I love this question. Why do I love it? Because I’ve been playing WoW so damn long that I can’t help but feel some sort of weird “claim to fame” for keeping it a part of my life as long as I have. It’s more than a game, and it’s something that has been with me for almost longer than I care to admit, but also something that’s affected me deeply.
I have been playing WoW for almost 9 years now. I am 21 years old now, which means not only did I start playing when I was 12 (!) but also that I’ve played throughout the entirety of my teenage years. Without ever letting my subscription run out.
It’s weird, when I think about it. It’s also something I can’t really describe accurately without knowing that I’m probably being judged for what I’m saying (at least by non-WoW players). To say WoW has had an impact on me would be an understatement, because quite frankly, I have been playing this game for more than a third of my life. Think about that for a second. 9 of my 21 years on this earth have been spent playing the same video game. It’s weird for me to even think about.
I have gone through junior high, high school, and now I’m nearing the end of my undergraduate program at my University. I have lost people, both inside the game and out. I’ve moved away from home, rented an apartment with my girlfriend, and gone through a couple different jobs. In short, I’ve grown up. I’ve grown up, and I’ve still played WoW through it all.
In-game, I’ve gone through server transfers, guild changes, and hours upon hours upon hours of raiding. A lot of it has been with the same group of people I met in Vanilla, and probably an equal number of people have come and gone as well. I moved up the ranks of my guild initially, and have been an officer since early in BC – when I was 14, mind you.
That might not seem like anything crazy, but WoW has certainly taught me leadership skills I don’t think I could have gotten anywhere else. Organize 10, 15, 25, even 40-person groups? Coordinate times, events, schedules, etc. with everyone? Decide on fair loot rules, how to handle drama, and everything else that comes with being in a guild for a long time? Not a chance I would have learned half the skills I have today if not at least in part for WoW.
Outside of the game’s effect on me, knowing the same group of people this long also affects a person. Being with the same guild members this long creates the feeling of a “family”, especially when you meet them when you’re 13 (when I first got into raiding). I have no doubt that at least some of my sense of humor (which is probably more “adult” than it would have been otherwise) was influenced by my guildmates. I also have no doubt that I wouldn’t have made it through certain parts of my life if not for the support I received from them.
Playing so long has also afforded me the opportunity to meet so many people from so many places. For me, I can’t imagine a situation where I would consistently be able to hang out and get to know the kinds of people I’ve met in WoW. From Australia to Bermuda to Singapore to you-name-it, I’ve met all kinds of folks. And I’ve loved it. Every bit of it.
Ask me to spew off a response to this kind of topic in person and I could go on forever, but for now, what I’m trying to say in a fairly rushed manner is this: WoW has been with me for a very long time. I’ve grown, the game has changed, and I’ve met all kinds of people. No matter what though, it’s been a part of my life.
It might seem like a game to a lot of people, but I owe a great deal to my virtual family. I honestly don’t know who I would be today if I hadn’t met them. And if I hadn’t been playing this game for so long, I wouldn’t have known them for so long. When you’ve been playing for so long – especially when you started at 12 – the game has a huge impact on your life. More than you can really understand unless you’ve experienced it yourself… but let me tell you, it’s a great experience.
I have probably leveled 3 or 4 paladins to 60 or beyond since they first became available to the Horde. It started back in BC when Retribution was extremely overpowered and I could just tear through whatever I wanted with ease. For one reason or another though – on this paladin and every one that followed it – I always made it somewhere around 60-70ish before deleting the character to make more room on my selection screen.
It’s not that I dislike paladins; I actually like leveling them quite a bit (which may explain why I’ve done it so many times…) But what has struck me about leveling multiple paladins is just how different they are every time I level them.
In my most recent attempt to level a paladin, something dawned on me: my priest has been my main since Vanilla and I can’t remember the last time I actually leveled another priest. I have no idea what priest leveling is like nowadays. If someone asks me what priests are like, I speak end-game, and really end-game only. It never even dawned on me that recommending a class to a new player should involve a comment on the leveling experience itself, and not just what the class is like at the level cap. I have no idea when key abilities come, or how well a low-level priest survives, or really much about the leveling experience for priests at all nowadays. It’s not a game-changing revelation but it’s something that dawned on me and made me realize an entirely new aspect of my class with which I need to acclimate myself.
So if/when someone out there reads this, here’s a question for you: do you have any clue what the leveling experience is like for your main class?
Welcome to my blog of all things WoW! Or, maybe not all things WoW, but certainly of some things WoW! And maybe some only-kind-of-related-to-WoW things.
The point is, this is a WoW blog and right now I’m entirely unsure of what direction it will take. And I like that! Hopefully over time it will become refined and fall into a rhythm but before that happens, feel free to tag along for the ride and help me through the process!
No seriously, I would love it if this becomes more than just me thinking out loud to myself. Please feel free to comment (good or bad) on, well, anything! Individual posts, the look of the blog, whatever! I’m all ears (and fingers too, I guess, since it’s a blog…)
Anyways! That’s my not-quite-first first post on here! I appreciate the company and hope this will turn into something great! 🙂