Lately I have been playing quite a bit of World of Warcraft. I have to admit I’ve come pretty late to this party. It seems there are 11.5 million or so other people enjoying the fruits of Blizzard Entertainment’s labour already.
I first tested the waters of WoW in 2005 and the game didn’t catch, however there is something about being unemployed for a little while that meshes well with the amount of time you have to commit to a game like WoW to get anywhere. Also, since 2005 the game has been continuously updated and revised and it now seems like a much more streamlined entity.
Now even given this streamlining, the game still involes a lot of “grinding” in the early levels. This can make the game a little tedious. Especially considering that the “classic” content of levels 1-60 is considered quite inferior to the newer content of the Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King expansions by grizzled WoW veterans.
I’m still working my way through this grinding process with fairly low level characters and up until recently I had been doing so with just the stock WoW game. I had not looked at any of the user interface add-ons available for WoW from sites like Curse.com. However the other day I decided to check some out, and crikey do they make a difference.
Specifically the add-ons I’m using are Quest Helper and Cartographer 3. Basically they give you GPS and Google Maps style UI features within the WoW game environment. Pointing you directly at quest objectives, ploting the most efficient routes to complete and turn in the quests you have and many other useful features. They also plug-in fairly seamlessly to the existing WoW user interface and aren’t too hideous to look at.
The other night I decided to begin a new Alliance Paladin on an Oceanic Realm (my previous character was on a US Realm) and I’ve been using these add-ons extensively. They seem to be greatly increasing the speed at which I can advance in levels.
Another resource I’ve been using a lot is the website WowHead.com. Which of all the WoW related sites I’ve seen on the net seems to be the best put together and most useful.
So much to my own surprise, I’ve become quite a fan of WoW. As I said previously, at first blush I didn’t think that much of it, but I can safely say that now I don’t resent the monthly subscription fee Blizzard charges my credit card each month.