Saturday, September 19, 2009

Return to WoW: It's a lot of work!

Barriers to re-entry

It's in some ways much easier to start a new game than to return to an MMO after a long absence. I've been away from WoW since May, 2008, so of course a lot has changed due to an expansion and major patches in the interim. And one forgets things, too.

With a new game you just install and start playing. All fun and no work. Of course, since you're just learning the game, you don't always do things in the most efficient manner. And if the game is still in beta or has just launched, there won't be as much information around to help as there is for a more mature game.

But an old game, wow, it's work! Blizzard doesn't delete your characters in order to make it easier to pick up where you left off, but still it's taken a few hours just to get ready to play! Why? Here's a list:
  • Check the main and alts. What are the classes, levels, and professions. What's in the bags and banks? Talents have been wiped, oh joy. Need to re-talent. At least most of my action bar settings were saved!
  • What changed with the expansion? What's this about glyphs? Do I have an alt that can become a scribe? Should I start a Death Knight?
  • I can't bear the default UI; install addons. I didn't keep a list, what addons did I used to run? Some are abandoned, which ones do I use instead? What new ones does everyone use? What functionality is now in the native UI? What was the name of that addon with the boat schedules? (Nauticus.) Configure the addons.
  • Cool, I wanted to see Stormwind harbor. What's this portal in Ironforge leading to Blasted Lands? What else has changed in the transportation network? Hmm, maybe I should read the patch notes. Wow, a lot has changed. I'd heard about the earlier mounts, but being able to swim while mounted rocks! Dual-spec, hmm, may need to save up for that.
You get the picture.

And this is a game that's known as an easy, mainstream MMO.

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