World of Warcraft: Worn out, used up
Where’s the fun in Massively Multiplayer when you’ve lost the tolerance for the masses, and can’t find yourself a single other player to spend time with in the game?
I started playing WoW on Christmas Day 2004. My friends from home, along with all of my suitemates at college had all purchased the game at roughly the same time. At that time, I bounced between a few servers, both Alliance and Horde, to find out where I was going to play.
I settled on the Arthas server, along with two suitemates and a close friend, despite my roommate playing on Durotan. We formed our own guild and leveled to 60 over the next 5-6 months, having fun and spending numerous sleepless nights playing the game.
Some time after hitting 60, my friends’ interest in the game tapered off. I left the guild we had formed and found my way into a group of guilds that ran raid content together. For several months, I raided Molten Core and Onyxia’s Lair with this alliance of guilds, until the more hardcore among us grew tired of the more casual players who weren’t mirroring our efforts.
In January 2006, those hardcore members of our alliance formed our new guild (with its appropriately angsty and reflective name) – Ashen : The Brotherhood of the Fallen. I would find myself playing and raiding with Ashen nonstop for the next 7 months, failing three courses in college and quitting a part time job at Staples to do so.
Ashen was a playing experience I have never matched in more than 5 years of playing this game. At the time, it was considered an arduous task to assemble 40 players on a single night per week to raid, let alone form a guild of fewer than 50 players capable of fielding a 40-man raid on three set nights per week. The members of Ashen had an incomprehensible dedication and focus to our raiding, and in those 7 months, we powered through our three roadblock bosses in Molten Core (Golemagg, Majordomo and Ragnaros) and reduced Onyxia to farm status, as well as powering through Blackwing Lair.
I sometimes take off the rose-tinted glasses and reflect upon the people I raided with – vaguely familiar names that occasionally sprinkle my Facebook feed, dormant names on instant messenger friends lists. Some of them really were great people, and passed for a reasonable online definition of ‘friends.’ Others, however, were the same blatantly annoying personalities that I hate to see yelling out in trade chat, or spouting overused catchphrases in comments sections online (often using ‘lol’ as punctuation).
It’s the latter category that I’ve long since outgrown. As I’ve grown older, I’ve lost my ability to cope with and overlook that mentality in any theater. Whether it be online gaming, blog comments, Facebook comments, casual conversation – I can’t stand attention whoring and half-assed attempts to be, for lack of a better term, the class clown.
Unfortunately, those people are the loud minority (or are they a majority?) of online gamers. One simply needs to watch the brilliant documentary Second Skin (which is available for instant streaming on Netflix at the moment) and see the stereotypical online gamer in action (or would that be inaction?) This is the representation of the 12+ million WoW players in the world. No one tells stories or remembers how normal a WoW player they knew was.
I am part of a lost faction of online gamers. The silent thinkers. Social gamers with the self-control to only speak when they have something to say. Granted, I have plenty to say, but I’ve seen what my audience looks like. I know the audience won’t respond. I know my words will simply be cast out to an ocean of ignorance and self-importance, so I say nothing.
WoW is my personal hell. A social player surrounded by thousands of other players, yet the vast majority I have encountered have not been worth my time. I’m a gamer from a simpler time, where a player with the right attitude was more important than their character’s equipment. Better gear drops all the time. Terrible players don’t necessarily get better.
I enjoy raiding, but I’m not an eager young 20-year-old raider anymore. I’m older, wiser, and quite frankly – tired. I don’t have the patience to live in the modern ‘raid scene’, where no one cares to find a group of people they enjoy playing with. Instead, my desire to see complex encounters and the aspect of the game I find the most fun is met with, “OMG WTF LINK 9000+ GS and ACHIEV, NUB!”
So instead, here I sit nearly 6 years later. Experienced in nearly all aspects of the game, 5 characters at the max level, and no method to take any of them further without subjecting myself to the tedium of the majority attitude toward endgame content. So how about it, Arthas? Is there any intelligent life left out there?
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.