I’m on a Boat

I'm on a boat.

Everybody look at me 'cause I'm sailing on a boat.

I always hated Thousand Needles because the race track was just so stupid.  Some people think Cataclysm has done a lot wrong with World of Warcraft, but look at me… I’m on a boat.

The last time I wrote about my worgen it was over here, January 14th and I’d just made my way out of the starter zone which left me at level 12 or 13, I forget.  Maybe it was 14.  Doesn’t matter.  What matters is that as of last weekend, just five weeks later, I’m level 47.  Sure, you say, “Five weeks?! Why aren’t you at, like, 70?” but keep in mind, this is 47 without really trying.  I’ve spent much more time on my rogue who doesn’t kill, and so really this is level 47 in a total of 72 hours played.  And at least half of that is standing around chatting with people, role playing and browsing the auction house.  I’ve made it to level 47, heard the DING! of a level gained 46 times and I feel absolutely no sense of accomplishment whatsoever.  Every time the rogue makes a level I feel like I’ve conquered something, like I’ve crested another hill.  With the worgen, it’s more like, “Shit… I leveled again?  Didn’t I just level like twenty minutes ago?  Well, fuck, all my quests are green, and where did all the exclamation points go?  Did I outlevel another quest hub before I finished it?”  I feel like I’m missing the game, like I’m being pushed toward some end game, hurried along so that I don’t have a chance to get bored or to notice whether or not I’m actually enjoying playing.

In a few levels I won’t have anything left worthwhile in Thousand Needles.  The kills will be trivial, and the quests will be all gone, and the only real herb here is Stranglekelp, which gains me no skill and people aren’t even paying much for these days, but I suspect that I’ll return here because it’s the only place my River Boat works.  And ultimately this is where my biggest conflict with WoW comes in… there are some really cool and awesome places in this world, and you don’t get to stay there.  Why can’t I spend my days on the river fighting pirates and monsters?  I mean, I suppose I could, but the game doesn’t support it.  There are daily quests for fishing and cooking and other things, but why doesn’t each quest hub have a couple of dailies to making hanging around even mildly interesting and rewarding?

Not to go off on a tangent, but face it – this entire post is a tangent (a nice Friday sojourn off into rant land), but with the advent of the daily quest, why isn’t this mechanic used everywhere?  We all know that killing monsters is a pointless pursuit in WoW, they’ve hamstrung the exp on them so much, and quests are where the action is, and daily quest exp scales with level, so why not have a handful of quests in every hub where you can get one or two a day and continue to level doing whatever the hell you want?

No.  Instead, I have to make yet another zone useless and leave it to probably never return.  The empty husk of a world that necessitated The Cataclysm in the first place.

Oh well, at least for now… I’m on a boat.

4 comments

  1. Tesh says:

    Question, then… does everything in the game need to be rewarded? What happened to playing for the fun of playing?

    Maybe Blizzard is trying to cure us of the ding addiction by making them less valuable?

    • Jason says:

      I don’t believe Blizzard is doing that because the design outside the dings is so bland. You can, just for the fun of it, try to stay in one area, but once the quests dry up you’ll notice that almost all the fun stuff is tied to the quests. If you aren’t questing, the game has no life at all. You literally have to make everything up yourself because the game has nothing, and while there is nothing intrinsically wrong with that concept, the fact that 99.9999999% of the players are going to blow past you and you’ll be playing alone makes the prospect very unappealing to me.

  2. Tesh says:

    …yeah, I don’t think they would do that either. Y’know, just thinking out loud. 😛

    I do have to wonder, though… if levels were removed and anyone could play anywhere, would we still need directed questing or could we just have fun playing around/with other people? …and might that require a *smaller* world? Hmm…

    • Jason says:

      That, I’m totally behind. I want levels gone. I’d love for more games to explore design without artificial barriers and rails for players. And I think it would require a smaller world from the player perspective, but not necessarily a smaller game on the whole. I envision a game that is town-centric, where you can find things to do and whatnot all from your “home” city, but there are dozens of towns (instead of servers) and you can emigrate from one town to another. (And then we get into player managed towns, which I’ve blogged about before, and will again in the future.) But you would need, for the player, a smaller world where they would be required to travel great distances to do what the game offered, encouraging players to stay bunched together.

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