Thursday, December 24, 2009

Why I quit WOW \ The issues with World of Warcraft: Part 1

Greeting Musers
    I mentioned in my last post I quit WOW because the consequences of playing WOW were no longer worth the benefits. When I attended my IT end of year meeting & mentioned this to another ex-player he concurred this was the same reason he had quit. Though we briefly spoke about it, we began to discuss the issues with the game that lead us to this choice.
    Before I begin though I need to explain my list. As an IT systems geek, I have to look at the big picture in order to solve problems & to grade issues. This has lead me to be cold at times when a user is having problems with a BlackBerry, but as they're bosses boss knows I have to support all of our company's BlackBerry's for the America's. But it does give me an insight into the how's and why's on system's, such as World of Warcraft.
    The main issue with WOW is the same issue many other systems face. It was built to solve a problem, was hugely successful & is now being forced to do things that the original designers never intended it to do. It has attracted user's who were not familiar to the architecture of the system & had to be adjusted to support them while at the same time keeping it's original user's happy.WOW has now become bloatware.
     Before I go into this lets talk about why WOW rocked. 1st  though MMO 101: All subscription based MMO use a standard currency: Time. He who can put in the most hours (or who can afford to pay someone to put the hours in for him,) is He who is on top. When WOW launched in 2004, it was successful because it greatly improved on the MMO Currency exchange rate . Prior to WOW MMO's were awful in this regard.You don't get a term like poopsocking if a game  is an enjoyable romp in the woods! WOW's designers took the currency rate & cut it in half . A dungeon that took 4 hours in Everquest now only took 2 hours. A raid that took 8 hours now only took 4 etc. This made it possible for what i think was WOW biggest success: The democratization of MMO's
    By cutting down on the amount of time required to play the game WOW opened up MMO's to people who had avoided them due to the draconian requirements. A 25 year old male gamer who avoided EQ\UO because they had a full time job, social life etc. could now afford the time requirements of WOW. Yes he would have to give up something else to play the game but now he could delve into the MMO environment that he had avoided for fear of the consequences. While this was in itself a tremendous improvement. WOW greatest success was far more  sublime.
    Over the years people have written about WOW's success and listed the many things that the game improved on compared to existing MMO's I have found though that with successful systems it's always the unassuming things that lead to their success. For example Facebook over took My Space because it was easier to use. That's it - End of Story. It was an easier for someone with little computer experience to use Facebook than it was to setup a MySpace page.
   WOW became the top dog because it allowed people with no MMO experience to start playing the game without jumping through hoops. Prior to WOW required a user to either a.) Know someone who would help you along b.) Read up prior to setting up a character or c.) Suffering  from griever's or PK's until you learned the ropes. WOW changed this. People who had never played a video game were able to load it, login & learn how to play. This feature + the cut down of time requirements + all the other improvement that WOW presented is why it still has 12 million user's playing it.
    In my next post I'll go into the details of how these great improvement have lead to it's current sad state
Until another day
The Musing Moonkin

Why I quit WOW: A farewell to Moonkin Musings (sniff, sniff)

Greetings Musers:
   Well it's been over six months since I last posted. It may have been another six months if a reader hadn't emailed me to see why the posts stopped in June. But that /player poke gave me the urge to put what's been mulling in my head for a while, but it really came to fruition this past Tuesday when I sat with a co-worker who's also an ex-wow player & we mused over why we quit the game & what we saw as the critical flaws in WOW. Granted we're both IT people so our views may be a little biased but he did agree with my points on the issues & the logic of our decisions.
    I quit WOW back in August. Initially it was a response to a crisis of my own creation, & as a self-flagellation to the death of one of my pet chinchillas. I thought that if I had paid more attention to the little puff then maybe the issues he had would've have been more noticeable. and I could've saved him.
    But as I've made peace with the fact that 1.) he was sick for a long time & 2.) his breeder stopped breeding chinchillas due to the issues with her herd. I forgave myself for his Death. Still though I quit WOW. 
    I have to admit it was very hard, the urge to play was strong. And oddly the person I had initially quit for, (my wife) actually encouraged me to play. Her argument was that it was my way of de-stressing & as long as I handled it in moderation she was fine with it. So I reloaded the game, & started up again. Then one night while I was in the middle of a daily quest for the Argent Crusade, she tells me that she wishes I wasn't play WOW again & that she liked me when I was "Off the Dragon." I promptly shut down & proceeded to delete my alt characters (even my Tauren Druid!) & left poor Neren alone on the character list. 
     In addition I also had to remove the client from my work PC due to our company's IT security audit. While this was never an issue prior (hence 7 IT staffers having WOW loaded & being told of the record it didn't worry the security officer since his scans of our PC's had shown no misuse other than  the WOW client.) because of the audit the various 'unauthorized apps' that we had been allowed to use on our PC had to be removed so that we didn't get any write-ups. 
    So no WOW on my Work PC & no access on my home PC did help with the withdrawal,  but don't get me wrong there have been many times in the past four months I've wanted to play again. When I heard about the release of Cataclysm, when I had a really rough day, when I was by myself on a Friday or Saturday night because my wife was watching our nephew's or nieces. But I didn't start playing again. It wasn't that the game was boring, It was that I realized that WOW is a lifestyle. I'll repeat that last point: World of Warcraft is a lifestyle and like any lifestyle it forces you to make choices. I got to a point where the choices that you have to make in order to play WOW were not worth the consequences.

