Friday, August 6, 2010

WoW101 (that is, Introduction to World of Warcraft)

OK, so I was going to write a post with background on WoW, and put it up on Monday, thus getting a 2-day headstart on my “Wednesdays in the World of Warcraft” series of posts. And I had a couple of paragraphs written – the first was about how I was pleased with myself for being a couple of days early. And then I accidentally deleted it while trying to send it from one machine to another. And then some other things happened and I didn’t write anything until today.

The original post was background on the out-of-game side of WoW, like population statistics and how it fits into the MMO universe. But now I’m thinking that that would be a little bit dry, so instead I’m going to talk about stuff inside the game. And try to make it fun. From here, I’m assuming that you have heard the name “World of Warcraft” thrown around, but don’t know what it means. Yes, Mum, I’m talking to you.

World of Warcraft is a game where players take control of a character (formally a “player character” or “PC”, but more often called a “toon”) and make it more powerful by achieving objectives, most of which involve killing monsters (known as “mobs” – according to the WoW manual this is short for “mobile enemies” but I don’t think anyone has this mental connection). The additional power allows you to kill stronger and stronger monsters, and so the game continues. Sometimes the player will need to do something else, most often collecting some kind of trophy from the corpses, but sometimes touching an object or talking to a character (in this case a “non-player character” or “NPC”).

So far, simple enough. Kill the dragon, save the prince, the king gives you a reward which lets you kill a tougher dragon and save a sexier prince. Where it gets a little more interesting is when you throw other people into the mix. WoW allows you to play cooperatively with other people (“grouping” or “raiding”, depending on how many people are involved. A group made of people who didn’t previously know each other is called a “pick-up group” or “PuG”. Participate in enough PuGs and you are rewarded with a pet pug that follows you around. While Midori doesn’t have a pug of her own, it amuses her immensely when other people’s pugs scoot around on their arses) or competitively against them (known as "Player versus Player” or “PvP”) in a variety of venues. This blog will focus more on the PvE (player versus environment; in other games known as “PvM” for “Player versus Monster”) because that’s where I spend most of my time.

Ouch, that paragraph was glossarific. I’m going to end this post here rather than describing the endgame – what happens when you run out of sexy princes.

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