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The straight skinny on World of Warcraft

edited April 2007 in Flamewars
This is a rebuttal to comments by Rym and Scott about a game, World of Warcraft. It is also generally informative about the topic. If you aren't interested in the topic, then by all means, read no further.

The post is here, since it's too long for the forum. The formatting is a little wonky, since I cobbled it together pretty fast. It was meant for BB code. It looks fine in Firefox.

Anyway, let it not be said I am not a man of my word.


  • edited April 2007
    I applaud you. This isn't a post--this is a thesis paper! I read Refuting Rym's Points, Refuting Scott's points, and Conclusion in full and skimmed over the rest. It was very well organized, extremely detailed, greatly thought-out, and most amazing. Once again, bravo.

    [Edit] I Digg Kenjura.
    Post edited by Sail on
  • Sweet Baby Jesus. How long did it take you to put together that essay?

    It was excellently written and well presented.

    Just an FYI. There is a "Front Row Crew" Guild on the PVP server Lethon on the horde side. Message Zaleth (Scott), Vibrio (James) or Cholerae (Lisa) for invites.
  • Ken,

    This post = delicioso. Your writing has gotten better by at least 1000%. Your strengths come out when you're writing about what you know.

    For Scrym's benefit, allow me to supplement your post by explaining another activity you can participate in while playing WoW: roleplaying. While not common on all WoW servers, there are some very nice roleplaying communities on the RP and RP-PVP servers, and generally the atmosphere on these realms is more mature and less "OMG BBQ MACHEINGUN!!!11" because the use of fantasy naming is enforced. Roleplaying or acting in-character can be done as its own separate activity (just sitting around interacting, or going somewhere to enact a storyline instead of questing/grinding/instancing,) or can happen during/alongside other play activities. In either case, roleplaying can greatly enhance the gaming experience - WoW draws on a very great amount of backstory and lore from the Warcraft games, which give meaning and context to the world and your actions in it. For me it made the game more immersive, and allowed me to enjoy more fully everything that I was doing and all the places I went. You don't need to know all the lore to participate, though - most roleplayers are really supportive of people just getting into it. Roleplaying guilds are a great way to find both in-character interaction and friends with whom to do instances and other group-oriented activities, or just to find a leveling buddy. Usually RP guilds designate themselves as either light, medium, or heavy, as a guideline to how hardcore about RPing they are, so you can find one that matches your tastes.

    So, Scrym, if you are playing WoW and want to be involved with the game world in a deeper, less superficial way, try some roleplay. And for people who already play, the roleplaying community is a good place to go if you want to find other people who can type in complete sentences. :D
  • For Scrym's benefit, allow me to supplement your post by explaining another activity you can participate in while playing WoW: roleplaying.
    Ah, good point. When I played WoW, all my major characters were on RP servers.
  • WoW, just WoW.
  • Why is the "social gamer" in the "target players" bit the only one to be identified as female? Not trying to pull a militant feminist routine here, it just seems strange.
  • The biggest problem (maybe the only problem) I have with WoW is that monthly fee. While WoW may be a great game let's do some quick math.

    The original game you probably picked up for around $40 and I'm assuming you purchased the expansion Burning Crusade for an additional $40 so that's an $80 start up cost there, then lets factor in montly subcription. By your "thesis" (I'll just adopt the term for ease of use) it looks as if you've been playing for around two years, so I'll just round it to two. That means at most you've spent $15 dollars per month of play: 15 dollars x 24 months = $360. Or at very minimum you paid the 6 month cost of 77.94 (we'll round to 78) so 78 dollars x 4 six month periods = $312. So that would mean that you have spent between $392 to $440 base price alone (meaning without purchasing anything extra) to play a single game, even granting that you have had two years of gameplay that's a very steep cost and not one that I would approach lightly.

    I refuse to pay a monthly fee for USE of a game, regardless of how much time I would enjoy it for the above calculations. So even though your thesis was an enjoyable read I still will never play WoW (even though I would like to), regardless of what benefits you could present.
  • Ok, I may have been imagining certain people I know in those roles. =P

    I was also trying to use the D&D rule for writing, alternating the use of male and female pronouns, though without their marked preference for the feminine.

    Little of column A, little of column B.
  • Just shy of 3 hours, btw.
  • I predict that Scrym will do an episode in response to this.
  • While I respect anyone's right not to purchase something, refusal to pay $15 on pure principle is ridiculous.

