I’ve sort of been watching from the sidelines the latest row between The Ancient Gaming Noob and Syncaine about World of Warcraft (WoW) and Warhammer; Age of Reckoning (WAR).  Really it all boils down to personal preferances and playstyles.  For example, TAGN has a very cool entry about how his mother and his daughter (and himself) are all able to play WoW together.  And I think that is very cool.  But does that make games where grandmas, sons and granddaughters cannot play together bad? Would they make a great football team? No. As far as how the discussions have been going, I think most of TAGN’s arguments are basically red herrings, and some of Syncaine’s comments are a bit too vitriolic, although for the most part I agree with Syncaine’s reasoning.

As for my personal opinions – which is all they are, WoW just wasn’t my kind of game.  I came from a background of MMO gaming in Dark Age of Camelot, Anarchy Online, and Asheron’s Call 2.  All of which had a serious PvP element.  Unlike most WoW players (when it first came online) who either came from Everquest or directly from the absolutely immense fanbase of the Warcraft series of games that spanned the previous decade (1994-2004 – this seemed (to me) to be the largest proportion of the playerbase).

WoW’s initial gameplay was very good, although I really hated the ‘toony graphics and that always bothered me to such a point that I really never felt “immersed” in the game – it felt more like an arcade game, like Rampage or something.  It was the first MMO where I really thought of my toon as an Avatar, and not an extension of “me.” Which was compounded when I found out that I couldn’t customize my armor in any meaningful way – GRRR! 

Another big let down was the implementation of WoW’s PvP – our guild had to move from Blackspire to Daggerspine due to constant 3-4 hour login queues. After awhile we got so sick of the bad PvP ruleset we simply migrated to a “normal” server – big let down. Keep in mind this was a well organised guild that had been together as a “PvP guild” through several games.  For awhile we led the leaderboards on Daggerspine/Horde until we left – being the largest Horde guild on Daggerspine at the time also helped 🙂 So leaving a PvP server was a major bummer!

Within a year most of the guild got bored and we broke apart wandering around looking for other games to play. We tried DDO, EQ2, LotRO, AoC, EVE, WAR, and more (basically just about everything MMO since WoW). We even tried, out of desperation, going back to AO and DAoC.  Still nothing has caught our collective attention, so we’re now a defunct guild spread across several different games.  Maybe we’re just a bunch of jaded gamers and the MMO honeymoon is over, who knows, but realistically WAR has the best shot at uniting us again if Mythic can get it’s RvR/PvP act together.

Mythic destroyed DAoC RvR with “New Frontiers,” hopefully they realize this and will shape WAR RvR to be something to be proud of. Only time will tell, and if the history of DAoC is any indicator of how WAR’s tweaking and shaping progresses, it should be good to go by April or May 2009.  It took about 6 months for DAoC to really “come into its own” after release (through patches and tweaks) .

Anyways, each person likes different games for different reasons.  I absolutely HATED the Warcraft series of games, which probably biased me against WoW in the first place. However, I LOVED Starcraft and wish that Starcraft or Diablo had been Blizzards first foray into the MMO market, since I thought either one of those universes blew Warcraft out of the water for depth of story and interest. But the adolescent (read “shallow”) Warcraft marketshare was Blizzard’s cash cow, so I understand that’s why they went the direction they did.  Oh well, my loss.

For now, I reside in EVE with side trips into City of Heroes and occasional peeks into WAR.  But EVE is my “main” for now.  Until something shiney comes along, I’ll let it ride and see where the MMO’s take me. Enjoy!