Thinking of getting World of Warcraft...

Summer is coming up and I have most of it planned out. Work, Swim, Box, and Party. But I would also like to fit in some gaming in there. I play a lot of Gears of War now but it’s getting somewhat boring and repetitive. There are some Gears tournaments that I’d like to join but I am not able to form a team that can compete at tournament levels. And there are no games that I am looking forward to this summer. So I’m thinking of joining a game with an established community and with a good gaming record. Enter: World of Warcraft.

The last MMO I played was Everquest 2. I found this game very fun and I never got to the point where I rather play the game then go out with my friends. I felt the $15 a month charge was perfectly acceptable since the game was so fun.

I don’t really recall why I stopped playing. I think it was just because I didn’t have access to my computer for a couple months.

I never jumped back in and since last year, all I’ve been hearing about in terms of MMOs is World of Warcraft.

Now, I’ve heard plenty of stories about how it’ll consume your life and ruin your relationships and make you quit your job and will make you lose/gain 50 pounds. But I’m wondering how it is as a game.

What is there to do? What is there to do when you max out your character’s level? How annoying are the server down times? How annoying are the people? Is the monthly fee justified? Will a softcore gamer be able to enjoy the game? Is it too late to get in the game?

Any extra points anyone wants to make will be appreciated. Pros and Cons to getting the game will also be appreciated.

If you like MMOPRGs, you’ll probably like WoW. It’s an enjoyable game, but I found that it wasn’t very rewarding unless you played it a lot. And if you play it a lot, you may find yourself wondering “what the hell am I doing spending 25+ hours a week in front of the computer doing this for?” You will definitely enjoy it more if you have friends that you can play the game with.

That said, I recommend heroin as a healthier alternative.

Lots; mostly there are quests to complete geared to your level, usually more than you can finish - be prepared to abandon some as the reward won’t be worth it now you’ve gone up 5 levels. Scheduled server downtime is 8 hours a week, usually 10pm Tuesday nights my time (around 4am PST I believe); other outages are fairly rare. PvP players are (IMO) extremely annoying and I wouldn’t consider playing on a PvP server; others are your usual range of idiots to good folks. The fee is completely reasonable it seems to me, especially given they have what is approaching a monopoly on MMOPRGs (why are there no comparable competitors after all this time?). I actually find the lower levels the most fun so an occasional gamer (if that’s what you mean by softcore) will like it, I’d think. The game has been running, what, nearly 3 years now; the low level areas are less busy now with so many characters moved to the expansion areas, there’s really no problem at all starting now or any time - high level characters can’t kill you unless you are PvP.

Unsolicited advice: play on a server where good friends play, you will need their help (and if they have a spare gold piece or two that will help your early play enormously). Use online help like and . Download and install some user mods; most vital is any one that gives you map co-ordinates in numbers, almost all quest help available is given that way. read all the race and character class descriptions before building your character. If you start multiple characters you most likely want them on the same server, so they can mail each other spare stuff and money.

if you like PVP then WoW pvp is pretty good. I play on a pvp server and I can honestly say its the one thing I still enjoy about the game.
keep in mind I played EQ1 and I am completly burned out for life on raiding and spending hours farming for gear.

with a little know how and an eye towards killing the other guys WoW can be a very fun game where you dont need uber gear to do well in pvp until the end game (60+)

that said if you want to get to the endgame and raid and crap its definitly there for you to do.

Another question

I’ve seen videos and heard audio of people playing the game. Is there a headset feature? Or someway to communicate with party members or the outside world?

Ventrilo or one of the other 3rd party VoiP chat systems. Vent is the main one people use.

If you’re raiding, it’s good to use to help co-ordinate people. Personally I prefer not hearing people yipping in my ear all the time so I don’t tend to use vent or any of the other ones.

The classic reason to avoid voice chat (EXTREME language warning - NSFW):

I enjoyed WOW far more than EQ2.

I also disagree that you need to spend a lot of time on it. My absolute maximum per week is seven hours of play and most weeks I might not play more than two hours, but I have lots of fun and I’ve got a character pushing level 70.

The game provides SO MANY quests - thousands of them, quests beyond any reasonable chance one character could do them all - that you can spend pretty much 100% of your time chasing quests, and in the early going you’ll complete one to three quests every hour or so.

OMG that’s SO funny.

I agree with what the others say - I’ve been playing WoW on and off since it came out, and it’s a lot of fun.

Regarding Ventrillo etc.: I use Skype, but only to talk with my friends. As in, friends I’ve been playing various games with for going on 5 years now. The few times I’ve talked to people other than my friends, it made the game really un-fun to me. I dunno about you, but sitting around listening to 14 year old boys call each other fags is about the last thing I want to spend time doing.