    Before I continue I need to make this point. For most of this decade I practiced & taught Aikido. One of the many things I got out of my practice was the following: All choices have  good & bad consequences. When I started back in 2001 my girlfriend at the time encouraged me to practice, I had wanted to study Aikido since early 2000. The consequence of this encouragement was that within a month of my practice the Children's Aikido instructor felt I had the right temperament to help with the Kids class. I could've said no but hey he was a Nidan & I was frankly scared of saying no to him. 
    Because I started helping with Kids class I could no longer go out on Friday nights with her & our friends since I had to be at the Dojo bright & early Saturday morning to clean it before classes started.  The one time she came to meet me at the Dojo on a Friday night to go out to Dinner became an uncomfortable hour of suffering for her since she had gone out to a bar prior & in her words "felt dirty" coming into the Dojo smelling of cigarettes & alcohol. In retrospect her choice of encouraging me to practice Aikido & my choice of pursuing the apprentice path lead to eventual break-up.

     In that respect WOW is no different. The choices I had to make to be a successful player on my server were no longer worth the consequences. This is why I've been able to resist the urge to re-login; I could've reup'd my account but it wasn't worth the effects in the real world. I'll cover these effects in my follow up post. Until then consider what WOW has given you vs. what it's denied you. If your like me you may find that it's no longer the end all be all

Until another day
The Musing Moonkin

Monday, June 8, 2009

Brain Calgonated but who am I now?

Good morning musers!
I don't have words for the lack of blogging over the last month. I seriously underestimated what the tutoring schedule would do to my brain. Don't get me wrong, I have no regrets, but I think that I needed to be more honest with myself. If I can't play WOW then I can't blog about WOW. Blogging requires a minimum commitment of WOW time in order to aggregate enough events to make a decent post.
So you may be asking wth is up with the Title for this post? Well this weekend, which was absolutely lovely if I may say so, I spent with my loving wife & just relaxed and let my brain soak, no major thinking no students just mental calgon. It was just lovely. To top it off, my honey went to the gym after Sunday's festivities. Which gave me some uninterrupted WOW time. After banging out some dailies, I see on guild chat someone looking for an arena partner & I find myself saying on gchat, " I'd love to get a 2x2 or 3x3 team"
This leads to my first major change since I did a Major Post. I LOVE PVP! I dunno maybe it was all the stress of the last month, but I found BG's WG & now arena fun & relaxing.
But this is so odd for me, I was so anti-pvp for so long that my friend Doug busted my boomkin balls for wanting to do a 2x2 with him. He ripped into me how he had begged me to be in his 3x3 back in the BC days I had snubbed him. This was of course when he was scoring the Green Trophy Tabard of the Illdari, on Sat afternoon but I digress.
Onto other items of note
Guild dramarama: I'm still in Knights of the Blade, but I may be looking to leave, there has been guild leadership issues over the last month which have lead to progression issues & other items. I do like all of the people in the guild, but with the summer coming I may look to greener pastures. Still I may stick around & see if they're able to shake this off. Stay tuned for more dramarama
On the state of cowardice: This has to do with VOA 25 & Mr. Emalon. I've noticed a level of cowardice towards Emmy that makes me shake my head & wish for the good old days when I got yelled at for being a boomkin. Here is what I've seen since his arrival on the scene
1.) VOA 25 Pug gets organized
2.) People wipe on 1st Emalon mob due to n00bishness
3.) Players whine that we should do the easier boss 1st
4.) if easier boss is done 1st, whiners leave raid after scoring gear\badges.
5.) If Emalon is done 1st whiners leave raid.
Hopefully as players get better geared etc, this pattern will VOT, but it is leading to gear check's as a response to players asking to be invited then bailing on emalon.
That's it for today
Until another day
The Musing Moonkin

Monday, June 1, 2009

Remember Me?

Greetings Musers
Yes I know I've slacked on the blog for way too long! I feel so bad about it! Even though I have on my treo to post every four days, actually finding the time to post with my schedule was nigh impossible. I even had a couple of good ideas to boot!
In Any case with the slowdown in SAT work I should have mental juices to update my blog more frequently!
Until Then
The Musing Moonkin

Monday, May 4, 2009

Won't anyone think of the children?!?!