    You pay what you think something is worth. It is simply not possible to think WoW is worth playing but not worth paying $15/month for. Also, just how exactly do you propose they pay for the phenomenal cost of upkeep? Do you suppose the processing power to handle 8 million active users is cheap? Do you really think a $50 upfront cost will cut it?

    You're ignoring a few obvious comparisons. I am to understand Xbox Live costs money, just to get in the door. (Confirm? Deny? I don't have one.) How is that any different? At least the startup cost for WoW is $50, not $300-$500 plus games.

    And do you honestly think there is a game, a single game, ANY game, for any console in the whole world, that can provide 2 years of play time? To as many people as WoW has? Really? Tell me what it is, and I'll play it.

    So, if games with this kind of replay value are uncommon, we must assume that anyone who wishes to put in as much time as I do in WoW is going to need to buy some games. Even if that person buys discount used games for $15 a pop, he can still only afford one new game per month.

    One game a month. Played almost every night. Do you think that is feasible? If so, then you just agreed that $15/month IS a reasonable amount of money! You'll have to do better than that.

    Here are the games I have bought since WoW came out in 2004. I have remained an avid video gamer ever since.

    Battlefield 2. I got my $50 worth. As in, I played it for about a month, off and on. Not as fun as Counterstrike, or Action Quake, or any of those...big surprise.

    Civilization 4. I definitely got my money's worth on that one. I played it for perhaps 1.5 months.

    Knights of the Old Republic 2. Considering how little I payed, a great value.

    Quake 4. Meh. Disappointing. That kind of shooter doesn't do it for me anymore. But the dev deserves the cash, so they can have it.

    Call of Duty 2. Discount, good bang for my buck, lasted about a week.

    Vampire: Bloodlines. God, what a waste of $50.

    Oblivion: biggest disappointment in a long time. Entire $50 wasted.

    Final Fantasy XII: while I don't consider it a waste, it stands to become the first Final Fantasy I've never finished (and I've played every single one).

    There's $350. For more than 2 years.

    Of course, if I'd bought a single console in that period, that would have went way up. A 360 alone would double it, or more.

    In the same period, I've clocked more playing time in WoW than all the others combined. I don't regret the others, but WoW has proven more valuable and enjoyable to me than all other games. If that doesn't merit the cost, I don't know what does.

    By the way, I skipped about 8 months in the time period under discussion. That's the only reason I bought many of those games. Since I rejoined the full-time WoW roster last July, I've bought exactly one game: FFXII. See above.

    If it's worth playing, it's worth $15/month. Period.

    Oh, and as someone who writes software for a living: if you don't want to pay what my software is worth, even though you would otherwise use it, then you're no better than a pirate. Your $15 will not be missed.
  • edited April 2007
    Also, just how exactly do you propose they pay for the phenomenal cost of upkeep? Do you suppose the processing power to handle 8 million active users is cheap? Do you really think a $50 upfront cost will cut it?
    Let's do another math lesson shall we? We'll first take $15 per month and we'll just do it for 1 year this time so that's 15 x 12 = $180. Okay so that's $180 for the year now we'll multiply by your "8 million active users", 180 x 8,000,000 = $1,440,000,000 or $120,000,000 per month. Do you mean to tell me that they spend 1.44 BILLION dollars a year on processing power??? And as far as the $50 dollar upfront cost, let's take your $50 figure even though I'm sure most people spent more than that on WoW and the expansion. There's "8 million active users" right? That means at least that many had to have bought the game, so 8,000,000 x 50 = $400,000,000 (and that isn't even counting the ones who have quit playing wow since they're not "active users" right?). Now I'm not saying that they couldn't have spent all 400 million on processor power but it would have lasted them a damn long time. Nice try though ~_~
    You're ignoring a few obvious comparisons. I am to understand Xbox Live costs money, just to get in the door. (Confirm? Deny? I don't have one.) How is that any different? At least the startup cost for WoW is $50, not $300-$500 plus games.
    Xbox Live comes in two forms, Silver (which is free to every Xbox360 user, and as you might suspect is the one that I use, which might be changing if I can download extra songs for GH2 through the paid service) and Gold (which is a paid per month subscription and adds extra benefits, you can reasearch more into the benefits if you so wish, for $10 for one month, $20 for 3 months, or $50 for one year which you can buy at any major retailer, and those benefits are applied to every game in their library not just a single game. You tell me which is a better deal ^_^).

