Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love

Wow, this looks brill!

The World of Warcraft. A world split into two continents and as many warring factions, that for many is the pinnacle of massively multiplayer gaming and the greatest MMORPG of the decade — maybe even of all time. It draws you in with its tremendous lore and background then hooks you with its vast array of characters, races and classes which you can tweak to your heart’s delight. Continents hold many regions with each holding many cities and expansive areas to explore packed with goodies and secrets, not to mention hordes of enemies to boot. My friend from Primary school introduced me to World of Warcraft and was immediately captured by the whole fantasy aspect that really appealed to my young imagination and it has stuck for years. See, it’s at this point I’m hoping I’ve convinced you that I love World of Warcraft and am as rampantly enthusiastic about it as though I were just shown a pair of breasts every time I load the game.

And it’s at this point that any diehard World of Warcraft fans may want to keep reading. I really hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it (I seriously doubt you will and that makes me even happier).

Oh sorry, I didn't realise this country park was only for Level 70 and up.

Ironically, people abbreviate the title of this game to the first letter of each of the three words that comprise the title: “WoW”. I wasted an entire month and not once did such a word or anything similar even cross my mind. That is, of course, not including the times I had actually stopped playing and had realised how bright it was on the other side of my curtains. You’re probably wondering why I played for so long if I found it so boring; I had friends who played it savagely at the time I picked it up and so I was quite determined to give it a good going over, which never really transpired in the end. I was waiting for it to get interesting and it never really did.

I can’t actually comprehend how Blizzard have managed to sucker in 12 million people to play it, let alone pay for it on a consistent basis. I mean let’s face the facts here: all 12 million of them are wrong. Millions have been wrong before – the Nazis are probably the best example of this.

The game is filled with loads of content for sure, but the main problem is that it’s loads of content that is either A) rubbish or B) inaccessible. The game is set across two continents and a few otherworldly counterparts so there’s plenty to do and explore, I’ll admit. I bought all that content. I (rather stupidly, in hindsight) bought all that content but still Blizzard held it all back. I can’t go over to those hills, no. Those are level 22 hills! As a level 20, anything between here and there is guaranteed to rip you enough new holes that your next dump will look like spaghetti.

Come on, Blizzard! I bloody well forked out the cold hard cash for your content, at least have the decency to give me access to it! I never expected to be able to explore every corner of the globe from the off – but I’m barely even able to explore maybe 10% of the game world from the start. As you progress further and further from your start location the enemies get tougher and tougher, making general exploration a repetitive chore.


My next gripe? The so-called “quests”. It wasn’t difficult to get bored of the uninteresting characters asking uninteresting errands of you — the majority of which contribute nothing to the overall story arc. On the subject of a story arc, I’m not even sure if there is one. No form of struggle or future event that may have been the subject of a major quest was obvious at any point. Maybe it would have been obvious had I actually had the patience to sit and read the words and other boring stuff that seemed to be conjured up every time you clicked anyone remotely interesting (or not interesting, as was more often the case).

Anyway, back to the chores. Sorry, quests. To think that nearly 90% of these quests are the same structure is partly understandable; the baffling part is when you consider that this 90% is just boring as fuck. What’s that, Mrs. Average? You want me to deliver your dirty socks to Captain McGeneral on the other side of the planet? Why certainly! I’ll see to it immediately after I’ve crushed my own head out of boredom. I must congratulate Blizzard on their excellent performance in this area though — their copy and paste department certainly outdid themselves. Plenty of role-playing games have fetch quests by the dozen, but the World of Warcraft fetch quest count must easily number in the hundreds, if not thousands. I don’t know about you, but I never accepted mediocrity as fun the first time so I sure as hell won’t change my mind for the thousandth.

