As copies of The Raider’s Companion arrive across the U.S. and internationally, this morning I awoke to an email from Chris consoling me on my first bad review. It seems someone on Amazon did not like my book at all. Now were this my first book I’d be pretty upset. This time, I honestly don’t mind. Not everyone is going to like the book and I am able to accept that. The fun thing about this review is that the complaint was “This book is not about World of Warcraft.” I’m not kidding! Go check it out! I thought, what a wonderful thing! I have something to write about!
I honestly can’t say I blame the guy (although he does start his review with So many schlock World of Warcraft guides). World of Warcraft is still an extremely prevalent MMORPG. Even in decline it far exceeds what most games dream of. I am still surprised to still see players with such a WoW-centric mentality. Nowhere does my book claim that it is a “WoW Guide” and the product page on Epic Slant Press specifically says it isn’t. So that leaves me to ask the question: Does the average MMORPG player still use the term MMORPG as a synonym for World of Warcraft?
Just recently Gordon wrote a great article asking whether people were ashamed of playing MMORPGs and I had to comment there, just as I do now. When I meet people outside of the genre and I say “I play Rift” they stare at me blankly. Then I smile and say, “WoW” and they nod sagely and go, “Oh right, my friend plays that.” It has truly become part of the vernacular. Even as more players come into the fold the baseline still seems to be WoW. That is slightly frustrating to me as a UO/EQ player but it is what it is! I don’t call tissue tissue, I call it Kleenex. World of Warcraft is the Kleenex of MMORPGs and, evidently, raiding!
A Charitable Opportunity
What concerns me most about this trend is that a lot of players are missing out on truly great MMORPGs! Think about that for a minute. If you only know about WoW you might miss out on something amazing like Eve Online or Rift. You’ll never know the joys of EverQuest and the dangers of Ultima Online. Most important of all, you’ll never understand why this is funny:
(For more hilarious MMO/gaming themed comics like this check out Gu Comics by Woody Hearn, he is one of the best)
Do we have a duty as the informed MMORPG player to educate our WoW brethren? Should we form some sort of coalition of the “other than WoW players”? I’d say yes, but also, that sounds like a lot of work and I’ve got other things to do. I agreed to stop picking on World of Warcraft as part of my New Years resolution but I didn’t say anything about teasing the players! Enjoy your Saturday everyone!