In theory, I love MMOGs, but I have a hard time actually playing them. I recently found out from a friend that I play MMOGs “wrong.” What he meant is that I tend to ignore the whole social aspect of MMOGs. I treat them like a singleplayer experience—I rarely group for anything. From what I understand, World of Warcraft is a pretty solo-friendly MMO, and its pretty much the only MMO I’ve played regularly.
I’ve been closely following development of WAR, and reading about it has me itching for some PVP action, so I figured I’d jump back into World of Warcraft, after about a 6 month absence. Having decided to return to WoW, I thought this would be a great opportunity to play an MMO the “right” way.
I started playing WoW maybe 6 or so months after release. Previously to that, the only MMO I had even touched was Guild Wars (I don’t count the 10 minutes I spent on the Everquest for PS2 beta as “playing.”) I had a pretty good time, probably because you could hire NPCs to quest with you. Mind you, I only played Guild Wars during the 3 day trial period before launch. I think I paid 10 bucks for a pre-order box (which included a necromancer bonus item, if I recall correctly). This let you play for 3 days before the “official” launch. (I didn’t get the full game till about a a year later, lol)
I told a friend I was having a lot of fun, and he suggested I give WoW a try. I stopped playing Guild Wars at that point and switched to World of Warcraft.
Anyways, I’ll save the rest of the back-story for another time, but aside from a few brief periods, I’ve mostly been a solo WoW player.
My interest in WoW slowly decreased in the weeks and months after the release of The Burning Crusade. I felt pretty burned out, after racing to level my warrior. Eventually, I took a break from the game.
I took up WoW once more while I was working at EA, as a few friends convinced me to roll on their server—Tichondrius. I though about transferring one of characters over, but decided to roll a Blood Elf Paladin. As I would soon find out, Protection spec Paladins are one of the best classes for soloing. The combination of heavy armor, shield, and seal of light lets you take on multiple mobs. (See http://www.youtube.com/user/wowhobbs for example.)
Anyway, even with real life friends on this server, I still continued to play the game solo. And as you can imagine, I got bored, and eventually quit, ending progress on my Paladin at level 62.
Fast forward to today.
I’ve decided to play WoW again, with the hope of hitting 70 on my Paladin before the expansion. I’ve already made some decent progress. I just hit 63 after about 4 hours of playing. I could probably maximize my XP/hr better, but I think I’ll try something different this time around.
I know this next part sounds pretty lame, considering its a video game, but I have a much easier time completing tasks if I set goals and create a process for meeting them.
GOAL: Reach level 70 in Warcraft on my Paladin, before the expansion’s release. (I’ll probably update the time-frame, since I would much rather be able to get some time in the arena before Lich King.)
- Quest in Groups – minimize risk by completing quests with others. And this actually means quests, no more aimless grinding.
- Join a guild – most of my friends have also quit, or left Tich in search of easy arena wins on less competitive servers, which means I need to find a guild of solid players who have similar goals as myself.
- Build a reputation – its hard to build a reputation among other players in WoW, because there are so many people playing this game. But my goal here is to build a small circle of people I have a good time playing with.
- Log my journey – Time permitting, I’m planning on keeping updates on the whole process.
- Focus – I have a tendency to jump between my different characters. This “alt-itis” has prevented me from making progress, so ideally, I’d like to focus on just playing my Blood Elf Paladin.
I know this seems a little much for a video game, but I look at this more as an exercise in planning and execution. Believe me, I don’t take games very seriously, and I don’t even know if I will continue to play WoW once Warhammer launches. But these are still good skills to develop, even if I’m if its just in a video game.
I like Tichondrius, even if I’m not a top tier Arena master like most of the people on this server. I’m just looking to have a good time and kill Alliance. But, I may or may not transfer over to a server with active RL friends. The game is a lot more enjoyable when you can chat with people you know. Its actually pretty crazy the number of people I’ve kept in contact with through WoW. Maybe I’ll explore that in the future.