Finally tried World of Warcraft. Didn’t like it, even for free.

Sorry, but I just didn’t like it. The graphics overall looked dated, with character models as blocky as the original Quake by comparison with other modern games. This just painfully looks like a game from about 2004. Even the kiddie MMORPG Wizards 101 LOOKS better to me.

The starting area where I was in WoW (Hoarde Bull creatures) seemed stripped down of details. It was some blocky-looking NPCs who just stood around a blocky looking primitive village. I went to a chieftain who gave me a quest to go talk to somebody else. I moved past blocky looking NPCs to another group of static NPCs. The new guy told me to kill six generic something-or-another.

I went over where other NPCs were standing in a field whacking at groups of these whatever-they-were things. I went over and stood and whacked one a couple of times. No interactions with the NPC beside me or the other two critters he was fighting. I whacked two more. I stood, they stood (until they died), the NPC beside them stood. I looted copper coins from critters (do they eat kid’s piggy banks?) and went to the next NPC who stood whacking at the same generic kill-me-now beastie.

This same non-challenge was repeated three times. It was not a WOW experience in WoW…

It didn’t engage me in the least, other than my pet bird was kind of cute. I went, “C’mon now, for something you want me to PAY TO PLAY, you have to do better than this as the first experiences.”

The character design simply looked left-in-the dust by other modern games. Torchlight looked far better, and I can get it for $2.99 on sale right now on Steam. I asked myself, “Is this why I have an ATI 5970? To render these blocky and poorly-detailed models and structures, stiff animations, and cheesy NPCs who stand around waiting to either give me a quest or to ignore me entirely?”

Oh, and my grandson’s version of the game (also the starter edition) refuses to display water. He can watch fish swimming in the air. If he gets in the water, he can see it. If he gets out, it is back to flying fish time. Apparently this is a known bug with the world’s biggest online game.

If I don’t like the start of a game, I generally don’t like the middle or end either. The one exception was Deus Ex, with a terrible demo for a great game.

It comes down to expectations. If I am being asked to subscribe to something where the yearly cost to play it are $180 (plus the costs of the game and expansion), then I expect “best game ever” on everything. I want to be absolutely blown-away from the opening screen.

I wasn’t. It was generic RPG from the early 2000 era. If I am already bored in five minutes, that doesn’t bode well.

It had a tremendous opening cinematic with the dragon, but then the game itself started. It was a letdown.

Imagine that you have never played WoW. Now, try opening up the free demo as if you knew nothing about it. Does it really seem that good as a newbie player? If you had never played it (but had played other modern games), would it still seem fresh, engaging, and beautiful? Would it just blow you away?

Or, would you kind of wonder what all the fuss was about…

Well, my WoW fanatic friends, that is me. I have no history with the game. No emotional investment. I tried it, went “meh” within a few minutes, and deleted it.

Be honest if you are a WoW lover: my words are like a cold soggy carp slapped across your cheeks (both sides, whap, whap!). I don’t have the thousands of hours and several years of my life tied up in WoW like others in my circle of friends. I approached WoW with high expectations and was, frankly, underwhelmed.

Now, some may argue against judging a blind date on the first few minutes. But, if she arrives drunk, insists on showing you her many tattoos (no matter their locations), displays an epic talent for flatulence, and passes out during the salad course – one may form a bad impression.

But, games (like art) are an individual experience. To each their own. If you find it worth $180 a year, then go for it.

NOTE: My 11 year-old grandson loves the game and would subscribe if he had the bucks (which he doesn’t). I mentioned to him that the cost of the game plus subscription would mean doing without about five other AAA PC game titles over the course of the year. He doesn’t quite get the math, as he figures I should just subscribe and still get the other games. The concept of a “budget” hasn’t taken hold.

UPDATE: My WoW fan friends are insisting I picked a particularly drab area to start and that I need to give it a chance. Since the grandson loves the starter version, I went ahead and let him try my full version of the game on the 30-day trial (which I had never activated).


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One Response to “Finally tried World of Warcraft. Didn’t like it, even for free.”

  1. Luke Axelrod Says:

    glad to see i’m not alone here, i hated the trail as well, all i could take of it were 15 minutes, the controls were a mess, the visuals looked like something from the late 90’s, the story, or lack there of didn’t draw me in, and quite frankly the people playing it were jerks, who kept calling me a noob. about ten minutes in i was actually wondering if this was really WOW, the game people invest there lives, cash and health into. i think a good game is something that can be played an enjoyed right from the get go, for a few minutes here and there, not something that requires me to remap my real life just to sit at my computer and play a game, let alone learn the whole mechanics of a fantasy world.

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