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Monday, August 18, 2008

World of Warcraft-

My primary character is Nehai. He is a level 70 fire mage. A gnome fire mage. He is at the peak of the point scale. Level 70 is as high as a character can level. Until later this year.

Nehai lives in the Outlands, a strange place that came into being with the first major expansion to World of Warcraft. He is essentially biding time, waiting for the next expansion. Just a few months away, and the level cap raises to 80. Nehai can stop doing daily quests to raise funds for future adventures, and go forth to level again.

This week was not Nehai's week. This week my secondary character got to level. Youlse, a dwarf hunter, made level 58. He visited the Outlands for the first time. After finishing some pending quests, he has moved there.

Actually, this week of play was very good. Youlse not only leveled, he was able to aquire some valuable patterns for leathercraft. Finding and aquiring these patterns required much time and careful play. It was quite interesting.

Outlands will be fun. The zones there are made for hunters. There will be challenges, and a bit of role-playing. I do not think Youlse will make 70 before the expansion, but he should advance quickly. His faithful pet Bob (a white wolf) will see to that.

I have played this game for over two years. I have found it satisfying. Though there have come several other games of a similar nature I have stayed with this one.

Though I seldom join groups when I play, I love seeing other people in the game doing things. It adds to my fun, even if I don't often join battlefield teams or instance groups. I like the in-game economy and the option for interaction. Stand-alone games don't offer that, no matter how deep or rich they are.

This expansion will be the first where I am poised to enter it with a fully-developed character. I will not be playing catch-up to the other players who were more advanced than I, as was the case for the original game and the first expansion. Even so, I will not advance as quickly as the players that have the time and the body of friends necessary to enter into the full game experience.

World of Warcraft has a deep story line, and a player can play through most of that story if they have the resources of time and an established group. Only a few players have been that fortunate. Even fewer have continued to this day, and will go forth into the next expansion.

The expansion will be rewarding enough for me. I like exploring the new areas. I like doing the quests I can do on my own. I like the occasional group activity. There are hints and rumors that the new expansion will have rewards for solo players that are greater than those found in either the original game or the first expansion. That will add to the fun.

I still find it thrilling just to be able to enter a persistent, dynamic virtual world with many other people. How long will World of Warcraft be my game? I don't know. For now it fills a niche in my life, and is welcome there. A time may come to move on, and I will.

World of Warcraft is just a game. A great game, but a game nonetheless. There will be other games, and I will cherish them in their own time.

For now, I look forward to new places to explore, and new quests to fulfill.

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