by on Dec 7, 2004

World of Warcraft Preview

Day 7

Perhaps the dullest day in Wow, I spent the whole day just traipsing around the world. In my travels I finally found a wand: the other weapon my Warlock can use! Hurrah! Unfortunately I now have to get my mastery with wands up to a respectable level, having around level 60 in Swords and a starting level of 1 in wands. My new super powerful wand is therefore barely able to damage a rabbit. This all changed over the course of the day however and I’m now a cool 50 with wands. Fear my ability to wield a magic stick!

Day 6

Some absolutely horrendous lag today which resulted in me dying: a lot. It can really ruin your fun of what is quickly becoming an excellent game. But anyway, today I had my first duel with another player; he was one level below me at level 12. And of course, I lost. Duelling with other players is exactly the same as fighting normally and as you’d expect, is actually quite fun – watching your health seep down, praying that he’ll lose a lot of energy with your next spell, doing everything to stay alive. The duel came down to the wire and we both only had a tiny bit of energy left when he clinched it. I was actually casting my most powerful spell at the time, so I like to think that he was lucky…

Some of the quests really do require you to band together to complete. Unfortunately, the beta isn’t exactly crowded at the moment and this means that banding a group together to do that, oh so difficult task, becomes a task in itself. I really hope this won’t be the case in the final release, and looking at the stories of server collapses from huge user activity in the States, this shouldn’t be something to worry about.

Day 5

The first thing I noticed when I logged on today, at around 4pm was the horrendous lag. Nicely, WoW informs you of your connection latency, and usually mine is around the 100 mark (the lower the better). Today it sat at 1400! I was getting stuck on objects and casting was taking an age. Thankfully, after about 15 minutes it cleared up: about the same time that a Night Elf player had marched his way into undead territory. I decided to lay the violence in all my level 12 glory. I died, over and over again, until I did a runner. The lesson learned? Avoid enemy players who have travelled to the heart of your territory.

The Undercity awaits…

So anyway, I met a chap willing to teach me how to fish. Knowing how good fishing can be in RPG’s I gladly accepted and got my hands on a rod as soon as I could find one. And then I proceeded to fish. Yes, fishing is great and I’d caught a large haul of the slimy fools so I happily trotted off to sell them. And then I found out that fish are next to worthless. One bronze for a fish? Well that’s great, chuffing great. Driven by the urge to find more exotic and expensive fish I have started upon a quest to fish everywhere.

Day 4

And it was off to the UnderCity I went…after beating some things to death entirely at random. And it was thus that I reaped the rewards of visiting the vast metropolis, including a new summoned thing and the better weapons skills. Hmm, judging by the amount of level 8 characters there, I probably should have gone sooner…

So many numbers…

And what else did I learn today? Reaching level 12 has given me the urge to visit Silverpine and the Mills. Reaching level 12 however has not given me the urge to revisit the Plague Lands anytime soon. Two-hit death from a bear with a question mark over its level? Hmm, best avoid that for a while…

Day 3

After spending most of today levelling up around the mills, the mills that had me seriously outclassed, I decided to get my tailoring skills even more profound.

The end result is that I can now make a very classy Brown Robe. Sure it isn’t glamorous, but it gives me level 19 armour! That’ll do.

The quests still seem to be along the same lines as before, though I’m stuck in Brill at the moment, until I level up some more. I’m sure that something a bit more adventurous than “kill a to achieve b”, will be awaiting me in The Under City or Silverpine, both of which I must seek.

Until then I decided to flog some robes to people without robes. A quick look around suggested that there would be a market: no-one was wearing robes. Alas, after trying for all of two minutes and no buyers, I decided to give up and kill some more things for a few minutes. I knocked the game on its head after around four hours. Yes, four hours had flown past. This game is certainly getting addictive.

Day 2

I tried to go to Silverpine Forset today. If I learned anything, it’s not to go to Silverpine when you’re level 8. Friendly creatures called Worgs (Read: Wolves) decided to feast upon my rotting corpse. Of course they’d have to kill me first, but they didn’t seem too bothered by this, and proceeded to rip me apart. On the good side of things, the Worgs I killed yielded a great amount of experience.

