World Of Warcraft Starter Edition

So as some of my geekier friends would already know, the absurdly popular MMORPG World of Warcraft is now free to play for up to 20 levels. So yesterday I decided to give it another shot (I’ve played the 10-day demo before, years ago, but I couldn’t tell you a single thing about it).

After going through several options, I settled on my first character: a male tauren paladin (to those of you not in the know, tauren are anthropomorphic cattle, or minotaurs if you prefer). One minute later I decided to try something else, though, and I was back to the character creator. After several more looks at everything, I settled on the next logical choice: a female forsaken warrior (again, for the benefit of the unaware, the Forsaken are a faction of free-willed undead that look like zombies but are as intelligent as any living person).

Tragically, goblins weren’t available for the Starter Edition, or I would have been ALL OVER THAT.

So anyways, I entered the World of Warcraft with my sword-wielding undead gal, who I affectionately named Agoniana. Entering into the world, I was given a bit of background info on what had been going on in the world (and apparently the plot has been advanced quite a bit since the game first game out). The fun ended soon after.

Maybe the fact that DC Universe Online was my first non-horrible MMO spoiled me a bit, but I found everything about WoW tedious and confusing. The controls were hard to get used to, for starters. I spent an inordinate amount of time just trying to figure out how to control the camera view. Worse yet was figuring out where to go and what to do. Finding the first quest was easy enough, since there was a big yellow exclamation point over the guy’s head, but from there the entire game descended into a cloud of tedium and confusion. It feels like everything I accomplish is a complete accident, since I have no idea where I am going. Half the time it turned out the necessary whatevers for my quest were right in front of me and I never noticed it because I’m expecting some kind of symbol or indication of “yes, that there, that’s what you’re after”. In this respect, DC Universe Online does a MUCH better job.

Movement feels slow and cumbersome, though again that’s probably DCUO spoiling me, since all the characters in that game get to fly or run really fast or Spider-Man (yes I know Spider-Man is Marvel, but the Acrobatics movement mode in DCUO is basically exactly the way Spider-Man gets around) their way through the areas when they aren’t fighting.

Even the combat feels bland in comparison to DCUO. In DCUO, you control how the character attacks: when you click, he punches or swings his sword or shoots his gun or whatever, and as you level up you get more elaborate fighting maneuvers. In WoW, you click on the foe, and then watch as your character attacks every few seconds, and sometimes you mix in some special attacks.

It could be that forsaken warrior was just a particularly bad choice to start out with, and that other races or classes are more fun, so I will be giving it another shot, but at this rate it seems highly unlikely that I’ll ever go so far as to pay for the game. Nor can I see what everyone else sees in it.

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