Sunday, June 01, 2008

Farewell, World of Warcraft

I'm done with World of Warcraft now.

While my wife was pregnant and tired, WoW was an ideal way to relax. I could enjoy spending time with friends while in the living room with her, and at any time leave the game or take a quick intermission to make her tea, bring her a new book, talk to her if she had some energy,and so forth: when leveling a character the game is very interruptible. Moreover, my character was a "Rogue" expressly so it could hide and become invisible at any time, allowing it to be safe while I was interrupted to do something in real life.

But and my life and my character have changed too much for me to keep playing. Although the game is at its best at level 70 with the widest variety of things to do and challenges to solve through teamwork, now none of that is suitable for a five or ten minute block of time, and with a new baby in the house I no longer can set aside an hour long block of time to enjoy being social and participating in the teamwork required to solve a tricky quest chain or exploring a dangerous dungeon.

Also, the game works best when much of its time is a "background activity". During the cold Winter months I was often online "playing" but actually my character was just waiting. The game's interface has convenient tools for finding and joining a group to attempt a quest or dungeon but it might take an hour or two to muster a worthy party of adventurers. So I would have the game going in the background (in a wide window where I could see at the edge of my screen if anyone responded to the "looking for group" feature) while doing e-mail, math work, ministry word processing, etc. Now my life's "background activity" is caring for a newborn and I am not skilled enough at multitasking to have two!

It was quite fun to guide a character through the game to reach level 70. The setting was enormous and fun to explore. I met many nice people, whom I will miss chatting with (hopefully some will keep in touch with blog comments or e-mail). I was able to enjoy some adventures with exemplary and interesting teamwork.

I've finished exploring the game's setting and cannot repeat the sense of wonder and thrill at traveling to and through those dramatic and often beautiful places. That exploring fills many happy memories, but it is done.

I could replay the game with a second character to play in short blocks of time, but that has no appeal to me. I've never seen the few most difficult raid instances, but otherwise been everywhere and feel like I've "finished" the game even though it has no actual ending.

Finally, springtime is here. Now that days are warmer and rain is less present I can resume my outdoor past-times.

The best writing I did about the game was back in January when I wrote a series of articles explaining why I enjoyed World of Warcraft, and how my ministerial work helped inoculate me against that game's addictiveness. Here are the links for that series:
The most interesting and helpful writing others did in reply to my WoW questions starts here.

Sadly, I'm not entitled to give my account to a friend according to section 8 of the terms of use. It seems a waste of real-life time to have my character just vanish forever.

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