Among those who call themselves gamers, by social permission or through an equal transcendence in respect of the medium, there is a great distinction between persons. A gamer either plays WoW, that is Blizzard's World of Warcraft, or they do not. At 12 million subscriptions, WoW's numbers outrank all the state of Ohio, and dwarf my own home state. Its players range from the light-hearted social player who takes the game an hour at a time, to the hardened warrior who ranks the in-game raids just below breathing and right above defecation. With its large audience, wide appeal, and addictive framework, WoW is the behemoth of its genre, the kodo beast in the room if you will allow me to get into the mood.
It is also a game that I have never played, and had no intention of playing. Between my arrogance, ignorance, and need to hate on anything more popular than myself, I have never given World of Warcraft its fair chance. I have judged the game on its players, on its culture, and any other object I could use to differentiate it from myself. But as with the motto of the Royal Society, "nullius in verba", I realize now that I should "take no one's word for it". I will confront the beast first hand, and though I dangle myself before its horrid white flesh, my hope is to come out with limbs and sanity intact. This I do out of a sense of duty, pride, and boredom.
As a man of 23 years, I was playing video games before I stopped wetting the bed. Mario was my babysitter, and Dragon Warrior 3 my tutor. My genre of choice are Strategy and RPGs, the second rather important to this exercise with WoW placing itself within the 'Role-Playing Games' genre with its MMORPG subgenre classification. My MMO credentials run a range of games, recent and old; Ultima Online, City of Heroes, Guild Wars, Warhammer Online, Planetside, Dungeons and Dragons Online, and trials of Lord of the Rings Online, Pirates of the Burning Sea, APB, and the Matrix Online. These games usually have similar buildings blocks, mostly the prototypical MMOs of Ultima Online and Everquest, yet all have their own twist.
To come at this game, I will play as one character for a 10 day trial, possibly more if the game warrants it. I will play with as many friends as I can manage to play with, to create the proper setting and social interaction an MMO requires. My server of choice will be Destromath, my faction Horde. From here I had to make a hard choice, since race and class will definitely warp my playing experience. Yet I have played enough MMOs to know what will interest me, and to know how to overcome in game challenges. So because of this I will play an Orc Rogue, not because this is a particularly good combination, but because it is what interest me.
This page will chronicle my time in the game. I will at times post in character in a fashion I hope will be considered humorous, others I will post out of character to summarize my experiences from that of a man who has played games for over 15 years of his life. I hope to have everyone's support in this, both during and in the aftermath of what will be my greatest flirtation with darkness since I, as a teetotaller, took a shot at a christmas party.
I cross my fingers that this all goes well, for the love of the game, for the sake of fairness, and most of all for the horde.