What motivates you to explore in games?
I still remember with fond nostalgia going wall walking with my wife back in original World of Warcraft, and all the strange places we found throughout Azeroth. From getting into Mount Hyjal years before Cataclysm to exploring the farms and settlements throughout the Wetlands to the epic excursion we made to the Barrens wherein we stumbled upon the in-game memorial to Michel Koiter, one half of the artistic duo know as Twincrusher alongside his brother Rene. We didn’t do it for loot, because there wasn’t any. We just did it to do it, to explore the — to us at the time, at least — massive world we’d found ourselves inhabiting.
I think about it a lot. Open worlds are a lot different now, with a lot more going on as well as Discords that pick apart every game secret and special rewards for tooling around the world. Now there are are flying mounts that make it easier to get to out-of-the-way places, and “hidden” treasures are everywhere. But soon we’re getting a whole Season of Discovery in WoW Classic that in a lot of ways leverages that sense of wonder and exploration. I know it’s working on me to an extent, because I’m very much considering rolling a new character and playing on the SoD realms when they go live on November 30.
At the same time I do wonder if this is actually for me, at least the me I am now. It’s been nearly 20 years since those days of running around Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms looking for things without really knowing what things we were looking for. I had no idea that there was a crypt in the Badlands that was a reference to a Conan the Barbarian story when I found it, we were just tooling around looking at stuff and stumbled upon it. Is that enough nowadays to get players to explore, just the idea that there might be something you don’t know about out there? Or do we need reasons like loot, XP, or what have you to motivate us to search out the unknown? I don’t know, but that’s why I’m asking y’all what you think.
Please consider supporting our Patreon!
Join the Discussion
Blizzard Watch is a safe space for all readers. By leaving comments on this site you agree to follow our commenting and community guidelines.