Tuesday, June 16, 2009

If WoW was like Sims…

Sims has entered our home, on my initiative.

No, I haven’t considered changing games all of a sudden. It’s rather the opposite. I had this cunning plan that if my teenage girl played it on her own computer, she’d be less likely to complain about me occupying the WoW machine, which happens to have the best internet connection available in the house.

So I bought the game, she installed it and I watched over her shoulder as she started to create her characters.

I watched and watched and as time passed I grew more and more impatient. The task seemed endless. My skin started to itch and my toes were tapping nervously as she thoroughly screened through dozens of different sorts of shoes. And then she needed some eyeliner of the right colour to match. This was followed by hairstyles, sleeping garments, accessories, a never-ending list of multiple-choice boxes, one after each other.

When will she finish the setup procedure and start playing the game? I have no idea. As far as I know of she’s still making her way through a wardrobe, which would make Paris Hilton a happy girl.

If you look at it from the bright side, she can surely play her new game without any competition from her mother. All those choices are effectively putting me off from trying it even once. I certainly have enough of choices to make in my everyday life. The very thought of having to make up my mind about thousands of irrelevant details in the game makes me uneasy.

Real life choices
In real life I do my best to avoid some of the strains that come with freedom of choice. For instance I don’t spend a minute more in clothing stores than I have to. I’m mostly dressed in black, even though my girls frown upon it, telling me it’s dull. And I’ve had the same kind of hair cut for at least 15 years. It probably sounds extremely boring, but it’s easy, and that’s why I love it.

Similarly I refuse to respond to dozens of telephone, cable TV and electricity providers who keep trying to interest me for their offers. I don’t care. I don’t want to compare prices, I don’t want to be a clever goblin, looking for the best bargain right now and then changing every second month.

“Go away”, I respond whenever they call me. “I’m happy to stay with my current provider and pay a little bit more than needed because I don’t want to waste my energy, effort and precious time on informing myself and making those choices. You may think I’m a loser, but I’m fine with it. Just go away!”

In-game choices
I guess my exhaustion of real life choices is somehow connected to my reluctance to decide things about the looks of my character in game.

I remember looking at the screen as I decided about the looks of Larísa. One earring, two earrings or no earring at all? How should I know? The hair colour and style was a no-brainer of course, but the rest was just a pain to decide. And yet the choices were rather limited in comparison to Sims.

In the past WoW players have been asking for more possibilities to vary their characters, making them special. Some of their prayers have been heard and nowadays you’re free to pop by the hairdresser whenever you feel like it or making changes that go further, trading your name and sex if you’re prepared to pay for it.

I’m glad those people can get that what they want, but I’m also glad that Blizzard has chosen to keep the character creation rather limited. I really wouldn’t want to have it another way.

A little bit of vanity
Don’t I ever try out the paper doll aspect of WoW, putting on useless vanity gear just to see how it looks? Well, I do, occasionally.

Last time it happened was last week, when I was just about to sell the grey quest reward hat from the daily fishing quest: The Battered Jungle Hat. Realizing it would only give me a few copper, I tried it on instead. And I found that for the first time ever I had found a head in the game that was worth displaying. It looked gorgeous.

To let Larísa wear it was out of the question however; the risk was too big that she would forget to put on her real gear when it was time for raiding. On the other hand it certainly was a perfect outfit for my bank alt in Ironforge. She’s now the prettiest level 1 gnome in Ironforge, without any competition. But that’s about how much effort I’ll ever put into making my characters look good.

I’m sure there are players who think that the meaning of playing WoW is to make up good-looking characters. I’m just not one of those.

If WoW was like Sims, I swear I would never have made it passed the creation screen.


Elnia said...

Now that gives me an idea! I wonder if you can cross dress in WOW. I do have a pretty dress in my bank. Maybe I should send it to my male bank alt and let him wear it. In fact, it's probably already there. He'd just need to put it on.

krizzlybear said...

As long as you don't cross dress a male gnome, the world is your oyster, Elnia.

Ngita said...

My bank alt since last week has been Tux, cane and Jungle hat:)

Firespirit said...


I think it is rude for a newbie blogger to link without letting you know :)

"...I want this blog to be as well written and thought out as Larisa’s (and her fantastic bartender) over at The Pink Pigtail Inn..."


Anonymous said...

"I had this cunning idea that if my teenage girl played it on her own computer, she’d be less likely to complain about me occupying the WoW machine, which happens to have the best internet connection available in the house."

Smart thinking :)

And Elnia, you've only just now started wondering about cross dressing? Half my guild have been parading their orc and troll guys around in those valentine's dresses since they came out! It's an orc! In a dress! Don't ask me, man.

Klepsacovic said...

My orc death knight got the blue valentine dress this year. It matches his eyes perfectly.

My belf paladin has a full set of dresses and several hats, including a sombrero and Bloodsail Admiral's hat. I had to stop carrying around dresses due to bag problems. Then there are the old world sets I've been gathering. It's a shame old naxx is gone, I'd only gotten two pieces.

In the end WoW is a lot of dress-up. Rather than colors and patterns, we have stats. Rather than asking where someone found this or that dress or fabric, we talk about boss kills.

Jormundgard said...

Completely unrelated to your post, but a noob tip: You can usually sell that Battered Jungle Hat for a nice profit. I've gotten from 25 to 40g for it on the AH :).

Carra said...

Well, you haven't seen my cute bank gnome. It has a monocle, a *monocle*!