Plus, Ventrillo is a piece of crap as far as software goes. You spend as much time getting it configured as you do playing the game, and I don’t even want to think about the security leaks.

Ok, I HAVE to say something here.
IMO, World Of Warcraft is absolute CRAP. Its all about levelling up. Levelling up your character, levelling up in crafts (is that whats its called? - I forget) levelling up secondary crafts, etc, etc…

Here is wow:

Get a quest, go out and complete it by, say, killing 15 boars. Go back to quest giver, get reward. Get new quest - Go out and kill 15 bears.
goto 10

Also the PVP is utterly pointless, since you lose nothing when you die (yeah, ok some money for repairing your damaged equipment, but thats all), so nobody really cares whether they die or not. For me, that really takes the fun out of it.

Also, the playerbase is in general very immature, which can be annoying.

(FYI, I’ve gotten to about level 35 in wow, also had a couple of chars at around 28-30.)

I used to be a maxed-out WoW player. Quit because of time constraints. I had a lot - and I mean a LOT - of fun, just hanging out with friends and pulling raids, and whatnot. Of course, there comes a time when you feel like it’s just work, work, work, but that fades. It’s like every other hobby out there.

That said, it does require some devotion and imagination to get into it, but once you do, it’s a whole new level of fun.

Still, I’d recommend perhaps trying out a more casual MMO if you don’t want to spend more time after the summer on the game. It takes a casual player around 10 days (10x24h) to max out their character’s level, and that’s when the real game starts.

I haven’t played WoW in a few months, and never at that level, but that’s the funniest thing ever!


WoW is probably the best designed MMO out there, at least in the EverQuest “guy in quasi-medieval setting kills monsters and steals their stuff” mode. Good class design, wonderful art direction, surprisingly deep background setting.

But, what will really make or break it is the social aspect, and Blizzard can’t program that. If you can only find idiots, you’ll probably tire of it rather quickly. If you can find competent, friendly, and helpful folks to help you through rough spots, run mutliplayer instances with, and just hang around with, you’ll be more likely to stick around. A good guild is essential, even if you aren’t going to become a hardcore raider.

Good guild and/or good friends. We’ve actually had more luck having each of us in different guilds; that way when only 2-3 of us are on and we need a couple more to run an instance, we have 2 or 3 guilds to draw from.

I’d also recommend keeping a friend’s list. If I group with a new person who I like, even if he/she is in my guild, I add him or her to my friend’s list. I may not remember who that mage named “FuzzyNuke” is 3 weeks later when we need dps, but I know if they’re on the list they don’t suck, so they get a tell asking them if they’re available.

May I sugges City of Heroes? It’s new-player friendly, solo-player friendly, not overly complex, no grinding required, and has the most phenomenal character creation feature in existence. It’s extremely accessible to the casual player; my SO is a WoW player, and he admits that one of the advantages of CoH is the ability to log in for half an hour when you want a diversion and you can still accomplish something, whereas WoW requires significant time investments and/or large parties to do anything.

Now, CoH did just implement their “Inventions” system, which is their answer to WoW’s crafting. Mobs drop things when you defeat them, and you can collect them and use them to create stuff like enhancements, weapons, and costume pieces, or you can sell them in “consignment houses”. This feature is new and I haven’t dealt with it much (nor do I intend to) but it’s supposed to be purely optional in the sense that, if you don’t care to participate, your gameplay won’t be affected – your character is still perfectly playable and effective.

If teaming is what you’re looking for, the Virtue server has the biggest population of intelligent, friendly, mature players, including a super-group called CECIL (Cecil’s Extraordinary Counter-Ignorance League), composed almost entirely (if not exclusively, I’m not sure) of Dopers.

I just quit WoW for the third (and hopefully last) time. I had a lot of fun with it, but it is a gigantic time-sink. Pre-endgame, it’s somewhat friendly to solo play, if you pick the right class. Once you get to 70, however, your options dry up rather quickly and you end up either grinding PvP tokens, grinding your reputation with various factions up, raiding, or stagnating.

Yeah, like Scupper said, it’s solo-friendly up until endgame. Then, you hit a brick wall and need a group of at least 5 people to accomplish anything worthwhile. I’ve all but given up playing on my main character since he’s hit 70.

Personally, I think Blizzard got the WoW end game horribly wrong from the start and has only taken baby steps in the right direction since then. That, and their crafting system is terrible. However, their classes are distinct and interesting. The graphics are great. It’s fun to run around killing stuff and exploring the world and getting bits of story.

I’ve played two other MMOs. I played City of Heroes for a short time, but I’m not really into the superhero genre and had trouble really getting into the world. That, and there was some graphics issue with my computer so my character was obscured by a black triangle 90% of the time. Never did figure that out.

