World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria
Game Culture, Play

WoW Confessions

It started out innocently enough. I was having lunch with Ryan, the editor of the podcast, and he was giving me a bad time about my lack of game time recently.

“There’s all this Game on Girl talking and yet you’re rarely on Steam.”

I confessed that my professional and personal life has gotten in the way of “serious” gaming but that I still game socially everyday. I then sent him an invite to Bookworm Heroes, my new social gaming addiction. A little role play, a little word building. Pretty much perfect for the amount of time I have to game right now.

From there we started discussing other games we played together.

“What was that one game we started that we didn’t really get back to?” asked Ryan.

“Which one? That’s most of the games we’ve all played recently.”

“The MMO?”

“Oh Guild Wars 2.”

“Right. That one. That was the last big one we all got together and didn’t play.”

So I asked because the answer had been bugging me for awhile: “Why didn’t you like it, Ryan?”

“It wasn’t WoW.”

He said it. What I had been thinking for ages but had never said. As much as I loved the streamlined questing, the story elements, and the artwork of Guild Wars 2, I couldn’t engage with the game the way I normally would with an MMO. I couldn’t figure out why… I think in part it was timing and the other part was the lack of commitment from my fellow gamers. We just didn’t “click” with Guild Wars 2 as a group.

So then I said it.

sunnybeed-001“I miss WoW. I miss playing Sunnybee (my main avatar – a human warlock).”

Ryan said, “Yeah me too. You were just getting good with Sunny when we quit.”

It was true. I wrote about the first time we all raided together and the satisfaction I felt from that experience. We had managed to get decent gear and I was finally understanding spell durations and not to “clip” my duration spells. It was also one of the first times we had all worked together as a group.

We started talking about going back to WoW, resurrecting our accounts and old friends (avatars) and how it might actually be fun to <gasp> play a panda. A hush fell over the table and Ryan said, “After all the grief you’ve given WoW, after all the stuff you’ve said about Blizzard on the show, how can you go back?”

I thought for a moment about going back in secret… starting a new account and not telling anyone, perhaps most importantly one of my closest gaming friends, Mark, who was furious with Blizzard after D3 and pandas and pokemon pets. But I knew that would be beyond disingenuous. Game on Girl was created based on my gaming experience and has grown into something amazing and dynamic and awesome and I couldn’t start lying about that.

It’s been a couple of weeks since this conversation and Ryan started a new trial account to test the waters. I’ve been tempted but I still haven’t committed myself to going back into the WoW fray. I can’t quite bring myself to do it even though the thought of playing again is compelling. The time commitment keeps me from opening a browser and reinstalling the game.

So, dear readers, I ask you: what is a gamer to do? To WoW or Not to WoW? Please leave your thoughts in the comments.

9 thoughts on “WoW Confessions”

  1. It's an abusive relationship. If you get back into it, you'll only be hurt and betrayed…again. But i'm sure that you, just like Ryan, are going to have to go figure that out the hard way. The funny thing is that you and Ryan have been so busy lately that i don't know how you think you'll have time to do anything "meaningful" in that game. Anyway, good luck.

  2. Since I tend to focus on one game at a time, when I did play WoW (for 6 years) it's all I played. Now that I'm "free", I'm happily enjoying a good variety of games. I went back for a couple months earlier this year and got burnt out quickly. Same old carrot on a stick grind… so back to the Xbox I went! 🙂 I'll always be attached to the character I played the most, so I just say that she's hibernating (night elf druid).

  3. Well, the beauty of going back is being able to have more topics to bring to your podcast!

    Personally, I think it's quite a decision to back to a game like that- as it can be a HUGE time sink. It'll be two years in September (I think), that I have been "WoW Sober." However, anytime someone brings it up, I think happily about Embirr and people like yourself, Full and Ali; and the great times we had. I would say it would have to be my kids or my boyfriend wanting to play a game like this to ever really bring me back. And from my personal experience, when you don't have those other people bringing you down to "reality", it's easy to get caught up with the social aspect; especially when it was the thing lacking in real life. I hope you find your decision easy and that it makes for some fun reads for your audience! 🙂

  4. Lately, I've found myself reminiscing in the quiet about WoW. Truth is, it would never be the same. Sure, maybe some good new memories would be made, fun would be had, but at what cost? The game just isn't what it used to be.

  5. One of the reasons I've continued to hesitate about going back is because I think everything just looks prettier with that sepia tone to it. There is actually a How I Met Your Mother episode about this phenomenon… It's fun to think about what it was like, and the good times I enjoyed and friends I made without thinking about the many, many hours it took to level and all the frustrations along the way. The truth is, I don't want to level another character. It's such a long, painstaking process, and the grind at the end for the top gear that is constantly changing…. I just feel out of sorts gaming wise in general. I'm satisfied with my social media games but then that makes me question my own "cred" as a gamer if I don't have something more "serious" that I am REALLY committed to. Hmmmm. I see more writing in my future.

  6. I think you need to look at this from an entirely different perspective. I agree with the other remarks that going "back" will probably end up making you feel burned because you'll constantly be comparing to what it was before. I think you'd enjoy it more if you could go in the way you'd go into a game you hadn't played before – just accepting it for what it is and enjoying what you discover. If you started a panda and went Horde, you'd have a new storyline to explore (at least, I'm guessing you're less familiar with that story) – which doesn't help much if you're taking a leveling-focused mastery approach. However, if you could go in with more of a self or even role-playing perspective, then you might be more able just have fun exploring and discovering the story as you do quests without getting hung up on how long it takes to level. Personally I play with my friend because we enjoy doing it together – we were really excited recently when we actually finished a whole area/quest line, but don't hyper-focus on leveling, so how long it takes us to reach higher levels isn't really a detriment. Just my two cents.

  7. I'm not sure I'd ever be able to turn off my mastery and just enjoy it as a game. It's like the saying "you can't go home again." Once you've left, you can't help but carry your past memories with you into the game, even with a new character, faction, and people to play with. I do, however, appreciate you bringing up the gaming types. That is kinda awesome. I think I'd rather try to find something new to play instead.

    At least… that's how I feel right now. Ask me again in a few minutes…. 🙂

  8. I would say stay away. i am in fact, done with all MMOs. Galazies, DCUO WOW, SWTOR, all of them. I feel a tremendous urge to level, level, level, and then i do and there's just the farming. ive spent the last 10 years in one mmo or another, and that's quite sufficient, thank you. i don't care about pandas; if it's fun it's fun, but it was no longer fun. i could go on for hours.

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