Friday, March 25, 2011

World of Warcraft Doesn't Need Me

I've been getting a number of World of Warcraft comments on my blog, so, hey, let's talk World of Warcraft.

Traditionally I've avoided even speaking the name of the vile one here on my blog, preferring to call it "the game which shall not be named." Hey! That's just me being funny.

I surrendered a couple years of my life to World of Warcraft circa 2005-2006. I played a Female Human Paladin mostly. Why? Well, I asked my friend Brandon what the least played class/race combo was and he said Female Human Paladin, so Reverencia Sacerdote was born. My spicy Spanish nun. Awesome luck for me was that Arnold Schwarzenegger played a Female Human Paladin too (not really . . . that was also just me being funny).

Let's be honest why I started playing WoW. It was my friends. I was an EQ player before that, and let's be honest why I started playing EQ. It was my friends.

World of Warcraft pretty much destroyed Everquest when it came out. You know, it's funny because one of the comments that has recently been left on my blog was, does Wizard101 steal anything from WoW? (Specifically talking about the Nightmare, which I remember to be a mount option for level 40 Warlocks.) The answer to that question is, Yeah, of course Wizard101 steals stuff from WoW. The whole industry does that. In fact, WoW stole a bunch of its stuff from Everquest. Everquest stole a bunch of its stuff from Dungeons and Dragons. Dungeons and Dragons stole a bunch of its stuff from H. P. Lovecraft and J. R. R. Tolkien. When you're dealing with the fantasy genre, it's hard not to have a troll in your game, right? It's just the nature of the beast. Of course these games are going to cross paths once in a while.

I digress.

I wasn't done with Everquest when I started playing WoW, but I left anyway because the friends that were playing WoW were awesome and it meant more to me to play with them than sticking with Everquest, so I played WoW. Funny enough, it turned out to be a pretty great game, and the most fun was in chatting on the guild and raiding alliance message boards and of course, raiding, that awesome time waster where you get four groups or so together and destroy the big bad guys. When my friends and I were playing WoW, I had a great time.

So why did I leave WoW? Well, my friend one day up and sold his raid geared dwarven warrior for a few hundred dollars, and it was done. That little spifire of a dwarf was promptly turned into a bot for harvesting herbs by a third party. Sad.

The game lost its lure for me. My friend was gone. I didn't sell my character . . . I went back to EQ for a while and had more fun there until I was done with the game. What killed Everquest for me was finding out my son had Autism. I was done. The most important thing at that time was dealing with that. I couldn't hack the raiding lifestyle and be a good parent.

So the question at hand here is . . . is there any WoW left in me. Cataclysm changed everything and wouldn't it be a great game to go back and play?

No thanks.

It has nothing to do with WoW. There's plenty to do in WoW to keep you completely obsessed for years, but it'll never have my friend Brandon back. He doesn't play MMOs anymore. He's more into pen and paper these days with a few of his friends where he lives locally. WoW *is* Brandon for me. I can't go back and play it without feeling like something is missing.

But, the title of this post isn't Warcraft Equals Missing Friends, Friendly . . . Why'd you call it World of Warcraft Doesn't Need Me? Because they don't. That's reason number two why I don't care about playing WoW. They're vast and already have communities overflowing with Bloggers. They already have Blessing of Kings. They don't need me.

Things have changed since I started playing MMOs because my friends were there. Now I play MMOs because I love the genre and I like to write. When I contacted Blizzard's PR, did I get a nice personal note back like I did with SoE, Turbine, and KingsIsle? Nope. They stuck me on their distribution list and didn't say a word back to me. Not that I should expect that; it's freaking BLIZZARD we're talking about here. They're huge. They're busy. Friendly Necromancers are a dime a dozen (Here, take 20 TFN's, they're going cheap!)

They've got massive amounts of things going on, and there are already three people or so covering the beat for World of Warcraft in Beckett's. Even if it was an accidental (or to-be-expected) blow off, it's just plain to see . . . they don't need me.

Wizard101 doesn't really need me anymore either (never have actually), but I still believe in their product being the best Family MMO out there. :) I need them! I've mentioned the reasons before.

Hope you made it through your bag of popcorn! Sorry for the rant. It was just kind of how I was wound today. /shrug Hope that answers your questions about my relationship with the game which shall not be named.

Happy dueling!


Anonymous said...

You Tell Em! xD

Rogue Sorcerer said...

Dude that was awesome. I never got into WoW but I did get into LoL. I might get the WoW pack that comes with disc 1 and 2 but thats pretty much it. I mean, $20 a month? Thats pretty high!

Kevin BattleBlood said...

This post sparked one of those debatable questions for me: "Is it the company that creates what the product is in our eyes? Or is it the reactions and interactions of people around us -- both in and out of the game -- that do?"

Your story about Brandon reminded me of when Missy had to leave the game last year for a few months. It was a dull numbness, and I was aware of the missing excitement of logging into the game. Wizard101 is consistently a great product, but missing someone felt like there was something taken out of the game. It took the existence of our other friends to keep my wheels rolling.

