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In which there is a time capsule

April 13, 2010

At 11:53 PM on Saturday night my laptop died.

Late Sunday Lus dragged in an old desktop of his, so at least I have a computer.  (With no widescreen – this is so odd.)  It’s also odd playing WoW on this computer… I can’t turn my graphics up and the framerates are pretty slow.  It’s probably how WoW was when I first started playing the game, actually, and that’s a weird thought that I would have kept playing even though the “quality” of the game on the screen wasn’t good.  Ah well – if you don’t know that things could be better, should you be dissatisfied with what you have?

One thing that I DID find on this computer is a few screenshots in the WoW folder.  A little over two years ago something happened to my computer and I had to send it in to be fixed and in the interim I used Lus’ desktop – I also played WoW on it.  There are only a few screenshots in the folder, but it was like a little bitty time capsule that was very interesting to find.

I found out that I rolled Anea sooner than I thought.  I have a screenshot in the folder of my old rogue, Sin, dinging 64.  But a few days earlier I have a screenshot of Anea in Ironforge at level 24.  I’d had a vague idea in my head about when I rolled characters, but seeing the real timeline is interesting.  When we roll characters now, we have achievement screens to document every step our character takes, any and all achievements that we get and in those achievements, we’re able to see when a character was made and came to be.

And for some other reason, I’ve been thinking about how long I’ve been playing the game.  The game has been around for five years and I’ve been playing it for four.  Four (4) years.  That’s a long time to keep doing one thing.  And I wondered… OUGHT I still be playing this game four years later?  It probably also has to do with the fact that Lus quit playing.  If his interests change after three years, shouldn’t mine?

Now, I know that each person and their interests are different.  But four years ago I was 19 – my life is different from then.  I do have different interests in other areas of my life – for example, I’ve taken up knitting and started cooking.  Were you doing the same thing four years ago?  Perhaps this is also because I’m at an age where I “ought” to be changing (going from teens into the 20s is when major change happens, after all.)  Ought to be growing and doing better.

What about my WoW life?  In four years I’ve come leaps and bounds from where I was when I started.  I started out as someone who had never played any sort of game (really – none – console, card, RP or otherwise) before.  I knew nothing about how things were supposed to work in the game, didn’t know how to move, didn’t use all of my spells, knew nothing about the areas and the world around me, didn’t know about talent points and I vendored all the greens that I got.  I would say the high point in my WoW career was Anea – she’s the one I spent the most time playing, she’s the one I applied the knowledge I gained in her gameplay and she’s the one that helped me discover what I love doing: healing.  I had great guilds on Anea, I had tough times on Anea – I got to heal Lus on Anea.  Anea was time well spent.

However.  Compared to Anea’s heyday, things seem to be going downhill.  You can’t always stay at the top of the wheel, I know.  But is my game declining?  After playing with Anea didn’t occupy all my time, I started alt after alt after alt.  To my regret, I’ve named this blog after alts.  I always do come back to healing classes, but that’s really the only similarity to my happiest time playing that my play has now.

Has your gameplay changed in four years?  Ought we still play this game after so long?  Or does our evolving gameplay evolve with our lives and skills and therefore isn’t a “bad” thing?

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 13, 2010 7:09 PM

    I quit after 2.5 years. 1.5 years Vanilla WoW and 1 year BC. Sadly I never got to experience WotLK BUT…not only did my interests change, I stopped having fun in the game. That, my dear Anea, is, IMHO, what its all about. It is a game. Games are meant to be fun. End game raiding became to…YOU MUST DO IT THIS WAY! and, i never was a huge fan of PvP, I enjoyed it, but on a casual basis. WoW, lost its "fun factor" for me. I had other things to do that were.. "more fun." or interesting. And I was losing my friends. I gave myself to WoW for 2.5 years, really…for a year and half when I became a guild leader. It burnt me out, and left a sour taste in my mouth for online gaming in general. For me as well, I can’t keep rolling characters there is no point in it for me. When I play video games, I need an end goal, I need to be able to reach that goal, and I don’t like having to rely on other’s ability (or inability the majority of the time in WoW) to achieve that goal. Hence my love of single player campaigns on consoles. To me…if you are still having fun, keep playing. If you are doing it because you are bored, find something else to do that is far more constructive and benefits you…maybe the world…even if it is just your world :).

  2. April 13, 2010 11:23 PM

    There’s nothing wrong with playing the same game after several years if you’re still enjoying it! When I started I was completely clueless as well – I was aware that there was something that the "top" players did called "raiding" but I never dreamed I’d be involved in it until level 70 when we were a bit bored with heroics and someone suggested we try out Karazhan! Of course styles change and the aspects of the game you enjoy change over time just as you have changed :)

  3. April 14, 2010 3:06 PM

    I’ll keep playing it until I get bored. So far, I’m not even remotely close to that. I’ve been playing for almost 3 years and I’ve never taken a break (except for holidays), I log on at least once every 2 days if I’m at home… and frankly I’m having more fun in game than I would have otherwise (friends, boozing, whatever). I think that’s the only important thing: if you are having fun, keep playing.

