15 December 2010

World of WHAT-NOW?

I'm back, y'all! I'm going to try to not be such a lazy blogger in 2011, but you know. I get bored quickly. Blogs feel like homework, and if I'm procrastinating I can almost always find something else to do.

But really I'm back because I have news. Yeah! Firstly, I have a Tumblr. I did actually think of moving the whole blog over to Tumblr, but while it's easy to generate content, you just don't have as much opportunity for discussion & feedback as you do on a normal blog. So, main blog will stay here, and little funny bits and pieces will be posted over there.

Second, well...it's something I'm not really that proud of:

I've started playing World of Warcraft. Well, I guess 'playing' is maybe a bit of a stretch, 'running around getting lost' is more what I'm doing, but nonetheless I'm participating. It's only been a  couple of days, but I do think I'm destined to be a bit of a self-loathing WoW-er. I've had a lot of friends who've played WoW for a long time, and for me it's always seemed to be the final barrier between casual nerdiness and epic nerd-dom. Like 'Sure, I'm a bit of a nerd, but it's not like I play WARCRAFT!' It was an early Christmas gift from Luke and Suzanne, and while I suspect it was a thinly veiled attempt to get more real-life friends in their guild, it would have been suuuuuper rude of me to reject the gift. So, A-Warcrafting I went.

The whole experience started off really badly. After 6 hours of installing, and downloading, and swearing, and wishing I'd never bothered with any of it, I finally had it all done and made up a character. Hurrah! Then I tried to go into the world, and my computer blue-screened. Tried again, another crash. Tried again, crashed again. Uninstalled the game and tried to just run it off a hard drive. CRASH. Checked all my computer's specs against the recommended specs for the game, and my video card exceeded what was required. Siiiigh. Tried it on my netbook (yes, the baby computer designed only for reading emails and casual web surfing) and it worked fine. WHAT. I'm not exactly thrilled at the idea of playing the game on a 10" screen with a computer that does struggle with the graphics on occasion, but I seem to have no other option.

My second hurdle was the gameplay. I'm a child of the SNES/Gameboy/Playstation era, and apart from a joystick with the old Commodore 64 I've only EVER used game controllers to play games, and even then, I'm not really a 'gamer'. The co-ordination required to use keys and mouse to do things was just TOO MUCH. I 'played' for about two hours on that first night (though really, most of it was spent figuring out how to, like, walk) and my brain was super fried. I was lucky enough to have some guild members around to help me though, but at that point I was kind of over it and not really sure that I was going to bother continuing.

Played a little by myself the next day, and got my co-ordination figured out a bit more, but I still wasn't overly enjoying it. I'd abandoned my Night Elf druid in favour of a Human hunter, cause the pet wolf was a lifesaver while I was trying to not die.

Was talking to a few friends the next day who gave me some super useful tips which streamlined the gameplay and dampened some of my frustration. Using 'W' to go forward was WAY easier than holding both mouse buttons, and then 'Auto-run' was even better. Auto-loot was saving a bit of time, though I haven't quite worked out where I can sell my extra items, so it made my bag fill up pretty quickly. Started a Tauren to try out all these tricks, and got to level 9 in half the time it took me to get to level 7 with the Human. Progress!

It's still kind of fiddly, and my Achilles Heel is my inability to turn around quickly, but it's OKAY. Two days ago I was hovering over the button to kill my account, but I've moved from fiery rage to grudging tolerance so I guess I'll just stick at it. The only real problem now is that playing with the Tauren makes my Human look super boring, so I want a werewolf guy, but to get a werewolf guy I'd need to buy the other two expansions. I feel gross enough over having to pay money to keep playing the game in the first place, but paying EXTRA money to play it? I'm just not up to that point yet.

I'm clearly not above accepting gifts, though.

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