Another Go

I am going to attempt to play World of Warcraft again. I admit that I did not give it a fair chance in the one month (about eight hours of total gameplay) that I played it. I received World of Warcraft as a gift around the time that the fun Wintersday events in Guild Wars were going on. Guild Wars remains one of my favourite games. I really get into the special events, so I was reluctant to shift my focus away from snowball fights in the Snow Arenas and collecting Wintersday Presents to the slow-paced micromanagement of World of Warcraft.

There were other reasons that I didn’t get into it besides the fact that I play Guild Wars. Although Guild Wars and World of Warcraft are two very different games, they are both online games that require an investment of my time. When I compare the first eight hours of my gameplay time in Guild Wars with the first eight hours of play time in World of Warcraft, I have to say that my time investment in Guild Wars was more fulfilling, more productive, and more fun. World of Warcraft requires a heavier and deeper time investment than Guild Wars, which is a big strike against World of Warcraft in terms of my personal preferences. The slow pace is frustrating. I never felt like I got anywhere in that eight or so hours that I spent working on my Undead Warlock and my Undead Priest. I would rather get deeply involved in a game that provides challenges earlier rather than a game that requires you to work at numerous mundane tasks before you are challenged.

Why am I trying again? A friend of mine started playing recently. All of his friends have been playing for a while. It’s a good opportunity to revisit the game to judge whether my pro Guild Wars bias was too strong. Perhaps I missed something, and World of Warcraft is better than I thought it was, like those 6 million players say it is. Unfortunately, I have to be on a PvP Realm. I don’t like the way that PvP works in World of Warcraft and I don’t like the Alliance, but if I want to talk to people in the game, I have to be on that server and I have to be Alliance. I created a Human Warlock.

The World of Warcraft women characters aren’t as attractive, feminine, and “hot” as I would like.

Look at my Necromancer/Mesmer:

My Necromancer/Mesmer
And compare her to my Warlock:

My Human Warlock
I think we all know who wins here. Anyway, the cartoon character art style of World of Warcraft is not a dealbreaker or anything. Cartoons can be fun.

The mouse button functions in World of Warcraft are exactly opposite to the mouse button functions in Guild Wars. After exploring the key mapping options, I have so far discovered that I am unable to swap the functions of the left and right mouse buttons. If anyone has figured out how to do this, let me know, because it would make my life a lot easier. I mapped the R key to toggle Auto Run on/off, because that’s what I’m used to in Guild Wars, and I use Auto Run a lot. Other than that, everything is fine with regard to controls.

My focus will still be on Guild Wars. I will be playing World of Warcraft for one month, and my time committment will be casual. With this in mind, I don’t whether I will actually be able to get out of the newb areas before my time expires. I can only play for one month because the arrival of Guild Wars Nightfall is approaching.

8 comments

  1. Tara · August 28, 2006

    I am, of course, not the best to comment given that I’m a WoW addict, but in a month you can definitely get out of the newb areas. If you know what you’re doing, you can get to the mid-level zones in about 6-8 hours. Given that you don’t know what you’re doing, I’d double that estimate. So maybe 15 hours to get to a mid-level area.

    If you really want to play Horde with folks, come join my crew on Llane. We’ve got about 8 people I know IRL in my guild and we’re on a lot. It’s good fun. Good luck with your attempts! And maybe someday I’ll come on over to your side and try this Guild Wars thing…

  2. Jeff · August 28, 2006

    Just watch out for minus 50 dkp guy. ;)

    I would love to try out either Guild Wars or WoW, but I feel like I would not be able to devote enough time or attention to make it worthwhile.

  3. GregT · August 28, 2006

    World of Warcraft is significantly less frustrating than Guild Wars. You’ll be much less often annoyed by the brain-dead qualities of the people you have to group with (although still often), because WoW is a lot more forgiving of mistakes than Guild Wars. Plus, the whole randomly exploring thing is more inherently fun than Guild Wars.

    On the other hand, Guild Wars has hot chicks. It’s a tough call.

  4. tekanji · August 28, 2006

    I played WoW for a month and lost interest. Partly due to the rampant sexism and partly due to the fact that until you hit the higher levels where you have to have these huge raid parties, it’s designed to be a single player game. I wrote about it here.

