Experienced Points

Experienced Points
Wow, That’s Complicated

Shamus Young | 16 Jul 2010 21:00
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When idiot teenagers act out or want attention they usually turn to self-destructive behaviors like cutting themselves, doing drugs, or dating celibate vampires. But now I'm an adult and have to find a more grownup way to ruin my life, which is why I reactivated my World of Warcraft account. It's working out really well so far. My productivity has dropped to almost zero. I've only just paused the game long enough to write this article, and as soon as I'm done I'm going to log in again. In fqact, I'm so apathetic at this point that I'm not even going to go back and fix the typo at the beginning of this sentence.

I'm surprised at how much the thing has changed since I first installed the game two years ago. The first thing I noticed - which is the first thing all non-blind people will notice - is that they have gone out of their way to provide a ton of tutorials at the start. I left them on for a lot longer than I should, simply because I was curious about what sorts of things Blizzard decided to teach new players.

If you're one of those players who thinks that "newbie" is a synonym for "stupid", then you're excused from the rest of this. I know MMO interfaces are "so simple" to you. That's because you're so much smarter than new players who haven't learned to play yet. Just like babies are all morons because they can't read. Really. You're awesome. Don't ever change.

Now go back to trolling the forums with your level 1 sock puppets, because it's time for the grownups to talk.

Is he gone? Good. I hate that guy. Anyway, massively multiplayer games are crazy complicated. The gameplay dynamics and terminology can be overwhelming to anyone new to the genre. Hit points, mana points, rage points, stamina points. Burst damage. Area of effect. Damage reduction. Buffs. De-buffs. DPS. Channeling. Tanking. Aggro management. Pulling. Pets. Quest makers. HOTs and DOTs. Roots and dazes. Cooldown timers. Elites. Minions. Tapping. Conning. Then you have the different races, classes, primary professions, secondary professions, and character builds. The different travel systems from your "home location" to travel waypoints to personal mounts. Crafted gear vs. drops. And all of that is stuff you'll need to understand just to play solo in the general open-world game content. But eventually you'll end up learning about instances, PuGs, bind on pickup drops, PvP, guilds, and (eventually, if you go the distance) RAIDING, which is almost another entire game on top of everything else.

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