And, hey, it took your existence, Tom, for the spark of this niche of Bloggers and Twizards who strive for the freedom of individual creativity and expression, outside of other sites' rules. This site you call a blog is like a home to new players who want a valid and innovative perspective on their new (potentially) favorite game. I remember how Ronan and I would scurry over to this page around 5 or 6 AM in the morning in our respective timezones just to see what you had to say; hah! Your love for writing has influenced and inspired others to share their adventures, too. In fact, I got a great deal of practice in communicating through written words, as opposed to spoken, and it really did improve my ability when it came to the dreadful essays and prompts; I no longer hate writing. I'm sure there are others out there who have realized or felt a similar change(s) in them via your impact.

So, I don't know -- perhaps you really are a major reason for why many players still continue to visit the Spiral. Time and time again, Wizards have mentioned and looked back to the "community" being the greatest part of the game. Leesha and Stephen did. IcyWiz, too. One of my posts back last April explored it. AutumnalDusk has repeated it. As a featured blogger, you helped (and help) keep this niche of ours growing as more and more interested players make their way to the Official Fansites page. You also reminded players to not care about being judged for what they enjoy, seeing you were a former hardcore gamer, too. Heck, I even talked about this game at a 21+ lounge bar the other night without feeling awkward or ashamed (but, I was surprised my audience still existed and asked more game-related questions). That said, I firmly rebut that Wizard101 did (and still does) need you. You may not be the creator of the PvP activity that I enjoy, or designer of the pet system, or even the security guard (if they have one) at KI, but you do add an element to the game that is hard to forget or to miss acknowledgment with. So, thank you.

Sierra Starsong said...

Even if W101 doesn't need you any more (which I seriously doubt), the Wizard 101 community of players DOES need you Thomas! {{hugs}} You're the biggest reason I got hooked on this game in the first place. If the time ever comes for you to move on I'll understand, but it just wouldn't be the same.

Fatal Exception said...

+12 Epic post, Friendly

Anonymous said...

a few comments

1: I never liked hardcore MMORPGs. Well, I did play Runescape for a while, but that's not the most hardcore game.

2: Your son has autism? That's so sad. There's an autistic kid in my school, but, I'm sorry about hearing that.

3: Awesome post! You put the WoWers in their place!

Icy Wiz said...

My name is Christina IceDreamer, and I play World of Warcraft.

And I approve of Friendly's message.

Kiersten Samwell aka Professor Greyrose said...

Friendly, I mean it when I say that it's people like you who make Wizard101 fun and safe for everyone.

Community Leaders help to shape the future of the game, the disposition of the players and the overall experience. I rely heavily on my Community Leaders to point out my mistakes, to rally the troops, to lead the charge, to be all that you can be, to let slip the Marleybonian dogs of war...oh wait, I think I went off the rails there a bit.

No matter where you go or what you play, you are a leader. We as a Wizard101 community are lucky, beyond what words can convey, to have you in our midst.

Anonymous said...

cactusflinthead said...

I expect I fall into the older category of gamers. I was trying to explain D&D and the reams of paper and time necessary to play the game. The evolution of games over the last 30 years of my life is still amazing to me.
Sadly, I too have met and then lost people on this intertubz thingamabob. But, I have lost track of people IRL too. Things happen, people change, move, grow and do things differently than they used to. Life goes on. I have found if I can hold onto a handful of keepers among the many screennames that pass through the tube at me then I am doing well. You have to mine a lot of ore to get a little bit of gold.
Then there is my own personal involvement. I can have a community but if I do not participate then I am the one who gets lost in the wilderness.

All that said, I still haven't played WoW. There is some interest, but not enough to devote the time necessary to pursue it properly. I actually like the Lone Ranger option of most of W101 and from what I understand of WoW this is not really an option. Yes, yes we all need somebody sometime, but I like being solo as well as part of the group.
KI needs you too, whether they ever acknowledge it is immaterial. Your continued blogging and the community that has been built up outside the game keeps some of us involved and interested. That is what involvement in a community boils down to really, interest. When we lose interest in an activity that has a community attached to it, then we lose contact with that group. Besides the fact that you have bailed out many a stumped wizard trying to figure out what the heck went wrong.
ramble ended.

Unknown said...

Hi! My 9 year old son loves your blog and finally convinced me to read a post on it. You had me at "Autism". I didn't understand that W101 was a family oriented game until I read your post and feel enlightened and relieved since my son spends most of his free time (OK, all) on W101 and your blog. My husband I don't get it, we're not gamers and perhaps too "old" for it. We just have no interest. But, now that I understand who you are a little, as a parent, I feel better about it. 'Nuf rambling!

My son LOVES your blog!

Anonymous said...

