience on top of loot and hack-n-slash XP. I’m hooked!

Kindrak: And so am I! Which is a marvel, since I’ve pretty much proclaimed for the last couple years that “MMO’s suck.” The endless treadmills, camping, total-lack-of-role-playing “community” that surrounds these games is the complete opposite of the way in which I would like to spend my entertainment time — which is all to rare these days and thus extremely valuable to me. Until World of Warcraft, I couldn’t find any reason to go beyond single-player, story-driven experiences. World of Warcraft has both — along with Gnomes that get their freak on (just type “/dance” you’ll see what I mean). What more does an MMO need than that?

Blizzard has taken all the tedium out of the MMO formula. You die quick, but you can also heal quick and regenerate mana quick. This keeps the action at a pace which truly sucks you into that “I’ve just gotta do this one more thing before I go to bed” mentality. The quests seem almost perfectly balanced for your character level and so far no character is useless. I enjoy playing rogues, and it’s always been frustrating how pathetically weak rogues are in most of these games – not true in World of Warcraft! Every class has strengths which make them formidable in their own right. It’s addiction at its finest, and with a level of polish in the beta that most MMO’s don’t achieve until a year after release. That alone makes it worth a whirl.
Delsyn: I’d agree about the trade skills. I usually can’t stand building up trade and crafting skills, I’m kind of a combat guy. In World of Warcraft, though, I’m actually enjoying experimenting with different skills, finding out which ones go together. It helps that any kind of crafting you do is going to require as much combat and exploration and questing as any other aspect of the game. So far the only one I’m sticking with is cooking. I now find myself going out of my way to hunt certain creatures just to get certain component drops.

It’s amazing how the whole thing comes together – working on one quest can help you on three others and help build up your skills and lead you to a half dozen new quests. I know some might complain about being “put on rails,” but I certainly don’t feel trapped by the tightness of the gameplay. It’s like traveling through a theme park — moving from one exciting experience to another, utterly untroubled by lines of people (or tired feet!).