(In)fidelity

Syp’s /played list is constantly surprising. How can one player switch between so many MMOs? There can only be one answer: there’s more than one of him!

More likely he’s just really good at playing mmo’s the way you’re meant to – that is, making in game friends quickly, finding a guild, jumping into pugs, etc. Not relying heavily on playing with people you already know. And certainly not playing just to compete for end game status, which pretty much requires commitment to a single game.

I can only keep up with my WoW guild because they are (mostly) as casual as me. So there’s no progression raiding (other than Blackrock Depths this week!), and hence no pressure.

Even so I can’t imagine dropping WoW for a month or two to try Fallen Earth, then hopping over for some quick STO, back to WoW, then a taste of SW:TOR. Even finding the time for single player games is challenging when you’re hooked into the MMO feed.

Penny-Arcade nailed it, as they often do.

I WoW mostly with people I know IRL, which makes MMO fidelity more compelling. If I wanted to make and play with virtual friends, I guess hopping around would be easier.

I did play Warhammer for about 30 minutes, and dipped into LotRO too, for 90. On both occasions I was pretty quickly overwhelmed with the task of re-establishing ties to friends in game. Or should I say, selling them on the idea of moving to something new, and retiring or abandoning a game we had all invested a lot of time in – and still enjoyed.

It seemed that it was either/or in terms of other MMOs. Either play LotRO, or play WoW, but not both.

Having said that…TOR is going to require some careful consideration. A sci-fi setting is less appealing than high fantasy (despite my reading preference being totally the other way around – other than A Song of Ice & Fire, great Fantasy fiction is pretty rare), but the Bioware polish and depth of Star Wars lore could – should – be a killer combo.

Wowkindy

A while back, before quitting for good, BRK started a great series of “Video Hunter Guides”. You can still download them from his old site, or view it on the (frustrating) Project Lore site.

They are great because they start from the assumption that you know nothing about being a Hunter. Nowt. Zip. He introduces each skill or talent that you get, explains what it does, and shows you how to use it. Even skills you don’t actually ‘get’ – like kiting, jump shooting, etc. There’s a video every two levels or so, each one adding a little more to The Knowledge.

It’s great content, and it’s surprising that there’s so little of it about. There’s plenty of “how to nail boss x” strategy videos, and places like Tankspot are invaluable sources of end game strategies. But there’s very little in the way of video guides to starting out, class basics, and how-tos.

One reason is videos are painful to produce, take hours longer than you expect, and (at least here in 64k-if-you’re-lucky upload country) days to upload to YouTube etc. Another is you have to really know your stuff to make it worthwhile, and be a good teacher at the same time.

But there’s 8 quintillion WoW players out there, there’s people doing incredible machinima, and there’s plenty of great teachers.

Imagine a site with video guides for each class, taking it slowly and teaching people how to play by showing rather than telling. Introducing each skill, demonstrating it, building up to rotations, glyphs, talent builds, the works. It would be an invaluable resource, a Wowhead/Wowwiki for how to play from the ground up. A WoW Kindergarten. Wowkindy.

Make it so!