Andrew SweetLeaf ,here. I have been playing MMORPG since the first one Ultima Online. and I was playing up until my step daughter and wife came to me one day and said take a look at this game ( Wizards). now being on a game for more than 10 years its hard to pack up camp and move to a new "World" The interface was just so smooth. and friendly to my 4 children. being a game artist i had a chance to see the graphics and game design off all the games mentioned and still the KI guys have knocked out a winning combination in game play industry.

Deaththekid said...

Do you have an account on wizard101 central?

Soph WinterTamer said...

First, as the parent of two kids on opposite ends of the autism spectrum, I am in awe of the time you are able to put into the community. I know what it takes out of a person. Second, while you and I have never directly interacted, you still influence my W101 experience. Do I check your blog daily to see what's going on in the spiral? yes. I too have lost friends in-game, and it is no fun. But, unlike in other games I've played, something keeps me ITS, and its the sense of community, of which you are an integral part.

Angel Winterbreeze said...

Although it might no seem like it sometimes, but Wizard101 does need you.. We need you. You are one of the main influences that encouraged me to actually become a part of this community even though I only play a tiny part in it. This family or 'community' would never be the same without you :). I always look forward to your posts they're always fun and entertaining and interesting like some other bloggers out there. So keep doing your thing Tom!

IndgoMom said...

HI! *wave* I'm new to W101 (one month in) and very new to your blog (just found it this week)...I enjoyed reading this entry! My husband and I too were wow-heads for over a year. Sometimes we think we miss it, but then we get on and we remember why we aren't playing it anymore! W101 has what I loved about wow, none of what I hated, and stuff that wow didn't even have! (I LOVE the houses!!!) We have our 2 kids playing w101 with us now also, and like your son, our son has autism and also bi-polar disorder. A nice family game like this is great for him and his younger sis, and my husband and I ADORE this game! How can I find you on w101 central to add you to my friends list? Thnx for your fun and humorous blog entries! I'll keep checking in to see what new things you have to say (and make fun of!) *wink*
Sincerely...Autumn Moonthief (aka Jennifer)

Anonymous said...

sorry for my previous post on you legendary post.. I just wish you would be more open about your WoW experience. Thanks! Also, i could understand why you quit because right now my friend is hooked and i find it very fun to help him and talk to him while hes online. If he quit like he did all the other games he got hooked on, like mechquest, i wouldn't feel comfortable in my casual guild anymore. TAPS TO YOU FRIENDLY> LUV UR VALUES> FAMILY MANNNNN!!! Btw rogue sorcerer WoW is not 20 dollars a month it is 15.

Suri Blueflower said...

Ok...I know this isn't a very on topic question, but it was the first post so I put it here.I think I found a glitch. Not that that's anything new...people find glitches all the time.
But I was doing the gardening I do nearly every day, when I remember to get on, and I have the large Mooshu house. You know inside where the little shelves in the walls are? Well I have a pink dandelion there and it said: 21 hours till harvest, and I completed the gardening and it let me harvest it. I was kind of hesitant because it sounded like that "floating plant glitch", though I'd never seen it before. I was wondering if you might know why it did that..Maybe it's because I did my gardening at six in the morning, (I really only did it a few minutes ago from the time of the post) or maybe it's something else..I asked this question because as I said a little bit earlier, it sounded like the floating plant glitch (but I'm sure it's not, because they fixed that) and I didn't want to get banned...
I haven't officially read the original post yet, but it sounds interesting from the other comments so I guess I will..
Thanks in advance,
Suri Blueflower

Anonymous said...

i probably wound'nt play wow myself, its to pricey.
thats a good thing about wizard101 you can play for free however long you want. And i agree with Kiersten
Samwell, you're a great leader
the agressive player
Sean Nightfist

Zachary Skywielder said...

I think the " something special" coming to the spiral will be a new version of the game, maybe with slightly different mechanics ( like raiding/larger battle circles) and a new program to install to run the game
based on a weird google summary of the search result that was the forums, which I couldn't actually find on the page

Luke GoldHorn said...

Wow, Friendly. I had a lot of respect for you already, and you just kicked it up a notch. If you ranked a 9/10 on the scale last time, you're like a 15/10 now. As many people said in the past comments, it takes a long time alone to take care of someone with Autism, and the fact that you can do that AND contribute so much to this community is just unbelievable. I think we should officially start calling you the Super Dad haha :D Keep up the good work, because without out, this community would be MUCH farther back in its progress than we could imagine.

Caitlin DaisyGlade said...

world of war craft is kinda hmm a epic fail of lameness its the worst game ever i mean the characters are cool but its like your in the middle ages and goblins are making eletric air-balloons plus its only a 10 day free trial the trolls in it are care-less surferer dudes its really sad how WoW thinks its so awesome

Stingite said...

Thanks for the support all! Next post on my blog has some follow on comments.

Devin said...

I think I'm in love!

I actually left 4 level 85 toons and a TERRIBLE WoW addiction for Wizard101.

It was the best 'blind leap' I've ever taken with PC gaming, at least...and I will never, ever go back to that mess Blizzard created, or the people it attracts.

I feel like such a groupie, but I adore this blog!!!