The servers seem to be very quiet when you visit them at about 2am. I stayed on for a few hours and decided to practise my skills. I’m now quite adept at tailoring; I am now able to construct most things I want to wear. I shall strive to get better still. My medical proficiency has also increased a bit.

I found a nice chap who wanted me to become an apprentice of Enchanting. Sounding mystical and full of arcane law, I happily agreed, only to discover that in order to do anything in this cursed profession, I’d have to find a king’s ransom in supplies.

Introduction

Hello and welcome to the World of Warcraft, well, the European Beta. Throughout my time with the game, I will be writing regular diary like reports on what I have been up to, giving my impressions on the game and how the world is changing. I’ve just logged a day’s play with the game and I thought I’d share my initial findings with you, the loyal readers of Pro-G.

Not the actual bat but still an attacking bat

After installing (and logging on, etc) you find yourself in the character creation screen. Pick from any of eight races, male or female. These eight are divided into two factions, good and bad, as per usual, and seeing as I always choose evil, I thought I’d go with evil yet again. An undead troop from the horde. As is the case with most RPG’s, you can then choose your class: warrior, rogue, churchy fellow, mage and warlock. It’s slightly different for all races, but I expect it’s essentially the same.You can also alter your hair, face, colours of things and other little details. It has all the usual fare that you’ll have come to expect. So anyway, Undead Warlock for me then and into the game I jumped.

Starting off within a large tomb, I gave myself a few minutes to get to terms with the game. WASD keyboard movement is common in a large proportion of PC games, so that was fine, but there is a huge interface to be dealt with through the mouse. If it wasn’t for the frequently appearing tips, you would quickly find yourself pretty confused by the huge number of icons.

So venturing outside, and after a quick chat with the grave keeper, I launched an assault on the nearest thing I could find, which happened to be a bat. Now, combat is slightly daunting at first, but it goes something like this:

1. Click something with the mouse.

2. Right Click it to attack.

Simple, I suppose, but it feels a bit cumbersome at first. Also, the game doesn’t tell you, that if you’re a Warlock, you shouldn’t run headlong into Melee combat, and that you should use your spells. Hey, I could have sussed that for myself really, if I’d actually realised that those icons on the bottom of the screen were my spells. And so, I managed to overpower a bat: just. Nice.

It’s easy to get lost in the World of Warcraft. It’s such a large place and a lot of the roaming hills do look the same. The way Blizzard has dealt with this is by giving you plenty of tasks to do in the same town/village area. This works excellently, and after only about 5 hours I know the first village like the back of my hand. Of course, now I’m wandering around in the other villages and towns, I’m getting lost frequently.

Exploration seems to have a simple rule. If you see an enemy that’s at a higher level than you, you ought to back track. I expect it’s so that n00bs like me won’t try and mix it up with high level demons and such and you’ll actually get to know certain areas through re-exploration. Hell it works quite well; I know I’m not going back to the mill in a hurry.

Buying and selling: A key way to make money

It would appear that the general population of WoW are very skilled indeed. You can hold down two trades as well as your basic, warrior – warlock troop type. You can do this by agreeing to become certain tradesmen’s apprentices. This allows you to do things like turn herbs to medicine, create your own armour and clothing, and all sorts of other things. I foresaw myself taking a lot of damage and so my current trade – the other remaining unfilled – is a medic. I can currently make my own bandages from cloth, healing other adventurers and myself in a pinch.

And that’s all I’ve really done so far. Obviously I’ve done quests and levelled up (to level 8 I might add) but I’ve not really done anything that interesting so far. Most of the quests have been kill amount Y of set X. Or find X amount of Y. I’m sure there are better quests just around the corner, but as it is, WoW certainly seems interesting, hopefully, with a lot more to offer.

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World of Warcraft

on PC

MMORPG set in the Warcraft Universe.

Release Date:

11 February 2005