17 March 2007

The start of an obsession

Short version: I can blame it all on my brother.

Long version: I am not a serious gamer. But I have spent a lot of time with various games. One of those was the original Diablo, and eventually both Eric and I spent quite a bit of time on Diablo II. So we were rather well acquainted with Blizzard through that.

When WoW came out, I was a bit confused. I was familiar with the Warcraft series, even though I'd never played it. And I wasn't sure how you could make a RTS into a MMO game. Even when I learned the details, it seemed like an odd combination. And after the isometric projections of the Diablo games, I wasn't jazzed about the first-person perspective of WoW. At any rate, I didn't have the hardware or the dedication to get involved with it. So I went down different paths.

One of the games I enjoyed during that time was Call of Duty. And I played quite a bit of it. But online play was a different beast. My brother and I played a few times, and I played on my own too. But frankly, we weren't even close to skilled enough. The curve is so steep that there was no way to compete with even normal players online. My tactics weren't good enough, I got lost in the maps, and (maybe most importantly) my reaction speed just wasn't fast enough. Not enough twitch in these almost-40-years-old hands, I guess.

So, back to my brother. Knowing me perhaps too well, he gave me WoW as a Christmas gift. It sounded good, but I was reluctant, based on my limited previous online experience. After a few days, though, I loaded it up and began to play. After all, I could try the initial 14 days and then quit if it sucked -- or if I sucked at it.

It didn't. I didn't.

Maybe later I'll post a detailed recollection of my first impressions. But I can give a quick summary. One, the UI took a bit of getting used to. It was more complex than the WWII FPS games I'd spent time with. But after maybe 5 minutes, I was moving around quite well. And oh my, but Azeroth was a beautiful place.

So, that was in late December. I've been playing WoW -- a lot -- since then. I knew that Eric and DK would be interested too, so at some point I invited them over to check it out. And they fell in love as well. Both started asking for chances to come over and play their own characters. Soon, Eric gave in, upgraded his Macintosh, and began his own WoW career. And not long after that, DK followed the same path.

And that brings us to now. The three of us will play separately and play together; we'll arrange times to meet up online and play 3-man teams. We haven't been at it long -- two weeks, perhaps. But we're having a blast.

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