Greeting fellow musers!

In general I hate it when I'm right, since it usually isn't good news, but alas regarding my post about Noblegarden\Children's Week\Argent Tournament screwing up day to day patterns on my server has been proven correct. Only 1 out of 25 flasks of endless rage sold on the AH. Not because they were overpriced but because no one was raiding. I don't know what is going on with other servers\guilds but my guild has taken to raiding on Friday\Saturday to compensate for all of the the holiday's. I wouldn't mind this schedule except that Friday is now a teaching night for me & Saturday is off limits unless the wife is out & about. An important note gentle reader's it really is good to set days that you will not raid unless X criteria is met (in my case X is wife is away on business or out with friends.)
I am feeling ambivalent regarding the achievement's for Children's week. I don't know if it's because I'm on a dark humor binge ATM, or because I think that they took a event that was I felt was very sweet & added some dark items to it. (Hail To The King, Baby is just plain dark IMHO.) I've been mulling over some other changes that I think would fit this dark, bleak version of Children's week
1.) Orphans brought into Battlegrounds, Instanced Dungeons or Daily Quests where damage can incur can be killed. So you've accepted responsibility for your orphan how can you not expect that bringing your ward into a dangerous environment wouldn't have consequences. What did you think was going to happen? It's a kid for frak's sake. I feel that this will make earning the achievements involving combat much more valuable.
2.) New Achievement! I've singled out the kids who are mean to me: We all know that children; esp children who are orphan's due to War, Catastrophe etc can be mean to the 'new kid'. Show your love of your orphan by helping him\her get revenge on the kids who tease him at the orphanage.
3.) New Achievement! Laying Flowers On Their Graves: Help your orphan find closure with the senseless death of their parents by taking them to their grave\final resting place of their parents.
If you can think of any other changes that can be made to children's week let me know & I'll post them
Until another day
The Musing Moonkin

Thursday, April 30, 2009

3.1. Aftershocks: Herd Mentality in full swing

Good Morning Musers,
I had this minor moment on insight yesterday after getting the Noblegarden title outta the way. I went over to the AH in IF to post some flasks & get some mats to make more flasks when I noticed that there were barley any flasks or mats for sale. Oddly price gouging of the assrouge variety was not in swing (though this was rectified by last night; frost lotus was up to 140% of market value on fenris's alliance ah's)
I then realized that while I was posting my wares that no one was actually in IF, players on Fenris were either wrapped up completing Noblegarden, perusing advancement in the Argent Tournament or god forbid trying to get both done at the same time. My curiosity intrigued I scanned the AH and discovered that it's cupboards were not fully stocked. There was gear on sale of course but not the rows and rows that normally would be available to peruse.
I'm still trying to explain this logically, I think what I saw on my server and may be happening on other server's is a classic example of herd mentality. If enough people stop doing their daily routine to pursue a special event (holiday, sporting, etc.) It will affect day to day needs whether in a community or on a virtual world.
The question I have though is how long will this disruption continue. My gut says that with Children's week Starting on Saturday we will still see disruptions with day to day server needs for at least two weeks. By then people will have done enough Argent Tournament quests that they will start to pursue their usual goals.
Until another day
The Musing Moonkin

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Noble Idea

Good Morning Musers!
Well it was noble of me to think that I could keep a hard 'n fast writing schedule, but RL reared it's ugly head and prevented me from keeping up beyond daily tweets. This was compounded by the fact that two server events were going on & I had guild runs to do & I had real life obligations.
So let's see what's been going on
1.) Naxx 25 Cleared: Yes I stayed up till 2am on Sat to finally knock this achievement off the list. As you may be aware I tutor all day Saturday, So I had been up since 6am and had taught 3 kids that day. (AKA it wasn't a quiet day for me.) I actually passed out during phase 3 of the KT fight. It took my GM screaming at me to move out of the Purple Rings O Death to wake me up. While Naxx may be easysauce I firmly believe now that it's best done either as an afternoon event on the weekend or over two nights. There's just something that happens around the 2nd wing were people start going AFK. I don't know what it is but suddenly people will post bio BRB, afk phone etc.
2.) Gear Upgrades: This has been bittersweet for me, I tend to get attached to my gear & I set goals on what I'd like to replace with what etc, but sometimes you have to go with what drops. I had to make peace with that and take what the random die roll generated.
3.) Petopia: I do love holiday events esp when it get's me closer to my goal of 75 pets!!! I have grown quite fond of my Argent Page as it is quite nice to have a pet to kneels before you periodically!.

That's it for now. I'm off to enjoy a tasty Lunch!
Until Another Day
The Musing Moonkin