Saturday, May 17, 2008

Onion thoughts

Is WoW like an onion? The thought came upon me the other day as I was cooking.

The outer coat is kind of hard to get through. You need to be pretty dedicated to make the initial breakthrough. Use a knife. At least if you're new to gaming like I was. To install the game... to find out about spells and skills, how to move, how to kill, how to level... to get a basic picture of it.

Once you're through the coat you'll find new layers, and as you pass them you get more and more involved in the game. For me I only need to go back to the first postings in my blog, three months ago, to realize how much I've been through since then. At that point 25 man raiding was just a distant dream, nothing I honestly thought I would be doing systematically. Now I'm doing it twice every week, and from the initial total confusion being in such a big party, I'm slowly learning to see some kind of pattern, getting comfortable in the situation, getting a better view and better clue of what actually is going on for every fight. I suck from time to time but I improve. I've definitely gotten through not only one but several layers since February.

Still there are so many layers left to explore. I think the next breakthrough will come as I learn more about the interaction between the classes in 25 man raiding. To get the best out of the raid isn't just about watching your aggro on Omen. I need to learn more about exactly what the tank is doing, about how to coordinate my best cooldowns with others, so I actually can make the most out of heroism and other goodies. I need to learn mana management and improve my spell rotations and - above all - become much much quicker, more movable. Often those things come slowly, you learn without really noticing. But if you just stop for a second and look around, you'll see that you've actually put a layer behind you.

The question is of course: is there any core in this onion? Will I eventually reach a point where I can't see any new layer? Yes and no. On one hand I think you'll never ever be so good at this game that there's absolutely nothing you can improve. Or if there was, Blizzard keeps throwing out new challenges, just to keep you away from the core. On the other hand I think you can feel that you've actually reached as far as you can in the game. The point when you're growing bored and start considering quitting the game. Right now I can't imagine that situation, but life isn't eternal, and the same goes with WoW playing, so the day will come. No doubt.

But until then I'll keep on chopping the onion. And I'll enjoy all the aspects of it: the crying from the losses, the sweetness of the victories and the spicy taste from my friendship with all those other lunatics out there.

Yeah. Just like an onion.

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