Play to enjoy

Awwwwwwwwwww Crap.  Yet again I start to post a comment and then realize I’m about to write on a subject might merit its own post with where I’m going here.  I apologize for the length this might bring.

Gnomeaggedon posted a post of a post from a forum post today.  I remember seeing it about a week ago but seeing it pop up again makes me want to comment on it.

I think it is truly an awesome forum post.  Supposedly, it’s done by a seven year old boy who just dinged level eight on their Mage. This player discussed the new Mage skills you get at level eight and how to use them effectively on everybody’s favorite mob: Murlocs.  Obviously the post was flamed by the usual trolls who think they are witty but still I think it was awesome.

What I like best about it is imagining the wonder and enjoyment of being so young and spending every minute of every day just thinking and dreaming of logging into your character to play.  You enjoy it so much you want to share with the whole world on how you enjoy the game and want others to share in that experience.  I myself have been playing the game since launch and still remember what it was like running through Tirisfal Glades as a young mage.  I still hadn’t seen Undercity and was psyched about being able to craft 6 slot linen bags (how often do you see those crafted on the AH now?).  Our only “guild” at the time was a friends list because scraping up enough copper to get a charter was serious business back then.  I didn’t know what an instance was and every green that dropped felt as if it should be held on to for that “just in case” situation.  I can even remember using the /say channel in our party because I didn’t realize there was a /party chat.  Do people even group at that level anymore?

Now when we play, we maximize.  We mail gold to our alts, and use mods to tell us who to talk to and what the fastest way to get there is.  We enlist the help of our level 70 guildmates, friends, second account, or simply pay a stranger to kill the baddies and leave us to rummage through the pockets of their ravaged corpses.  We never take the time to stop and smell the Peacebloom.  I don’t visit the official forums because of all the drama they bring.  There is enough drama in game as is.  I know, I’ve posted about a lot of it!  I sometimes wonder if people are playing the game to enjoy it, or to be simply good at it.  With all the negativity it seems these to play styles are opposites.

Playing to enjoy the game doesn’t mean you have to use the ideal leveling spec.  You don’t have to complete every quest.  You don’t even have to choose the best gear.  In fact I can remember when I got my wife hooked on the game; she refused to upgrade her gear because she liked the look of her robe so much.

Playing to be good at the game can mean you toss all else aside just to be the best.  You take shortcuts and grind to maximum efficiency.  You read about WoW online and participate in forum boards.  You join a guild because you want a shot at downing a boss and walking away with a stick that has purple lettering on it.

These are two entirely different play styles but are not opposites.  You can be good at what you do and still enjoy the game.  I want to encourage those who read this to play this game understanding that it is simply a game.  Don’t get burnt out on continuous wipes on a new boss.  Don’t get bummed that your battle ground pug is full of R-tards.  Don’t do 30 laps of Nagrand farming ore.

My challenge to you is to take a step back and enjoy the core of that this game is about, exploring The World of Warcraft.  Some of the best places to do that are the starting zones.  These zones were designed to inspire players.  Don’t simply skip over them as fast as you can. Take some time tonight and start a new alt with no intention of leveling past 10.  Try a Bloodelf or Draenei since those zones were created buy Blizzard after they have learned so much from the original WoW zone/quest design.  Simply treat it as if it were your first time playing WoW.  Do a starting zone you’ve never done before. Don’t look up the quest answers online.  Read the quest text.  Find someone else who is new and your level and group with them.  If you don’t have any slots left, simply go back to some starter zone and sit on a hill or out on a beach and just relax.  Try actually getting to know the names of the town’s folk in those starting zones.

Wrath is just around the corner and so is patch 3.0.  We’re going to see lots of changes soon…let’s enjoy a nostalgic look back at what we’ve had all along.

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17 Responses to Play to enjoy

  1. Aurdon says:

    Oh wow…that was a long post, sorry guys. Even I wouldn’t bother reading all that :p

  2. Drotara says:

    I am guilty of playing to win. In most situations I believe games are made to be won. Except for the exceptions of obvious things like playing cards with my grandma or something with my niece(s). Even if it is an internal accomplishment, I enjoy conquering, winning, progressing, etc. 🙂

    Drotaras last blog post..Beta "Grinding": That’s a lot of dead dwarves.

  3. Arrens says:

    Nah, man, it wasn’t long. It was right on the mark. And something woefully forgotten once you ding 70 and start the end-game crapola in the never-ending quest to become “l33t”. Frankly, if everyone did what you suggest, there’d be a lot less xpac malaise and douchebaggery, which would be good for everyone in-game.

    Arrenss last blog post..Trite Introductions

  4. Aurdon says:

    @Drotara hahah, I keep imagining those poor sports who spam /lol /spit and /sit to teabag you, trying to take their “Spirit of competition” to Grandma’s bridge game. Great visual!

