Converting The Masses

August 10, 2008

Hey, I’m back! [pause] Again! Sorry for all the trips and whatnot, but I’m sure you whittled your time away by actually playing Warhammer Online instead of reading about it — is there anyone here who’s NOT in a beta of some sort? I didn’t think so.

So I spent the last few days in 100+ degree Texas, enjoying the company of Japanese people who could not speak a lick of English but felt quite free in wearing it in t-shirt form. Good times. I also had an encounter with an old college friend (another one) named Russ, who is married with four kids and also is a die-hard WoW player. And as I found out about five minutes into a mutual discussion of Azeroth, a very hardcore, elite player.

Now as much as I do love talking video games with other people, there’s a certain barrier where, when crossed, I start to edge out of the conversation. This usually comes when said other person starts displaying behavior that I find annoying in game, which includes — but is not limited to — the following:

  • Being overly passionate about gear, to the point where it’s like they’re linking to the item, verbally, expecting you to swoon over purple colors.
  • Start debating the nuances of min/maxing stats and gear and builds.
  • Talking about nothing less than how awesome their guild is in demolishing tier 485 raid content that I missed out on while I was grinding for my latest non-combat pet, and
  • Putting down other players and classes and builds as “below them” somehow.

Me? I’m the guy who likes to leap off cliffs and see if guildmates follow, or get into one-hour marathon pun contests, or to see what’s the most ridiculous hat I can find in the game and wear it proudly. You should know this about me already. I am not the guy you want to come to if you arduously study spell rotations to find maximum dps and live or die based on damage/healing meters. I am the guy you come to if you want to strip naked and run through a crowded quest hub screaming about how an NPC is trying to molest me. It’s just how it is.

Anyway, I let him go on and on about how uber his hunter was, and really, if he was having fun and playing the game with his wife, more power to him. Takes all kinds. But then I told him I had quit WoW after four years and was gearing up for WAR next month. He gave me a look that I’m starting to associate with diehard WoW players when this is mentioned to them: a kind of annoyed pity, as if there’s just no room within human imagination for anyone to leave Warcraft for any other pastures. Was I like this to others, back when I played? I dunno. For all of his babbling about WoW, it was obvious he couldn’t care less about my newfound WAR passion, as I tried to sell the idea to him. He just wasn’t going to be converted, and I was a bit of a betrayer, and that was that.

It’s not like it’s my job to go around and try to win people over to WAR. I don’t mind talking about it, or telling people about this blog, and I’m gratified that my brother in law will be making the switch from MMO decaf to WAR’s espresso, but if they don’t give it a try I’m not going to spend restless nights in bed sweating over it. I think WAR will have a solid, strong launch, I think a lot of people will force themselves to ignore it in favor of Lich King in a couple months, and I really think that WAR will see a second major boost in early 2009 as Lich King grows stale and WAR picks up more and more word of mouth.

I’m not here to convert, but just to talk. It’s a good thing, but you can’t change someone’s mind unless they’re ready to listen, eh?



  1. hey! im not in beta! i hope i get in sooon!!!

  2. This all depends on whether or not people feel like for WAR to be successful, it must somehow topple WoW. If this is the case, then it is certainly important to “convert the masses”, as it will, to the game.

    But, more realistically, it’s about establishing WAR as an actual major player in the MMO industry, then convincing people, especially those who are hardcore WoWers, becomes pointless. The game will thrive based upon its own merits and not WoW’s.

    I have lots of friends who are playing WoW and wouldn’t give WAR a chance even if it dressed itself in sexy nightwear and beckoned to them.

    Guild-wise, I’m closer to what you are in terms of playstyle. I’ve been a hardcore raider and that ship has sailed. I hope to find a guild that has fun with the game while playing it.

  3. If you want to annoy a raiding hunter, ask them what they think about this. A raid guild gave the best bow in the game to a rogue and some hunters are taking this way way too personally given that they aren’t the ones who were passed over 🙂

  4. There’s a beta? I knew I shouldn’t have listed ‘There’, under previous beta experience…

  5. Meh different people like different things, quickest way to stop this from being annoying is to rise above it all and realise that yes 2 or more games of the same genre can exist at the same time and be equally as goood as each other.

    If you enjoy a game, no matter how much bashing it takes from other people should matter, as at the end of the day its your opinion that matters when it comes to personal preference ^^

    However telling another people that a game they enjoy (or are getting excited about) is not good/enjoyable/playable is idotic, which is why I no longer visit the cespits that are “game forums” as fan-bois are one of those groups that whould be “dragged behind the shed and shot”

    Its about time people on the net matured a little and realised their opinion is no more important or “right” than the opinion of the person their currently flaming.

