Thursday, May 3, 2007

Is World of Warcraft a reasonable investment for the casual player?

I think you'll find that most World of Warcraft (or "WoW") players would tell you that if you can't invest at least an hour or two on most days, you're wasting your money on a subscription. And sometimes I think they're right.

But recently, since I'm right at the end of my semester, I've only played for a total of maybe 3 hours over the past two weeks. I don't feel like I'm wasting the money I've spent on my subscription (which at $14/month is rather paltry when measured against a single meal at Outback Steakhouse). I have a few characters at varying levels of accomplishment within the game, and they each offer different opportunities for gameplay. If I have all day, I can play with my higher level characters and undertake long, group-oriented quests. If I've got a few hours, I can use a mid-level character and complete a few smaller quests or a single run-through of a low-level "instance" (dungeon). And if I've only got an hour, I can hop online with one of my beginner characters and do an early quest, or use any character to peruse the auction house for valuable gear.

My point is that, as video game players, you are only restricted by the limitations you place on yourself. If you refuse to have any lower level characters after you've built up other characters, then it's your own fault that you have to set aside 5-hour blocks in order to enjoy playing.

We casual players are those who you stumble upon on your way to the top who don't know all the ropes, and maybe we take things a little more slowly, but we're the best teammates you could have. Because to us, it's just a game. So we joke and ask questions and maintain a level of politeness, because we know there's a person on the other side of that computer.

We also usually don't make the stupid mistakes like pulling aggro in an instance when we're underpowered. We are smart enough and sensible enough to be scared when we see that "Elite" designation for the first time. And we're happy to help when we can.

See you in Azeroth.

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