    @Arrens Yes! That’s exactly what I was going for I suppose and didn’t really explicitly say. I just wish people would chill and stop all this elitism that comes from simply having a popular game. It’s a shame all the bad eggs that make the news stories and stories like this go unnoticed. I think that’s what made me want to post about it the most. WoW needs some good cheer now and then. Lets get more positive spin involved instead of focusing on what “nerf” might be next.

  5. Shrinkedge says:

    I tend to take my time leveling. Generally I stick to the “hotspots” but I do tend to catch myself quite constantly scanning around with my mouse while on auto-pilot with a mob just completely amazed at how vast and etrememly detailed this entire game is. Everything from the little critters and birds flying through the air to the huge lush forests to the extremely barren and dry deserts.
    It is somewhat overwhelming occasionally when I look at the world map and then where Im at and then my minimap and realize how small my little guy actually is in this fantasy world. I mean a flight path from one end of a continent to the other takes close to 10 minutes. Thats almost equal to an eternity in this extremely fast paced game. How many people still sit and watch their character while hes on a flight path? Looking down at all the little people running below and the landscapes set before you from your birds eye view. Or do you simply turn on the TV or make yourself something to eat or use it as a restroom break?

  6. Aurdon says:

    @Shrinkedge Not many at all I’d say. I get to skip out on a lot of flight paths being a Mage but even in Outland where people use flying mounts, most simply fly just low enough to realize what part of the zone your over and do a straight line to where they are going. I remember how often back when raiding MC you’d hear, “On flight path, AFK. Be there in 10mins”

  7. Juggz says:

    I still remember the first toon I leveled. I ad no idea what I was doing, everything was new and fresh to me. It was all just a great experience. I long for that feeling now when i level alts. But I as well as others do play to win. Thats just how i get the enjoyment out of the game now because the whole exploration learning something new and finding new areas just isnt there anymore. Thats why on beta the only thing i have messed with is the DK i dont want to ruin my first experiences in Northrend.

  8. gnomeaggedon says:

    WoW, I am glad that my little post pointing out someone else’s little post inspired this essay on the meaning of WoW (which I don’t think is 42).

    I must admit I struggle with the “smelling the peacebloom stuff”. I probably did it a lot more on my 1st 2 toons.
    1) A Hunter you can just let the pet do the killing while you autoshot and pan about.
    2) Druid, lots of time in stealth, so lots of time to smell the peacebloom.

    I also had the (previously perceived disadvantage) advantage that I wasn’t trying to keep up to the pace of anyone else. I played both solo, no hope of seeing a level 60 instance, let alone raid, so I had some time to view the world

    Now the world is viewed between ports, blinks, flight paths, epic flying mounts, auto-quest completes. Which really means only destinations rather than journey.

    Geez I could have done a response post to this instead 😉

    Great work Aurdon!

    gnomeaggedons last blog post..Twinking your level 19 Warlock: Part 5. Twink Spells

  9. Aurdon says:

    @gnomeaggedon Good insight on how mages see the world now. I hope I can look at Wrath with not just “oh cool new zones, lets rush to lvl 80 and raid!” but “oh cool new zones… pretty….lets pet the penguins”

  10. Aurdon says:

    @Juggz yeah thats something I wish I could recapture. The splendor and unknown that was WoW when it launched for me.

    Aurdons last blog post..I won the Blizzcon raffle! Too bad…

  11. honorshammer says:

    Thank you for making this post. Sometimes I get so lost in the min/maxing to try to make myself a perfect tank that I lose sight of some of the fun stuff.

    honorshammers last blog post..Back At It

  12. Aurdon says:

    @honorshammer Your very welcome. It is very flattering to have so many people comment so kindly on this post. I guess I mainly was just lamenting about seeing World of Warcraft through the eyes of when you logged in for the first time. Hopefully I can look at Wrath that same way. Enjoying it rather then rushing through to get epics.

  13. Euripedes says:

    I agree. For too long have we min maxed our way through the game! It’s time to go back, and enjoy things!

    Let’s head to that cave in Thunder Bluff, and have an underwear only steam bath. Let’s go to gnomeregan and just mess around with stuff. Let’s put on our Haliscan outfits and run Zul’Farrak, the whole time shouting things at each other in Spanish!

    Besides, I could use the UC rep from a few quests in that cave, I still need to pick up Hydrocane, and I got a few quests I could do in ZF to get my goblin rep up.



    Euripedess last blog post..Spirit, Here to Stay and Getting Greedy

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  15. Crewdie says:

    Just found this site through WoW Insider. I like it a lot (even though my main isn’t a mage).

    This post makes me very regretful, for I think I’ve done possibly the worst thing against it: I did an AoE grind through half the game.

    Also reminds me of a friend that I convinced to start playing WoW. Every night he would message me with a story about his game play that day. At first, it was cute, hearing him tell me how he needed more Knoll Paws that seems to always avoid him. Then I just got bored of him telling me, cause it was the kind of stuff I see all day, but he found it so amazing. Jealousy maybe?

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