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Subject: [Review] World of Warcraft: Utter trash rss

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Chris
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World of Warcraft the Boardgame
Putting the trash in Ameritrash since 2005

(or 1991 if you believe my speculative history)

“There’s black gold in them thar hills,” said G W Bush and he didn’t even think of the oxymoronic nature of gold being black since it was a term he’d heard all the while growing up as a whippersnapper on his pappy’s oil farm, “and we’re a-gonna git it.” And so it was that the combined arms armed forces of the United States of America united and combined with the combined arms armed forces of the United Kingdom and illegally invaded the sovereign (but apparently bad to the bone, b-b-b-b-bad) state of Iraq to fuel the “developed” world’s demand for oil.

Who do we have to thank for this?

You.

You and the Amerealspiel/Ameritrash manufacturers. Every ARS/AT game you buy represents another fraction of a barrel of gooey dead sea creature for which those poor Iraqi people suffer.

In the same way that Iraq was invaded looking for weapons that didn’t exist so too have people opened the box and looked for fun in this game. An important difference is that it doesn’t take the Central Intelligence Agency to release a report about World of Warcraft saying that the few fourteen year old remnants found did not match with the object of their search.

In the same way that you’re not really expecting yanks to talk to Iraqis while they’re fighting you’re not going to talk to your opposition. In the same way that occupation forces have been in Iraq too long this game goes on too long. You’re going to spend a lot of time not talking to others, not even your own team. I suppose there would be some kind of cool factor present if you were a small, unshaven, unwashed SAS trooper laid up in a ditch by the side of the road with a broken radio communicating via hand signals at dawn waiting for a young sheep herder to pass before escaping across the Syrian border—but you’re not. You’re a fat, balding, unwashed, unshaven adolescent who lacks people skills and who needs all the practise at communicating with human beings you can get.

Some of you may be offended at this time. All I have to say to you is this: Go on a diet and get a toupee. Others will no doubt be recalling the book Bravo Two Zero. While some members of that patrol have criticised McNab for making up torture stories about being burned with heated spoons (which is odd as we all know there is no spoon) and having teeth pulled not one has decided to criticise him for omitting the sections about being forced to have played a prototype copy of World of Warcraft. Apparently that’s not a story they want publicised anymore than some members of the USA want Guantanamo Bay brought to mind. It’s odd that the prisoners themselves are perpetrating this cover-up of an article 17 breach rather than Iraq. I suppose eighteen years worth of showers have not washed away the stench and shame of that experience. Some members of B20 actually threw themselves into cold rivers at night and died of hypothermia rather than risk being forced to play.

The game play itself leaves a lot to be desired—in that it’s not play. I enjoy playing games. Sometimes I’ll play games with others, sometimes I’ll play games with myself, I don’t always win when I play with others nor do I always win when I play with myself but at least I’ve had fun fooling around with someone. WoW sees me having to select a character, attempt to plan or remember or ask (since the people I used to “play” with spent hours on this task, poring over rule books and card decks and optimising builds) how to build the character and put the selected skills and abilities in a little pile ready to add to the character sheet when the level went up. Extremely few decisions need to be made for the rest of the game.

From here on in it’s almost entirely like you’ve set up a fountain of tipping water buckets in some garden belonging to a girl named Semiramis and you’re just waiting for the top one to tip so it can fill the next one down. Some random splashing may delay one bucket or fill another early but really there’s nothing you can do to control it. I like watching these fountains until the big one at the bottom finally tips. Such fountains don’t take so long as WoW, have more player interaction and I can do other things—interesting things—while waiting for the final pay off. In World of Warcraft there is no payoff and there is certainly no happy ending. Given how long the people I played with did spent optimising builds over the days and weeks after they each bought a copy of the game and expansions it’s amazing how long it took them to actually effect these builds during the game. There was so much downtime I felt like I could sit down for a time and read an entire children’s book aloud between turns without worrying that there was any more pressing crisis going on in the world (of war on terror aircraft).