Don’t get me wrong, Blizzard have made some good games. Starcraft 2 was fantastic even if the mutliplayer never really catered for people who hadn’t played the original to death and Diablo 2 is regarded as one of the greatest role-playing games of all time. Diablo 2 was mildly repetitive truth be told, but it was fast-paced and fluid which makes it much better than World of Warcraft in my book. World of Warcraft, however, is easily the most overrated game that company has made, if not the most overrated game full stop.

And it is complete, and utter, shit.






32 responses to “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love”

  1. DelTorroElSorrow avatar


    What level did you play to??

  2. Barry avatar

    To be perfectly honest you could just say the same about any MMORPG, except Guildwars which, in my eyes, is an RPG disguised as an MMORPG.

    I don’t think people play World of Warcraft for the storyline, they play for the social aspect, the addiction to levelling up and well, some play to have roleplay sexytime 🙂

  3. Celeste avatar

    Dayum! There was you, buttering us all up, luring us into a false sense of security with your to-date happy, friendly, smiley blogs, making us all your obedient little bitches, all so’s the slap in the face delivered at this point would sting that bit more. Well I say hurt me – hurt me good!

    This was a great read. As it happens, I had the same experience when I tried WoW. It could be a case of ‘investment now, reward later’, but that simply makes the issue one of accessibility and that’s a hugely significant one all on its own.

    Oh, and “I mean let’s face the facts here: all 12 million of them are wrong”. Best line ever.

  4. Jonathan avatar

    Just because someone likes something you don’t like doesn’t make them “wrong”.

  5. Walter avatar

    This is interesting, as a current player, its a shame that you have succumbed to what used to be WOW’s greatest disappointment, which was leveling a character from level 1 to level 60, it was a laborious time consuming process, that was up until the ‘sundering’ which caused Azeroth to be completely reformed, even adding a 4th continent to its layout (Outlands is a mystical dimension, not a continent :p)

    I think you may have missed out on the social aspect of playing WOW which keeps you going through some of the more mundane, generic, MMO tasks, like the genocide of a complete species just to pick up something they drop.

    Like I’ve said in a previous blog, most MMO’s are geared towards endgame level content, but complaining about zones being out of bounds because your too low a level seems like a comical notion to me, those invisible boundaries exist in almost all games, I’ve never seen a level 1 Shepard in ME/ME2 just rock up to the near end levels and expect to get through, no, the game makes you follow a path, to learn the lore of the game and to understand how to use your character.

    Perhaps MMO’s aren’t for you, you can’t just jump to content, the WOW lore exists to keep you interested in the escalation and evolution of the story, I’m not really a lore fan, I prefer the dungeon instances, playing with friends and achieving things that require team work and a good working knowledge of the character and role I play, it sounds like you haven’t had experience like that in WOW, which is a shame.

  6. DelTorroElSorrow avatar

    What Walter said. You missed the point MarkyMark.

  7. Laura avatar

    I want to read this blog properly, Marky, but I just can’t. I wonder if the whole ‘If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’ kind of thinking, that was drummed into me as a kid, still influences me today. Complaining for the sake of change, is fair enough, and ranting has its place; but personally, hearing someone complaining about something they just don’t like or ‘get’ – especially when we’re all passionate and geeky over different games – just doesn’t sit right with me.

    I want to say something nice too, though, so, your spelling and use of punctuation is always excellent 😛

  8. Celeste avatar

    Celeste O’Neill Perhaps though when you have a central social facet to a game, as you do in an MMORPG, you can’t also have the traditional game features like game paths working in the same way as they would in an isolated game. The two things clash. Personally I found the fact that I was at a different level to my friends a barrier to enjoying the experience because I couldn’t play around in the same areas as they could.

  9. Walter avatar

    I feel I have to add that you can, if you want, meet up with any of your friends characters, even if you are a level 1, there are several mounts and fast travel options available to you through-out every single area in the game, of course, some of these paths may be dangerous for the less experienced of you, but the experience is why we play these games …

    I viewed the level gap as more of an incentive to level up to experience the same things as my friends have, the barrier is really the character stats, again, I think it unreasonable to say that a level 1 character should be able to enter an area with a level 80 dungeon, I don’t read many comments or blogs of people complaining that they can’t see the end of a game, when they have just started it.

