Thursday, April 15, 2010

Decision made

As I confessed in my reply to Larísa of the Pink Pigtail Inn, I had made my decision before I posted the previous question. This blog will stay as my vent channel, room for raving, rage filled cesspool of my subconscious, safe haven of doubt and criticism, place to which I will post my thoughts about the game... and other things. I suppose that applies to Azariell, as soon as he gets his life into the shape in which he can think and write almost simultaneously.

I'm still pondering over starting a new blog for the adventures of my RP character, who is now parked in the starting area of my choice. As it happens, I already took a wordpress blog and made it up to my liking (except for the name banner, which is on the works), so I have a place for the short stories. Whatever has happened to the character before the start of the actual playing is planned, though I have deliberately left some dark or shady areas in there to be filled when the inspiration comes.

In a way, the whole project has started as I would imagine a novel writing process begins: first there is an idea, which gets refined and fine-tuned up until everything is ready to go.

What I noticed yesterday in the game (where I ran a level 1 toon across the continent) was that it really doesn't offer any tools for actual roleplaying. Without certain addons in which you can describe your toon the customisation of the character is pretty lame compared to some other games. Then again, that comes at the price of the smooth visuals and playability: It never ceases to amaze me how responsive and immediate the controls and combat actually is (even though it's quite boring button mashing in the end).

Also the fact which I wrote about few posts earlier bugs me a bit. The fact that the difficulty of the starter areas has been lowered so low that there is no way to actually die in the starter area. The feeling of danger, which is very much present in any single player game from the beginning, is actually missing: the quests are more or less simplistic go-do-return things with some descriptive phrases in the quest text.

I don't remember who wrote a post just this week about what could be done in the starter areas, mentioning that it would be great if the hunters would get their pets right from the beginning and druids their bear/cat forms much earlier. I would like to add the gathering professions to this list: if you think of it, every character has lived in their community up till maturity. Certainly they would have picked up some professional knowledge by then, most probably some gathering profession due to the fact that the fantasy setting is about medieval era.

That's the reason why I picked skinning and herbalism to my RP toon from way to the starter area: one because of the story, the other because of the background. 

If you think of the area design of the starter areas, it's infuriating to run a new character through the next zone: you can see the mining nodes and herbs lying around, but there is no skill to utilize them. Your newbie character leaves dead animals lying around, skins intact, and in some cases the humanoid mobs drop so much cloth you just have to drop it to get the quest items to fit in your bags.

There are so many minor things to make the life of a starting character easier. We can only hope that Blizz does that in Cataclysm instead of making the quests and playing easier.