World of Warcraft: A foray

Five years after the launch of this very successful game, and 11 million players later, I decided to give this game a whirl. This would be my first experience with a full fledged massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG). The decision to give this game a try was influenced by two factors, one was an article about a book I had read recently. The other was the fact that Blizzard was giving away free 10 day trial packages of WoW. You sign-up and you get an account trial for 10 days, simple.

Give an Indian a free deal, and you can be rest assured he will try. So without any further thoughts, I registered for my account, and got my 10 days worth of WoW – wheee!!

World of Downloadcraft

To begin with, the installer file is around an MB or so. I was happy, so I started the installation on Saturday. To my horror, the installer was just the start, the actual installation files were a mammoth 4.6 GB! This is just the Burning Crusade, and no add-ons. With a stripling connection speed of 256kbps, I downloaded the files over two days (my poor laptop was on for 2 days at a stretch). Now, the game installed and I eagerly clicked the shortcut, some animations followed (breathtaking yes, anxious yes, appreciating the animations – no!!). A moment in the game, the application informs me that it has to be patched before I can log onto any realm (a realm is a server where other players would also be playing). Fine, another 1.2 gigs to be downloaded … phew!! On the third day, everything was downloaded, installed, patched and updated. I was cursing WoW and Blizzard, such a bad experience to start with.

Totally Worth it

After all that bitching, I created my first character … a male night-elf fighter. There is a tutorial, and small quests where you learn running around doing small chores and killing weak animals. The entire application acts as one helluva thick client, with only minimal co-ordinates data being exchanged with the server. The loot is just about interesting to keep you hooked, and the quests keep on changing. The key is to take out as many quests as possible for good loot and faster experience gains.

All in all, the game is still running in my head. In some fights I fought alongside other new players, and we got to understand the pros and cons of each character. I immediately shifted to a female human mage – which suits my style more. Aim, fire, cold … the game is a completely different world, with two professions to learn, you can make your own weapons, or you can make food for others, or be a professional healer. The options are many.

I have been hooked onto this game for 4 days now and my laptop cringes whenever I run it in its full glory. I have lost some sleep when battling the minions, but I am loving every minute of it. Ill give the upgraded account a shot … but only after getting a proper gaming station :-)

Passion and intent

Bill Watterson to in the commencement speech to his alma matter (Kenyon College), came out with several gems. I wonder how many of them will be retained by the original audience.

An excerpt –

Like many people, I found that what I was chasing wasn’t what I caught. I’ve wanted to be a cartoonist since I was old enough to read cartoons, and I never really thought about cartoons as being a business. It never occurred to me that a comic strip I created would be at the mercy of a bloodsucking corporate parasite called a syndicate, and that I’d be faced with countless ethical decisions masquerading as simple business decisions.

Bill talks about his passion, and how it manifested in different forms during his college years. How the passion overtook him, and then how the business overtook his passion. Without keeping your mind fresh, if you engage with passion, then even you might go through the same experience. The key to it is to play and keep an open mind for different ideas and experiences. So what new did you learn today?