  10. Albull avatar

    I call Godwin’s Law in the third paragraph. All further comments after that point are null and void :-p

  11. Walter avatar

    Godwin’s law was called in the Blog itself :p

    I’m coming across as a much more passionate WOW player that I actually am, I’ve fired out a few blogs on WOW over the past year or so, but I actually only play it for about 4-5 hours a week, but it is always with friends and its always a good laugh, so perhaps my attachment to it isn’t actually the game itself, more the social event it creates each and every time I play it.

  12. Mark P avatar

    See I agree with Barry on the Guild Wars front – that was good in that there was a story driving you forward. I had a reason to progress in GW and something to do at all times. World Of Warcraft just seems to hide from me behind an ironclad wall of mediocrity.

    I can think of quite a few open world games where you almost immediately have free reign over where you want to go. Mass Effect, while limited at the start, gives you the entire galaxy as soon as you get your ship. Okay, so there are a lot of planets you can’t visit because the surface is toxic or there’s no air – which is practically the same to having some arbitrary level 700 dinosaurninjacannon defending a region. But then again, there’s not going to be anything worth seeing in a lifeless planet so I don’t mind that – a level 700 dinosaurninjacannon is OBVIOUSLY defending, so it must be something worth defending.

    The last few Bethesda games have all been similar. You start off with a limited path of progression but the game does open up. With Morrowind, you’re just chucked off a boat and given the reigns and with Oblivion you just need to GTFO a sewer and away you go. It’s not that I’m complaining that I wasn’t near the end of the game just as it had started, it’s that I didn’t even know where the start was – nothing immediately engaged my interest. Even with games that start out a similar way, the story picks up pretty quickly but with WoW, it still seemed pretty absent.

    There seem to be far too many MMOs (mostly free online ones) that just copy WoW and change a few things which just isn’t acceptable. There’s no real progression – they’re just stealing WoW players instead of trying to reel in the players that don’t play it by mixing things up entirely. MMORPGs will never progress so long as they all just keep trying to copy WoW.

  13. Jonathan avatar

    “a level 700 dinosaurninjacannon is OBVIOUSLY defending, so it must be something worth defending”

    And if you want to see it, you can either make yourself stronger (level up) to challenge the dinosaurninjacannon, or think outside the box, get creative, and find a way around the dinosaurninjacannon. I’d say at least 95% of the world is explorable as a low level character. Just stick to the roads and paths as you’re traveling, or find paths through the mountains.

  14. Mark P avatar

    “I’d say at least 95% of the world is explorable as a low level character. Just stick to the roads and paths as you’re traveling, or find paths through the mountains.”

    See I can’t disagree more, I found that nearly every new region I found, the level gap between what I am and what I needed to be was far too high. I’m not asking Blizzard to make literally *everything* in the game easy for a level 1 character to explore – because literally no-one wants that.

    Look at Fallout: New Vegas, for example. Although not as vast as World of Warcraft it has an open world. You can explore the majority of that and only a few times will you bump into people trying to kill you – you can do the same in WoW, but only if you stick to the boring roads where NOTHING HAPPENS. In New Vegas, you’ll be exploring and finding remnants of life before a nuclear attack and lots of hidden side-quests that are invariably interesting and engaging, and not just a screed of text that effectively tells you to kill stuff and collect things they don’t always drop. There are areas in New Vegas where the difficulty is steep enoguh that you can’t continue and so you go away level up and come back after you’ve done other stuff elsewhere – with Wow, that high-level area is just the rest of game world. You’ll hit a virtual brick wall and can’t progress unless you go and grind away some boring quests.

  15. Simon avatar

    You were playing WoW at Primary School?!

