Surviving WoW Itch

I mentioned recently on Twitter that low points in game release cycles are bad for me.  It’s not that I don’t have other hobbies to fall back on; I’ve actually been catching up on my reading a lot lately and am writing like a madwoman.  The problem is that any lull in gaming, any significant amount of time in which I’m not consistently playing an MMO or other engrossing game, sets off an automatic reaction in brain that tells me the time is ripe to return to World of Warcraft.

It’s certainly true now more than ever.  For the first time, I’m out of the loop on WoW.  I haven’t played in a year, I missed an expansion release and major patches, and have very little knowledge of the state of the game.  Unlike other slow gaming periods, WoW’s pull is especially strong this time.  The only major thing holding me back from reinstalling is that Boyfriend is decidedly against returning to the game.  I won’t play without him; I did that a few times with WoW and it was too depressing.

So in the meantime, we’ve been searching for another game to play.  I mentioned in a previous post that my farming experience in City of Heroes left me soured on the game, likening it to the boredom one feels after going through a game in god mode.  We played earlier this week for a few hours, but it wasn’t the same.  I’m definitely excited about the Going Rogue expansion, but until that comes around, I think I’m done with the game except for casual play.  My last post, in which I discussed the sniper update (which has evidently been expanded to include a spy update as well? or it’s just a spy update?) for Team Fortress 2, got me back into playing TF2 some, but as enjoyable as that is, it isn’t a long-term option.

The game I’d been betting on to cure my WoW itch was Champions Online.  I hadn’t been interested in it until Syp posted his first impressions of the game.  That, combined with the good experiences I had in CoX and the need to resist the WoW urge, had me eagerly anticipating the release of the superhero game.  Unfortunately, it was announced today that the launch has been delayed.

The Sims 3 is still on schedule to release early next month, so that’s one option.  It’s a solo experience, though — as much as I’d like it to be a co-op experience with Boyfriend, we’re both a bit stubborn about being in the “driver’s seat” of the game — and ideally I’m looking for a game we can play together for the long-term.  The Sims 3 will likely be a game that I play when I’m home alone and have some free time, or when we’re doing our own thing in the evening.

With no other new games on the horizon that we’re interested in, Boyfriend and I tried Runes of Magic last night, for the first time.  We didn’t get higher than level 6, but I’m afraid Runes of Magic just suffers from the same flaws every other free-to-play MMO I’ve played does.  It’s clunky, it’s gritty, it’s rough, and it isn’t a fun experience.  It feels more like a job than a game, and the problems we encountered when we first tried to install the game made it even worse.

The most difficult thing about trying out new MMOs or going back to older MMOs (like CoX, WoW, or, as Ysharros suggested, EQ2) is that Warhammer Online, as flawed as it is, has ruined me for other MMOs.  WAR has so many great features that I feel like I can’t live without — public quests, quest item inventory, no durability on items, secondary targets, and so forth.  They’re little things, but together they add up.  I’d imagine that, as fun as going back to WoW might be, I would be frustrated with durability, with random quest drops (and the fact that they’re usually one-per-mob instead of shared for all group members), or with other little annoyances.  And WAR certainly has its share of annoyances: small bank inventory, lackluster crafting system, and horrible clipping issues being only a few of them.  Many of its great features are now must-haves, though.  It’s definitely a boon for Mythic; if their modern features keep players from leaving WAR for older games, they’ve succeeded.

While I discussed this problem with Boyfriend — the fact that WAR has so many significant features that other games don’t — we started reading more about 1.3.  A lot of the improvements are really exciting, not to mention the huge content update coming with Land of the Dead.  It’s not a certainty yet, but there’s a good possibility we’ll be resubscribing to WAR when 1.3 goes live (my favorite thing about modern computers with their massive hard drives: no need to uninstall a game permanently).  It’s impossible to tell if Land of the Dead will be the shot in the arm that WAR needs, but it’s at least worth a shot.  It seems clear that Mythic is aware that much of the game needs improvement, as they continue to tweak and add content consistently.  I like game designers who aren’t complacent, who recognize that their game is far from perfect.  Fortunately Mythic seems to be working nonstop to remedy that fact, and I appreciate it.  If the new improvements to WAR can cure my WoW itch, I’ll be even more appreciative.


11 Responses to Surviving WoW Itch

  1. The certain online game I mentioned to you in my private Facebook message has improved considerably from the last time I played it. You can now adjust the graphic settings so that characters at a distance look less fuzzy.

    You’ll be happy to know that this game also offers public missions, similar to WAR’s Public Quests.

    Good luck resisting the call of the Wow.


    • Jennifer says:

      Haha, thanks for the info. I meant to reply to that message, but I’m very lazy when it comes to that kind of thing. It’s nice to hear that you are liking it a bit more now. I’d heard something about PQs, also, so that’s a wonderful addition to what already sounds like a pretty solid game. 😉

  2. DotA is the best game eva !!!!!!!

  3. […] may or may not survive… the WoW itch.  Which is different than a Wo Witch and a […]

  4. Sharon says:

    I’m right there with you. I’ve been hopping from game to game trying to find something compelling. Last week, I actually logged in to WoW for a bit but got tired of it pretty quickly. My WoW memories are rosier than the reality, and I missed WAR’s open party system. Reading the first 10 seconds of trade chat was enough for me to wonder why I’d even had the itch in the first place.

  5. Junyong Lu says:

    I’m a return player myself. And I swear the itch is gone.

  6. Natali says:

    Come baaaaack to WAR. Although I just preordered Sims 3 yesterday, so unless it’s a really shoddy game, I’ll probably be distracted for a while.

  7. skarbd says:

    Give Lotd a week to settle down, post launch for the initial wave of hot fixes, then rejoin the happy throng 🙂

  8. […] the (Newer, Sexier) Team Between my inability to find a game that holds my attention and my renewed excitement for the game because of its recent content patch, I’ve been playing […]

  9. […] managed to survive the intoxicating lure of World of Warcraft, I’ve been spending much of my gaming time playing The Sims 3 and Team Fortress 2.  Much as […]

  10. Hello, after reading this awesome paragraph i am also glad to
    share my familiarity here with mates.

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