February 15th, 2005. I remember the day well. Returning from work, I popped into my local GAME store to have a look for something to play that evening. After chatting to a friend of mine there, he pointed towards the glass panels behind the counter and mentioned that they had a few copies of World Of Warcraft still in stock.
Taking a look at the box, I was instantly attracted to it. An online RPG version of Warcraft III? Amazing! Handing over some cash, I walked away and headed home. Had I known at that point the effect it would have on my life, I probably would have thrown the box into the nearest volcano…
I got into WoW in a huge way. I did not just enjoy it, I obsessed about it. A troll shaman was my initial character of choice and, after leveling hard and learning all I could, I found my way into a raiding guild. It was downhill from there.
Server first kills became our priority, and I spent my mornings farming for materials for potions before joining 39 of my other guildmates in instances such as Molten Core, Blackwing Lair and Naxxramas. Over the course of the next 4 years, I lost 3 jobs, ended two relationships and spent up to 18 hours a day playing World Of Warcraft. The time had come to quit.
Fast forward to today, and World Of Warcraft has reared it’s ugly head and found it’s way back into my life, a little bit like a girlfriend who just will not accept that it’s over. I know that I’m stupid for even considering playing again, but it’s something I wanted to do.
You hear stories about people quitting WoW due to their addiction, but what happens when you return? After all, the game has changed a lot since I last played, with an emphasis on casual play being at the forefront of Blizzards design. Is it possible to return to WoW in a casual way? There is only one way to find out.
Logging onto the World of Warcraft servers was a bit of an event in itself. Staring me straight in the face were my old characters. Level 60 and level 70 ‘toons’ glared at me accusingly. I have to admit, I was extremely excited to see them.
Regardless of all the bad things that had happened to me during my time with WoW, there was also a lot of fantastic times and friendships that I forged which still last to this day. All of these memories came flooding back to me at once, and it was all I could do to stop myself from logging onto one of them and starting exactly where I finished off.
But, this was an experiment, and as such I must not be swayed. Seeing as the latest expansion is Mists Of Pandaria, I decided that a cuddly Pandarian warrior known as Grumpybear was the way forward. And so it was that Grumpybear and I logged into the Mazrigos server and, with trepidation and a slight hint of excitement, we embarked on our new adventure…
Check out RPGlapse: My World Of Warcraft Relapse – Week 2 by clicking here.
Stay tuned for weekly updates of RPGlapse as Al documents an ex-World of Warcraft addicts return to the game.