  4. Jack permalink
    April 14, 2010 3:55 PM

    4 years ago I was playing mostly Magic the Gathering: Online and Neverwinter Nights. I quit NWN essentially because WoW is so much more awesome. I quit MTGO because they stopped supporting the format I played online for. I will quit WoW when it is no longer fun. I don’t see that happening . . . but I didn’t see myself quitting those other games either. Life does change. Putting a time frame of 3 or 4 or 2 years for when it has to change isn’t realistic.

  5. Anea permalink
    April 14, 2010 6:58 PM

    @Dantric: As I’ve told you, sometimes it’s hard for me to really back away from the game when I’m getting bored of it – it’s a habit, so I log in ’cause I feel like I "ought" to and figure that once I’m logged in, I’ll find something to make it fun. Especially since I have the Complete Works of Jane Austen waiting for me :P@Angelya: I was the same way about raiding, but I didn’t even really understand what it was until BC! When I was playing in Vanilla, my guildmates were always telling me to stop playing around at 46 and hurry to 60! It’ll be so fun! Now I know what I was missing :)@Jen: Hm… more fun than I would otherwise? Yes, I would say so. A nice meter for the game.@Jack: I know for the longest time I didn’t think I’d stop playing WoW either. Even when they announced Wrath and all the changes started coming out and people were saying that it was ruining the game or changing it too much, they were going to quit. I couldn’t imagine that the changes would be SO huge that anyone would stop playing the game. But I’m starting to understand it now. I think that shows that I’ve grown, but I’m not sure how.

  6. April 15, 2010 4:06 PM

    Well, I can understand the feeling of moving on to something new after a long time. I started playing MMOs back in the days of Ultima Online. Moved from the official version to private servers ( called shards in the day ). Playing got boring/tiring, I wanted to more in the game, so I tried my hand at staffing in one said shard, even went as far as programming the emmulator of the shard.Then WoW came across my hands, and have been playing it for 4 years. At first wow was fascinating, requiring a lot of time to understand the difference between UO and WoW. I remember the days of my first and still live character ( a hunter ) running around Kharanos totally lost, but that feeling of "oh my god, the map is huge" and having it replaced with a feeling of "oh my god… I only saw one tiny part of it so far… just how big is this place?" when I finally left Kharanos to move to another zone, I have not had that sort of feeling since Vanilla.Eventually we outgrow things, and while WoW has been a "friend" so to speak to fill in the empty hours of the night after work when no one was home for me, today it has given place to new things. With these new things, Im on the process of gradually stepping out of the game, that and the fact that the new announced changes are changing – sry for the pun, wanst intended – the game so much that it feels like its going to be yet another long grind leading to the hectic race for gearing up, to do what? raid yet again.The fun of a game will only take you so far, repeated expansions, things that are done that you feel have reduced or limited your gameplay, the "this has to be done this way" feeling others have mentioned does take a lot away from the game.Id say enjoy what you enjoy, and if something new comes along that you enjoy all the more, then by all means pursue it, and wave good bye to old things. Change in life is the essence and the spice of life itself :D

  7. April 15, 2010 4:46 PM

    My life has totally turned on its head in the last four years. Four years ago I had just gotten engaged. I was about to leave with the fiancee (now wife) to spend a summer in upstate NY doing summerstock theatre. I was a year out of college. I was laying tile in the days, and doing constant theatre at nights. I was planning to go get my masters degree in directing. I lived in my dad’s basement. I played NO video games. I was as obsessed with D&D and Warhammer as I am currently with WoW. Now I am married. I’m a home owner. I have two standard poodles. I haven’t played D&D or Warhammer in over a year due to it not fitting in my life anymore. I am now obsessed with WoW. I am a total businessman, working my way through an MBA. I haven’t laid tile since that summer. I have sworn off doing any theatre until I finish my masters. Whoa. That was fun to think about. Thanks, Anea!Razorstorm

  8. April 15, 2010 6:41 PM

    Times change and interetes change. I played a couple games before I got into Wow. I have drifted away from WOW and then drifted back 4 or 6 times since launch, depending on if you count just playing very little or if you count by shutting your account down. In a similar time I have got into and back out of EVE online 4 or 5 times too. Since getting married I tend to stay with WOW a lot more because interests that are in common feed off of each other. I have always come back for the major expansions. Even if I get bored and stop before Cata I will certainly be back when it drops. And in the next few years I hope to try other MMOs too. Times change, locations change (we moved a year and a half ago), jobs change, stage of life changes (am married and have a baby and I was not even dating when WOW launched).Personally I think people can put too much significance on ‘quitting’ or something like that. I have never unloaded all my resources when stopping a game. I never know when I am 100% done with one. Even if I think I am, one can never be sure. As with my WOW gaming I have had many hobbies I have gotten into for a time and then drifted away from. I never claim I am 100% done with one. I just put them on hold for someday.

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