This might sound like I'm endorsing the idea that things should be boring, but that's not it - tedium will get you to log off faster than anything. No, my point is just that the pursuit of universally fun gameplay would be as destructive as any other monomania, and furthermore, it's doomed in a game with so much variety anyway. A short list of things I personally don't find fun in World of Warcraft would include the following:
- Pet collecting
- Pet battles
- Mount collecting
- Holiday event
- The tillers
Before the Operation: Shieldwall
and Dominance Offensive
daily quest hubs, I would have added daily quests to that list, but those proved to me that I could
enjoy dailies again. My point is not that those things aren't fun, nor even that they're not fun to me
, but that their not being fun to me does not stop me in participating in some of them and even enjoying the participation. I've completed quite a few achievements and gotten several rare and hard to get mounts and even had fun doing it, not for the things themselves, but for the participation, for taking part in something. But even divorced from that, their presence in the game even when I don't enjoy them doesn't hurt the game for me - in a way, it helps to accent the things I do
enjoy, like raiding and collecting rare weapon models for transmogrification.
Furthermore, processes like reforging, enchanting and gear gemming, as means to an end, aren't to my mind full-fledged aspects of gameplay to be judged and weighted on their own merits. They're part
of the things I find fun. Would I enjoy an entire game that was reforging? No. I'd find it a tedious and highly mathy minigame and I wouldn't do it if it didn't make me better at doing what I do
enjoy, but it does
do that, and the same is true of enchanting. Do I find disenchanting items fun? No. Do I chortle with joy when I socket a crit gem? No. But that's fine - I also don't giggle with delight at how much fun it is to walk to the bus stop on my way to a movie. To use a game example, I'm not delighted with how much fun it is to fly to a raid, and I don't clap my hands with glee when Mark of the Wild is cast on me. There's fun, and there's fun
, and I find World of Warcraft
fun or I wouldn't keep playing it. But that doesn't mean I find every single second of it fun any more than I find every second of any game or activity fun. With an interactive entertainment like WoW
, in order to really enjoy it you need valleys and peaks, and you won't get those if there's no base state to compare them to.
My ultimate argument would be that contrast is necessary, and moreover that it's acceptable to have systems in place that assist
fun rather than being fun in and of themselves. I could argue that I enjoy, in a relaxed way, the time spent contemplating these things and the ends that provide me with motivation to execute the means. Some of the game exists to get you ready for the rest of it, some of it won't ever be to your personal taste but fits that of others, and that's as it should be.
Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.