Why Kress, you might well ask? I’d like to say I named it after Tiendas Kress, the famous women’s clothing store of Puerto Rico, but of course I only know about that shop because I looked it up on Wikipedia.
In truth Kress was the only name I came up with that hadn’t already been taken and I figured I better take it before someone else took it.
So with a suitably height-challenged character in place within a couple of minutes (could have been quicker if I spent less time fussing about what haircut to have), I reached the game itself.
The first impression is that it looks, well, a bit retro, especially having just come from the buggy but glorious wastes of Fallout: New Vegas. Visually World of WarCraft is starting to look its age, appearing more functional than stunning but I’m no graphic fetishist so it’s good enough for me.
Anyway the game. Yes the game. It’s pretty hard to get lost at the start, what with the big arrow pointing to the quest-giving dwarf. So within about 5 seconds of working out how to walk, I’m duly ordered to go kick some rampaging monsters butts.
Job done, I’m then given the task of healing the wounded. Handily, the injured seem to magically pop up as soon as I get the quest.
Then it’s off to gather stout to ensure the dwarf army doesn’t sober up any time soon and then to kill and skin some wolves to keep them warm. Quests are being thrown at me like confetti and it’s all fine until I notice that so far this could be a fairly average single-player game.
I’ve spoken to no one and no one’s spoken to me. In fact, no one's speaking to anyone. True most of the people here aren’t real people but computer controlled ones, but given this is a starting area I’d have thought people might be a bit more willing to chat.
So I try to make friends. Hello I say at no one in particular. Nothing. No response. They just keep running as if I’ve got virtual BO.
I resort to using the action commands to try and get some attention. Childish I know. I dance. I wave. I strut like a mating turkey. Nothing.
Eventually I decide to send my character to sleep in the middle of the snowy battlefield. The battle rages on and everyone ignores me. Monsters run past, computer-controlled dwarves battle computer-generated beasts, and the real people pay no attention to me or each other.
But then a lone real player appears at the corner of my screen. Could this be it? First contact? He, or she or it, pauses next to my character’s snoozing body.
Is he/she/it going to say something, I wonder? Surely a snoring dwarf asleep in the middle of the battlefield is worthy of some comment, even if it’s no more than ‘what are you doing you idiot?’.
But no. After a brief pause, probably to fiddle with items in their backpack, the character runs off to crack some skulls.
Spurned, I quit and resolve to try again tomorrow.