The World of Warcraft franchise should be releasing their third expansion, Cataclysm, sometime this year. (Worldofwarcraft) Original reports had the new game slated for as early as October. New reports are suggesting that the release may be delayed a year or more. (MMO) I’ve played World of Warcraft off and own for several years. I recently reactivated my account so that I could see if the expansion pack was going to be worth it. I know millions of people will be excited for the new features of cataclysm, which include two new races, five new levels, and a revamping of the original zones of WOW. (WorldofWarcraft) It all sounds very interesting, but I’m just not sure I’m excited any more.
There are several factors that make me think WOW just isn’t worth it any more. The first is money. A World of Warcraft account costs 14.99/month. In order for the game to be worth that price, you have to be able to put in some serious play time. It might be worth it if you are a group player, and you are making some real life friendships in this game. I, however, like to play by myself, and there isn’t really anything positive to be gleaned from this game. The quests are the same basic quests at different and harder levels. I believe this is one reason so many people become addicted to WOW. They start off looking for an innocent past time, and they are suddenly required to spend major man hours on the computer with their fake friends. There is a site for people recovering from WOW addiction, Wow detox. Many people have found better things to do with their money.
The second reason I think WOW just isn’t worth it any more is that it has become much too easy. You won’t even get attacked by anything until at least level 3. Item drops are more frequent, and fights are easier in general. You no longer have to look for anything, your map will show you where to go to find your objective, and will keep a marker of where to turn it back in. The days of needing Thottbot or WowWiki to help you through your quests are long gone. This makes leveling faster, but it does not decrease the time you need to spend on World of Warcraft for it to be worth your money. I started a new character, and I honestly felt patronized by the instructions I was given. There used to be a way to turn hints off, but if it is still there I certainly could not find it.
Lastly, World of Warcraft just isn’t what it used to be because there are major alternatives. It does not hold a monopoly in the MMOPG world. Some of the alternatives to World of Warcraft include Lord of the Rings online, Runes of Magic, and Aion. Both LotRO and Runes of Magic are advertised as Free to Play games. They are really more of a mixture, you can play these games for free, but you will get to go farther if you pay. All the same, these provide a good alternative for the casual gamer. Aion is NOT a free to play game, but it is certainly giving WOW a run for the money. Game play is a fairly slow pace, but Aion has many more customizable features. The graphics and character customization of this game blow World of Warcraft out of the water.
I must admit, I will probably continue to play WOW for the rest of my already paid for month. Maybe I will find something there that makes the game worth playing. So far, I think World of Warcraft is really beginning to go down hill.
Lord of the Rings
Runes of Magic