    You know what I played at Primary School? Kiss-Chase and Conkers.

  16. Optimus Pints avatar
    Optimus Pints

    Guys c’mon this is awesome! i didn’t realise Jim Sterling had joined the ready up team!

    I Kid,

    “I can’t actually comprehend how Blizzard have managed to sucker in 12 million people to play it, let alone pay for it on a consistent basis. I mean let’s face the facts here: all 12 million of them are wrong. Millions have been wrong before – the Nazis are probably the best example of this”

    For the record, people playing a game and willing to part with hard earned cash I don’t think has the same point of being ‘wrong’ as compared to the death of millions of innocents, considering we’ve just passed remembrance day, it’s not a comparison I would make.

    I don’t play WOW because personally I’m a PC point and click strategy guy but I do play Diablo, And from your view of the game you seem to have contradicted what world of warcraft is about, it isn’t about one guy doing a “kenshiro” and righting wrongs in world on his own, it’s about the comadre, the guild, the backup so to speak. Imagine if Lord of the rings had just Legolas doing everything on his own, it would be boring as hell.

    ” And it’s at this point that any diehard World of Warcraft fans may want to keep reading. I really hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it (I seriously doubt you will and that makes me even happier)”
    So not only are you telling 12 million strangers they are wrong, you are also telling them you enjoy them being annoyed…I admire your peoples person skills on slagging off a game made primary to make allies….

  17. Mark P avatar

    I wasn’t making the comparison between the severity of the wrongness of the Nazis and World of Warcraft players, just the numbers. I remember arguing the toss with someone about how rubbish that show Scrubs was and they kept going on about how “millions couldn’t be wrong”.

    And just because you can play it with friends doesn’t make it any more fun. You’re still doing boring stuff only with the luxury of a friend to share your tedium with. Having someone beat you up in the street doesn’t suddenly become great fun because a third guy joined in.

  18. Christomad avatar

    Star Trek Online is a less-than-stellar game, yet with a friend it was fun to play through (although admittedly, half the fun came from complaining about all the mistakes Cryptic made).

  19. DelTorroElSorrow avatar

    Mark the arsiness and lack of reasoning in this blog is countered only by your respnses to criticism.

  20. GraeXZ avatar

    Most of your points can be attributed to the majority of MMOs out there. WoW is a great game, but i guess it’s not for everyone, but out of all MMOs it has the most well rounded package of features.

  21. Optimus pints avatar
    Optimus pints

    ….thats not a very good reply.

    1) Moment you bring up nazis as a part of a comparision of two subjects what do you think most people are going to think of, the number of nazis?! No they are not, the first thing people are going to think are the number of crimes the Nazi’s committed.

    2)Do you even know what the words MMORPG mean? because if you do then you’ve just contradicted yourself with this paragraph.

    “And just because you can play it with friends doesn’t make it any more fun. You’re still doing boring stuff only with the luxury of a friend to share your tedium with. Having someone beat you up in the street doesn’t suddenly become great fun because a third guy joined in.”

    Hmm the words Multiplayer Role Playing Game…for some strange reason i don’t know why that rings in my head when i hear WOW. You obviously want to play a game involving friends, other wise why the hell are you blogging about a MULTIPLAYER ONLINE game?

    And again why compare me with some useless metaphor of getting beat up by two guys and a possible third random stranger when i’m reasoning that a multiplayer game should have some social aspects and your arguing that playing a multiplayer game with friends is still as bad as playing it on your own? If your that pessimistic and what to be left alone then you would have bought populous instead and destroyed everything in your path.

    I’m sorry Marky P i’m not trying to be a dick on your blog, I respect that you want to voice your own opinion on a game. but don’t start being arrogant and try to make out your writing this to annoy people to make you happier, when you have more holes in your metaphors than swiss cheese being gnawed by rats.

