Should Auld Expansions be forgot
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.
Stubborn (and sentimental)