Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ride Astride the Beast: Levels 15-20

Having played through levels 1-15 of World of Warcraft, it would only be fair to finish up the levels I am allotted. Unfortunately, it was discovered that this is only till level 20, and that the adventures of Myrdo would end well before they began. This shorter post will include more about experience with the first dungeons, an important facet of World of Warcraft, and PvP. 

As was revealed before, my experience with MMOs is rather widespread, yet not complete. Dungeons are not foreign, and they tend to follow a simple formula gained from their parent genre, the RPG. You go into some deep dark place, either a cave or taken structure, then you and your allies must stay close together to clear it of its tough enemies and bosses without dieing. In World of Warcraft, this is no different.

In fact, my first experience with one of these dungeons was by mistake, Ragefire chasm. Having leveled up my character to 12, I went into a portal at the bottom of Oggrimar, the capital city for the Horde. When Zigglez and I entered, we saw a worm only a level above us, and we attacked it. The worm killed both of us, only nearly dieing. The room was full of duplicate creatures. We decided that we would come back at level 14, and get revenge on this creature. We did so, again fighting that one worm, and with all of our abilities spent, we killed it. We were proud, and managed to kill 6 more.

When we hit level 15, we entered the dungeon queue to go in as a group. All three of us, since Witrig was with us, entered as DPS characters, or damage per second characters. This dungeon finder is a fun mechanic, it allows players to jump right to a dungeon that they want to do, even if they have never visited it. For those who appreciate the in character elements of a game though, this is a travesty. There is no need for exploration to find a difficult dungeon, they are all listed, and the game will then teleport you halfway across the game world just to go destroy the enemies there, even if you have no idea what story lead your character to be there.

It was done though, and soon our tank, the character meant to take the brunt of the damage, charged into the chasm and started to fight several worms at once. The three of my personal allies all went in to destroy the creatures, and in a flurry of attack animations, they were all dead, the tank barely hurt with the assistance of the healer behind him. Yet, I felt no great satisfaction, I simply stood behind an enemy, and did what I do until they were all laying on the ground so we could collect their loot. Killing them one by one, each of them monstrous villains, was better than this... slaughter. Soon we met bosses, and each fell a slight bit slower. Since ragefire chasm was part of my actual storyline, I knew that these people were part of the burning blade, were demon summoners. We ripped each of the bosses to shreds, and any damage on us was short lived.

I will mention that after this we did Shadowfang keep, a dungeon that has been altered from its original form as a werewolf filled keep. The reason for this is because those werewolves, are now a playable race, so the story has changed to their keep being overrun by the undead. I did not participate in most of this dungeon, because the game is slow to download its elements on my crappy internet connection. It took me at least 8 minutes to load, if not more. Then when I died, as our tank and healer were not nearly as good this time, it took another 15 minutes or more to load the world outside of the dungeon. Both of these places I never visited before, so the game had no reason to think I would need to download them in advance. It was still quite irritating.

As for the other game element, PvP, I cannot say I know why anyone would participate. This was level 19 PvP mind you, very early in the game. Yet, every fight felt like a wandering slaughter. The fight moved from one place to another, both sides flinging status effects at one another like fear and disorient, that eliminated that character from the fight. If the DPS on one side decided a character would be dead, they were then dead very fast. Personally, my Rogue could do very little, as whenever I tried to attack, everyone would turn to me and have me dead in seconds. The PvP in Warhammer Online and other Everquestian MMOs have a similar feel, yet this truly felt like the lowest of the low. 

When I reached level 20, the quest in the game seemed to get a slight bit more engaging. Not that they took any thought, they were still stagnant elements all built to make me fight a different sort of monster. Yet the feel of them because a little more serious, at the very least, as I entered the Ashenvale. 

This all doesn't matter though, as my time as Myrdo is done. The game capped me at level 20, so moving forward would be suicide. So in the meantime, as my trial finishes, I have moved to playing a Dwarf Paladin, for a different view of the situation. The life of Dezuun the Dwarf will need to be covered later though.

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