WoW on the Mind – Part Three
Larisa has perfectly explained (I think) one of the most attractive parts of playing WoW (using a great onion metaphor) – you begin small, with a couple of abilities and some basic tasks to do. As you level and progress within the game, you build upon this understanding, and delve deeper, finding more new and exciting things as you go. You also become more adept at playing your class, and discover new and better ways of doing things which you hadn’t really thought about before. As you become more comfortable you experiment a little, and push yourself to achieve more difficult things. Each more difficult thing you accomplish both creates enjoyment and drives you to go further within the game.
The sense of achievement and the enjoyment that accompanies progression is another reason why people stay interested in the game. People always want to reach a level which is slightly higher than where they are currently at. Improving yourself and learning new things about the game is exciting and entertaining. Even something as small as a new piece of gear can leave me incredibly excited (I just scored a new helm the other day, and I was literally bouncing up and down on my seat with joy). The things that we achieve are also scaled well (for the raider, at any rate). Smaller achievements as well level happen more frequently, but provide less of a ‘rush’ if you will. As we improve, the achievements happen less often, but are much more rewarding when they do happen. Obviously, progression can be a reason for some people not playing as well – if you are unable to progress any further because of real life commitments, or just not wanting to spend any more time within the game, then you will often quit in frustration. However, there are so many branches of progression that someone can branch out in. Different friends of mine all have different goals, and these also help ‘fill the void’ when nothing else in the game is quite as satisfying anymore. I have one friend who has levelled a character of almost every class to 70, and that is one of his main goals. Another friend is determined to hit the gold cap. Many others collect a variety of things, whether it be mounts, pets, titles, or recipes. PvP also provides another opportunity to experience progression, especially arena. Being able to ‘better’ your character means that you feel more excited about playing.