So, I'm having lunch with my brother a week or two ago, when he mentions he is going to start playing World Of Warcraft (WoW).
He first downloads a free trial version, which apparently adds up to about 4 GB of space taking up his hard drive. This download takes about 2.5 days to complete on his pokey DSL connection.
After the download finally completes, he kicks off the installation program. He is then immediately informed that he does not have enough memory to run the game on his PC. So, he trudges off to the store to buy another 1 GB of RAM.
He gets the memory into his PC and kicks off the installation.
So far, he is very impressed with the game's graphics. His main characters thus far are a Night Elf Paladin and an Undead Mage. If he chooses to play beyond the 10 day trial, he'll be forced to subscribe to Blizzard with a monthly fee of US $15 in order to play on their game's servers. I'm not sure what day of the trial he is on right now. I'll ask when I talk to him next.
One thing I remember from my Diablo II days is the impressive number of petulant jagoff assholes (pja) I would run into in a typical online session.
One lovely thing I never used to tire of was some emotionally-stunted middle school dweeb with a horrendously powerful character run after me with a duped Windforce bow, all the while yelling at me "NOOB" (i.e. newbie, as in an insult indicating you are not an experienced player -- it's important that "NOOB" is capitalized, otherwise you wouldn't know they were yelling at the top of their asshole voices).
I ask my brother, who henceforth will be known by his WoW Night Elf character "Baklava", have you run into any assholes in the short time you have been playing WoW?
He says, "Sort of."
The monsters roaming the countryside in WoW are apparently kind of similar to the monsters I would encounter in Diablo II. For the most part, they're just standing around, not doing anything. When you get within a certain distance of these monsters, the AI of the game triggers them to engage you in combat. Well, Baklava was getting the holy hell kicked out of him by one monster, so he starts to run away.
Little does he realize that he enters the vicinity of a whole host of other monsters lazing about the field he is sprinting through. He passes another adventurer as he splashes across some water, leaving the monsters standing back at the bank, unable to cross. This now large group of monsters then turn their collective attention to the adventurer unfortunately now in their sights. This other adventurer messages my brother, "NOOB".
"So you sort of deserved that one, didn't you?" I ask.
I called my brother this past Saturday afternoon. The answering machine picks up, so I hang up. Seconds later, I get a call. It's Baklava.
"You called?" he asks.
"Yeah, I was just wondering how you were doing on the game."
It turns out he was on a quest, when my phone call caused his internet connection to be dropped. He's not sure exactly how it works, but whenever he gets a phone call, the connection goes bye-bye.
"No, it's okay."
"So what level are you at?"
"My Night Elf is at eleven."
I ask him how much he has been playing. He mentions that there have been a couple days where he has put a lot of time into the game. One particular weekend day involved him getting up and starting to play. Later as he is playing he realizes he has not eaten or gone to the bathroom yet.
Did I not mention that this game is very commanding of one's attention?
Here's some more night elves.