Sunday, September 30, 2012

Why WoW is the closest thing to my dream game

When I play games I really don't care about the story, where my character came from, or any of that stuff.  When playing an RPG leveling up and gaining new powers and items tend to get boring, as there is always some end point where you cannot progress any further.  The closest game to the "dream game" to me would be World of Warcraft, but not for the story, the questing, the leveling, the bosses, or the items.  

When I played World of Warcraft, leveling was tedious and boring and I would try to find the fastest way possible to reach the max level.  The item grind was also boring.  So how was this even close to being my dream game?  In Game Design: Theory & Practice (2nd Edition) by Richard Rouse III the author states that "The goal of gameplay is to allow for different player strategies to lead to variables of success, to reward player experimentation and exploration, and to empower players to make their own choices." The aspect of the game that fascinated me the most was the PvP.  I'm not talking about the 40v40 battlegrounds where a mass of players group up and slaughter one player.  I'm talking about 3v3 arena battles where team work and communication is key.  Other players make much more difficult opponents than scripted AI.  As a team we had to come up with new strategies, new builds, and perfect our individual gameplay.  If anyone of us messed up by pressing a wrong hotkey it could cost us the match.  What made it even more interesting was the rewards at the end of each season which were unique and could only be achieved by being on the top of the ranking ladder.  There are even tournaments where the best players around the world compete for cash prizes.  

Improving PvP skills is much more rewarding to me than collecting items and powering up my character.  Here I have an old screenshot of a basic arena scenario showing the basic HUD and all my key bindings wow screenshot.  As you can see there is a lot going on and I have a lot of different key bindings.  This allows me extra control over my character and leaves a very large skill gap between other players who don't bind all of their abilities.  Having this many unique abilities and builds allows for players to play the game their own way and lets them develop their skills and put them to the test in the arena.  This is what I believe my dream game should be about.

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