Five years when I quit WoW, I didn’t think I’d go back. Like a bad relationship that went on too long, my feelings for World of Warcraft had completely soured in the months leading up to my retirement. All of my friends had already quit and the world had grown far too familiar. There was nothing left for me. And quitting was the best decision I’ve ever made.
The freedom quitting gave me led me in places, I would have never thought to go while I was so fully invested in WoW. Including this blog. In short, I outgrew my need for WoW in 2012. Even when some of my old friends would ask me to come back, I easily refused the offer. No matter what changed, I knew that, at its heart, WoW will always be that same game. So no one was more surprised than me when I decided to take it back up last month.
It was to satisfy my curiosity about how far the game had come in the last five years. And, honestly, it’s exactly as I expected it. World of Warcraft is a 14 year old game now and it’s age shows in every detail. The old texture models, the passive combat, and the old farts in every chat channel waxing on about the old days. Within hours, I knew that the Battle for Azeroth expansion wasn’t going to radically change the way I felt about the game. But, I’m still playing. In a month I’ve seen a lot of content, how ideas have recycled and the story has progressed in my absence. Some of it is good, some of it is bad, but the large majority is of the changes are non-material. But the hostility I felt towards it when I quit isn’t there anymore.
There’s a hill I used to sled down as a kid in a park close to my childhood home. It was huge and climbing it took a while but it was so worth it to ride my sled down every time it snowed. I walk by it sometimes. It’s just a small hill in an urban park, I could walk up in about 5 seconds if I wanted to. But even though its small and nondescript, I have a certain fondness for it because of the history we have. That’s how I feel about World of Warcraft. It’s not the game I remember it being. Maybe it never was but it’s not the worst and I’m having fun. So I will keep playing.