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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Draw of Warcraft

For the record this article is just my thoughts and opinions so is for the most part gibberish and nonsense - but having recently started playing World of Warcraft again I thought I would have a think about what draws in so many players to keep playing month after month.

As I see it the main point is that the more you play - the more you get out of it. This is true of numerous elements of the game, from the item drops to the community. Much gold can be found by butchering beasts in the wilds for the precious rare items which they drop - however these items are only dropped once in a while which is the key. You are taught to spend more and more time within the game, as the more time you spend, the more drops you get. The community too is hard to penetrate if you only jump on once a week for a few hours, yet you soon make friends, encouragement enough to spend 10 hours a day in their world. And while this "play more - get more" structure can be applied to many other less successful games; WOW seems to be the most frequent and generous with its rewards to the player. This increased frequency leaves player in a loop similar to that I found myself in last night:

I play for a few hours - planning to leave as soon as I level up... The level up arrives... I am all set to leave - as soon as I have put some items I found up for auction... this will only take a minute - no big deal. So off I go to the auction house throwing my items up for sale... Oh, while I am here I'll quickly check and see if there are any new - WOAH! Look at that sword - I'll just buy that quickly... Well I might as well try it now I have it - it will just take a minute... Oh well now I am back out in the wilds I might as well finish that quest I was on... Now that I am so close to the next level I might as well get that one... Then I'll leave... Honest...

Many people are of the opinion that part of the draw is that you can be a nobody in real life but become a god in WOW. But in my opinion to become a god in WOW you need first to become a nobody in real life - spending less and less time with friends and family - sacrificing more and more to obtain that new armor of eternal flames...

However to be honest I don't really know why WOW is so successful and if I did I would sell the formula and live in a house made of candy, but this draw does exist, a point best illustrated by the fact that I only found the time to write this piece when my WOW server was down...

6 comments:

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The humanity tries to darling the dog and the dog bites him.
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