Yeah, it’s not the cool game on the block anymore; hell, it’s been around since 2004 with what is now lovingly referred to as Vanilla WoW. Yeah, it’s “down” to a little over 7 million subscribers (which means Blizzard still makes north of a hundred million dollars a month). Yeah, there are some asses playing the game. Yeah, my wife gives me agro whenever I play. But you know what; I’ve tried all the others: Warhammer, Guild Wars, D&D online, and none of them click with me like WoW.
WoW is like my old comfy softball team shirt I still wear (once again to all the female’s in my house chagrin); it’s not perfect, it’s got a hole here or there, but it feels so good when I put it on. Years of wear have molded it to my body. It just slides on and fits so well. WoW is the same way. Even after taking a month or two off, for work or whatever, when I pop back in I start playing like I never left.
I first played in 2005. So I remember vanilla and the thrill of walking, well running through horde or neutral territory hoping not to get ganked. I still tingle when I enter Northern Stranglethorn, though I am max level, highly geared and playing on a non-PvP server. So I can’t get ganked unless I want to be ganked. The game has been made more user-friendly since those days and I appreciate most of the changes. Yeah I know people say they are “dumbing down the game”, but you know real life is hard enough so games shouldn’t be adding to your stress.
I love my garrison now. It gives me a place to hang and let other’s do my bidding. Something I could so use in real life. Even when I am working or just watching TV or tossing a javelin around it’s nice to know my followers are playing the game for me.
WoW teaches me teamwork when all goes well. It’s a great feeling when five people from all over the world cooperate and have a great run through a 5-man dungeon. It’s especially pleasing the first time you complete a new dungeon. It’s an even better experience when a guild raiding group preserver then after many wipes finally figures it out and things start to click. I still remember fondly the day my guild first downed Patchwerk after oh so many wipes! Of course there are times when things don’t go well. You’ve all been there: a tank with a mind of its own; DPS who want to tag everything except the tank’s target or healers asleep. These experiences can be quite freaking frustrating but even in these worse of times you learn how to manage and deal with problems. Even if the way you deal with a problem is to boot it.
Finally, I do a lot of thinking in life making real life decisions with consequences. WoW lets me kind of practice think without the real life results. It lets me relax and have fun, let loose. I can’t put my mind totally on hold, there is some thinking and planning involve so that is good. But no matter what happens in the game, I know it’s just a game, a game I still find enjoyable.
In a way, WoW is like the Simpson’s of video games. Sure it’s been around for a while. Sure it’s seen better days. Yet, I still find it fun and more entertaining than most other things.