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WoW: Instantly level 80… for a price.

March 8, 2012

So, I check out a few gaming sites every day, since I’ve realized gaming is my /only/ hobby, until I can get another motorcycle or sports car – which won’t be for years with my student loans hovering over my head… and I spotted on PC Gamer that players willing to rejoin WoW are given a free server transfer and any toon a bump to level 80.

Honestly what is the most interesting to me is the comments by all the non WoW players and alt-hoarding, raider-wanna-be scrubs. These are the people that either really don’t play the game, but wish they could (but can’t due to not having a credit card or enough money for a game card) OR they are people that do play WoW, but shouldn’t be. What I mean are the “I love leveling alts” types – those people really, honestly should be playing Skyrim or KOA: Reckoning right now. WoW is an expansive, but mediocre RPG with very bland graphics – and ultimately makes for a pretty sad single player experience after the first grind to 85 (or whatever the level cap is by the time you read this). 

In contrast to the scrubs and non-WoWers, I actually think this is a really good move on Blizzard’s part. First of all, Guild Wars 2is right around the corner, and it will let players insta-bake a top level toon for the purpose of PvP, and there is sidekicking, something that WoW will never, ever have. That is to say, if you are recruited by a friend to play Guild Wars 2 by a friend, you could be playing the game with your friend, instead of alone and grinding in a barren wasteland of decade-old graphics. Unlike Blizzard, Arena.net actually understands that people will stick around if they get to play a game with friends, rather than alone.

Second, if you want to run your little level 1 nub-nuts around Goldshire and slay some wolves by yourself in order to feel some diluted sense of accomplishment in a world that was drawn almost a decade ago, this promotional offer won’t stop you from doing so. It doesn’t change the fundamentals of the game, it just allows former players to skip past the fat and get to the meat of the game. 

As someone that has put /too much/ time in WoW, both leveling and at end game, I will say that this is a good offer. Not nearly enough to get me to want to play again, but I can imagine their subscriptions will see a healthy increase in the near future.

What’s somewhat coincidental, is I’ve been thinking of Uldum lately. Most people didn’t seem to like it, but it is my favorite zone in any MMO, so far. It had atmosphere, flare, humor, and just seemed much more memorable. Second would be any combination just about any zone in Northrend – that continent simply had better artistic cohesion than any other area in the game, and the atmosphere simply resonated with me. My third favorite would probably be Duskwood and the neighboring Stranglethorn Vale.

After my recent stint with the tasty, albeit somewhat broken Warhammer Space Marine I decided to take a glance at Warhammer Online. It was once my poison of choice for a while, sometime in late 2008. I was pretty shocked to found out that there is only ONE North American server – down from the several dozen that I remember. Granted, the nature of the game basically requires a dense population in order for the whole “WAAAGH” to feel right – but it kind of blows my mind that a game published by EA as a WoW killer would have to axe all but one of its servers. 

It’s somewhat sad, but the developers never did a damn thing to make the game better, or to legitimately expand on its paltry content. The only good things I have to say about the game are: it is the only “dark / gothic” MMO worth playing, and PvP was accessible from Level 1. Otherwise, the gameplay was broken in many ways, it was dreadfully simple, and the graphics engine was the most poorly optimized that I’ve ever experienced (except perhaps EQII). 

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