The home that isn’t

I have a confession. Of late, I’ve had a crazy desire to log back in to World of Warcraft. Nevermind the fact that I just cancelled my subscriptions to two other games and can’t really afford it. I’ve caught myself thinking of the early days of play, when the universe seemed to slip over me like a long lost glove. I never put the game above real life but I can say that I worked it into my real life. When I wasn’t playing, I’d read WoW.com instead of my ever growing pile of books. My friends and I would talk about it when we hung out. I even dabbled in fan fiction.

Syp posted an article this morning that’s eerily similar to how I’ve been feeling. It’s a conflict between, as he puts it, head and heart, and I think that’s a pretty fair estimation of what’s going on.

I left WoW for a reason. I ran out of things to do without resorting to doing the same quests over and over again. To me, dailies didn’t equal content. I ran every high-end five man dozens of times, got everything I needed and, since I can’t raid, looked at the horizon and saw bleak possibilities. So, I left, so much like Frodo, looking for brighter shores. Ironically, I found myself with LotRO as my main game.

I became a nomad, of sorts, after I left. I’ve played almost every big release that’s come out in the last two years with the exception of Age of Conan and Champions. Some of these games are very different but what remains the same is I find myself moving almost within 3-4 months. Or less.

And, from time to time, I catch myself thinking back to WoW and the almost 3 years I spent playing it to the exclusion of almost all else. This isn’t the first time I’ve felt nostalgic. And, it’s no coincidence that when I think back to my favorite times in the game, I’m imagining my first character, in my first real guild. That was when I was learning the game and building the strongest relationships. So much was new then that just isn’t now.

So, even though the roaming nomad in my gets a little homesick, I’m not going to make the mistake of believing I can go home again. I can’t, at least not yet. And, if I do, all I’ll find is the world I know so well, too well, exactly same as I left it: full of memories and lacking the promise of anything new and exciting. That’s how it was the last two times I went back. And, if you’ll indulge my openness for another moment, I found the MMO landscape that much more depressing because of it. When you turn to the game you found so much fun in, years worth, and then look out across the wider span and see games that weren’t able to hold you nearly as much… well, it kind of makes you wonder if you’re wasting your time.

I think the better bet is not to try to go home again but to make a new home elsewhere. I have a troubled relationship with LotRO but, for the moment, it’s all I have and I intend to put my head down and barrel in as deep as I can make it. By the time I’m done, hopefully I’ll have a whole new set of experiences and memories behind me to give LotRO a special place. At the very least, what I’m playing will be new and fresh.

Ferrel asked yesterday whether your first MMO is your favorite. For me, I’d say that WoW used to be my favorite. Part of me wants to say it still is because I got so much fun out of it. But, how can I call a game I can’t bring myself to subscribe to my favorite in anything? What will bring me back to WoW and restore its place is cross server raids. Or Cataclysm, whichever comes first. Each represents the promise of lots of new content and, really, a whole new way to play the game. That’s the only way to breathe new life into a dead pony.

Anyways, that’s what’s on my mind today. Nostalgia. Been there, done that, and have the blog post to prove it.

6 pings

  1. Analysis: Signs its time to quit your current MMO? « Im Talkin Games

    […] last few days here in the blog-sphere. With recent posts like this one from Syp @bio break, and then from Game by Night, and Kill Ten Rats even having chimed in on this topic. So many of us gamers; especially the MMO […]

  2. Analysis: Signs it’s time to quit your current MMO? « No re-rolls in real life

    […] last few days here in the blog-sphere. With recent posts like this one from Syp @bio break, and then from Game by Night, and Kill Ten Rats even having chimed in on this topic. So many of us gamers; especially the MMO […]

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