Heads up new readers…. it’s that time again.
I feel like starting some shit.
If you’re new, buckle up, you’re probably going to see a side to the Bear that only comes out to play when I’ve had good coffee instead of the cheap crap.
Notice I didn’t apologize. You’ve been warned.
There are a lot of great MMOs out these days, and many of them are going free to play, for a given value of what is “free” for you to actually “play”.
There are lots of new ones coming soon that look great.
Excited? I know I am! I love to see new ideas conceptualized and made real for our gaming enjoyment.
We are living in exciting times. DAMN! Isn’t this great?
Every time someone sells an idea and brings it out, we win. Maybe some don’t reach their hype, maybe some blow past all expectations. We still win either way, because our dollar is a force to be reckoned with and pandered to.
People want our money. And to get it, they are trying to figure out what we like, and they make us shiny things.
Do you know what we would have done if someone dropped one of these modern Marvel superhero movies on us in the eighties?
Just look at this. I am actually having minor difficulty in tracing back all the damn good movies that will feed directly into this summers The Avengers, so I can have the entire range of them ready to watch. And how many of them are just so damn good? Captain America, Iron Man 1 and 2, Thor (god, I love the Thor movie), The Incredible Hulk (the Edward Norton one), and we’re not even including any of the Spider-Man films, X-Men (I love the Wolverine movie), the new Fantastic Four films, etc, etc.
Maybe you loved some, maybe you hated some, but holy shit.
We live in strange days when someone can make a film as kick ass as The Incredible Hulk (the Edward Norton one), and it vanishes without notice. My generation had Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk for five minutes in an episode and 55 with Bill Bixby looking depressed, and we convinced ourselves we were happy with that, it was all good. Secretly, we cried ourselves to sleep with dreams of a giant green monster smashing combat gunships out of the sky and smashing the shit out of an Abrahms.
New things are great, and what we pay our money on paves the way for the next awesome thing they make for us to spend our money on, and bless them for it.
I dreamed of a tricorder when I was a kid, and did YOU see smartphones the way they are now even five years ago? Yeah, you who dropped $400 on one of those flip phones 5 years ago, I’m talking to you. Sucker.
About ten years ago, I was excited because I had a two way text pager with keyboard, and my wife could login to a website on her computer to send a text page directly to my pager. And I could type a reply back. From my pager. This was awesome technology… for about 6 months.
I welcome all the new MMOs coming our way.
I welcome the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO, I welcome the upcoming Guild Wars 2 MMO, and I wish we could have serious Babylon 5 and Buffyverse MMOs. Bring them on.
The more the merrier, damn it.
But here’s the thing.
I play World of Warcraft. That’s what I do.
I try other games, I even buy other games, I bought Kingdoms of Amalur and I love it.
But World of Warcraft, I always come back to you. You are my one true gaming love. I have played you for almost the entire life of my son. I have written about you with enthusiasm, I have had highs, and I have had some incredible lows. I have had my guts torn apart by people I have met in this game that I trusted, and I have had my life enriched by the relationships and friends I have been fortunate enough to make.
This is the game I play. I played it yesterday, I played it today, and you know what? Forecasted chance of WoW tomorrow approaches about 100%.
Death, taxes, I play WoW.
Now, we all joke about this, it’s a concept as old as time, but here it is.
Playing World of Warcraft is just like being in a relationship.
People used to talk all the time about “WoW widows”, and how a persons obsession with WoW could consume their lives and cause their real life marriages to break up, and other things, and I’m sure they are all true.
That some of us, myself among them, feel that an addictive personality that is trying to retreat from a reality (or a real life relationship) they don’t want to face might have chosen any vehicle for escape, be it World of Warcraft, alcohol, rock music, an affair, knitting or spending all their time in sports bars with the buds is besides the point.
The concept of World of Warcraft as a relationship has been around for a long time.
But here is where it gets tricky.
I am married to WoW.
