Crack, And Why I Love It So.

So, it’s been a while since I updated this blog at all, and an awful lot of games have been played in the time between my EVE craving and now. I’ll try to cram them into a few posts over the next few weeks, but I’ll probably miss some stuff out.

Oh, as a note, I never got back into EVE. I managed to stave off the pangs of hunger long enough for them to subside and be replaced with something else. In this case, Lord of the Rings Online – which I’ll mention in a later blog post. Briefly.

Alright, I’ll kick off my post with a biggie; World of Warcraft.

World of Warcraft

So some of you are guaranteed to be groaning at this point. But really, as an easily distracted gamer, how can I not have played World of Warcraft at some point? As the guy to be distracted by shiny things I can’t fail to have been pulled in at some point.

Alright, so that point was around four years ago (the seventh of August, 2005, to be exact), but that’s not the point. At the time (bright-eyed and innocent), I was looking for a MMORPG to involve myself in; having a strange, rose-tinted view of online play ever since my Runescape days. After trying many, many different free MMOs, I came across World of Warcraft. Alright, it wasn’t free, but doing a little research, it seemed worth the money.

Of course, my “research” was looking through their official site. Again with the shiny things.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I bought the game and have been having a love-hate relationship with it ever since. The longest I’ve ever gone for without a subscription has been five months, even though I’ve probably never played a subscription all the way through. I’ve always gotten bored before the six months is up, and am usually inactive when it runs out. Still, I always come back.

The main reason I’ve always come back is because of the involvement I have with the game’s society. Despite never having been a major member of a guild, or joined a WoW-centric forum, I’ve always had links back to the game that’s dragged me back in again and again. One of these has been the WoW podcast, Taverncast; a childish, yet mature trip through various bits of Warcraft fun with added beer. Seriously, any one of their episodes can get me cracking up, regardless of what it’s about. The other one of these has been my cousin. I’d have been clean from my personal crack for several months, say, and I’ll go to visit him.

And he’ll be raiding.

Or doing something cool.

Or just AFK in a city.

All it takes is for me to see it. Or for him to talk about it. And I’m straight back in again. I’ll get home and throw myself on Blizzard’s mercy, apologising feverishly for my foolish desire for a life, and offering my money and my soul in recompense.

And Blizzard would look down at me, laugh and supply me once again with six months of grinding and leveling…

And yes, only those. Because I have never ever hit the level cap in any of my almost five years playing Warcraft. My highest level character is a 72 Rogue, who was leveled up to 75 by some hackers when my account got highjacked. Again, my love of trying new things, and consistently getting bored of old ones crosses into games, as well as across them, accounting for my alt-o-holic attitude.

But why do I love this game so much as to come back to it, again and again? I really couldn’t tell you. I love the art style – it’s bright enough so that distinct contrasts between characters and landscapes are actually possible – unlike Age of Conan, for instance. It’s also cartoony, and wonderfully exaggerated. Areas always have an air of difference to them, perhaps to a stupid degree in some cases (the area full of snow being right next door to one full of lava, for instance), but hey, that’s what Cataclysm’s for, right?

Anyway, back to what I actually did this past month. Well, I’ve been leveling up my Undead Mage. I’ve always had an urge to play a Mage, and earlier this year, I bit the bullet and raised one past level 18, finally surpassing my previous efforts. I’ve been having a lot of fun with this character, and I certainly want it to be my first (level-capped character, of course). I won’t deny that a large part of my leveling experience has involved a lot of adventuring using the Dungeon Finder, which has been an absolute boon for someone like myself. I’d never been half of the dungeons in Old Azeroth before the Dungeon Finder would randomly put me there. Maraudon, Lower Blackrock Spire, the three Dire Maul wings, and even a brief and brutal foray into Undead Stratholme.

All this has taken me to level 59, and my progress has somewhat stuttered there for a time. Oddly enough, it’s not down to my attention span this time. Most of the dungeons that I’m eligable for at this point, tend to take a fairly long time to complete, and I simply don’t have that much time now I’m at university and have developed what is known as “a life”. Scary, I know. I could leave halfway through an instance, but I’ve never liked that approach, especially when there are shiny things waiting at the end of it.

As another excuse (or reason), the university has a Firewall that allows Warcraft under the most silly of exceptions. After logging onto my account, I must log into a level 1 character on the Darkspear realm. Then log out. Then I can log into a level 1 character on MY realm. Only after logging out of that character, can I then access my real character. It’s bloody wearing, let me tell you. I can’t just log on; I need to go through this rigmarole every single time. That’s the reason I have a character called “Access” on my character list.

————————–

Haha, this was originally meant to be a post amalgamating all of my gaming history of the past month into a single post. After writing almost a thousand words on WoW alone, I’ve decided that I’ll just leave as a standalone WoW post.

‘Til next time, true believers!

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