I’ve been meaning to do this post for a while now, especially with Syl asking for how WoW changed our lives, but I’ve been holding off for this date. Today marks the date where I break my previous record for the longest run I’ve been unsuscribed from WoW. I don’t know if people recovering from various addictions do this but I actually kept track of how long I would be unsuscribed every time I dropped WoW. So today, I’m taking this opportunity to look back on my time with WoW and share it with you.
The harsh lessons of WoW
My relationship with WoW has always been somewhat dysfunctional. It started out with an intense passion that soured over time as I discovered the details of MMO life. First it was the transition to endgame that got me, I learned there that not everyone had the same views toward endgame and its requirement and what now seems so obvious was at first a big discovery that led to much drama, both in-game and in real life. It also marked my first breakup with WoW.
Then I got back a short while later, ready to face endgame on its terms and I became a hardcore raider for a while, a succesful hardcore raider I may add, with server firsts under my belt and a six days mandatory raiding program. It lasted for a few months until WoW taught me about burnout and I quit WoW once again.
And so it went for the next 6 years, with WoW teaching me a lesson about myself and MMOs which usually ended in me quitting for a while only to come back later once I had figured out how I would adapt to whatever WoW has just taught me. In the end though I have to be thankful to WoW for teaching me so much about what I want out of a MMO.
The big lesson
WoW did hold its most important lesson for last. Back in February 2011, I joined a starting guild called Eff the Ineffable who seemed to think along the same lines I did. I was looking for a group of people who were serious about raids but at the same time understood I had a life and that the game had to come second. EtI offered that and I gave them a try which turned out to be the best decision I ever took with my MMO life.
See, the big important lesson was simply that in order to enjoy myself in a MMO, I had to join up with people who thought along the same lines as me and had the same goals. Some of you might think this is obvious but for me it wasn’t. Call me a slow learner but before I got to that point where I knew what I wanted out of a MMO and realized I had to join up with people with those same goals… it took 6 years.
Why I left WoW
Simply put, because after 7 years of playing the same game you want change at some point. You could argue that Swtor and Lotro are not that different, that I’m still playing WoW a few differences and you would be right. Still, I needed a change and those small differences can make for vastly different experiences in the long run. I still disagree with a lot of choices WoW made recently and those other games allow me to enjoy myself without the parts I don’t like from WoW.
However I’ll admit that I do miss WoW some now. Maybe it’s because time is making forget the bad parts but I do miss the polish of WoW and how great that game can be to scratch that itch to try out crazy things. If I forget about some of the most ridiculous parts of WoW, it still remains a well crafted game I somewhat miss that, especially when I’m stuck in a loading screen in swtor.
Will I resub to WoW? I don’t know to be honest. As a casual, one weekend thing for nostalgia I can see that happening down the road someday. As a serious raider like I’m doing I don’t think so… at least not unless Snark Side, my current guild would to decide to make such a move… which isn’t likely.
But if it happened I’d go back to WoW in an instant. Why? Because I learned well the lesson WoW taught me. Find a group of people you enjoy playing with and stick with them no matter what.