This wasn’t the original topic I was planning on discussing today, but then I noticed something. I had 99 published articles on Kor’kron 501st. I think the 100th post should be a little more reflective.
World of Warcraft is a great game, and I love it and the universe in which it takes place. Of course, it’s not without its flaws, but I keep coming back to it. I’m also a Star Wars fan. I’ve played a lot of the games, I’ve read a lot of the novels, and The Old Republic seems fantastic; but TOR just doesn’t suck me in like WoW does.
It might the idea of becoming a powerful, heroic character. I want to overcome great evil, wield the legendary weapon such-and-such (I suppose it would be Val’anyr.) When I first started, I wanted to imagine myself jumping into a group of enemies, swinging my two blades. Now, I want to imagine myself a guiding light, helping my friends and faction overcome adversary.
I love the number of interesting characters. I love Thrall, and I love that they removed him from his position as War Chief when he became too loved. I love Garorsh Hellscream’s rise to power and am excited to see his story unfold in Mists of Pandaria. I might not love noble Cairne’s tragic death, but it does give me an emotional investment in the story seeing his death and Baine’s rise as the young High Chieftain of the Tauren. The interaction between him and Anduin Wrynn is a happy bit of piece in a story of turmoil. Anduin (as well as Jaina) also make excellent juxtapositions to Varian.
The world feels large and alive, at least at first. Over time one learns that the world isn’t really quite so large (especially with the more linear zones introduced in Cataclysm), but I still love the overwhelming feeling I had when I first began to play. When I first saw Ironforge on my Alliance character, my jaw dropped. When my Horde character first left Durotar for the Barrens, it felt like I was actually helping the Horde army. (I had no idea how bad life was going to get once I had to play through the Barrens.) How about the Wrathgate cinematic and the Battle for the Undercity? It felt so epic, and I watched that video over and over the few days after first reaching it (and I still do sometimes).
This doesn’t even discuss the major gameplay aspects. Seeing dungeons for the first time is always an amazing feeling for me, which is why I avoid doing it in a rush. I loved first exploring the Frozen Halls dungeons introduced in 3.3 with Icecrown Citadel. The feeling of improving and overcoming new raid bosses in a team feels wonderful. Clean kills? Those are boring. The first kills during which I feel like I did everything in my power and skill set to succeed, the ones in which only a handful of raid members are left standing, are the good ones. Likewise, battlegrounds can be so much fun. Nothing in gaming (uh, besides Portal) can compete with Moogle and me surviving and winning an outnumbered fight in a battleground! Of course, raiding (and sometimes battlegrounds) add another part – socializing. I’ve met a lot of really amazing people in WoW.
I suppose it all comes down to investment. There’s time and money, but mostly it’s the emotional investment. I’ve learned so much about the universe. I love many of the characters and factions in Warcraft. I’m excited by the dramatic tension between individuals and groups, even if one I like comes out worse. I understand how my character thinks. He’s an extension of myself. Most of all, I just love exploring and experiencing this wonderful universe with Mooglegem. It would take a lot to break the emotional attachment. In fact, I doubt it could break. Sometimes I begin to play less. Yes, I’m sure I’ll quit someday. But even when I step back, I still care about what’s happening. Just like how I’ve always had a soft spot for Mario and Sonic, I don’t think my attachment to Warcraft will ever fully go away. And hopefully my investment continues to pay off for a long time.