Not Done Yet — Not By A Long ShotNovember 10, 2008
I tried a number of lead-ins for this post, but they all struggled until I said what I wanted to say, which was this:
Even after reading dozens of highly negative, disillusioned, sometimes vitriolic articles and posts about Warhammer Online, I’m still having a lot of fun with this game. And last night, that thought made me rock back in my chair a bit and lifted up my spirits.
You see, even though we like to claim that we’re very much individuals who don’t care what the crowd thinks, we still do care. We still listen, and if the crowd is swinging our way and agreeing with our perceptions, it’s a great feeling. If it’s shouting that our viewpoint is wrong, then at best we are annoyed, and at worst start to be pulled to their thinking through peer pressure. It’s why I don’t often read reviews of things I know I already like — because sooner or later, somebody’s going to state that whatever it is that I cherish actually sucks, and I’ll dissolve into a manly pool of tears or something. But it affects me. It makes me second-guess my position. Sometimes that robs me of joy, but sometimes it challenges me to investigate the truth and actually strengthen my view.
In keeping tabs on all current and ex-WAR blogs out there, I’ve seen an absolute rollercoaster of emotion and opinion these past few weeks. From doomcryers to apologetics to doubters to everything in between — but the bottom line is that all of these people, myself included, want to be assured that they either really like this game and want to stick with it, or they have reason enough to reject it forever and move on. It’s encouraging to read blog posts that go, “I don’t know what these other people are on, but me and my friends are absolutely loving this game!”, as well as discouraging (but sometimes enlightening) to read posts where people WANT to love the game but are facing substantial obstacles to full-fledged acceptance. I generally filter out haters who just want others to be miserable along with them, grr arrg and all that.
But last night, I had a small epiphany. I played through the rest of my Dwarf Chapter 14 PQ (finally), gradually teaming up with five other people to tackle the hero boss and get us some phat lewts (as the kids say). Then I saw that the keep in our area was under attack by Order, so I popped down and gave them a hand — using a battering ram for the first time, natch — and experienced the thrill of swamp keep ownership. During all of this, as I am wont to do, I was making a mental list of things that were working and were not: parts of combat I liked, lag issues, tired loot, framerate, things that go “boom”. I’m not here to be a fanboy but a player and a critic, so I criticize in the true sense of the word. And with that, the epiphany hit — this is far from a perfect game, but something in it is “clicking” with me enough so that I want to play because it’s fun to play, not because I feel I have to. It’s an indefinable quality where the sum of the parts are making this an enjoyable experience, although not a full-fledged obsession.
In making the transition to GameRiot (this week perhaps), in the face of a lot of negative posts, in my own admission of WAR’s flaws and faults, it was exciting to make a subconscious thought conscious: I like WAR, and I’m going to be around with it for a while. Not because I’m obligated, but because it scratches an itch in my gaming life that I didn’t even know was there.
It’s a good thought to start the week of with.