Jul 29, 2006

Until We Meet Again, WoW

I made a decision yesterday afternoon that might come as a surprise to those who know me well. I decided to cancel my world of Warcraft subscription. Azeroth and I have had a long, torrid love affair. At this point though, I think it's time for us to start seeing other people.

I still love the game - I always will. (It's not you, WoW, it's me...) I just realized that I'm slogging away again and again at the same content. Basically, I've been running the same instances over and over with my sights set on one helmet and two swords. Is that reward along really worth 2 or 3 months of my video gaming life?

At this point in my WoW career, I've been most everywhere and experienced most everything. Barring the two Undead race starting zones, and several endgame dungeons, I've basically experienced everything that Blizzard has to offer, multiple times.

The problem with endgame content is that organizing a play session is not trivial. In general, I need to schedule a session at least a week in advance with my friends, and we're talking two weeks' advance notice for raids. My life is very busy, and this kind of rigidity is very inconvenient. I hate it when my wife comes in and I can't just hit "pause" to talk with her, because 39 other people are depending on me to pay close attention to the game. Or if my family wants to make spontaneous plans, and I have to say, "uh, sorry guys - I have a raid tonight."

I'm tired of the pressure to play that the $15 subscription places on me. I don't want to feel guilty for playing other games.

I've been playing this game for a year and a half straight, almost exclusively. My Xbox is covered in dust like some ancient Egyptian artifact, and the games that I have purchased since building my new gaming rig remain largely lonely and untouched.

I bought Oblivion and Battlefield 2, both outstanding games, and there they still sit in their boxes, barely used. I want to play Half Life 2. I want to play F.E.A.R. I want to try Crysis when it comes out, and Spore just looks yummy. I want something new.

That said, I'm sure I'll be back to WoW when the expansion come out. Content is really the only thing I'm missing right now. I still love the community and the camaraderie of a guild. I just need a change of pace.

So, for my friends that I've pulled into the game, especially Tarrek and Peric, I apologize for dropping out of the game that I pushed you so hard to join. Blizzard saves one's characters indefinitely though, so I know that Erilar will be waiting to join you in our climb to level 70 when Burning Crusade launches.

I'd also really like to figure out some other games to jump in to. I'd love us to all settle on a single shooter that we could occasionally play together like we did WoW. Maybe Half Life 2 or F.E.A.R or Battlefield 2?

I'm also planning on checking out Guild Wars (the original release subtitled "Prophesies", not the newer one called "Factions"). It's a "lite" MMO, with no monthly subscription fee. I figure it would be a sandbox we can jump into like we did with WoW, and my son and I could also play together without feeling like we're draining our bank account by wantonly paying for two subscriptions.

Anyway, farewell Azeroth, and sorry to those I recruited and am leaving behind. I'm sure we'll meet again in Outland.

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