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Archive for March 23rd, 2011

I Can Fly

OK, WoW Anonymous admission time.

My name is Tesh, and I actually kinda sorta like World of Warcraft.  Sometimes, it even makes me happy.

Piggie!

(If you don’t understand the piggie, check out the link to Larisa’s place.  She and BBB have been pontificating on the state of WoW of late, so this is, in large part, for them and anyone else who wants to maybe find a little magic again.  I’m definitely out of touch with the WoW mainstream… and I love it that way.)  And as any good Peter Pan fan knows, happiness can lead to flight.  But I get ahead of myself.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I stand by my assertions that the subscription model* is a Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Idea for several reasons, I wish WoW were more “world-like” and less “game-like”, and I still see several problems with the game design of WoW.  The one that bugs me the most at the moment is that crafting tradeskills suffer from atrocious pacing, high cost (in time or in gold via buying ingredients at auction) and irrelevance to gameplay and the economy 98% of the time.  Sometimes, other people still stink (though my experience with other players is 80% pleasant, 15% awesome and only very rarely bad). I can even see a LOT of little art things to nitpick, since I deal with 3D game art all day.  The game still has an unfortunate gravitational effect on the MMO industry on the whole that I think is stifling innovation.

…but y’know what?  I’m a latecomer to the party.  While I’ve studied the game off and on since it came out years ago, as a player, the world of Azeroth (and Outland) is still largely new and even joyous to me, even though most of the mechanics are long since rote and bland (though really, the same could be said of most of my beloved JRPGs, even the incredible Chrono Trigger, so that’s nothing new).  There is still stuff to see, places to go, quests to read, ways to explore.  I got my first level 60 character just a couple of weeks ago.  My Tauren Druid, Tishtoshtesh, dinged 60 and immediately set out to get the Druid Flight Form.  And hoo boy, bob howdy…

I LOVE FLYING

If I could have a supermutant power, I’d want to fly.  OK, well, if I could have only one supermutant power, I’d want invulnerability, but flight almost as much.  (Since really, flight without invulnerability of some sort is asking for trouble anyway.  RIP, Banshee.  But I’m not bitter.  Nope, not at all.)

So yeah, I’m loving just flying around the Old World of Azeroth, taking plenty of pictures of things that interest me.  I’ve been given license to explore like I’ve never done before in the game, and I’m taking advantage of it.  Let those ground-pounding grinders race to the endgame treadmill (sort of like accelerating into a red light), I have sights to see.  I’m sure they think I’m wasting my time, but hey, it’s mine to waste.

Sights like these make me happy.  (And yes, if I could fly in Minecraft, you can bet your favorite great aunt that I’d spend a lot of time doing so.  It’s not as pretty as WoW, but seeing the sights from the air is still great fun, like that greenhouse my daughter and I built the other day, or the water-encased diving tower from world’s top to world’s bottom…)

Tesh’s Picasa WoW stuff

Silithus

Zangarmarsh

Darkshore

More, but better; stitched “panorama” shots

Lordaeron Throne Room

Dalaran

Volcanic Lava Flow

Darkshore Sinkhole

It’s a mix of the mundane (shots I took to study how they do texturing and modeling) and the marvelous (the remodeled Darkshore looks especially great from the air), but hopefully there’s something in there that shows some of what the game has to offer those who go off the rails, taking to wing to see the sights.  There’s a world out there to see, and I’ve been having fun exploring it.

*Disclosure: I’m taking advantage of the WoW VISA card to get some playtime.  I keep it around just for big purchases and emergencies.  We replaced our 35-year-old house’s windows, so I put that bill on the WoW VISA, and bam, four months of playtime in the form of four one-month time codes, just for going through a little extra paperwork.  (We paid off the VISA bill almost immediately from savings; we had the money to pay the bill effectively on-hand, but we may as well push it through the system for a little bonus, hm?)  I maintain that subs stink, but hey, there’s enough fun to be had in WoW to play, at least for a little while.  I’ll man up and burn out like a bitter veteran later.  Maybe.  If I feel like it.

…though I maintain that it’s possible to like the good parts of the game and dislike the bad parts without conflating the two and condemning the game or praising it to the exclusion of the other.  Weird, I know.  That just isn’t done on the internet.

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