So. Nine months without logging in to World of Warcraft. This is probably the longest I’ve gone without playing or being subbed since launch in 2004. Ironically, my lapse began during the ‘busy season’ a couple of months after Legion, with plenty to do in the game, while playing with an active (if perhaps too mammoth to make friends as a PTP’er1 with the intention of showing my co-worker a few things about the game. I proceeded to not log back in for the rest of the month.
At this point, my lack of play time is a mix of things:
- One, I struggle to approach the game as something other than a game. Challenges and systems have become something to overcome the same way you clear a line in Tetris, rather than logging in and playing a character in a world with friends.
- I don’t have any friends that actively play. And, even if they did, I’m not sure that we would care enough to coordinate our game time. The game has so much to do at this point that it’s a challenge to find another person working on the same bits as you.
- I don’t feel connected to my character. Partially because I have like 12 of them, and partially because it seems like they change the development ideas behind them so rapidly.2
- I jumped back in, and I have a half-dozen characters that are maxed out with 30 abilities each, and I have no idea how the ‘meta’ expects you to use them. There is no ‘slow lane’ in group content- even the stuff that is easy, groups expect you to run through at 100 miles an hour.
- I don’t like the ‘loot for the sake of loot’ grind. It comes so fast, and is replaced so fast, that, unless you’re at the top tier of raiding, you never really get a chance to enjoy getting an awesome piece. You never really get that ‘Benediction’ moment any more.
- I LOVE configuring and tinkering with my UI. So much so that I got a refund from Curse because I subscribed to their premium service, even as the biggest ‘casual’ ever. Alas, in my old age, if I only get to play for an hour a week, I don’t want spend 49 of those precious minutes trying to align my Guild Chat panel just right.3
So… You might be wondering, “Why the hell did you come back, then?” Well, here’s why:
Outside of having met my wife due to our mutual addiction, I just love this damn game. It has been with me through very thin and now, very thick, for over 13 years. I love the core concept of the MMORPG, and Blizzard’s title gets just so, so many things right. And, lastly, I am going to play within some boundaries, in order to facilitate a mission of discovery:
- I am going to start a fresh character, with no gear, no resources, no professions- nothing.
- I am going to limit myself to 10 addons, and they will be unobtrusive and non-cheezy.
- I am going to finish each quest zone as I move through them, and I am not going to move on to expansion lands unless I have the Lore Master, or I am absolutely prevented from progressing due to needing a group I can’t find.
- I am only going to do each dungeon a maximum of three times.
- I am going to be social as I play, talking in /general, and in parties, and in a guild if I find one to my liking.
- I am only going to play when I am able to do so with the sound on, and focusing on the game- I am going to play intentionally.I am still debating whether I am going to go with a regular PvE server, or take the jump and go RP.
I will be reporting back as things progress =)