    As far as startup costs are concerned aren't YOU ignoring a few obvious comparisons? The start up cost for WoW is the cost of your computer first, I would think, then you can add the $50 for the game, especially if you're saying the start up cost for the Xbox360 is "$300-$500 plus games." Also let's not "ignore" the fact that not paying for Xbox Live Gold does not mean you can't play the games (plural) that you already paid $50 dollars for.
    And do you honestly think there is a game, a single game, ANY game, for any console in the whole world, that can provide 2 years of play time? To as many people as WoW has? Really? Tell me what it is, and I'll play it.
    I said ANY game that requires a monthly fee regardless of console or PC, but since you singled out consoles here's a few. Super Smash Brothers Melee, DDR, Animal Crossing, Pokemon, the Super Mario franchise (that's over 20 years of enjoyment for less than $440, maybe not continuous but you can be sure combined it equals much more than 2 years) or Halo?. I peronsally have not played some of the games but I know that others have enjoyed them for longer than 2 years.

    Just for the hell of it let's throw some PC games into the mix. Starcraft, Counter Strike and Guild Wars maybe (which has been out for two years as of tomorrow, and they have survived despite not having a monthly fee. I never played the original but I'm honestly thinking of picking up Guild Wars 2 when it comes out ^_^).

    And those are just some of the games without a monthly fee, if you want to include other games that have had a monthly fee and have entertained people for over 2 years I'm sure Ultima Online and Everquest would have to be on the list, though I have played neither for the same reason.
    So, if games with this kind of replay value are uncommon, we must assume that anyone who wishes to put in as much time as I do in WoW is going to need to buy some games. Even if that person buys discount used games for $15 a pop, he can still only afford one new game per month.
    That's just the point, you're so focused on WoW and get so defensive that you're forcing yourself to ignore everything that makes your point just the slightest bit wrong, saying the same thing over and over again won't make what you're saying any more right.
    Oh, and as someone who writes software for a living: if you don't want to pay what my software is worth, even though you would otherwise use it, then you're no better than a pirate. Your $15 will not be missed.
    So me choosing not to use a piece of software because of it's price makes me no better than someone who steals your software and refuses to pay you??? That's the most asinine and ignorant thing I have ever heard. I use because I don't want to pay for Microsoft Office, does that make me a pirate in their eyes??? I haven't bought Vista because I don't think it's worth the price tag, does that mean I'm no better than a pirate and Microsoft should sue me on those grounds??? I had better hurry and buy every piece of software that I haven't bought before because I thought it was too much money before others hear of this... I think not.

    As far as World of Warcraft goes, like I said before I think it's a great game, I've never said anything otherwise (which is another thing you seem to ignore, not praising something is not the same as putting it down), the only reason I have not bought it is because of the $15 dollar a month addition on top of my initial purchase. Now if it was $1 dollar a month then we'd be talking. Do you really think that 8 million dollars a month would not cover their server fees? Don't you think that lowering the amount would attract more people to the game therefore increasing their "active" usership? Think about it for a second before you blindly attack other peoples words.
    Post edited by Corbin on
  • I highly doubt it.

    The number of people holding out on a ridiculously low fee (such as $1) are very few. $15 is cheap, admit it. If you are worried about $15, I highly recommend you save your money. If you can afford to spend $15, and you want to try a game, there you have it. If not, don't. It's just the cost of the thing.

    If you were a reasonable person, and my friend, I would let you make a character on my account and play for a while. No cost, no commitment, no worry that you'd lose your work if you canceled. I started playing in the beta in much the same way, not because I was cheap, but because I couldn't get my own access.

    $15/month is nothing. It's chump change. If you disagree, then you probably shouldn't be participating in leisure activities that cost any money whatsoever.

    If you think making a profit, of any margin, is "evil" or "wrong", and that companies should lower their prices to the point of zero or minimal profit just to make you are really missing the point of capitalism and a market economy. Goods and services are worth what people will pay.

    If you study basic economics, you will know that there is a curve with an optimal point; the vertical axis is the price, and the horizontal axis is the number of people who will buy. As you lower the price, the number of people who will buy increases. However, the total revenue is the product of those two. You get diminishing returns in increased quantity sold by lowering the price past a certain point, and diminishing returns in profit by raising the price past a certain point.