So why the FUCK is it that some people can’t seem to grasp that I can still find WoW interesting, exciting and enjoyable?
I’m married to a wonderful woman in real life. She is simply amazing. No, really, you have no idea. She IS that good. She’s a freaking badass killer angel and you do not deserve to have her DPS in your raid, she is so awesome. Plus, she does taxes, raises children, works five jobs all hours of the day and still manages to kick my ass in You Don’t Know Jack.
Now, I have to ask you.
I’ve been married to this amazing woman for over ten years. I have come to know her very well. She still has the capacity to surprise me, and she is still endlessly exciting to me, and yet we fit together so well. I know her moods, her attitudes, her outlook on life. We are a team, and she is my best friend.
So, do you people come by the blog and wonder why I haven’t gotten bored with her and dumped her for something more interesting because by now we must have run out of things to say to each other?
And yet, I’ve played WoW for fewer years than I’ve been married to my wife. It has grown as we have, expanded (my wife, let me point out, has not expanded over the years in any way except emotionally. My butt has, but she most emphatically has not. )
So, can you please finally grasp the simple concept that some of us HAVE THE CAPACITY TO BE HAPPY IN A COMMITTED RELATIONSHIP AND DON’T NEED TO DUMP OUR CURRENT LOVE WHEN A HOT NEW MODEL COMES ALONG BECAUSE ITS SHINY AND NEW.
I love my wife, can’t imagine a world without her. Just cannot do it.
I also love WoW. I love that, as long as I’ve been playing it, and as incredibly comfortable the knowledge I have of the game, it’s rules, the underpinnings of the gameplay and the vast world of lore gives me, I STILL find something new and fresh or changed and rediscovered all the time.
It’s the wonderful video game hobby that I know so well that still manages to surprise and delight me.
I love my wife far, far more than I will ever love a video game, even WoW. Let me make that clear. This is a comparison to make a point, not a comparison like they are emotionally equal in my life.
The point being, I have the capacity to enjoy being in a relationship.
I get asked, and I see comments all the time from people wondering “How is it that you’re not bored yet? Everyone else is bored, your creating that new alt is another sign that you’re bored, you’re supposed to be sick of WoW by now, how can you continue to play that tired old boring game?”
And I keep wondering to myself, “How is it that you can’t grasp the concept that someone may actually ENJOY playing a game that they have known for many years, have grown very familiar with, have developed years of wonderful memories with, have explored and grown so used to that logging in is like returning to visit an old friend that is still your best friend?”
And I still get to make new characters and discover NEW ways of playing this game! Un-be-lievable.
If you can’t conceive of how someone else can play the same game for years and years, if the very idea somehow offends you…
In the immortal words of Jeff Foxworthy, MAYBE THE PROBLEM IS YOU.
Please, play your other games. Have fun. I know you will like them, because they are damn good, and getting better all the time.
But please, stop acting as though I am the crazy one for still enjoying the game I’m playing.
Let’s just agree that we do not understand each other and leave it at that, okay? I won’t ram my game down your throat like it’s the one true game to tie and bind all the rest, and you don’t come here and act like every time I mention something irritating me in WoW that day that this is one more sign why the entire game sucks and only stupid people play it.
I like trying other games myself, I’m always keeping an open mind, maybe the next great video game love of my life is out there waiting to be found. Maybe Cassie will try one, love it, and tempt me to come along and keep her company.
I really don’t think so, though.
Just like my relationship with my wife, I cannot imagine playing another video game in the same way that I have loved and still love playing WoW.
Someday, WoW will be shut down. Maybe even when Blizzards new MMO comes out.
And when that day comes, I will be one of those people you read about, 12,000 people left on one consolidated server on a 15 year MMO running an operating system that isn’t supported by Microsoft anymore, and you’re saying to yourself, “Wow, people still play that tired old game when all these new ones are out? Geez, what is wrong with them?”
And I’m good with that.