    It makes you sound pompous and your a new writer so the “i’m better than you if i’ve made you angry” thing doesn’t work. EVER.

  22. Mark P avatar

    Look, my point is, is that there is far too much in World of Warcraft that no other game, or genre for that matter, that could ever get away with – so why should WoW get dissimilar treatment?

    Put boring missions and the absence of an engaging storyline in ANY other game and you can almost guarantee it’ll flop. Why should I endure that kind of hum drum gameplay just because of the MMO social aspects? I might as well just sit in Facebook chat with all my friends and play Mafia Wars.

  23. Walter avatar

    Your counter arguments don’t add up Mark, its clear that you have had a bad experience with WOW, playing an MMO on your own will always be absolute shit.

    I still go back to the fact that your complaining about not being able to access higher level zones because you haven’t leveled up, this still makes me laugh, perhaps the concept of playing a massive multiplayer online game has managed to slip past you, but it wouldn’t be so massive if you went 1-80/85 in a few hours, the vastness of the game would be entirely lost.

    Also, your timing for this article couldn’t have been worse, with the latest world event, patch 4.0.1 leveling characters has changed so much, I think if this is your point of view then you needed to have done a couple more things, firstly make it stand out to WOW, your criticisms are not wow specific, infact, if I’m not mistaken, all RPG games make you level up before you can progress and explore the more dangerous areas and secondly, as mentioned before, you are not limited to any area in the game upon starting a new character, if you get killed by something in that area then that is a hint that you just don’t have the character stats to deal with the higher level foes, much like any RPG game, Fallout would be an excellent example.

    I understanding prompting debate but actually telling people who read your blog that you will like the fact that they may dislike the content is nonsense, while not everyone is going to agree with every opinion in a blog, taking the MW2 airport route to cause some controversy isn’t good.

    Here is my honest opinion of your blog, its clear to me that you have put down experience that you have had from playing WOW some while ago, on your own and where frustrated that friends/family had spent the time to go from 1-80. Saying “The game is filled with loads of content for sure, but the main problem is that it’s loads of content that is either A) rubbish or B) inaccessible.” is nonsense, if millions of people can access the content it can’t be that bad, it also means its very accessible.

    This is a discussion which I think should be carried on to the forum, I’d be interested to see what other folks think about it.

  24. Dscythe avatar

    Walter has it right this blog just seems to me like you approached the game in the wrong fashion at the wrong time and missed the point and due to the 1-60 mind numbing factor(which i agree with and so does blizzard) have given up. The bad thing about this blog is because you have had a bad experience this has turned into an emofest about a point you never really got. The game itself is meant to be played with as part of a guild or group of friends as me and walter do. The issue i have is with the fact that you havent really approached the game at the right time or in the right fashion the game is now 5+(?) years old and the 1-60 content has been nerfed and all the group aspect has been removed due to blizzard wanting people to get to 80 faster and now the game has massively changed i will admit to being a massive wow fan i have done the hardcore raiding thing and the social aspect so i have played the game to both ends of the spectrum so i might not be the right person to post a reply to this blog.

    But this just seems to me that you have had nothing good to say about it you have also said there is no story and the characters are uninteresting yet you have also admitted to not reading the quests or watching any of the cut scenes.

    The last point i have to say is why do this now the game is a transistion phase from going to 1 expansion to another which its also widely known that blizzard is changing “ALL” the content so 2 things are going to come from that lack of support from blizzard for low zones because they have something in the works to make the leveling better which has now been implemented 2 days after this was posted and there is going to be a lack of people leveling from 1-60 because blizzard has promised new content so your going to have no1 in areas to be social with/help with quests.

    I am actually not going to look at this article again because it just seems to be a complete emofest and missing of key points of why the game is so good and it also makes me not want to read any of your blogs because it seems you have gone out of your way to be deliberately inflammatory on this 1 how i can be sure the rest of your views are not also going to be as skewed as this 1 is ?

