If I join can I build a little house there? Or is that just Minecraft?
i was surprised he didn’t venture to Winterspring, or up towards the northern coast of the Eastern Kingdoms. both places have been empty for several expansions. i love hanging out in quiet places in azeroth sometimes.
This really takes me back. I played on average 8 plus hours a day, 5-6 days a week, from game launch in 2004 to mid 2008 (plus I have returned briefly for some of the expansions since then). While a good amount of time was spent raiding, I am actually an outgoing introvert and so can be perfectly social for a time but then need some alone time to recharge. What this meant in game was I spent many many hours searching for the most remote, least seen areas including places that were not supposed to be accessible by players. [Queue wave of nostalgia]
I know this is slightly different from the article which focused on once bustling places that are now all but abandoned but I figured there are likely some other explorers here. While I did enjoy raiding, in retrospect exploring alone or with a friend while chatting was the time that was most fulfilling.
What is “World of Warcraft”? I always assumed that WoW meant “Wendy O Williams”.
You weren’t alone --well, you know what I mean…
As someone who mostly did single player quests in the game (ALL of them), had trouble finding groups, and probably was ill-suited to MMOs to begin with, I heavily identify with this. I explored every corner, and even a couple expansions ago, a lot of it was empty. One that I’d add to this list is Undercity, which always seemed to be completely empty except for NPCs, though that just made it more spooky.
So what would be the obscure corners of Wendy O. Williams’ world? Reform School Girls? Stand by your Man?
“Maggots” is one of my faves, and seems to be surprisingly obscure.
World of Warcraft recently celebrated its 10th anniversary of being online, and even though millions of people still play WoW, as this article suggests, the numbers since its peak have certainly dwindled, despite the expansions and jiggering of game dynamics they’ve come up with in recent months (like tokens that can be traded for subscription fees that can be bought with in-game gold). I’m not so sure how accurate this article is. It doesn’t take into account an advanced feature that Blizzard introduced with the expansion pack before last, when they came up with a solution to combat the problem of low population areas that this article describes, with mixed results…
The innovation was turn some or even all in-game areas into cross-realm zones. So even though you create your character on any one of dozens of servers (or “realms”), you could come across players from other servers playing right along side of you. Think of it like bringing together parallel but identical universes at will. This alleviated the problem of being all alone while you quested, and it also allowed you to find other players to group with for hard quests, dungeons, and raids. And Blizzard can turn this option on and off at-will, so if a particular area in the game gets particularly crowded, they can restrict the number of servers accessing any particular zone at any particular time, balancing for optimized server resources and gameplay.
They also added a mechanism that would create optimized teams of players from all across the realms (one tank, one healer, and 3 damage dealers for a dungeon run, for example) without any user intervention aside from adding yourself to the queue. As a result, there are no more of the endless “LFG” (looking for group) calls on the game chat anymore.
It’s been made so easy that it’s possible to level your character up solely by running dungeons over and over, and not doing any of the more mundane quests that used to be so important to the game. And, along with the alternate gameplay options, like PVP arenas, the rewards for these alternate gameplay options are usually much greater than the mundane quests, that I would imagine a large segment of the players of the game now don’t even bother doing the quests. So if there really are obscure corners of the world, as the article suggests, this may be the reason why.
One downside with the cross-realm zones feature is that you’re not only competing with people in your own universe to collect whatever it is you have to collect, but you could be competing with many dozens of other players for the same limited resources, be it a mushroom or a mini-boss. This is especially noticeable in the low-level starter areas, where there will be a line of people waiting for a particular NPC to respawn so they can finish a quest, and its especially acute in low-level areas, because despite all of the innovations, you still need to level your character up to a certain level before you can access the dungeons or the pvp areas.
But maybe the worst thing that the cross-realms feature has done is that it has caused major trade issues in the game, because you cannot trade items across realms. So if you’re in the middle of a dungeon with other players in your ad-hoc group, you can’t give them a health potion, or unlock the locked treasure box that they found because they’re from a parallel universe. And you can’t stand in the middle of Ogrimmar and offer to enchant people’s weapons for the same reason. And the auction houses are only on a server-by-server basis, so if your server is low-population, then the number of people who will buy or sell to you is really, really low, even though you may be standing next to dozens of toons in the auction house.
These could all be signs of the death-throes of one of the longest running and easily the most successful mmorpg so far, but the picture this article paints may be a little premature.
If you go along the edge of Kalimdor, between Silithus and … whatever that Egyptian zone at the bottom is, there’s a little beach with an empty cave. I liked to park my characters there. Sometimes you could watch the “sunset”.
something something Wednesdays. According to Opie and Anthony, at least.
Surely not the Motorhead duet?
Yep, that’s the one. Should I have gone with Candy Goes to Hollywood instead?
My travelog from my days as a WoW traverler:
Dunno. Got a ping pong paddle?
Just look at it.
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