Thursday, August 21, 2008

A short history of my WoW

-you see a hooded figure approaching through the fog, slowly using a stick to push his small boat forward in the cavernous halls of the internet-

I've spent countless hours (well not countless, the /played command will show me my total play time in game) playing this highly popular MMO. When I first started it was interesting and kinda fun, moving through quests and the lush landscape of Mulgore. I eventually made my way to the capital cities, joined a small short lived guild and got to know the instances scattered throughout the lands.

My second guild was the one that turned into a small online family and is still going strong after nearly 3 years. They were the biggest reason I kept playing the game.

The playing got out of hand a few times and affected my studies and sort of threw me off track of what I had been focusing on, which was a career. At times I'd stop playing for a few months, only to start again at a much heightened pace of playing. Eventually I decided that next time I turned my account on, I was going to race to level 60 using a hunter. For this I needed help, so I bought Joanna's 1-60 Leveling Guide. It worked, and quite well. So I did again on my druid. This was before the release of BC, if I remember correctly. I think my best time was around 7 days of played time on my hunter.

BC was released and was an absolute blast to play. I tell ya there is nothing in WoW that is quite like discovering all-new areas. My favorite was the mushroom forest. Once I had reached 70 on my main character (a shaman), I was ready to raid. The rest of the guild was, for the most part, behind me on raid progression so I waited a few months before everyone was ready to give it a go.

I like 10 man raiding...a lot. We started going to Karazhan weekly. I eventually became frustrated as we only went once a week, so I switched my main character to another guild. In some ways it was a regrettable decision yet I did do a WHOLE LOT more raiding, and thankfully the guild leader was someone I knew from past times in WoW.

Playing this game went from something fun I do every now and then to a full blown "Let's see how far I can get through endgame content" drill. Once you get to the upper tiers of the game and progress through the story, you get into raids of 24 other players. That's better than the number of people they used to require which was 40, but you still get lost in the numbers and you lose some of the experience because of that. Probably the biggest downside to 25 man raids is waiting on everyone to show.

I've recently slowed down my pace a great bit but I still do the Kara or Zul'Aman thing every now and then. My goal now is to get 5k gold before WotLK, since of course the new mounts will probably cost 10k this go around.

This game has destroyed lives and careers and takes some kind of discipline on the part of the player not to get lost in this world. There's no doubt in my mind now that the game works like an addictive drug, and it was intended to be that way.

Crafty company, Blizzard is. Damn them.

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