    That certain point is what you sell at. If the price were less or more, you'd make less money.

    And making money is the point of capitalism. Period. That's why the $15 price is right, end of story. If you don't want to pay, I think I dealt with that question first thing, many posts ago: DON'T. But the price is right.
  • Arguing over the monthly fee seems pretty pointless, either you are willing to pay or not. None of us have the information necessary to know how much Blizzard is taking in as profit vs their expenses. The expenses are just too great to estimate. I count that there are at least 220 realms available in WoW, and each of those has multiple servers, plus the PvP battlegrounds are separate. They are housed in data centers around the world with high bandwidth and 24x7 support needs. They have to pay the salaries of the network technicians (either directly or indirectly if they out-source the hosting), in-game and out of game support, content developers (artists, programmers, writers, etc), plus about every other general cost of doing business.

    I for one would love to see how much of the monthly fee goes into expenses, but in the end the number would not matter. Besides, as kenjura already pointed out, the price was all about economics. It is more likely that Blizzard figured out what they could price it at first, then checked that their expenses would allow them a sufficient profit margin before the project was given the green light.

    What I can say, is I felt the same way as mitsukai initially. My reaction was "why would I want to pay a monthly fee to be able to play a game". Lisa however had already participated in alpha and beta testing, and bought the game as soon as it came out. I was curious and eventually created a character under her account to see what the game was all about, and found it to be quite fun. Eventually I picked up a copy and have been playing ever since. I realized that the entertainment value of $15 vs the time spent on the game in a month was fairly high. I regularly pay more then that just for one dinner, or to go out to one movie. (and no, I don't spend my entire life in the game either)

    On a completely off-topic and unrelated note: two birds totally just had sex outside my window. That entertainment was free. (I wasn't quite fast enough with my camera).
  • My God, that is so like you. Avoid the majority of questions and focus on one question that you can just bullshit around then trying to attack the person's intelligence. I'm a very reasonable person, if the person I'm talking with is also reasonable. You, my friend, were not. From the start, your argument was very one sided, I brought up a valid point and you jump on it. Personally I'm all about respect, I give everyone the benefit of the doubt and give them respect initially however if you don't show others respect you don't deserve it.
  • I just can't see paying a monthly fee to play a game I have already paid for.

    If they gave away the software (and all expansions/upgrades) for FREE than I would see it simply as a subscription service and be willing to pay a monthly fee.

    However, because they sell you the software FIRST and then charge you a fee to use the software you have already paid for I have a problem. It should be one of the other not both.
  • edited April 2007
    I just can't state it any better than James.

    If you don't want to pay, fine. No need to argue.

    I'm not going to respond to unanswerable points. Anyone who wants to debate the game's merits, please do so. I'm not going to argue what value anyone else places on the game.
    Post edited by kenjura on
  • edited April 2007
    Whether we know their total profits or not, it is obvious that they make most of their money from the subscriptions and not the original sale. I would prefer a game without a subscription fee, but that's not going to work too well for a game that requires you to maintain many datacenters full of servers forever.

    I think the reason they don't give the game itself away is two-fold. First off, remember the story about the amusement park with free admission? The $50 fee keeps WoW from instantly filling up with a bunch of ass-hats. The servers would have tons of people coming for the free ride and not hanging around to pay the subscription. This is why they dole out the free trials with special codes. They can control how many people are playing for free and for how long. They can also make sure that there isn't a sudden flood of new players clogging up the servers.

    The second reason is simple economics. Let's say you only have a subscription fee, and the box is free. Regardless of the fact that you will have the visigoths all over that, you will also have plenty of people like me who will play for one month and quit. Even if they don't quit right away, or never quit, people tend to play a lot more when the game is new to them than when they've had it for months. All those people who play once and quit will end up being a loss, not a gain. By charging an up-front cost they can make a profit no matter when you cancel your subscription.

    Regardless of this, I think there is a solution to all these problems that Blizzard maybe has not considered. Drop the $50 startup fee and keep the $15 subscription fee. However, before someone starts playing, require them to pay for 3 or 4 months up front. So you pay $45 or $60 at the start, but that covers you for a few months. It keeps the vagrants out of the game, but doesn't overcharge anyone.

