(Let me start off and put everyone’s questions at ease: No, I’m not quitting! I’m just starting conversation!)
Before the last Blizzcon, I had told Brade that I think I might be done after WotLK. I was frustrated with recruiting. I was frustrated with Ulduar. I was frustrated with the game. I had been WoWing for going on 5 years, and I was starting to wonder if perhaps I was outgrowing WoW. You know, sometimes these types of things happen, things that were fun start to be, well…unfun. I quietly thought to myself that maybe after I had knocked out Arthas, I would hang up my healing gear and move on. I mean, there are things other than WoW, right?
I had shared this with Brade as we sat on the plane on the way to Blizzcon last August.
But then something strange happened. When we got there, and everyone was getting settled in for the opening ceremony and “the big announcement” that generally comes with it, I went and hopped right into the “shopping” line. I told Brade to go ahead and sit with everyone else, I didn’t mind standing in line for my goodies alone, and took note of which items he would like. And it was while I was standing in that line, alone, that I watched the announcement for Cataclysm unfold. There was nobody there babbling about how awesome it was going to be, just me and my thoughts to think through what I had just seen. The thoughts that not 24 hours earlier had told Brade that I thought I was going to wrap it up after WotLK, and that I didn’t think I had another expansion in me.
Standing there in that line by myself, I found that the announcement had me immediately excited. There was so much about Vanilla WoW that I absolutely loved. And to get the chance to go back and revisit some of my fondest memories of the game, redone, was hugely appealing to me. I knew as soon as I saw Deathwing rip through the earth that Arthas wouldn’t be my final WoW boss experience and that I would, in fact, be continuing my WoW adventures into Cataclysm.
Now, as I prepare for Cataclysm, and yet another Blizzcon, I find myself wondering: When do you know it’s time to unplug permanently? Or if not unplug, at least take a step back? I mean, have you ever thought about going into a more relaxed and casual setting after having been a raider for 5 years of your WoW career?
As I ponder these thoughts, I ask myself some other questions. What would I do with my time if I didn’t play WoW? Would I like playing on the more casual side of WoW, where I didn’t feel obligated to log in for raids and could play more freely? What kind of social interaction would I have if I didn’t engage with WoW? I mean, let’s face it, I’m pretty antisocial. I’d probably end up like that lady with 9 cats who ate off my face in hunger while it took my neighbor to realize that something was wrong…and only then because of the stench emanating from my front door.
What would I do if I didn’t play WoW? If that isn’t the million dollar question. And really, I don’t know! I tried to answer this by going back to what I did before I picked up WoW, and the answer is…school. And a whole lot of Luigi’s mansion (I loved that game. Can’t even tell you how many times I played through it!). I also read a lot, and visited Civil War Battlefields. And let’s be honest, there aren’t a lot of Civil War sites out here in the Pacific Northwest. But other than that, I was a pretty boring person. Not much unlike I am now.
Of course, I did other things that I miss. Things that weren’t extraordinary in any fashion whatsoever. Like cooking dinner. Sure, it seems pretty blasé, but you don’t really appreciate actually getting the opportunity to have a decent meal until you are cramming food into your face just out of necessity because you don’t have time to get anything better while raiding. I think I miss cooking, and it would probably be something I did more of if I didn’t play WoW.
But then, I also spent a lot more money when I didn’t play WoW. Largely out of boredom. “Ugh, so bored, going to the bookstore”. Let me tell you…the bookstore can get expensive!
So, I suppose the answer is, I have absolutely no idea what I’d do if I didn’t play WoW. Would I be more inclined to be more adventurous? I don’t know…probably not. I’m pretty much a homebody. Hmmm….
Playing more Casually? You know, I just don’t think that this would be a good solution for me. I’ve tried it, and there were just too many things that I missed about raiding…and about playing with Brade. I think I’d find myself getting bored. Really bored. The raid scene is where it’s at for me in WoW, so I think if I took that out of the game, I’d probably find that I didn’t enjoy the game quite as much.
Of Course then I got to thinking: Why am I even thinking about this? Because the answer seems kind of easy, right? If you are still having fun, or looking forward to things in the game, there really isn’t a need to hang it up, is there? I suppose that answer to my question would be, when it stops becoming fun. When, on a regular basis, I sit down to log in and more often than not, I don’t want to input my information.
And then, when I got to thinking about that, I don’t think I’ve ever been at that point with WoW. Sure, there are times when I’ve thought “man…I wish I didn’t have a raid tonight”, but those are often few and far between. And very rarely extend for any period of time. Sometimes I get lethargic, but the feeling doesn’t last.
So really, I guess I don’t know when it’s time to hang it all up. And in thinking on it, I don’t guess I’ll know until I know. Does that even make sense?
What about you? Have you ever had these kinds of deep thoughts floating around in your head? What conclusions did you come to?