I’ve also played Guild Wars, which bored me so much that the free online play isn’t good enough. They’d have to pay me to play that crap. I never even got a character to max level. Combat was just so frustrating and dull, and the world seemed way too linear.

So overall I’d recommend WoW if you’re looking for an MMO to play. However, it does have some flaws.

I never thought I’d like WoW but I do. Bringing in real life friends does help, but if you decide to play solo, hang out in Guild Recruitment for a long while and try to join a guild that emphasizes that they are for adults (some guilds even require players to be over 18). This will screen out 90% of the idiots.

I didn’t join a guild until well into my first character but I would recommend it. It’s the best way to meet people. Don’t be afraid to join, you can always quit and try another one. Huge guilds tend to be less personal than small ones, but big guilds offer more.

There’s a lot to do. You can solo the game up to 70 but past that it is mostly focused on grouping (though solo crafting is quite possible). You get two primary professions – i.e. Mining, Blacksmithing, Engineering, Tailoring, etc. – and three secondary professions if you want them (Cooking, Fishing, First Aid). However, it’s very common not to just level one thing to 70; I have a 70 warlock, 51 shaman, 45 priest, 35 rogue and so on… all the classes are pretty fun so far. Plus, you have the two major factions and lots of race choices. If you want to solo, you won’t be bored. It takes a loooong time to get to 70 when you’re new.

A lot of the early quests come down to “kill 15 of x” but there are a lot more than that as well. There are thousands of quests! (You can have up to 25 active at any one time.) You will get quests dependent on your class, often to pick up new abilities. Past the early levels, quests can span multiple zones and even both continents; quests often form “chains” (i.e. do one quest, get another quest) of 5, or even 10 or 15 quests in a row. There’s almost always multiple zones you can choose to be in at once, past the newbie levels, so if you don’t like one, move on to another.

If you like PVP, the Battlegrounds and Arena systems are pretty cool. You basically get tokens you can redeem for gear and items. You can also choose to be on a PVP server (which means open season on the other team). I wouldn’t recommend it as a beginner though.

Each class has three trees of talents to choose from, so there are many different ways to “spec” and play the same class.

The nice thing about WOW is you can get on for 15 minutes and accomplish something, if you want. It is incredibly addicting and fun.

Try to find a low to medium population server. I’m on Turalyon, which, in my opinion, is a pretty friendly server overall.

I’m a raider, though not a “hardcore” one (we raid a few nights a week). I find that I can play games but still be social with friends, both those who I know in real life (in some cases who have moved away) and some I’ve only met with the game. Voice chat really helps. During the week, it’s nice to settle down for an instance (dungeon) or what have you.

Level 35 isn’t really all that high (I could get a character there in maybe a week tops). The game changes a lot after that. I find the 30s the most tedious of levels, as the fast leveling from 1-25 or so has worn down and you have no mount. Plus, you don’t get the majority of your class abilities until probably 45. I wouldn’t consider an alt a serious character until 45-50.

Above level 40, the quests are more complex and crafting becomes more interesting (specializations start to open, at level 35 you can train Artisan, etc.).

Plus, some of the most fun instances in the game aren’t even open to you yet! Zul’Farrak (in the mid 40s) is one of my personal favorites.

Not only which, but PVP before Alterac Valley (opens level 51) I found rather dull as it is almost entirely “twinks” (people who intentionally stay low level to fight in lower brackets, but feed massive amounts of gold from a higher level character). Alterac Valley and Arena teams are a lot of fun.

I probably am considered a casual gamer, since I’ve never had any interest in end-game activities, but I do take my gameplaying seriously. WoW has been a mixed bag for me.

While I enjoy my class (lvl 65 rogue) and the professions I’ve chosen, I still can’t say I love the game. I came from FFXI, which is a bigger timesink and less forgiving than WoW is. WoW has felt really easy for me, and consequently it’s been hard for me to feel substantial pride in my character. I’m good at my job, I have excellent gear, I have my Black War Ram epic mount, I have my weapon skill, lockpicking, leathercraft, skinning, first aid, fishing, and cooking all at or very near cap, and a ton of gold. But I still don’t feel as good about my WoW character as I do my FFXI character. It all came too easily for me to feel I’ve really worked for anything

But for players who don’t want to or are unable to commit a lot of time and effort to a game, WoW can be incredible. WoW does quests and PvP really well, and overall it’s a very friendly game. It looks pretty and it’s easy and you don’t need to make it your life for a sense of accomplishment.

Being close to 70 now and having no interest in end game, I’m trying to decide whether I should keep playing. FFXI made it a little easier to level other jobs, since you could change jobs with your character; with WoW, you have to create another character (although you can send money and unbound gear). I have a priest alt that I would like to PvP with, but so far I don’t have the passion for it that I do for rogue. If not for my guild, I’d probably be looking at quitting.