    Of course, it seems like millions of people are willing to pay with the current pricing scheme. I don't imagine that following my suggestion will bring in so many new players that it will increase Blizzard's revenue. Therefore, I can't really blame them for the current pricing scheme. You charge whatever gets you the most money.
    Post edited by Apreche on
  • Even easier, right now your $50 for the game comes with 1 month free. Have the $50 for the game box come with 3 months free and it basically nullifies the cost of the game itself. Regardless, as you already stated, they are currently winning. Millions have bought and paid so they seem to have calculated a pretty optimal point on the price vs subscribers curve. It is also funny that you don't even need anything that comes in that game box except for the registration number. You can download the full game from the blizzard site if need be, but you can't enable the account without the key in that box. (The trial keys that you can get online can't be upgraded just by starting to pay the monthly fee). I think part of the reason is the way game publishing systems work. If they let you just play without selling the box, then they have a system like steam that cuts out the middle man. Good for us, but somebody managed to prevent Blizzard from doing it.

    There is also the chance of recouping some costs when quitting. People sell their accounts (though have to be careful as Blizzard will ban accounts if they find out they were sold). Even a fairly basic account with level 70 and not much special gear can go for quite a bit of money. There's a whole different thread on how stupid it is to pay several hundred dollars just to get an account that is already at a high level. ;p
  • It also isn't $50 anymore, yet you still get the free month.

    TBC costs money, but unless you really want to play a draenei or blood elf, you won't need it until 60th-level anyway. By then, you'll definitely know if you want to pay for it.

    Some other MMO's are practically (or literally) giving the base game away now, and just relying on the monthly. Guild Wars tries the opposite, relying on the base game and expansion pack sales, with no monthly.

    In a way, Blizzard's ability and decision to continue charging for the box and the monthly underscores the higher quality. You get what you pay for. Having played the competition, I can certainly agree to that.

    It's not a price game with Blizzard. They're in an interesting position economically speaking. The game is probably too cheap, except that gamers have this bizarre perception that their costs should be fixed (all games must cost $50 like they did 25 years ago, no matter how much inflation occurs, and all MMO's must cost $15 or $0 per month!). The price is not what controls demand; as the market leader (by leaps and bounds), they must maintain their prime position, or risk a chain reaction that could bleed the game dry. If they are seen to slip, then they would have a cascading loss of members that would not recover.

    As it is, they've managed to keep people happy with the changes that occur to the game, without screwing it up and making people leave en masse (ahemStarWarsGalaxiesahem). That's their primary concern at this point. They'd rather change the game to secure another year of $15/month/existing player than play with their prices to try to attract more people. The people seem to keep signing up either way, regardless of price.

    In many ways, their economics are much like those of Apple. You can say "I think a MacBook should be cheaper" or "iTunes and iPods are too expensive", but you can't argue with their sales figures. They sell because of their perceived quality, not because their prices are the best in town.

    Hell...I bought a MacBook Pro, and I don't even like Apple.
  • I'm told that the high end guilds require you to play 20 hours a week to be in them. You have to be good and they even have an internal discipline process, similar to a corporation. There was a guy on the PC Gamer podcast who finally quit when he realized he could have written three screen-plays with the time that he spent on WoW. Opportunity cost is always an issue with any activity that requires that kind of time.

    After a rather crazy week, I've managed to block off huge hunks of this weekend to spend gaming and watching movies. It might be the only time this year that that happens. To me, it's the equivalent thrill someone might get when they travel or climb a mountain or whatever floats their boat. But there's no way I have time in my life for 20 hours a week of recreation, no matter how great it is.
  • Thaed, then you're better off not playing. It's the principal of any form of entertainment, is it value you get from the activity worth the time and money spent. Those high-end raid guilds are a very specific aspect of the game that not everyone who plays takes part in. When I played, I was in the causal/small group-type player. I probably played between 5-10 hours a week on the high end. There might be better ways to spend your time, but you get to decide.
  • edited April 2007
    Another good point; the most valuable currency in the game, you'll find, is time. Any employed adult, especially one with children, has far more free money than free time. The things you can accomplish with 15 minutes usually outweigh what you can accomplish with $15. I'm not advocating playing WoW over spending time doing things you'd rather do (or should rather do).

    However, you may find that WoW can be a fun activity you and your friends and family (including children) can enjoy. I can't imagine wanting to play a console shooter with a 10 year old, with all the potential loudness and aggravation; WoW, on the other hand, when doing something other than the most difficult activities possible, can be a calm, relaxing game. Children can probably grasp the concepts anywhere between 8 and 12, with 13 being the "correct" age for online gaming. I, of course, know plenty of people whose children under 13 play the game.

