I haven’t logged on to anything but WoW this week, and it’s been a lovely break. The beta that dare not speak its name has has some rather ropey patches; nothing truly unexpected, that’s what betas are for, but now and then I hit my “gah!” limit and have to play something simple and, most of all, stable. I have a pretty good tolerance for stuff like that but when you’ve had enough, you’ve had enough. So, I played WoW.
I’ll say this for it — it’s stable. Before you think I’m damning with faint praise, that’s actually very high praise coming from someone like me with my MMO track record. Vanguard: not stable. WAR: depending on the patch and the computer, not always stable. Various alphas/betas: never very stable to begin with.
So last weekend, Ysharros the Hunter was born, but she languishes on a trial account I made before I a) remembered my old account details and b) realised that I had a free Burning Crusade trial on the old account. My main, if I really have to have one, is now Icewolfe the Draenai hunter. I know, I know, I’m sorry… I like hunters, ok? They’re fun. Plus, I’m a pet freak and always have been. Rangers in AD&D, creature handler in SWG (then beast master, but we’re not going there); if a game has a pet class, I’ll play it.
I could have gone looking for one of the named pets, but I had fond memories of my old dwarven hunter’s snow leopard, so Icewolfe went off to Loch Modan ahem, I mean Dun Morogh — to get herself some cat. If anyone knows of a white (really white, not scabby pale grey) wolf that can be tamed, do let me know.
It’s been over three years since I last played WoW, and I have to say some of the changes are extremely welcome. I gather the pet changes I’m so chuffed about are fairly recent; I can’t say much about pet talents yet because Ice & Opal only just hit 20 yesterday, which is when pets start getting talent points, but I will say this: the pain has been taken out of pet levelling. I don’t know if that remains the case all the way up the levels, but now I can actually consider getting a pet that’s way lower level than me and not have to give up weeks and weeks to grinding the little bugger up. A good decision, that one. (Again, one SOE could emulate in SWG with beast mastery. But hey, everyone does everything there AFK now anyway, especially since it’s been not only officially condoned but actually encouraged. Meh.)
But wait, there’s more. I’m an altoholic, you think I haven’t made alts yet? Hah! So far we have a priest — slooooooow levelling for me to 10, but I’m going to try and stick with it. WAR has taught me a little about playing clothies, and I enjoyed my priest years back in WoW even though she only got to 20-odd; I think she could be a lot of fun in the long run. There’s also a druid, because while it’s not a pet-class, it actually IS a pet class, even if bear form is fugly and water-thingy form is SO fugly it scares small children. And there’s a warrior — a class I meant to try way back when and never got around to; I wanted to play a smackety class but I’ve got bad, bad memories of the constant bufflet microcmanagement Pallies have to do (if that’s changed, let me know). Priesty is 10, Drood is 12, and the Warrior is 11. Much too early to tell anything about them, but I’d taken priest & drood to 25+ before so I have an idea what to expect. I’ve also got a Blood Elf hunter I made and got to 12 before I realised Casualties of War are on the Alliance side in WoW. Oops. There will be others — I have a hankering to take a Warlock higher than about 18, and also to finally try to play a mage.
This past week, however, I stuck to what I knew and just explored the Draenei (and to a lesser extent Blood Elf) starting areas. Levelling seems very, very fast, not only compared to WAR (which isn’t much of a surprise) but also compared to what I remember. I think someone mentioned it had been speeded up, and it sure feels that way. I’m almost hoping it slows down a little, but with my altoholism it may not be a bad thing.
Oh, yeah, and Stormwind has a harbour now! Yes, I’ve been gone that long. There’s going to be quite a bit to rediscover, and I suspect I may find myself dual-wielding WoW and WAR, as JoBildo calls it. My trial has 3 days to go, as Blizzard just kindly reminded me by email; so far I’m leaning toward resubbing, unless something happens in the intervening time to make me decide otherwise.
This time around, I am going to play the way *I* want to play — which means I will not do instances if I can possibly avoid them, I will not raid, ever, and if I bloody well want to solo to 70 or 80 then that’s what I will bloody well do. If all I really want is to look for hunter pets and companion pets, or whatever other fluff I’m in the mood for that week, that’s what I’ll do. Yes, they’re multiplayer games; however, until someone else is paying my sub for me, nobody gets to tell me how to play. I don’t grief and I’m quite sociable enough in channels — being attached at the hip to a group is not a mandatory condition of play.
Ah, tomorrow I may have to rant about the people who use the “multiplayer” in MMO as an excuse to whine about other people not doing what they (the whiner) want when they want it, be it in games or on forums. And if I ponder it now and then, I should have worked up a head of steam by tomorrow… or forgotten all about it.