Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve found myself feeling the gaming itch more than usual. This is probably because I know I won’t be able to play as much as I’d like in any circumstance. So, I satisfy (yet also intensify) this urge by listening to gaming podcasts and keeping up to date with my favorite blogs.

 

Perhaps unfortunately, some of the best podcasts I’ve found deal exclusively with WoW. The Instance is one of my personal favorites, not so much for the game they cover, but for the good humor and persistent charisma of the hosts. As one could imagine, after listening to enough WoW talk, I got the urge to log in to the game again.

 

It didn’t help that two of my best friends had been after me to roll a Death Knight on their server. So, I did. It was a funny thing though, when I logged in, I couldn’t shake this feeling that something was missing. It was the same old game I’d always enjoyed except it… seemed more hollow somehow. Then I realized, for the first time ever, I was in the exact opposite situation as I’d been in multiple times: even though I was playing WoW, I really wanted to be playing Darkfall.

 

I’ve felt that way at some point in time in almost every other MMO I’ve played because WoW is where I got my MMO start, and we all know how powerful that old draw can be. It’s that nagging, not-quite-satisfied feeling you get that lets you know you’re truly torn with what you want; the essence of a shallow gaming experience.

 

I’ve gone through several burn out periods in my WoW career but I’ve never really felt the same way as I did while playing my DK. It’s not the WoW is a bad game or that it’s not fun. I think that it’s because Darkfall is so incredibly different, it offers something totally separate from WoW.

 

They are two games in the same genre but in two wholly different classes. WoW may offer a good story and fun quests but Darkfall offers you true adventure and the adrenaline rush that real risk brings. WoW gives you dungeons and raids but Darkfall gives you a more complete group experience because the best parts of the game can only be completed with the help of others. There are no quests in Darkfall but that’s not to its detriment because players matter and create every bit of the politically intricate story you can follow by the hour. We are the heroes and the villains, friends and foes, driving the game forward.

The mechanics are so incredibly different too. I found myself hitting the shift key to try to make my DK sprint only to remember that there was no such option in WoW. It also took me a second to get back into the control scheme of the game. I longed for the ability to swing my own weapon and moved my camera into the first person perspective.

 

Yet, the longer I played, I got back into the familiar groove and started to enjoy to eloquence of timing your attacks just right, figuring out the perfect rotation, and really working the character to its maximum potential. I had fun again.

 

But that cloying feeling remained and, on top of that, I started to miss having to tackle objectives with guildmates. I now know what everyone says when they call WoW a massively single player game. It’s multiplayer by choice whereas Darkfall is by design.

 

After my romp through Azeroth, I decided to keep both my WoW subscription and my Darkfall subscription. This was a big choice for me because I’ve never been able to justify keeping to subs active for any length of time. Yet, in this case the two games offer experiences so starkly different in almost every respect, I can feel comfortable making the investment. I don’t buy in to the idea that everyone who plays WoW is a carebear or that Darkfall is only for the PvP-junkies. It’s possible to enjoy both because you take something different away from each.

 

When I want fun PvE, I’ll go to WoW. When I want exciting PvP, exploring, or just some time to have fun – without pressure – with my clan, I’ll go Darkfall. I’ll take my apples and my oranges, then say thank you for each.

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