When I first stepped into Azeroth I was blown away by the content, the environment and the easy way to pick the game up and just go. This was the best gaming experience in my entire life or at least I thought it was. I will elaborate but first some back ground.
My first MMO experience was Ever Quest back in 99/2000 I can not remember the exact date. By all measures EQ was its self was pretty revolutionary, but it was by no means easy. I played EQ for almost 4 years and at my pinnacle I was in a major raiding guild putting in 5 nights a week, but the grind aspect had long set in and with the strain on my personal life I quit… During my EQ times I tried other MMORPGs like Anarchy Online, DAOC, and Shadow Bane to name a few. They all followed a similar model to EQ but never better than EQ.
Back in Azeroth, man this game flowed smooth, you always knew where to go, could NEVER fail on a trade skill if you had all the right components, traveling the world was quick and easy, and especially dungeons, each one laid out all nice and neat just for your own personal group with at least 5 quests pointing you right to the zone line and then into the dungeon all the way to the last boss. Once it was all said and done, you would come out with a new level (or close to it) new gear and some coin.
WoW certainly had a draw on the online masses not to mention the hordes of new people to the genre. With the game able to run on a bare minimum computer, and the ease it took to just pick up and play no wonder it is so popular.
So this brings me to the how. How did WoW effect other MMORPG veterans? I can of course only attest to my own person experiences, but I am also curious in how WoW affected you, or your out look at other games released or coming out soon. I recently heard the term that WoW guides you through content like you are on rails, and I do not disagree with that one bit. If you have gone through levels 1-70, there is still only one route to get you there. What I am getting at is has WoW made you a dumb gamer going into other MMORPGs needing that guidance or has it made you lazy having every thing so simplified or having UI Mods that tells you exactly when something is going to happen and so forth, making other games look so much harder than they really are? They could be construed as the same thing.
For me it is both, and I will use a few other games as examples. First thing is first, after WoW (I am a recently retired hard core Raider with 3 level 70 accounts) I dabbled in a few games, like EQ2, LoTRO, VG and of course Eve. Eve in it’s self is a awesome game, almost complete open ended and pretty much everything I would have dreamed of in a space based MMORPG. The problem is, I can not bring my self to play it more than a few hours. I would feel completely overwhelmed, and to avoid frustration I would quit. Would it have been the same if I never played WoW for almost 3 years? We have VG, definitely a game @ launch that had some things going for it but a lot of things not going for it. I did not play it long for more than just mechanics. Then we have LoTRO, essentially a WoW model clone, with their own twist. Logging in I always felt the “Been here done that before” feeling.
Which brings me to my current game EQ2, though I did not play a launch (Wow playing), I heard the game was not up to par where it should have been, and lets face it I agree with a lot of folks that the game did not start truly getting better until after EoF expansion was launched. There is A LOT of substance to EQ2 and SOE has done a good job with adding features that WoW has gotten right, but over all it is much more a monster of a game than WoW ever was. Only recently I started playing this game as my “main game.” While playing you have a lot of choices to do things and I feel over whelmed a lot. I still have not got to go into to many dungeons nor know what is all available to me. With WoW like I said, mostly the things were so laid out you knew where you had to go. I used to think this was better than what is currently out there, but after playing both WoW and now EQ2 for some time, and I find it better the way EQ2 is. It feels more adventurous, and larger as a concept(yes I know it is bigger physically).
Reading message boards like FoH guild forums others similar, I think a lot of the veterans MMORPG players are starting to feel the same way and branch out, try different things, see what else is out there. Those of you who have, do you find it more difficult making that transition into something that is a little more in-depth? I know I did and I am still feeling it to this day.
Like others I like playing with my real life friends and I have found it has been hard getting them to stay with EQ2 after playing WoW for so long. Its not that WoW is a better game or even EQ2 is a better game (it is 😛 ) it is the sheer over whelming things to do in EQ2 that baffles them. Some though, have adjusted and have been blown away with EQ2. Utterly surprised of the experience they have been missing. Others are back to playing wow doing the same grind type things over and over, and moving on to the next zone to do the same thing.
I think WoW has made me both Lazy and Dumb; I am trying to break out of that mold. How about you?