Editorials & Opinion / PC Gaming

A Few Things I Enjoyed About World of Warcraft

Sometimes, I feel a little too much like a grizzled old timer with a chip on his shoulder about how kids these days have it far too easy.  I probably am a grizzled old timer.  That hasn’t stopped my love of the MMO genre or my continuing to play it, however.   Like most of us, I played World of Warcraft – fairly seriously, if the truth is to be told.  And though I do very much dislike what it did and has continued to do to the genre I love (different argument, different post, different day), there was a lot about World of Warcraft that I did love.  So instead of your regularly scheduled programming, let me gush over what I would call the first modern MMO.

I played on one server for the entirety of my WoW career: Maelstrom.  As a RP-PVP server, Maelstrom really represented my fairly diverse interests.  I had already gotten an urge for player conflict from my Ultima days, but during my tenure in Everquest, I learned to appreciate more and more roleplaying as a playstyle.  By the time I had come to playing WoW, I had decided to combine the two, to whatever effect I could produce.  It didn’t hurt that I also had real life friends established on the server.

In addition to my one server clause, I also had one main for the vast majority of my playtime, both in vanilla and in The Burning Crusade.  It was only in Wrath of the Lich King that I began rapidly diversifying and playing other classes.  Sure, I had alts, but nothing ever came close to the time, effort, energy, and reputation of my troll rogue.

In late vanilla, I spent the majority of my rogue’s time doing battlegrounds.  I attempted to raid with my guild but to disastrous results, as the guild was primarily comprised of older, more casual gamers.  This brings me to my first great love of WoW: the friends I made.

Now this is rather typical of all MMOs.  As social entities, you do tend (or at least should) to make friends.  WoW is definitely no exception.  However, unlike Ultima Online or Everquest, I began playing WoW far more seriously.  I started caring more about maximizing my characters effectiveness and improving his gear.  As I came less interested in exploring, I came more interested in the competitiveness of battlegrounds, and ascending their ranks. By The Burning Crusade, I had become much more of a power game.  I left my first and only guild to join a few friends that had moved to a much more organized raiding guild.  Here we arrive at my second great love: the raiding.

As I delved deeper and deeper into playing my rogue in PvE situations, my esteem and value grew more and more to the raiding guild I had made home.  In doing so, I found a great love of mine, and met a lot of really cool friends (many of which I still talk to to this day) doing it.  I grew as the guild grew, and very quickly our dedicated core was so strong that we began competing on our server for the firsts.  Eventually, we stopped competing because we got so far ahead of everyone else.

It was an absolute blast.  Beating Vashj and Kael for the first time, after weeks of preparation and hard work.  The excitement as the loot finally fell, and the wonder of what would be to come.  In addition, I was made an officer, so raiding took on another, more meta, layer of depth.  I truly loved those days, those people, and doing those encounters.

Finally, even if I think that one of WoW’s biggest flaws was how diversified it has continued to become in catering to every single member of every single playerbase, there is still something there to appreciate and be thankful for.  Namely, the chance to get everyone together – be it the pvpers, the raiders, the explorers, the roleplayers, the casual players, the players with kids, the players with significant others, etc. – under one very, very large roof.  In doing so, WoW created a once in a lifetime (I hope) meeting of a wide variety of playstyles and people, one that led me to meet a huge list of awesome people and play the game in any way I pleased.

The magic in World of Warcraft was not the same for me as it has been in other games, but that is not to say it lacked any at all.  I did enjoy and appreciate my time with that game and all the stories it has given me to tell.

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4 thoughts on “A Few Things I Enjoyed About World of Warcraft

  1. It’s nice to see a positive retrospective in light of all of the MMOpocalypse posts around these days.

    Having lots of different elements to the game and different communities has helped bring me back several times over the years – first levelling, then as a hard mode raider in mid-WoTLK, then finally as a rated BG PvPer.

    I will be very interested to see Pandatopia can bring back the groups that left for various reasons. The game still has its charm, even if my tastes have changed.

    • Thank you.

      Yeah, it might not have shown up in my writing yet, but in private discussions with friends, my loathing of World of Warcraft is a little better known. Sometimes, I have a tendency to focus far too much on the negativity, so I really wanted to make a positive posting about a game that is a little hard for me to categorize.

      As for Panda, considering I have had absolutely no urge to return since I experimented briefly with leveling in Cataclysm, I don’t think an expansion like this one is going to bring me back anytime soon. It is sad, because I am sure the game still does have some charm. However, my burnout is just far, far, far, far, far too strong.

  2. Found this blog post via my WoW Newspaper – http://paper.li/WoWInformant/1335950741. You make some good points. I too played a rogue got to 60 and thought what now? Luckily i joined a guild where I made some great friends, who i still talk to today, about 6 years later.

    During vanilla i kept a 50/50 mix between pvp and pve, we had a grand marshal in our guild so pvp was always fun and raids just as fun too. Then burning Crusade came about, as a guild we got to 70 and started doing the raids, however our GM decided to take a permanent break from the game which slowly lead to the breakdown of the guild.

    After that, friends went their separate ways and i continued playing throughout all the expansions, but only this time levelling on my own, all the way up to 85. This just absolutely ruined it for me and to be honest wow just hasn’t been the same. I don’t think the game has lost its spark, rather that you need to part of an active guild or group of friends in order to get the most out of it.

    I still occasionally play wow, but one of the things i decided to do in order to keep my interests up was to create a fan site of my own – http://www.wow-informant.com. Profession guides, Best in Slot equipment and all that jazz. It really opened up wow again for me, as i had a lot of research to do in order to put stuff on there and for me personally i’m looking forward to MoP, plenty of new content for me to write about!

    • Thanks for the kind words.

      Yeah, soloing in WoW isn’t really what it used to be. I mean, yeah, now more than ever, you can do it – especially with the dungeon finders. The heart and soul of any MMO, no matter how soloable it is, will always be community and the friends you make.

      I am glad you’ve found a calling to keep you involved. I have no need for your website, but it looks really good and professional. 😀

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