Ugh, here we go again. I don’t know why that, year after year, I try to get away when the end result is always the same.
2004 was an interesting year for me. Not only was I finishing up high school, but a new MMORPG was gearing up to, unbeknownst to their team at the time, take the world by storm. Before World of Warcraft I was heavily invested in Final Fantasy XI (another MMORPG), but was looking for something a bit different. Little did I know that my first login back in December 2014 would begin an almost 15 year relationship filled with equal parts love and hate with World of Warcraft.
In World of Warcraft’s earliest years, I couldn’t stop playing. Highly praised single player RPGs would come out and, yes, I would dabble in them a bit as well. But it wasn’t ever long before I jumped back in bed with World of Warcraft. I just couldn’t get away from it and, really, didn’t want to in the those days. I played fairly consistently with no breaks up until the “newness” wore off the Cataclysm expansion. After that point, I discovered my interest waning, even if only a bit at first. But eventually, it was enough for me to set down World of Warcraft for extended periods of time.
When that happened, I would try other MMOs, or perhaps a few single player PC/console titles. That practice would repeat itself until I heard about the “latest and greatest” in World of Warcraft, and then I’d find myself itching to play once again. While in the two most recent expansions, Legion and Warlords of Draenor, I’ve been able to peel away for 8-10 months at a time, somehow, I’m always ending up pulling out my wallet to subscribe again, even if only for a month or three.
So, what is it about World of Warcraft that keeps me coming back? Some might say that it is the nostalgia factor, and the fact that I might find comfort in something so familiar. But the thing is, World of Warcraft has drastically changed since the early days. Sure, you’re still getting together with people, killing stuff, crafting sundries, and making “money”, but the mechanics behind those activities are night and day in comparison to its former self. If I was feeling compelled to play an original, Vanilla World of Warcraft private server I’d say that nostalgia was to blame. But what is the driving force behind my obsessiveness with current World of Warcraft?
Historically speaking, Legion was the first expansion I’ve played for the longest time without a break since Wrath of the Lich King. Even still, I took over a year off before coming back for the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch. I’m sure that BfA will be no different in that respect. I’ll be “all-in” for a couple months before shelving it for an undetermined amount of time. Lord, help me if I go back to it again after that. But as they say, we are creatures of habit. Therefore, I won’t be surprised in the slightest if my decade-spanning trend continues to repeat itself.
If you have a history with World of Warcraft (or any MMO really), have you had to contend with such a cycle yourself?