    And if you want “attractive, feminine, and ‘hot’” women, then the Night Elf race is your best bet. They’re the most sexualized race in the game. Personally, though, I find the hypersexualization of the women (not just the Night Elves, but the other races as well) distasteful, especially given the way that the playerbase treats female avatars.

  5. Brinstar · August 28, 2006

    GregT: I don’t really plan on formally grouping with people in WOW… There are a lot of frustrating moments in Guild Wars, though recently it hasn’t really been with stupid PUGs, it’s just been an inability to complete certain Missions. I like the strategy involved in Guild Wars.

    I’m not sure that exploring is more fun in WOW than it is in Guild Wars. Getting XP for “discovering” new areas is nice, but with the Titles in Guild Wars, exploring the map is more challenging. I just hit 84.5% exploration of Tyria with my main. Hoping to get 90% soon so I can have my “Tyrian Cartographer” title attached to my character for all the world to see. :D

    My comment about attractiveness of characters was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, I don’t seriously base my choice of game on the appearance of characters… Having said that, a nice aesthetic is an advantage.

    tekanji: So far I haven’t come across any sexism, but I only just got to Stormwind. I’ve pretty much been killing things on my own, so text-based interaction has been minimal, except with my friend (but he is all the way in Night Elf land). The only other conversation I had with a player in WOW was when someone asked for directions and I told him where to go.

    Anyway, if anything happens, I’ll likely post about it. I actually haven’t had many interesting anecdotes with bad behaviour in online gaming. Most of my experiences consist of reading people saying “fag” on General Chat. *shrug* maybe something significantly blog-worthy will happen in WOW.

    Honestly, I don’t think the Night Elves are as “hot” as everyone says they are. Their huge ears make them look really goofy. Maybe that’s just me. I prefer the Undead because they just look cooler and more interesting than the other WOW Races. Personally, I don’t think the WOW character models are spectacular for both males and females. Women seem a bit too butch (including Alliance Races), and both sexes seem oddly disproportioned… I guess I have been spoiled by the eye-pleasing art style in Guild Wars…

    The only Class I was interested in was Warlock. I like DOT spells and the ability to summon creatures. Warlock seems slightly similar to the Mesmer Profession in Guild Wars. Since I wanted to play a Warlock, my choice of Race was limited to Human or Gnome. I have always disliked the idea of playing Hobbit-type characters, so Human was my only choice, basically. :?

  6. Sian · August 28, 2006

    I’ve thought about getting WoW but Factions came out just before I caved in. Now I’m patiently waiting for Nightfall.

    I’ll watch your progress with interest in case I may just be swayed into trying out WoW.

  7. Jane · August 28, 2006

    I find it odd that you see sexism more predominantly in WoW than in Guild Wars. I play World of Warcraft and there is a high immaturity level that I rationalized as being an effect of high population; I could be wrong. It eventually leads to group derogation against gays and women, sure. For instance, does anyone find “Sapped girls don’t say no” funny? I certainly don’t, and I cringe whenever someone utters the word “fag.” At the same time however I don’t view any other male dominant environment or community much more conscience of their word choice.

    When it comes to the actual design of the game, however, I find that Guild Wars is much more “sexist,” in that it preys upon female sexualization for the entertainment of men. All poster models for GW games have been women nearly popping out of their scant suits. The over-beautification and sexualization seems more to benefit men and boys than girls and women.

    Often I hear young men saying that game artists and developers do that because “girls don’t play games.” But if so, then you end up in a circular situation because, I for one won’t play games that offend me; I won’t play GW because I am put off by their marketing.

  8. Brinstar · August 28, 2006

    I actually agree with you. The marketing for Guild Wars is hyper-sexualised. The early Guild Wars marketing for Prophecies, all the way up to present day for Guild Wars: Eye of the North has always played up the sexuality of women. I cringe whenever I see the GW: EN box art.

    The difference is that the artwork in World of Warcraft is ugly. WOW and Guild Wars are equally guilty of sexualising the female characters. It’s also true that Guild Wars has played up the objectification angle in their marketing materials a lot more than World of Warcraft has, from what I can tell.

    There’s a difference between sexualising and objectifying characters (bad) and making them attractive (good). Attractiveness and objectification are not the same things. One can make attractive, artistic characters without portraying them in an objectifying manner.

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