*image from anime ‘Wolfs Rain’ and appropriate because it is a story about repeating cycles, worlds ending and worlds being reborn… and a lot of friendship, kinship, bonds and tragedy. #muchCry #veryPain #heartAll
So wows been out since, what, 2004? I was 24 when I started playing and before I played I was carrying around the game guide for like a month and reading the news releases. It was nice being a 24yr old fresh into wow because as a 24yr old I finally had my first credit card, and I could afford my own gaming computer because I was a gainfully employed adult. Fresh out of university and raw into the workforce for only a couple of years… a budding professional. World of Warcraft was my first serious MMO. I tend to stay super committed once interested or invested so I am still subscribed at 37. I have been in a relationship with World of Warcraft for more than a decade… and it been a good relationship.
The glorious honeymoon years of fresh vanilla, the culture shock and readjustments of BC where Blizz tried to spice things up and got a little ridiculous with the poop quests and the bizarre clown costumes (omg the joy of flight), the mature grossing about good old days throughout Wrath, the shakeup of Cataclysm and the complaints as the community became resistant to change, the childish fun of Pandas, the burnout of Warlords (that’s not quite the player housing we were looking for), my absence during Legion the “best xpac eva”.
What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been indeed.
Guilds have risen and fallen, friends in RL and online have come and gone. My social circles RL and online have spawned a whole new generation… there are actual kids who are becoming teens and YAs. I have a mortgage, a mature career that’s changed directions twice and (holy moly life bucket list) I own a dog. My wages go on vehicle and house maintenance and I have to fund a trip to the UK next year… my computer is neglected and old like me.
It’s interesting because in early wow years whole RL friendship circles bubbled into the Warcraft crack. My social circle it was a gaming circle (computer games, role play games, MUDs, cosplay, card games) and it seemed that everyone I knew dabbled into Warcraft and became momentarily consumed by it. There was some horde and alliance conflicts real life at pubs and parties, and about four different guild types locally – raiders, casuals, role play and friends. People would date and drag their partners into wow, friends would meet partners on wow. My workplace IT department named servers after Azeroth territories, some of these are still running. My wow community was such a young and fancy free community. I had so much time. So much.
It’s changed for me… years into the game – mostly work and family, health and other things drive my time priorities and time truly becomes a valued commodity that is limited. I look up and blink and I’ve lost a 12month block. My friends come from work and the local community as much as anywhere. I can’t stay up all night on vent and function as middle management during the day. I have to minimalize the wrist pains I create at home to pick up the physical grind at work. This is what aging tastes like, not bad… but certainly there is a lick of loss made worse for the fact that you yourself chose to leave things behind.
Still every now and then I brush up against the younger gamer generation that are out there still experiencing wow from the perspective of one of the wow- stages of xpac roll outs. One of my girl circle friends has met a fine young jock-nerd (local term for the hotness that is a peep that can impress you with their hands on life skills and physical muscle and who is still a dork at heart who knows what a storm trooper is) via dating apps.
They are an interesting rom-com story so far (although it’s only at premise currently). Budding? Love is in the air?
He’s a proper wow raider in a known competitive guild. He conscientiously raids three nights a week, is I think, only a couple of years into the Warcraft-relationship – he has a twitch account (woo super serious), and swears like a raider on said twitch account.
She’s one of my old wolves; younger, a BC gen, but she has watched her guild die around her and there’s tragedy in that. There was in her past a partner who lost their balance to Warcraft and sacrificed their RL relationship on the altar of the gaming addiction – she is unsubscribed. Twice burnt.
They are interesting … Warcraft really does have impact, there is real life meaning behind years of involvement in the community. People can meet each other at different stages of their Warcraft-relationship lifecycle and that changes dynamics.
I want to know if the mature raider can hold hands with the retired un-subscriber … what will happen next?
This Warsong Parody probably fits here:
Ulduar – Summergale Nesingwary