I’ve played a lot of World of Warcraft in my time. From raid leading at a ‘hardcore’ level through to a more chilled out ‘casual’ approach. If ‘casual’ means taking a week off when a new expansion launches and surviving on a diet of pizza and coke anyway.
The last few years I lost interest in the game. The reasons are not really important (although I think raid finder may have been the final nail in my Azerothian coffin) but ever since Wrath of the Lich King ended I’ve been less and less interested. Now it’s been over a year since I last played. With Legion on the horizon though, I’ve started to feel the pull again, if for no other reason than Illidan Stormrage returning in some capacity. Every trailer, every screenshot, every friend that is sucked back into the black hole that is World of Warcraft takes me one step closer to jumping back in. There is one thing that stops me every time I think about buying Legion though.
I won’t pay $69.95 and a subscription fee.
This is not a reasonable cost, not in today’s market. World of Warcraft demands that price not because it’s the best on the market but because it has nostalgia and a critical mass of players. The vast majority of gamers have either played, or know someone that has played, World of Warcraft. And many of those who continue to play it are incredibly devoted to it, so much so they are completely blind to alternate games.
I have seen many a World of Warcraft player refusing to play any other MMO and many are openly resentful of those that do, actively hoping for games to fail. WoW is their game, Azeroth is their home and Blizzard is their god. Their loyalty to the game is unshakable. I know because that was me for a long time.
I still have that nostalgia. I still miss the days of raiding four hours a night, five nights a week. Of grinding mobs for mats and rep. Doing attunement quests and slow walking around Stormwind so everyone could see that yes, I was full tier six. Of wiping on Heroic dungeons, spamming trade with recruitment macros, installing and tinkering with mods, running guild forums. I loved it and I often wish I still had that devotion.
As for so many others, World of Warcraft became about much more than epic loot and transmog sets. I made friend in World of Warcraft that I’ll have for life. My closest board games buddies I met in WoW. I’ve stayed with with friends when travelling interstate that I met in WoW. I’ve played with their kids, gone to their weddings. Once nothing but pixels and a voice these people are now real flesh and blood friends. I know their real names, but they’ll always be the names we called each other on Vent when rotating cooldowns or calling targets. Picking up World of Warcraft allowed so many fantastic people to enter my life and I’ll always be happy that I did.
It’s those relationships that I miss, not the game. And with that spell of nostalgia broken the game is not worth the combined asking price. I struggle to finish a 10 hour game because I can see the next game I want to try. To be a World of Warcraft player is to be a one game person. Those days are past for me. I’m a different gamer and, to be frank, WoW is a different game now.
I would like to see that world again though. I’d like to take my Shaman, who I spent so many hours with, on one last ride. Just to get to the level cap, play through the world and see some old friends while I’m there (incidentally, if you are looking for an Oceanic guild check these folks out. Some of the finest people in my life I met here). I still love that world and Legion has so many things I want to see.
But I won’t pay $69.95 and a subscription fee.
The moment Blizzard drop either of those barriers Serevok, The Hand of A’dal, Bane of the Fallen King, Destroyer’s End and Warlord of Draenor will ride once more. Until then, he’s gonna chill and I’m going to play No Man’s Sky…