The random encounters (called quests, how noble! Let’s get out the tin plate and start tilting at windmills, I’m sure we’ll be less delusional than that man) remind me of the way a friend of mine in the Black Watch told me troops from an allied friendly army performed when he trained with them. These quests are lounging around all over the map in places where they are of no use to anyone except the opposition, too many of them are superfluous and only serve to get in the way of achieving objectives, they have no impact on the enemy and you end up with a lot of futile attacks being made against blues. (I trust you all are educated enough to realise that you’re not supposed to shoot the blue team.)

Rewards for winning a random encounter don’t appear to bear much relationship to their difficulty and the graduation between levels of struggle is overly pronounced. Only able to take the easiest encounters initially, when you finally are able to advance to the next degree there is a high chance it will be on the other side of the map to where you are currently located. It will take a long time to travel there especially along a route filled with worthless blue monsters which it might be possible to bypass in an extended detour. You will need help from an ally who might (probably will) thereby end up wasting a turn or more in travelling or who might delay you if it makes sense for him to undertake another encounter on the way. If you start taking harder encounters earlier you can’t beat them. If you lose an encounter the penalty is pretty much handing the game to the other team so you have to chase far and wide for the easier quests anyway and there is no way to avoid the problem of spatially disparate encounters costing game time. The result is this: You move a couple of spaces and your turn is done.

The only redeeming feature this game had was dice. I enjoyed rolling the dice. Given that on any turn I could roll them generally only once or twice and couldn’t get into combat ever turn this was hardly much redemption. My excitement peaked for one brief eruption and then fell flat again. Ultimately unsatisfying.

In the end, every game was frustrating. It would take an extraordinarily long time to play (not like a wargame or simulation, those are ordinarily long and enjoyable as such) with extremely little happening. With the very rare exception of an event card that allowed PvP or completing an opposition random encounter (which would usually help the opposition) the other team would have been better off playing on their own board in another time zone. Remove those few cards and you could easily play a timed match in the manner of equestrian show jumping—which would be very appropriate given the strong resemblance of this game to a horse’s arse.

It’s only now writing about arses that I see the true import of this game. In an era where Americans and Britishers feel bad about having violated international law (you really have to wonder about the Poles; they didn’t like it when Hitler tramped over the border seventy years ago so why would they join in this time?) they want to slap themselves as a form of penance. If self-flagellation is your thing, forget about seedy clubs or going into the back of little dark and dingy donjon-themed stores, just pick up this game and you can have all the suffering you want this side of any eternal damnation.


PROS
*I don’t own it
*It has some dice rolling
*It is an extremely efficacious non-addictive anaesthetic


CONS
*Dull
*Boring
*Initiates sensations of intense ennui
*Effectively two co-operative games played simultaneously but with long down time and effectively zero interaction between teams or within team
*One early setback can hand game to opposition
*Has been known to induce irreversible coma
*Not vegan friendly
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Fabian Schneider
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Hey, I agree with your review, at least the content of it, and with your political opinion. Heck, I even want that "Historical Jesus" badge you got there, it's what I've been arguing for all along.

What I don't want is people to argue for anything like this. Seriously, there are far more qualified, dignified and intelligent ways to express your political opinion than to politicize a boardgame. Then again, you might be trying to satirize all those polemic jack-asses who think the best way to stop a war is to wage war on the war-wagers. If that is the case, I humbly apologize, but if not, here's my call to you:

For the sake of credibility and your own, more or less, sane mind: DON'T TRY TO POLITICIZE EVERY BLOODY WORD. It hurts my brain.

Thanks for your attention.
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Pelein de Cratia
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Fabian... yuk
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Sean Allen
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Can a review be moved to RSP? That would be a more fitting home for this particular "review".

Chris, I have nothing against expressing opinions about a game in a review-- it is a review, but, this was a bit of a stretch. It would be like me commenting at length on your Historical Jesus badge as a response to your review... just not the place to do that.



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Shawn Woods
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Chris C wrote:
PROS
*It is an extremely efficacious non-addictive anaesthetic


CONS
*Initiates sensations of intense ennui

Were the bolded words necessary? I am not super smart, or anything, but I believe those words will be outside of some people's vocabulary. When people do NOT feel like reading a lot, they read the summary or pro's and con's. In this case, don't you think it would be wise to make these sections as easy to read as possible?