Research shows that people don't like having too much choice. The choice should be limited to about seven items or people will give up trying to find the best item.

Personally, I hate choosing too. If I see 7 brands of eggs, I have to start looking for the cheapest. It's why I like shops like Aldi. You have one choice for everything. One brand of eggs. Maybe that brand of eggs is a little bit more expensive then the cheapest from those 8 brands. But I don't have to waste my time so I'm happy.

PS: it's a cunning plan, not a cunning idea :)

Larísa said...

@Elnia: can't be! There surely must be a gender restriction considering the silly nobleguarden bunny achievement... Nah, kidding. Will be interesting to see how long it takes before you'll start to get insults thrown at you.

@Krizzly: and what's wrong about a male gnome in a beautiful pink robe if I may ask?

@Ngita: hm... yeah not that the hat turned out so pretty I may get her some more gear. Got a few dresses around in some bag, I may try it out now.

@Firesprit: cheers and thanks for the kind words. Good luck in your blogging ventures. Didn't first understand it was you who.

Wow... Never seen that kind of parades on my server. Must be quite something to see!

@Klepsacovic: you have a point... we tell ourselves that we're cool guys killing bad monsters, while we're not much different from girls playing with paper dolls...

@Jormundgard: I'm really such a noob. I think I've deleted at least one of those hats before I decided to try it on and found out how nice it looked. Shows that I spend too little time at AH.

@Carra: oh thanks. I'd better change that. We've got to arrange so our bank alts will have a date at Stormrage. They'll surely make a beautiful couple. Too bad the romantic picnic basket is on my main though.

Fish said...

At the renaissance festival here in ohio, there's a group that performs called "the Swordsmen" and they have a saying "It's not about winning, it's about LOOKING GOOD!" Accessorizing is why my main is Paladin and not a druid. Even in early TBC, I enjoyed the druid playstyle a lot more, but Paladins are running around in cool looking plate armor, that just does it for me. And the lack of accessorizing is why I stuck with guild wars for all of a few hours.

Krytus said...

I really enjoy your blog Larísa, thanks for sharing a little bit of you.

I just wanted to share an advice: You need to level your bank toon to level 10, remember Blizzard doesn't save information for characters below this level, so there's no way they're going to be able to replace your possessions in dire need.


krizzlybear said...

@larisa: Robes aren't a problem. It's when they start wearing holiday dresses that one should probably look the other way.

Fitz said...

@ Carra, if you are shopping at Aldi and not getting prices cheaper than any choice at Kroger/Hy-Vee/Meijer/etc. (other than ridiculous sales obviously), then Aldi has failed its purpose. :-)

As for Sims, I delved into Animal Crossing on consoles, which was Nintendo's version or knockoff of Sims. I got so bored after 2 weeks of play. The gameplay of those games is not what you'd be looking for unless you enjoyed playing with the paper doll and dailies of WoW more than anything else.

Sprink of Archimonde said...

I am totally guilty of playing dress up with my characters, but not as badly as some of my friends. The boyfriend, for example, has like 4 dresses on his male belf pally. I laugh every time how Llem has more dresses than Sprink does. ^_^

Eury said...

I honestly have 2 dress up things for Eury. One is the Red Winter outfit I mean - how can you go wrong with a Santa look. A skanky Santa look, but Santa none the less. The other is one I used to do a screenshot for the website.

I will say, the hat is definitely awesome. Makes me wonder how many things I have vendored in the past that would have looked rockin'. I always forget to try things on Eury, even when I get new gear.

The one exception that I KNOW I will try on immediately is any replacement for those ugly UGLY t7 gloves. I mean yellow - come on Blizz. YUCK.

Kromus said...

Well, i love dressing in my pirate and farmer outfit, as today's G.Anniversary showed, Larisa :D.


But Yeah-- I love choices, as long as they don't give oyou a huge advantage over other players, because then i feel underpressure.

I love vanity choices such as hair. The barber addition was awesome :D.

Larísa said...

@Fish: talking about assesoirs, isn't it annoying that some of them just don't display! Oh, how I wish that my necklace, rings and cool trinkets were viewable! That would make all those toons dressed in tier-sets look more different from each other.

@Krytus: oh you're so right. now I'm not a goblin businessman, so my banker is far from wealthy. But still, you're right, especially if I would stark taking AH more seriously. I've got a level 9 lock that I think is stalled in IF as well. Would be easy to give her another level and then switch banker. Thanks for heads-up!

@Sprink of Archimonde: haha, I can imagine. We had a special guilt event last night, which I will write about later. I was amazed at how dressed-up all those normally pretty serious guys were!

@Eury: I do it too rarely too - try things on. I really should become better at it. I think I've missed a lot during the years. But considering my lack of bag space maybe it's for the good...

@Kromus: I've never ever seen a farmer outfit before. A perfect disguise in Westfall... How on Earth did you get hold of that?

HolyWarrior said...

My massive hunky looking male human bank alt wears the very same hat with cufflinks, carrying a beerstein, wearing a shirt and an elegant dress :P

Ziboo said...

Dress up is fun! Ziboo is the bank alt and she has 6 dresses I believe at this time.

Others have Valentines dresses, hats from vendors, etc.

It is one thing I miss from EQ2. Two layers of gear. One is your 'stat' armor and the top layer is the 'appearance' slot (after lvl 20).

It could be any gear that is usable by your character (ie no plate for the clothies).

Very individual looks.

It helped tailors/carpenters/blacksmith classes stay employed to with all the varied patterns for costume type gear that people wanted.