Written on: September 8, 2009
It’s a fantasy… an alternate life
I won’t say it is perfect, but WoW is a VERY good parallel of everyday life. Sure, you might say “geez, its just a game”… “geez, it’s like war all time, how’s that like real life?”. Leveling up and completing quests are like moving from grades 1-12 to university and achieving them by passing tests and exams. You’re given stuff to do, and if you do them, you get your reward. Unlike many other games, getting to the highest level doesn’t necessarily mean you’re at the top. Rather, you’ve just entered the harsh reality – being unemployed after graduating from university. Everyone is level 80… everyone has a bachelor of some sort. You’re not special in any way with just that. And if you want to get your invitation to raids (getting hired for a job) in order to earn your gold and other benefits (basically money) with just your noobie green gears (a bachelor degree and great knowledge about whatever subject you’ve studed)… good luck. Perhaps if you’re lucky, you might be allowed to stay in the raid and not get kicked (fired). But often times, no.
The gears vs. the experience
Sometimes as you level up, you’d get lucky and come across some blue gears that are better than the green ones. They give you a higher chance of being invited into raids, because they generally have stats that are better than the green gears. If green gears are to the info you learn in books and lecture slides, blue gears are the actual useful knowledge/experience that you need to be successful at your job. You cannot get them just from reading books. Of course, everyone who first gets to level 80 would have one or two blue gears. That’s like saying, everyone must’ve had some sort of volunteer work, part time, RA, or whatever else at some point. So basically, having some blue gears is still not enough to get you into raids most of the time. You need to have all blues, or purples, which are even better and more favourable.
The guild vs. the family
So I lied. Having all blues might still not be enough to get you into these raids, because many players have all purple gears (parallel to lots and lots of experience in a job), and they are the most favoured. Now the question is, how is it possible to get all these blue and purple gears (job experiences), if having green gears (book knowledge) won’t get you into raids, where you can get more blue and purple gears? The simple answer is, your guild – a place where you belong and where you can get help from. Kind of like your parents, teachers, friends, relatives, etc. Your guild is like your resource, other than websites like wowhead.com or wowinsider.com. The number of ways they could help you with getting your gears is countless. But of course, it is not all gives and no takes, by moral standards. The least you could do is get your in-game professions (chores in your house), to create or gather things to add to the guild bank (family possessions or keeping the house clean or whatever sort of contribution to those who help you).
The raids vs. the jobs
Now let say you’re all set to get into raids (you got hired!). Provide that you’ve got the blue and purple gears with the appropriate stats (the right kind of experience… e.g. counseling-experience rather than building-cars-experience for a clinical psychologist), you could still get kicked (fired) if you do something wrong in the raid (the place that hires you). And of course, if the raid sucks (the job sucks), you are also free to leave it (quit) and find another one. Now if you keep doing raids (stay at your job), and getting better and better gears while making lots of gold from it, you’ll become very successful. Now then you might say, well that’s pretty boring… so why bother? Well, that’s life. People want to keep making money and learning more things in real life. WoW life is the same. The feeling of achievement is what makes you want to move on and continue to climb up.
The fun stuff
But of course this is not just all to the game. All these serious-business-ness would just make it so boring… if doing any of the above is considered boring :P. Before I get to the best part, there are also little random devices you could make based on what in-game professions you have. There are also different skills you can learn depending on what your species and the main role you carry in battles. You can also own many pets if you are unable to do so in real life (*points at self*). Together, you can carry out all sort of interactions with other players, like shooting mucus beams at them, pretend to be dead, scaring people and mess up their controls, transform yourself to look like something else, etc.
The ultimate best part
As for the best part, what’s more fun than killing your enemies?? No, this does not imply that I’m even close to being an rl serial killer >.>… so this is the only part that WoW is NOT like real life. Actually, this part is pretty much how WoW is not like real life at all. Hence making it awesome! Other than doing raids (job) to get more gears (work experiences), you can also get them through killing your enemies and gain honour. You’ve been hostile with your enemies the day you were born. So it’s time for revenge as so many of them have killed you during your leveling up process. You can kill them at a designated place where both parties are meant to kill each other – the battlegrounds, or you can ambush them in the wild as they are doing their own things. Another option, or rather, the best option, is to sail across the sea, get into their territories where they’re most concentrated, and kill them together with hundreds of other players as a gigantic mob! What’s even more awesome is that you can literally laugh out loud at them as you stand beside their corpse, and they can hear it. But of course, since this is a game after all, you cannot technically die and be gone forever, which is why it’s so great. When you die, you become a ghost, which can become alive again if you can find your corpse. So the enemy you’ve just killed… yes he’ll come back to life and try to kill you back. Sometimes you’d kill him again, sometimes he’ll kill you, and you’ll pretty much be taking turns and literally lol-ing at each other’s death. And to make me sound less serial-killerish, I’ll just add that both parties benefit from doing this as killing each other would give each lots of honour… so its actually a very morally good thing to do, just to twist the whole situation around :).
Anyway, there are way more reasons than these as to why WoW is so great and addicting. But the point is, it is like having another life… a life where you can do things that you can’t really in real life (e.g. travelling around the world on a flying beast).
Published: August 13, 2011