Game Criticism Time Machine is a weekly series where I find game criticism from more than a year ago, post an excerpt, and encourage you to read the piece.
As far as RPG quests go, this was about as stereotypical as you could get. Bring back seven feathers and seven of something else from the creatures wandering the nearby plain. I don’t remember what they were called, but it doesn’t really matter. The first thing I think is “Why seven?” Is that a special number? Why not ten? Or fifteen? It seemed somewhat arbitrary. So I go forth from the village, ready to pillage the countryside. I encounter my first creature and attack. My first encounter with combat in the game was less than satisfying. The animations were relatively simple, and there was no sense of weight or impact when you hit your foe. It seemed to be somewhat turn based since I would attack, then the creature, then me again, and so on. He fell beneath the blows of my hammer nonetheless and I searched its corpse for the items I needed. Yay, a feather! But not the other item I needed (I can’t remember what else I was supposed to find). But I did get a couple cracked eggs! So I needed to kill more than just seven. I understood right away that this was a grind. Keep killing hapless monsters until I get what I need and, hopefully, level up in the process.
Eventually I killed enough creatures to get what I needed and headed back to the village. The guy was pleased and let me choose a piece of armor for myself. It seemed like a pretty good upgrade, and he had another quest for me. Kill ten cougars and bring back their furs! Ugh. Ok. So I went and did that. At one point my health was somewhat low, and a person with a higher level druid character wandered by and healed me. I thought that was nice of him. He had nothing to gain by it as far as I knew. I brought back the required number of furs and got another piece of armor. I was given a new quest to go find a missing woman who had wandered from the village.
This is a pretty run of the mill criticism of World of Warcraft, but the shocking part is that this critique written in 2008 lands just as hard today as it did six years ago. It is amazing to me that WoW hasn’t changed in any real way since then.