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Should Auld Expansions be forgot

September 25, 2012

Dear Reader,

The traditional New Years Eve poem by Robert Burns comes to mind:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne.

As Cataclysm comes to an end, I feel strangely torn about World of Warcraft.  Experiencing player’s remorse, I often wonder what I could have done differently if I’d spent less time in a digital world.  I enjoyed the time I spent with my friends in World of Warcraft; of that I there is no doubt, but Cata had a separating effect on my friends, and I spent woefully little time with them.

I suffered guild disintegration in Cata, guild hopping in search for a comfortable new home, and eventually settling into a guild I didn’t really like just so I could stop looking.  My oldest WoW friend stopped playing, seemingly for good, and my desire to raid was eventually sapped from me by a combination of a poorly-run guild of casual players and compassion fatigue.

I abandoned the game for a while, went back by breathing life into it with the 10×85 challenge (which I will have failed at release time by 4 levels), abandoned it again, played all of Star Wars, most of Secret World, and trying a large quantity of free to play games, none of which really resparked my interest.

I imagine this is what falling out of love is like.  I hope more than anything that I never actually experience falling out of love, but the kind of struggle to want to still like something mixed with the base fatigue of dealing with it, combined with the vast hours sunk in to making it work and the boredom with which the routine activities become must be what it’s like for love to die.

Did I love ever love WoW?  It’s a question that both intrigues and discomforts me.  I certainly spent a lot of time with WoW.  I enjoyed WoW.  But love?  I’m not so sure.  To even ask if one “loves” a video game seems scarily unbalanced.  It’s a question that deserves and answer, but that I don’t feel comfortable answering myself.  So, as countless students of literature before me, I will go to others to let them express my feelings.

From Alfred de Musset, Souvenirs:

My heart, still full of her,
traveled over her face, and found her there no more…
I thought to myself that a woman unknown had adopted by chance that voice and those eyes
and I let the chilly statue pass
looking at the skies.

I’m not sure that the WoW I loved and what’s currently known as WoW are the same.  I’m not blaming the game for changing, either, but the various circumstances surrounding my enjoyment of the game: the people I played with, what I found to be fun, and, of course, partly the game play, too.  But WoW can’t help what it is.

On the idea of loving something that can’t help what it is:

Edward Field, The Curse of the Cat Woman

It sometimes happens
that the woman you meet and fall in love with
is of that strange Transylvanian people
with an affinity for cats.

You take her to a restaurant, say, or a show,
on an ordinary date, being attracted
by the glitter in her slitty eyes and her catlike walk,
and afterward of course you take her in your arms,
and she turns into a black panther
and bites you to death.

Or perhaps you are saved in the nick of time,
and she is tormented by the knowledge of her tendency:
that she daren't hug a man
unless she wants to risk clawing him up.

This puts you both in a difficult position,
panting lovers who are prevented from touching
not by bars but by circumstance:
you have terrible fights and say cruel things,
for having the hots does not give you a sweet temper.

One night you are walking down a dark street
and hear the padpad of a panther following you,
but when you turn around there are only shadows,
or perhaps one shadow too many.

You approach, calling, "Who's there?"
and it leaps on you.
Luckily you have brought along your sword,
and you stab it to death.

And before your eyes it turns into the woman you love,
her breast impaled on your sword,
her mouth dribbling blood saying she loved you
but couldn't help her tendency.

So death released her from the curse at last,
and you knew from the angelic smile on her dead face
that in spite of a life the devil owned,
love had won, and heaven pardoned her.

I have a lot of good memories of WoW.  I’m not sure I would make any more, though, and I’d rather remember WoW in a positive way than a negative one.  It’s not WoW’s fault that it is what it is.  Lord knows I’ve changed as much as it did.  Does that make it my fault that I’ve lost interest?  I don’t know, but partly, I suppose.  How can you blame an MMO for changing, though?  Or even blame an inanimate game world for how you feel about it?  It seems rather mad, doesn’t it?

Did I ever love WoW?  I don’t know.

But I do love talking about it to all of you.

Sincerely,

Stubborn (and sentimental)

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 25, 2012 1:39 pm

    I feel like I should quote something along the lines of “gather ye rosebuds” and then compliment you for having gathered all the rosebuds you needed to complete your bouquet. Then I could remind you that “T’is better to have loved and lost, than to have never lov’d at all.”

    Or I can just say you need fallout boy in your life

    🙂 Thus endeth the inappropriate quotations.

    • September 25, 2012 2:46 pm

      I do find it humorous that the only response so far is from another English major (;

  2. September 25, 2012 4:07 pm

    Is that your way of saying that you’re not getting MoP?

    For me WoW was definitely comparable to a romantic relationship, all the way to the lingering post-breakup feelings of curiosity. With my exes I kept looking at their social pages for a while to see what they were up to, with WoW I still look at WoW Inside occasionally.

    However, both in life and when it comes to the game, the sadness of falling out of love was quickly replaced with an overwhelming sense of relief once I realised that there was a good reason I had become so detached and that I was much happier once I had finally let go. Not to mention newer and more compatible love interests on the horizon…

    • September 27, 2012 4:05 pm

      Not at all; I probably will get it, but likely not until I’ve finished TSW, GW2, Torchlight 2, and maybe Borderlands 2 if it goes on sale at the right moment.
      I agree on the sense of relief. Once I went home last Christmas and got away from raiding with the bad guild, I was very relieved to simply be done with it all. I played then when I wanted to, more out of a sense of habit or obligation to myself than anything else (mostly the 10×85). I sensed it again when it became clear I wasn’t going to do the Cata zones for a 10th time, when I was really finally done.
      For now… I’m pretty sure I’ll play at least 1 character to 90.

  3. September 25, 2012 4:30 pm

    Yeah, Cataclysm had this effect on most of us. Let’s be optimistic about Mists. At least I will be.

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