  25. Optimus pints avatar
    Optimus pints

    Well my comments are on the forum because this is gonna go into circles, and I need to update my thread.

    So yeah reading other blogs now so if anyone responds to me on this blog heres my answer:

    …At least I got chicken

  26. Paul Slevin avatar
    Paul Slevin

    Perhaps you should read the quest text and watch the cutscenes before slamming the lore

  27. Anon avatar

    LOL at emofest.

    I have to say that this blog is generally not very well written. Even the most biased of arguments should be well researched, and it’s the lack of this and lack of understanding in general for social gaming that puts me off. I don’t mean to be offensive to the author, I just think that if you wish to be a games writer or at least be taken half-seriously then it’s best not to go down the sarcastic-borderlining-offensive route. It irritates me how anyone and everyone these days likes to brand themselves as a journalist/writer with such poorly thought out content.

  28. Dean avatar

    Mark, this is one of the most entertaining things i’ve read in ages. Your grasp of sarcasm is wonderful and the bad taste Nazi reference was a coup de grace. But i have to say I find it even more amusing that so many people are taking it so seriously.

  29. Martin avatar

    WOW has never appealed to me, in any way. I was going to say that I’m amazed that so many are attacking your own personal views so fervently, but… having had the same reaction to my thoughts on Fallout, I’m not, anymore.
    I’m curious as to what the reaction would have been if you had gushed about the game, would you be getting pats on the back for an excellently written article?
    If a game doesn’t grab me within the first couple of plays, I’m not going to try to like it because everyone else does, one of the great traits of being an individual.
    Kudos, Mark, for actually standing against the tide and vocalising your opinions in an interesting, humorous way. Great read.

  30. Adam avatar

    I struggled a little with this one. You’ve undoubtedly had a bad experience with the game but it seems to be that the genre itself has let you down more than it being a case of it just being bad.

    MMO’s aren’t designed to have this amazing Sandbox world for you to buy your way into and take what you want from them. I haven’t played an MMO for a long time where the first 10-20 levels have acted as anything other than a tutorial. For Warcraft, those first 10 are purely explanatory questlines, teaching you all about your class, suggesting roles for you and explaining other mechanics necessary to enjoy the game.

    That you’re annoyed that 90% of the game is inaccessible to you from the start is surely not a surprise to you? There are reasons that further content is restricted from you in any game. Racing games stop you driving the fastest cars at the beginning untill they’ve driven you around all of the courses at lower speeds in lesser cars and platformers save the trickiest of sections until you’ve demonstrated a mastery of all the skills that are required to get there.

    MMO’s are no different. It’s vital you that you have to commit to that same law of video games so that you can get more out of the game in the long run.

    That you liked Diablo 2 is great, especially that you liked it for its fast pace and fluidity because Warcraft has comletely overhauled itself since the launch of Wrath to become just that. It makes me a little sad to think that it’s possible to level to 60 in such a short time these days -I think it’s great that so many people get to the end content quicker but it is sad to think that so much of the wonderfully designed content goes unplayed because players manage to level past it in other areas.

    I happily invite you to take up Blizzards offer to come back to Warcraft before the launch of Cataclysm. They have invited all previous account holders to come back on a free trial to experience the entirely new 1-60 content that has been so well streamlined and designed, I struggle to find fault with it.

    Ignoring some technical innacuracies and general writing faux pas, I sympathise with you on this article that you’ve had a bad time playing it. I think that the experience has jaded you and that you’ve tried to use that to make a point here, but sweeping remarks and attempts to tap into the popular perception of the non-WoW playing masses are poorly laid out here. There are a huge number of reasons to hate Warcraft and a more open mind and educated opinion would have helped you in the writing of this article.

  31. Jimmo avatar

    The level 70 area you pictured isnt even a level 70 area… thats Ungoro Crater, do some research before you make yourself look even more ridiculous 😛

    p.s Good write up

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