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[2008-11-18 09:30]

It's a word. It's also how I feel about Spore and the as yet unseen (by me) expansion to World of Warcraft, Wrath of the Lich King.

First things first: Congratulations Simpsons for adding yet another word to our language. First there was D'oh, now Meh. My vote is for B'oh, for the next one.

Next, Spore. Well, it's kinda cute, and I'm absorbed by it while playing, but it lacks something to make me want to come back to it. The first four stages (cell, land, tribal and civilization) are like four mini-games. They're entertaining, but don't last long. Maybe that's a good thing. The last(?) stage, Space Travel, is incredibly massive, but I've found it to be less enjoyable than it could be.

My main issue with the Space stage is with combat. I don't get it. Or, maybe more accurately, I'm no good at it. The controls seem sluggish to me and targeting the small zippy enemy craft is very difficult. As a result, I find myself losing ships and colonies a lot.

The other problem is that, after awhile, combat happens frequently. So frequently that I find I can't do anything before something's being attacked that requires me to go defend it. That turns the game into a very complicated version of Whack-a-mole. Maybe the trick is to ignore the attacks and just keep expanding into the galaxy. I'm not sure I want to find out. I think I prefer The Sims 2, sad to say.

Of course, most of my time is still spent playing World of Warcraft. The latest expansion released on or around November 12 (six days ago). I haven't gotten my copy yet due to horrible service from Amazon.com. This is the second time I've pre-ordered something from Amazon without it being shipped on the day of the release. In fact, Amazon was scheduled to ship my pre-ordered copy today, estimated to arrive sometime next week. Irritatingly, if I had ordered the game from Amazon last weekend (after the release), it would also be shipped today. So, there was no benefit to pre-ordering. Since I don't like to reward bad behavior, I cancelled my order from Amazon and got WotLK from CDUniverse.com instead (ordered it on the weekend, shipped yesterday, should arrive sometime this week).

In the meantime, I've gotten to watch other players in my WoW guild begin to explore the expansion. Based on what I'm seeing, my reaction is... meh. As with the previous expansion, WotLK allows characters to reach level 80 now (up 10 from the previous max of 70). There are players (not in my guild) who have already reached level 80 in less than 6 days. Several people in my guild are in the mid-70s already, as well. That suggests that leveling up will be very fast, which makes me wonder how much the expansion has to offer. Unless the majority of it is geared towards level 80 characters, I have a feeling I'm going to be disappointed by it.


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