Wednesday, July 29, 2009

COH: WoW Envy

I wanted to address something that'd been bugging me for years while playing on COH.

WoW Envy.

Serious WoW Envy.

See, I was raised on a steady diet of "The Mighty Thor" and Thor was simply amazing. He was a mythological character engaging with a modern world setting of superheroes and supervillains. In one issue, he'd be duking it out with the monstrous troll Ulik, then in the Avengers he'd help take down Zodiac or Kang the Conqueror. He'd appear with Spider-Man in Marvel Team-Up, but would help out his pal Hercules against the hordes of the god Pluto. There was just no limit to the places he'd go and the villains he'd defeated.

So, flash forward X number of years later. COH is out, but so is WoW. COH was my first MMO and I only played WoW long enough to do the 14-day trial but that was an eye-opening experience.

In COH, I'd have to beat criminal gangs like the Hellions and the Skulls for a long time before I ever saw my first costumed supervillain. Or a slightly different in-game model. See, from working in the game industry for even the short amount of time I did, I knew that the folks at NCSoft used the same 3D character models for the gang members but used different texture maps to differentiate between gangs. Nothing wrong with that. It's just that I knew enough from animation that I was looking at the same silhouettes over and over again. Sure, different texture maps, but the monotony of got really discouraging after a while. In WoW, the variety of shapes and creatures and opponents was really varied and exciting. Even at the lower levels, my characters ran across wild boars, wolves, and all sorts of bandits and such to keep me interested. COH by contrast is a world without animals of any kind; no cats, dogs, birds, elephants or anything.

Not even a robotic dog.

Just those stupid Rikti monkeys.

So I looked at all the cool creatures in the WoW universe. I thumbed through the guide books and RPG supplements. I scanned through the screenshots and captured movies.

And I developed a healthy case of WoW envy.

Which didn't mean I wanted to play WoW. I just wanted to set my CoH characters against some of those WoW opponents. I wanted to go up against a huge freakin' dragon with my electric blaster. I wanted there to be a lich causing all those zombies to rise in Dark Astoria. COH just seemed so... dull. Meanwhile WoW really seemed to live up to its initials.

To be continued...

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