    On another note i think we could start an idiot filtering program via the internet, maybe make it so that when someone types the “insult” – go back to WoW – a deadly eletrical current zaps em through thier keyboard

    …. then again thats probably a little harsh :/

  6. … On a side note only about a month to go! not sure what im going to do to sustain myself that long im rapidly running out of games to play to fill the time :/

  7. <– STILL not in Beta…and I am a CE pre-order!

  8. I read this once on a bumper sticker (or something very near it): Truth comes in three flavors. 1. People scoff at it as if its ridiculous. 2. People vehemently oppose it. 3. It is accepted as obvious and you are dumb for not knowing it.

    Takes all kinds indeed WoW or is even comparable, that remains to be seen. But really, how can you say sushi is gross if you’ve never tried it?

    I’m a bit drunk on metaphors and allusions right now, so I’m gonna finish my lunch and call it a day. Welcome back. =)

    PS I am not yet invited to the beta.

  9. PS I used a less than-3 as heart then typed “Whether WAR is greater-than-sign WoW or is even comparable remains to be seen” but of course it thought that was a tag and ignored it.


  10. First of all – I love your attitude to the game and gosh I wish I were in guild with you. Making fun of some ingame content is one of my favourite but it sucks when everybody look on you like you are a fool and keep talking about a new dungeon uber-mega-raid. Blah.

    Second – Where I live I will be propably the only playing WAR I guess forever. I have a HUGE WoW maniacs friends and even thinking about WAR makes them furious because I don’t listen then what items in WoW they are about to obtain.

    And last but not least – I’m not in beta ( 😦 )

  11. Yep, still not in beta. 😛

    I remember getting that glazed-over look while listening to the WoW die-hards during the midnight realease of Burning Crusade.

    As for WAR… I generally don’t mention it, at least in public. My MMO habit is a dirty little secret… 😉

  12. I have seen the look of annoyed pity – for leaving WoW and being happy to have done so, for playing LotRO and especially for being interested in WAR.

  13. <—– Like others, I am at CE pre-order and still no beta!!

  14. “I have lots of friends who are playing WoW and wouldn’t give WAR a chance even if it dressed itself in sexy nightwear and beckoned to them.”

    ……..I think you just gave me a new fetish.

    When I played WoW, I was a mix of the two. I’d always be cracking jokes and doing stupid things in-game, but I knew my class (shadow priest) better than most people on the server and performed better than a few who had much better gear than mine.

    But beating other people’s DPS *always* came second to sneaking my clothes off during boss downing screenshots, because I knew the screenshot taker had a nude patch, and there’s no better surprise than finding a naked, rotting undead woman in your screenshot. That has to go on the front page.

    I remember the first time my raid leader saw it. He was happily chatting over vent, congratulating everyone, then suddenly “WHY IS ***** NAKED?!”

    Good times.

  15. My tip:

    Find one of these WoW-fiends that feel that there’s just no room within human imagination for anyone to leave Warcraft for any other pastures.

    Now find one of those frothing WAR-fiends that thinks every single one of the 10 million WoW subscribers must have suffered from a lack of oxygen during birth to make them so brain-damaged as to play what is clearly the worst game of any kind ever released on any platform.

    And then BANG THEIR HEADS TOGETHER. And KEEP ON BANGING until they go quiet.

  16. I think people are always going to be overly attatched to their first MMO regardless of the problems therein.

    Regardless of the amount that most of us know about the game I still continually run into WoW players that have never even heard of it or have heard very little. Being that it is 1 month away you would think that a massive advertising campaign should be underway.

  17. No beta for me either. Good thing that’s going to change at the end of this week.

    I think my biggest fear is that I’m so used to how WoW handles that WAR will seem too foreign. I recently (at a friends request) gave LoTHRO a try and I ended up being pretty ashamed of myself because I was mad that hot keys weren’t the same. I was running around in an area with much more beauty than the WoW environment but I couldn’t get myself to look past the fact that I thought the quest descrip window took up more of the screen than it did in WoW.That’s just one of the embarassing problems I had with the game. Don’t get me wrong I am incredibly excited about playing WAR. I think I’m just nervous that I’m too set in my ways to let the UI of WoW go.

  18. Hey… I’m not in the beta! Feel free to give me a key if beta access is truly that ubiquitous.

    I’m very interested in this game, but I’m not going to shell out the cash for it unless I’ve tried it first. It’s going to take a fairly special game to lure me away from WoW.

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