The lameness of World of Warcraft—and what to do about it.

The lameness of World of Warcraft—and what to do about it. – By Chris Dahlen – Slate Magazine

Nice article… here’s a quote:

Warcraft also limits your choices when it comes to gameplay. The citizens of Warcraft are like migrant workers—they get their marching orders, and they follow them to the letter. Players never face moral quandaries and never get to choose between an upstanding act and an evil one. Instead of just barging through every problem with a sword and a club, Warcraft should let players negotiate their way through conflicts. If someone pays you to run an errand, do you follow through honestly or steal their money? Should you betray one faction to win favor with another—and what happens if you pick the wrong side? Other commercial role-playing games, like the best-selling Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, are full of these types of decisions. It’s time Warcraft gets with the program. (Chris Dahlen, Nov 14, 2006)

This mirrors what I was lamenting last summer about common problems space flight-sims and MMOGs share… I didn’t say much about MMOGs in that post, though… but here’s a post (which is still short but not as short) I made on my guild’s forums about how to improve World of Warcraft:

Slashdot has a story summarizing a keynote given at a game conference about the design philosophy of Blizzard.

There’s only one thing I really, really miss from single-player RPGs that WoW doesn’t have: interesting moral choices.

Wouldn’t it be cool, for example, if there were quests to get items off of certain monsters? Now I don’t mean cougar ears or whatever the crap we have to collect are… I mean like a big ol magic weapon that we have to decide to either keep and thus never finish the quest or to turn in for XP and maybe a lesser item reward.

It would also be neat if there were two quest givers for the same item or with quests that when completed prevented the other from completing and you had to choose which to do and somehow that choice actually resulted in some sort of indicator about your character like a “ruthless” tag or something…

Anyway.. I’m rambling. What I’m essentially saying here is that I wish more quests were styled after ones found in Bioware games. (Mark Chen, Sep 7, 2006)

To add to this, wouldn’t it be great if we had to choose factions? The current rep grind totally sucks. How about gaining Cenarian Circle rep lowers Thorium Brotherhood rep, etc? That would be neat. Multiple conflicting quests from different factions and your standing with those factions actually had some sort of in-game significance. The biggest problem with this that I can see is balancing the rewards from different quests for the different factions without making the rewards basically the same no matter which you complete. But I know… something drastic in a subscription based game… how about less emphasis on loot and abilities and stats and more emphasis on role-play and reputation with titles like “bastard” and “holier than thou?” Etc.

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