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WoW, Casually: To Beta or not to Beta


Robin Torres writes WoW, Casually for the player who has limited playtime.

Those of us who are playtime-challenged have to make hard decisions about what to do during our WoW game sessions all the time. Do we try to do an instance? Do we work on our dailies? Or do we just parade our vanity pets around Shattrath while chatting with guildies? (OK, maybe just I do that.) For some time now, many of us have had another decision to make: do we check out the Wrath of the Lich King Beta?

On one hand, you've got a brand new class to play with. On the other hand, you don't get to keep him. So is the Beta wasted time? Let's look at the Pros and Cons after the break.

Pros
  • Apathy has set in game-wide: It's hard to get people to do much in WoW right now.
  • Shiny!:The beta is new!
  • Same old thing: The old world just isn't as much fun anymore with new content on the horizon.
  • Preparation: You can practice with the new content.
Cons
  • Waste of limited time: You don't get to keep anything you accomplish in the beta.
  • Ruining the experience: When Wrath comes out, it won't be as fresh and new because you will have experienced much of it.
  • Preparation: Now is an excellent time to stock up on mats and cash to accelerate profession progress.
  • Testing isn't for everyone: It's Beta, which means there are bugs and wipes and rollbacks and enormous patches. Beta testing can be very frustrating.
For my money, I think the cons outweigh the pros. As a casual player, do I really want to waste what little time I have on a character I don't get to keep? Or do I want to keep up with all of the beta news here on WoW Insider, but save the actual gameplay for after I stand in line to get my Collector's Edition signed at the nearest midnight event.

The real question is: What can I do during my limited playtime that will be the most fun? If you aren't having fun in Azeroth/Outland right now, the Wrath of the Lich King Beta is not the only answer. This is an excellent time to try out some other games you've been thinking of playing. Try a free to play MMO or catch up on the latest in console gaming. You could even learn a new craft or spend some time outside.

Raiders definitely gain benefits from participating in the beta because it will help them prepare for the race for realm firsts, but I think that casuals may want to save that new game smell for the actual release of the expansion. Hopefully, the getting-ready-for-Wrath patch 3.0.2 will come out soon and make the old world more fun or at least different. Meanwhile, taking a WoW break may be the best expenditure of your leisure time.

WoW, Casually is a column for those of us who are playtime-challenged and proud Welfare Epic wearers. If you have questions or tips about how to get the most out of your limited playtime, please send them to Robin.Torres AT weblogsinc DOT com for a possible future column.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Features, Wrath of the Lich King, WoW, Casually

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