Wednesday, September 15, 2010
The Time-Wasters Of My Life
I got a request the other night to make this a "Conservatives on WoW" blog. I don't think that would get me very far, because a) Most gamers are libertarians, not conservatives, and b) I cannot talk numbers like Pooky can. So I'll just write a short post on it.
Tipper Gore's campaign against violent media helped shove a lot of geeks into the libertarian camp, and I still see them fighting the automatic assumption that video games make people violent. As for the blogs that talk about gaming, there is no way I could do that. When I'm on my paladin in a raid, I am (literally) blowing everyone away with my damage per second, but I can't tell you the numbers behind what I'm doing. My gaming style is more about instinct than math. And I like whacking things. Lots and lots of things.
I told a friend the other day that WoW, Guild Wars and Twitter are the bane of my existence, but lately, it's become clear that WoW is the biggest time sink mankind has ever invented. It takes you months to get to level 80 (and they're upping it to 85 soon), and when you do, you have to dungeon grind to get the gear you need to raid. After that, it's all about the tons of achievements WoW has come up with. And don't even get me started on the professions you have to slog through!
Guild Wars is time-consuming, but the biggest chunk of time is getting through the missions in the campaigns. Fighting Shiro at the end of Factions is an extremely short mission, but it is so incredibly intense that you almost feel that it is real. There are dungeons in the Eye of the North expansion, and I don't do those as much as most players do because unless you have a lot of people you know in your group, errors tend to compound themselves. I've heard people gripe about the 15% death penalty you get for dying, but you can work it off with XP and if things are going to the Realm of Torment in a handbasket, you can zone and start over. The ability to create customizable characters and play them through a coherent storyline has inspired me to start a fan fiction that maybe, just maybe I'll get finished with someday. And I'll have you know that I was working on mine a year before these guys!
Overall, what I like about MMORPGs is the ability to enter a fantasy and have fun. Pooky's uncle had his WoW account hacked last week (they were even so cruel as to delete almost all of his characters!), and he had to keep telling himself, "It's just a game. It's just a game." It took a week for Blizzard to get him some of his characters back, and even then, they couldn't recover the gear that had been stripped. The guild pitched in, and we were able to get him most of his gear back. Experiences like that can make you want to quit, but then you meet the vast community of people who just want to have fun and are willing to help out others. Or, if you happen to be a cute female, you get lots of help and gold. :P
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to level my mining and engineering on my level 67 shaman. And farm some icy humps by beating up a bunch of Ettins. And try to keep up with people on Twitter.