Friday, April 1, 2016

[WoW] New Player Experience

I finally made it Level 20 on my Worgen Rogue and got the achievement and the alternate hero skin in Hearthstone.



After getting to Level 20, I'm not a huge fan of the Rogue class. I picked Combat as my specialization and I'm not sure if its the spec I don't like or the low level combat or what but it didn't feel fun or exciting. I think if Blizzard is expecting to attract of bunch of new players with the Warcraft movie, they need to look at the starting player experience because as it stands right now, I'm not sure I would have stuck with WoW if my early experience had been like leveling this Rogue.

Blogger Rohan had a similar experience trying the promotion.

I decided to try this experiment like a truly new player. I didn't get any heirlooms nor did I used my Chauffered Chopper. I picked Worgen as that is one starting zone I've never done before.

Narrative


The narriative in Gilneas was a strong poing of my leveling experience. The story kept me engaged and I loved the big climax with Sylvanas and Greymane. Once I left Gilneas and went to Darnassaus the story slowed down a bit until I got to the Ruins of Auberdine. Auberdine was where I made one of my first characters in World of Warcraft, a Night Elf Druid. It was heartbreaking to see what had happened to Auberdine during the Cataclysm. All those quest givers and merchants that I had known way back when where dead and gone. It hit me more than I thought it would.

Combat


While the story was the highlight, the other mechanics and social aspects felt offputting. Even though I was in nothing but quest rewards (mostly greens and maybe one blue), nothing proved to be even slightly difficult. Most mobs died before I could build up any combo points. Sinister Strike, Sinister Strike, and Eviscerate if it wasn't dead which it usually was.

While I didn't out level the quests (they were still yellow), often the mobs I needed to kill were a couple of levels below me (green) and that may have contributed somewhat.

The rotation felt empty and repetitive. You simply don't get that many skills by Level 20. My suggestion here would be to give the character more skills sooner.

(anti) Social


I didn't see anyone that looked like a truly new player. Perhaps they were all on realms that advertise in the realm list as "For New Players", but you'd think there would be some bleed over from cross realm zones. Every player I encountered was heirloomed out and riding their Chauffered Chopper.

The other players pretty much ignored me. I looked like a new player (although later I realized I did have 'the Noble' title which would be a dead giveaway I wasn't new). It made leveling a very quite and lonely experience.

It was disheartening to see a fully heirloom equipped Warlock waltz into the camp, pull everything and blast it down. I'd watch him drive off on his Chauffered Chopper while I waited for the mobs I needed to respawn.


Group Content


It was even worse when I made the mistake of queuing up for a dungeon. I already deal with some insecurity as a DPS. Generally, I'm not as good at the DPS role and I feel like I'm not contributing as much. With the group I got for my dungeon run, it was basically like being run through by a max level toon. The mobs died before I could even get into range. It was a summarily unfun experience and I didn't queue up again.

Welcome to WoW Wagon


Blizzard needs to take a long look at this, but I love that the players are also taking an active role trying to make it better. Player GloriaBoboria has started a Welcome To WoW Wagon. It won't address the mechanical issues, but it can go a long way for the social ones. I think its a great idea. Check it out if you get a chance.

1 comment:

Xénu said...

The social aspect (outside a guild) in wow was killed by LFG. Sure it made getting an instance group quicker but you lost the experience of meeting people on your realm.