    If you have problems finding 20 hours in a given week for recreation of any kind, you have bigger problems than any video game. I strongly suggest you reexamine your life. I have, in the past, been able to work full-time, attend college full-time, run a D&D game, play in another D&D game, play World of Warcraft, and still have some time left over for other types of recreation. Nothing short of a baby or toddler would have ruined that for me.

    There are actually many useful resources out there to help manage your time. Be wary of anyone calling himself a "life coach", but know that there is help out there. No one should have so little time to himself; it isn't healthy.

    [edit:] I didn't mean to imply that babies or toddlers ruin your life, btw. They certainly take quite a bit of it, but the idea is to want them around before going there, if it can be helped.

    Also, guild participation has always been optional, and it is now even more so. To give you an idea: my server (Argent Dawn) has somewhere between 100-200 guilds, and less than half of the players are in one at any given time, even amongst characters of maximum level. Of those couple hundred guilds, less than 10 had strict attendance policies. Those guilds are for people who want to be in a serious, hard-core raiding guild. That is not necessary, even to experience end-game content.

    What's more, that kind of thing is even less necessary now. With so many more things to do at high level, the expansion has made guild participation, especially hard-core guild participation, unnecessary for any kind of experience. A guild is recommended, especially if you do not have a circle of friends to play with regularly, just because of the benefits it can bring.
    Post edited by kenjura on
  • I paid $50 for Guild Wars. I will not pay $15 per month to rent WoW. I want to own the rights to play a game; I don't want to lease them. This isn't about not having $15. I could easily swing that.

    It's about not valuing a game at $180 per year. I just don't care that much. I have my hands full of cheap media: Books I've yet to read, all the freeware the world can deliver, development software, budget titles, TV (I wouldn't even bother with that if not for Mrs. Jason), news sites, music, etc. Maybe at some point I'll even go outside.

    Frankly, I think it's hilarious that anyone would become so adamantly proactive in their animosity toward non-players. What do you care if I don't place $X value on WoW? It's strange, don't you think, to be so outraged that others don't want to play a game?
  • I doubt that it's the outrage that people don't want to play the game. It's the fact that people are stuck on this concept of not "renting" a game. WoW is not the box that you buy, it's an on-line service that is provided to paying customers, just like you have access to your power as long as you pay the bill. It's the fact that software can be a service, and the refusal to be able to accept that a game can use this model.

    They have the recurring model not only because of the server and employee costs, but also to pay for one of the areas that I'm sure companies traditionally see as a financial loss, fixing the game once it's out the door. They claim to provide an equal playing field for everyone who pays their monthly fees, and they have to try and maintain safeguards against holes in that protection.

    And Scott: I just looking on Amazon and the price of the main game is $20, which means that the cost is one month+5 bucks. That means they are doing exactly what you think they should. The game now costs 1 box + the retailer's cut.
  • You sir, I salute you! And let it be known that I AM proud to play my (now raiding) 70 Resto Druid!

    Anyway, I'm sure this has been said already but surely one of the best ways to rate a game's price/performance would be to look at hours played? If we take my 'standard' game, £20 and around 30 hours. Then 20/30 = £0.6/hour or 60p/hour. Now if we take World of Warcraft. I got the game at the begging of last August, so say around 9 months. £40 game + (6*9) = £74 total. According to Xfire I've clocked 862 hours. 74/862 = £0.1/hour. For starters WoW is cheaper than my 'average' game by 50p/hour, not bad eh?

    If we now take my most played, non subscription based game (CS:S) Which I've played for 324 hours, we also add my Half Life2 playing time, and my SourceForts playing time since they all stem off the same game then we come to a grand total of 373 hours.

    25/373 = 0.07

    After running a quick look through my games collection, excluding demos my cheapest games (I believe) are HL2/CS:S, and WoW. From my point of view, unless you believe there is something fundamentally wrong in charging a subscription for games then depending on who you are, and how much you play, the "WoW is too expensive" argument I hear all too often is pathetic
  • edited April 2007
    This recent thread of discussion has reminded me of one other major problem I have with WoW. It's just requires too much time, period. Even if the game was free; even if it was a game of skill, strategy and tactics; even if it was the best game ever; it is just too damn big. I can not afford to invest so much time into any one single item of entertainment media.