Also, what does World of Warcraft has to do with "yanks" talking to "Iraqis". Seems to be quite off-topic to be part of this game's review.


Just my two cents.

 
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Choubi Gogs
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anthropos95 wrote:

Chris, I have nothing against expressing opinions about a game in a review-- it is a review, but, this was a bit of a stretch.


I must admit, as someone who geekmodded the review, that I had a hard time deciding on whether to accept or reject the review...
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Lee Talbert
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Ameritrash games caused the war in Iraq? That is an interesting conspiracy theory that I had not heard.

As far as the rest of your political message "Yawn". If you are going to waste this much time writing this up how about coming up with something we have not read every day for the last 8 years? You are a little late to the party with your insightful opinion that the war in Iraq was about oil.

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Ragh Gavar
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Weird.. me and my friends talk a lot when we play this; and we don't spend any time trying to work out the best builds.

Oh, wait.. I think I see where the problem might be..
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The Galaxy is Just Packed!
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I do agree with your political statement.

I do not agree that a BGG review is a place to voice that statement.

I do agree that FFG has gone plastic happy.

I do not agree with your review of the game itself.

I do agree that you are entitled to your opinion.

I do not agree with anyone who says you are lesser person because of your opinion.

I do agree that they have a right to be frustrated with your tactic.

But that's just me.
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Brian Thomas
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"I will take love wherever I find it, and offer it to everyone who will take it. Seek knowledge from those wiser, and teach those who wish to learn." -Duane Allman
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How did this "review" make it through geek mod? Hate to break it to you, but I really don't care what "Joe Schmoe I don't know" thinks about the Iraq war. Especially when I'm reading a review of a board game on a board game site. Take your political BS to RSP where it belongs.
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Matthew M
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Moved to RSP from WoW:Tbg >> Reviews.

Also: wow

-MMM
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John Taylor
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I dunno, dude, if board games can cause wars, why hasn't anyone invaded Atlantic City yet?
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Jorge Montero
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The review didn't make me think of the book you wanted, and intead of the song 'The Trial', by Pink Floyd.
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Leo Zappa
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Ah...OK.

whistle
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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This was shock and awe inspiring
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Marc P
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One of us...
 
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The Steak Fairy
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Whereas I should undoubtedly go on a diet, and a toupee could certainly be helpful if I were to attempt to become more hirsute, this is probably the first review I've read here that I wished I'd written. Utterly delightful.
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Tobias Strobe
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In the future, when friends and loved ones ask why I spend so much time on some site about boardgames, I'm linking to this review.

There's really nothing more I could say.
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Moshe Callen
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Choubi wrote:
anthropos95 wrote:

Chris, I have nothing against expressing opinions about a game in a review-- it is a review, but, this was a bit of a stretch.


I must admit, as someone who geekmodded the review, that I had a hard time deciding on whether to accept or reject the review...

In future, may I recommend that you reject raving "reviews" that make no sense-- perhaps even if they did make sense.
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Jasper
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I almost never read reviews. I see now that I may have to pick up on the habit .
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pronoblem baalberith
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DarthXaos wrote:
Those who browse 4chan probably know the one I'm talking about, it has a picture of Alan Keyes on it.


What the hell is 4chan for? I checked it out for the first time... a brief look after reading the wikipedia page on the site and going to "/b/" for pages deep. Seemed like a condensation of the worst of the internet. Exploitative porn, lolcats, white supremacy and users posting pictures of their penises... What kind of people "browse 4chan"?
 
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Simon Lundström
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This was one of the funniest thing I have read in months. I love it. Perfect.

Please, Octavian, move it back to WoW:bg reviews section. Despite the politically inflammatory comments, it's actually more a review than a flame. And it's very wittily written, too.
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Zubbus O'Really
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MusicToEat wrote:
How did this "review" make it through geek mod?
I was one who rejected it but clearly there weren't enough of us.
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Chris
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anthropos95 wrote:
Can a review be moved to RSP? That would be a more fitting home for this particular "review".

Chris, I have nothing against expressing opinions about a game in a review-- it is a review, but, this was a bit of a stretch. It would be like me commenting at length on your Historical Jesus badge as a response to your review... just not the place to do that.


