Adventures Within The World Of Warcraft

I’ve been playing the World of Warcraft the last month and I have to say that while I wouldn’t really call it my “dream” massively multiplayer online game, I would still say it is very enjoyable nonetheless. Without a doubt, the expansiveness of the realms you play within is one of the game’s greatest strengths.…

I’ve been playing the World of Warcraft the last month and I have to say that while I wouldn’t really call it my “dream” massively multiplayer online game, I would still say it is very enjoyable nonetheless. Without a doubt, the expansiveness of the realms you play within is one of the game’s greatest strengths. There will be points where you’ll just stop in your tracks and just sit there and enjoy the view for a few moments. Yet what I still find lacking is the level of interaction that I’m looking for on a realm vs realm level that involves much more usage of community and culture to foster cooperation among players on a larger level.

For example, when I’m playing in the World of Warcraft, while I may feel like I’m part of the Alliance, I don’t see any direct correlation between my actions and that of the Alliance’s goals overall. To make players feel like they are part of something larger than themselves, the game world itself needs to allow them to be a part of an ongoing story, no matter how small their contribution to it. I’d love to see the borders between the various lands changing on a regular basis depending upon who controls these areas so that a player who is a miner knows that his efforts in collecting ore went directly to aiding a blacksmith who in turn helped produced armor and weapons for the warriors who help defend and maintain the borderlands. Each player focuses on what they enjoy and yet all contribute to the greater cause.

2 replies on “Adventures Within The World Of Warcraft”

I played WoW from alpha until recently, and it was quite a fascinating experience to see how the culture evolved. During alpha, there was a sense of community because everyone online was testing the game and giving feedback to the developers, and because of this shared mission, tromping around the world was fantastic. Sure, a lot of things were busted, and the character classes changed every few weeks, and we lost stuff when changes were large and had to be reset, but there was a remarkable sense of community. It didn’t take much.

After taking a break, I got back into the retail game for a few months. Different experience. Not a lot of chatter, a lot of complaining on the channels, and everyone out to make it for themselves. Rather depressing. The difference was finding a decent guild, which I hadn’t really experienced before (WoW was my first mmorpg). It’s funny how the online experience parallels the real world: the community you have depends on who you end up meeting, and what you do with it.

What would the real-world equivalent of what’s missing in WoW be? More social institutions to support? Political parties? Pod races? 🙂

Real-world equivalent of what’s missing in Wow? Actually I’d say the real world quite closely mirrors WoW quite well right now. The focus is primarily advancing yourself, first and foremost, over all others which I think is a shame. We need more collaboration and cooperation instead.

I would instead like to see a MMORPG which focuses on advancing yourself by helping others. In other words, by helping the community around you, you yourself evolve. Thus the focus is off of you and on the community instead. It’s quite hilarious when you think about it because the original Warcraft game followed this concept quite well. Many different "units" within the game all did different things but worked together as a community to achieve a common goal.

Here’s a large snippet of a post I had on my Gaming Scene site a while back that elaborates this point.

This is exactly the type of aspect that I want to see within player controlled persistent game because, as I said, it allows anyone to participate in a community’s objective and, more importantly, I think it makes these games much more accessible to a wider demographic of gamer (instead of just the hard core gamer). So switching to the upcoming Age of Conan MMOG for a different twist, imagine a town or city that is within a greater kingdom or nation which happens to be at war with a bordering kingdom as well. Within this town are shops, taverns, and guilds. At the local barracks, recruiting posters are out for warriors to help join in the war effort, promoting good accommodations, food, and training in exchange for helping the cause (i.e. “Join the King’s Men! See the world!”). At one of the various local shops, a weapon smith is crafting weapons and a leather maker is making leather armor, while a baker is baking biscuits. At the local tavern, a wide assortment of patrons (such as local farmers, mine workers, soldiers, and shop owners) are sitting around and talking about the war with someone popping in usually once a day to tell stories of the latest events happening upon the frontlines. The tavern owner, once a warrior himself often tells tales of campaigns that he has been within and always is happy to give a round on the house to those military soldiers who happen to come into his establishment.

Now how does this type of experience different from games today? It differs in that every single action, no matter how small, done by each of these players within the game is directly or indirectly affecting their larger community’s objective of the war effort. The soldiers in the barracks are helping the war effort by becoming soldiers of the King’s Men. While a small portion of the weapons that the weapon smith makes are still being sold to those that pass by, most of them are primarily being made for the soldiers who go to war. The local farmers are producing food resources which help to make supplies for the soldiers, such as biscuits that the baker is making. In addition, the hides from their cattle go to the leather maker so he can make armor and the meat from the cattle go to making dried meats for soldier’s rations. The mine workers are also mining various ores which will eventually work their way into the weapons that the weapon maker makes. And finally the tavern owner himself is even helping out the war effort, since he is not only gracious to the soldiers who walk into his tavern, but his tavern itself is an excellent community meeting point to discuss and communicate the ongoing war effort. Each player in this game does what he prefers to do, be it playing a soldier, merchant, craftsman, worker, or tavern owner, but in doing so they are all still contributing to the great community and its objectives in the war effort. In effect, this allows for a wider variety of playing styles for many different players, from being a casual player who might enjoy socializing, to a player who enjoys the economics of trade, and all the way up to the hard core gamer who enjoys fighting it out on the front lines. All of these people are playing a PvP game in many different ways but what stands out the most is that each of their actions is still making a difference or has a purpose towards the greater community. Thus no matter how small their interaction, no matter on what level, it is still extremely beneficial to everyone.