    Let's say someone were to write the greatest book ever, but it was a million pages long. Let's say someone made the best movie ever, but it was a week long. I think you get the idea. Anyway, in any of these cases I would not consume this piece of entertainment. The opportunity cost of what I could have been doing otherwise is too great. I mean, I can't even bring myself to read manga that are too many volumes or watch anime with more than 50 episodes. If a work of art takes too long to consume, it simply isn't worth it.

    As it is, I have no free time. I look at my shelf of comics, my pile of beaten video games, the list of anime I've watched, and the mountain of podcasts I have created. Then I look at the amount of time it takes to consume all the content that World of Warcraft has to offer. All I can say is that I am glad I chose to do all this instead of invest all that time into a single game. The efforts of my existence will result in much more than a few bits twiddled in Blizzard's database.
    Post edited by Apreche on
  • That about says it all.
  • edited April 2007
    I'd just like to expand on
    I can expect no real mental stimulation or challenge.

    Posted By: Kenjura I can't help what you expect, but I can say this: I have experienced greater mental stimulation and challenge in WoW than any game I have ever played in all my life, with the possible exception of tabletop D&D.;

    Let's take Onyxia for example; A huge dragon, your standard end-game 30 man raid boss. Now, (and this applies to all bosses bar the very lowest of levels) Fights aren't a simple "Everyone hit it until it dies." Or even "You, You and you heal people, everyone else hit it until it dies."

    Onyxia has three distinct 'phases' each coming at 100%, 66% and 33% health respectively, each with many different abilities in each. In 'phase one' Onyxia is on the ground, hits the tank (the bloke who takes all the beating) quite hard, can hit anyone standing behind her with her tail to send her flying across the room (more on that later) and has a various array of different attacks, each which need mitigating in their own ways.

    In phase 2, Onyxia launches herself into the air. At this point, mele damage can't hit her. She also spawns whelps (Leeerooooyy....) all over the place, randomly targets people to launch fireballs at, and can shoot huge columns of fire down a line (if these hit you then they WILL. Kill you instantly)

    Phase 3 is similar to phase 1, although she now AoE (area of affect) causes people to loose all control of their characters about once every 10 seconds for around two or three seconds, and generally causes havoc.

    From a healer point of view my job is to keep our main tank alive through phase one, nothing hard there (yet). Dpsers (Damage per second) have the easiest job of all - just keep hitting it until phase two, but make sure you don't do too much damage and get her to attack you. And the tank just has to soak up the hits and cause threat-causing abilities.

    In phase two it gets damn harder. As a healer I now have to keep an eye on the whelps all over the place, mitigate the damage done to ALL 40 members, and avoid the fire. Now, to avoid giving you an entire Onyxia tactics post lets just skip to where it becomes a "Real mental stimulation or challenge". Some players in the raid (ranged DpS) have to be doing all the following (as close to) simultaneously:
    1. Keep DpS up on Onyxia
    2. Kill whelps
    3. Avoid whelps
    4. Possibly ping the map before the shoots a column of fire ("Deep breath") depending on your raid setup
    5. Run like hell before she kills you with the aforementioned fire
    6. Bandage (when appropriate)
    Now I'm just going to throw in a few points. This is a 40 man raid. All it takes it ONE person to be standing in the wrong place and he could be knocked into the whelp pits, very likely wiping your entire raid. Absolutely everyone has to a. Know how to play, and b. Be doing it like they never have before.
    When (if) you kill Onyxia, the raid as a whole will be awarded a few pieces of that Tier 2 armour. Just imagine how hard getting Tier 6 is...

    World of Warcraft can require so much thought that I've come out of simple, 10 man Burning Crusade raids after just one or two hours feeling totally drained.

    **Totally unrelated note: I've got a LotR online BETA key if you want it Kenjura, I'm not likely to =). Just say. **
    Post edited by Farragar on
  • I was offered a pre-release copy of the LOTR game but, I just do not have the free time to sit in front of a PC and play these games!

    The DS is different as I can play it on the train and wherever. These online games require you to sit in one place and play them for hours. I like my games to have a beginning, middle and end!

    It's not just paying a monthly cash price to play these games it's also about the time cost. Because my daughter and I both play Pokemon the time cost is not the same.
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