It's unfortunate that this is no longer in reviews since I meant for it to be a review that expressed my intense dislike and avoidance of the allleged game and, along with entertaining myself, I want to do a public service by warning people away from it. I have what I call a redacted version (it's really censored but redact sounds cooler) in which I have painstakingly replaced huge portions of the text with "x"s that I'll put on a black background should I post. I think it looks cool and it's inspiring me (almost) to write reviews which are pseudo censored since people will fill in their own thought and jokes. It will be interactive, people will feel a part of it (hopefully) and it might even mean less work and I toy with the idea that I'm being so post-modern without me actually understanding what post-modern means.

Please feel free to comment on my Historical Jesus badge at length if you think it is worthwhile to do so. I didn't make it. I only got it as the folk who run this place kindly sent me a voucher as I believe they did to the rest of the membership. I have no personal stake in the badge except agreeing with a large part of the philosophy espoused--though I have a hard time deciphering the Pauline nature of it which runs strikingly in contrast to the Johannine tradition and really does make the New Testament a muddle. Your opinion of the badge should not make a huge difference to me. Since it's been brought up I'll make a comment of my own. The pop-up text says he doesn't need to have been divine. Doesn't say that he wasn't. There's a whole lot of wriggle room in that statement.
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Chris
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monsterfurby wrote:
Hey, I agree with your review, at least the content of it, and with your political opinion. Heck, I even want that "Historical Jesus" badge you got there, it's what I've been arguing for all along.

What I don't want is people to argue for anything like this. Seriously, there are far more qualified, dignified and intelligent ways to express your political opinion than to politicize a boardgame. Then again, you might be trying to satirize all those polemic jack-asses who think the best way to stop a war is to wage war on the war-wagers. If that is the case, I humbly apologize, but if not, here's my call to you:

For the sake of credibility and your own, more or less, sane mind: DON'T TRY TO POLITICIZE EVERY BLOODY WORD. It hurts my brain.

Thanks for your attention.


You're welcome.

You're making an assumption that this is my political opinion and that I was indeed attempting to express a politcal opinion. I was having a go at writing in an assumed style and I'm not sure I would want to write like it again; it didn't feel natural to me.

The instant I started accusing boardgamers of leading to an invasion over oil to continue their gaming habit... (and while I hear people saying it was for oil I don't know that's true. It sounds convenient, it really paints the people who did the war thing in an unflattering light and humans are oh so willing to believe it when bad things are said of others and become too sceptical when good things are said, but I don't know it's true. USA invaded some central american country some while ago (was it the nineties? Nicaragua?) and I don't know there was any oil there, just political motivation. Politics doesn't interest me. I don't even know the names of politicans in this country apart from Gordon Brown and don't know if the Labour or the Conservatives are the tory party though I'm reasonably confident it's one of them)
... you've got to start taking any perceived political content as entirely tongue in cheek.

I just wanted to point out that WoWtBG is bad. If anyone has taken onboard a political meaning that they agree with or find contentious that's their choice. Hope they're happy with it. When I started talking about Bravo Two Zero I thought that entirely threw any politcal focus into disarray. Then I said people threw themselves into rivers to avoid the game, that is outrageously ridiculising the situation. The writing was deliberately over the top. Politics was not the point; badness of the game was the point.

It may well be true that opposing things with force often reinforces the effect of that which is opposed. In paraphrase I am told the Buddha Gautama said, "Hatred can never be ended by hatred but only by love,"

I do sleep better at night knowing (except tonight as it's after 6 am local time and I've not been able to sleep for about 22 hours because I had loads of caffeine) that there are people who put their lives on the line to preserve my liberty. I'm sorry the world is in such a state, I saw a BBC documentary a day ago where the politcal system of Syria attacks the "Zionists" in Israel in its history classes and acuses the UK of introducing the "Zionists" in 1948 to destabilise the region so it could gain control of the Arab region and if it's true, it's sad, and if it's not true, it's still sad since both ways lead to xenophobia and heartache until enough people say "let's kiss and make up", I hope the world develops the wisdom to no longer need soldiers and I hope very much while we have them the soldiers are safe and sound and never abuse their position.
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