World of Warcraft. Warcraft. WoW. It’s known by many names. It is revered by many and reviled by even more. And I fall into both camps.
These past few weeks, with the reveal of the LOLPANDAS expansion and the drop in subscriber numbers, I’ve seen an increase in the amount of World of Warcraft content all over the internet scene. And that’s really annoying, partly because I hate WoW, and partly because I love it.
As anyone who’s glanced through my blog knows, I have a real love-hate relation with the biggest massively multiplayer online role-playing game of all time. I play it for periods of time; maybe a few months, usually during holidays when I have little else to do. And then I go off it for a few months. And whenever I get back into it, it’s the fault of someone else.
This summer, it was down to someone on the Ventrilo channel I inhabit during the holidays. He was playing the same class as me (except he was playing Alliance scum) and his chatter to me about the game brought me straight back into it. As it always does. And I played the game for a few more months, downed a few bosses and kicked a few arses. And then I fell back out of love with it again. Part of it was lack of time (university has really impacted my writing, never mind my gaming), and with Skyrim just aroud the corner for me (I doubt my girlfriend will give me the copy she bought me until my birthday – the 15th of November) I just don’t have enough time to grind, no matter how much I yearn for it.
And I hate that. I hate the fact that it always finds a way to bring me back in. Usually it’s my cousin who reminds me, but now it’s always something else. I do love to keep an eye on the games scene, and it’s hard to avoid WoW news, especially when you’re a recovering Mage junkie.
I try not to use that term lightly. I’m certainly not addicted, but I do feel the lust to go back to playing it again. I even looked up the requirements to see whether my little netbook could run it (and it can’t – but I’m tempted to try anyway). So you see the tricky spot I’m in? I could save so much money by not subscribing to it… but I know I’ll be back. I always will be. I’ve tried transferring to other MMOs, I really have. I’ve been in the first few days of many MMOs until I gave up. Champions Online, Warhammer Online, Fallen Earth, Age of Conan… I’ve been there at the start of loads of them, but none bit me like WoW did, and has ever since.
I blame the fact that I got into it during my ‘impressionable’ stage. I graduated from Runescape and text-based MUDs straight to World of Warcraft, back in 2005, and it was really my first real MMO experience. And I loved it. I had a rosy-eyed view of MMOs and some of that clings on with WoW, like a crusty bedsheet. I’m just too experienced and cynical to enjoy the new MMOs. They’re just not the same as my nostalgia for WoW.
The nostalgia is another large problem. I remember vanilla WoW. And although I never hit the top level until Cataclysm (despite being around for so long – I’m very easily distracted and bored), I still miss vanilla WoW. Although, for this, I blame my love of WoW podcasts: World of Warcast and Taverncast in particular. I still listen to old episodes of Taverncast to this day – they’re just such fun! Inadvertently (or not), they fuel my passion for an older, less fun WoW. I know it wasn’t as good, and I know I’ll never be able to go back to it… and I hate WoW for that. I hate it for the fact it can bring me back for more, at the expense of all other MMOs, and I hate it for the fact that it’s not what I originally remember in the beginning.
And yet, I love it. And I know I’ll be back. In that way, it’s like EvE Online.
But that’s another rant.