Everybody’s got something to hide

… even me. My monkey, however, is innocent.

This will come as no surprise to anyone except maybe me, as I finally realise that I’m not an AC-junkie, or an EQ2 junkie, or an SWG junkie — what I am, is an MMO junkie. Corollary to that is: never say never.

When I quit WoW for the last time in summer 2005, I never thought I’d go back. Basically, I have zero interest in item-grinding and actually a negative interest in raiding, which together form 100% of what WoW is apparently about once you hit the endgame. (Oh yeah, and I don’t like that term either.) To be extremely blunt, it also got really tiring to find myself explaining to my guildies at the time that I. Didn’t. Care. that I wasn’t wearing all the latest and greatest purple shiz. Seriously — if all my stuff is “of the monkey” green, don’t worry yourself about it, okay? I’m happy with it. I wasn’t defending my playstyle 24/7, but it was often enough that it got pretty irritating. I don’t poke at people for spending months chasing one item in raids only so they can then spend months chasing the next item, which to me seems to be the absolute epitome of pointless gametime-wastage. So don’t question my game choices, one of which is not to care about WoW’s biggest carrot: combat stuff.

Ah, but there are many kinds of stuff, and some of the WoW stuff kicks the crap out of just about anything else out there except, possibly, EQ2. WoW has pets… but no housing. (SWG has stuff too but I’m peeved that after 5 years they still haven’t made a decent looking set of lounge furniture.) EQ2 has housing and some pretty awesome other stuff, but it still looks to me like it’s been spraycoated in plastic wrap (though it seems to be less brown than it used to be, judging by Pete’s screenshots).

So, um, with my WAR-RvR ennui and general beta fatigue for another game I can’t mention (coming on the heels of WAR’s pretty ropey performance in the past few months), and because of — ah crap, I have no real excuse. Bloggers I read have been talking about “stuff” and other bloggers have been talking about WoW, and of course CoW has expanded into Warcrack, and various people posted pictures of the cute companion pets — anyway, it’s everyone’s fault except mine, okay?

Saturday, I downloaded the WoW trial (which impressively took mere minutes), and spent the rest of the day reacquainting myself with Dark Elf starting areas (man I hate those Gnarlpine shamans). Sunday, I found out I had a free trial for the Burning Crusade… so I spent the bloody day downloading 18 million bloody clients. Trial = win, day downloading = yawn. Nonetheless, I did manage to make a character and spend a couple of minutes checking out the Blood Elf starting area. Those Blood Elves… they’re a little glowy, aren’t they? I was expecting more blood and less Kate-Mossyness.

Still, I’ll tell you one shameful thing: it is such a relief playing a game that has solid performance and good framerates. I hadn’t realised how utterly tired I am of performance OR looks, or of crashing regularly no matter what I do; this latter, admittedly, has been more of a problem in the GITICN* than WAR, but still — each crash reduces one’s overall gaming enjoyment. Get enough of them, and I get really really cranky(er).


* Game I Test I Can’t Name

Shouldn’t the only way be up?

In the last week, or whatever it’s been, while my enthusiasm for WAR has remained high, my general tolerance for this end of beta phase has gone down about as far as it can. Every patch which will supposedly “be worth the wait” breaks something else. Options which should remain checked when you check em uncheck themselves every time you log out. UI elements go missing from one patch to another. Performance has gone steadily downhill; sure, I don’t CTD much, but I’m having trouble moving around even on fastest framerate settings when a few weeks back, even with a full screen, I was fine on medium or high. Granted they’ve been adding a lot of stuff — my question is, is it GOOD stuff?

Not impressed. And really out of patience with the beta tease. It may not be Mythic’s fault, but I will be glad when this Beta Madness is over. Tomorrow, hopefully. Then only launch madness and maybe things can settle down.

A last but not least thought for those in the path of Ike, which is set to hit pretty soon. Be careful out there.