My journey in the World... of Warcaft.

As many know, I am a bit of a former WoW (World of Warcraft) addict - it comes and goes.

There's times where all I want to do is play - I'll do the things I have to do like go to work and get x-amount of sleep, but the rest of day, I'm logged in (meals become simple, quick things like microwave meals, ramen, sandwiches, pasta or macaroni - things that don't take long to cook - or we order pizza). Then there's times where I login at night and either spend half the time bored cause I can't get a group late at night or no one I enjoy playing with is on, or I sit in one zone, grinding out a mob or quest or jumping in circles in a major city, chatting with friends, using it as an instant messenger. This phase usually means I'm bored with the game and need to take a break. This is the phase I am in now.

Since WoW has been a part of my life for almost the last 5 years and I've found several other female bloggers who also play, I decided to add a new weekly segment - Warcraft Wednesdays.

I started playing near the end of the spring 2005 semester, after hearing all about it from my soon-to-be roommate (who originally started playing to have something in common with a guy she was crushing on) and having my boyfriend at the time show it to me and let me create a character on his account to try, I admit, I thought it was pretty fun, however I didn't want my own account until after my finals were done (which being an art major, my finals were a week before everyone elses and this semester the only big thing I had to focus on was my portfolio review). Once the semester was out, I installed the 10 day trial my now-ex gave me, recreated the character I had made on his account and seriously began my journey with World of Warcraft. 

It started out innocent enough - I would play during the evening and into the night on my laptop in my dorm suite's common room, as my other 3 roommates all had finals to study for and I did not. My boyfriend would help me with quests and explain things to me, sometimes showing up on my screen with his character and help me kill mobs I had trouble with. It was also neat because some friends of ours (his) that went to different schools - including out of state - also played, so it was nice to get to get to do something with them more often than we previously did.

That was also the summer I started working at the theater and got an apartment with my long-term roommate. I had to be out of the dorms the weekend after finals, but we couldn't move into our apartment for another 3 weeks or so and I had already started at the theater. Since driving back and forth multiple times a week from home to work would suck, my soon-to-be roommate cleared it with her current roommates that I could crash on their couch several times a week - for example, I would be home one day, drive down for my shift, work til close and stay at my future roommate's if I was working the next few days straight, then go home for a day or 2 and repeat. Since the theater was on the county school's schedule and not the college's schedule, I didn't have to be at work until 3pm at the earliest. Getting back at midnight, this gave me and my roommate plenty of time to play at the same time, even though we were on different servers. I eventually caught up to her character she had started not long before I started playing (she liked to play alts) so often times we'd be working on the same quests and could help each other.

When we moved into our apartment, her, myself and our 3rd roommate all played. And even though I had a summer class in the morning 4 days a week, I only worked a few days a week so the rest of the time was spent playing WoW. Needless to say, I got hooked. I had set a deadline for myself to hit 60 by the end summer and get my epic mount (which actually required work and effort back then). Then I got introduced to raiding and was co-leading a guild - really it turned into a 2nd job.

When I wasn't in class or working I was playing WoW.

The pressures of leading a guild though where 50% of the guild wanted to raid while the other half could care less and I was stuck being the diplomatic one trying to make everyone happy and keep guild alliances together really started to affect me outside the game. Fortunately we were able to merge the guild with a bigger guild that offered raiding as well as other aspects that the majority in our guild could take part in which solved that headache and I was able to just focus on the (mostly) fun parts of the game.

As the first expansion - Burning Crusade - was released I took a more casual approach to the game, as I had gone back to school after a semester off and was working as management so that limited my raid times greatly. It took me awhile to level up, as I didn't enjoy a lot of the quests and zones Burning Crusade had to offer (the instances were fun though!). I raided when I could though, as the guild I was in for the first half of BC was more laidback and a lot of fun. But that came to end, and for the rest of BC, on alliance side, I just couldn't find a guild that was as fun, so I decided to just focus on finishing college, casually leveling my horde character up. Eventually I played mostly just that one and got to raid a little bit on her for the end of Burning Crusade.

Then Wrath came out.

By this time, I was married and working a casual job a few days a week, so that gave me plenty of time to play. With hubby and a few friends, I leveled up in record time (it was just over a week). We joined a guild made up of some of the people we were guilded with during the first half of the previous expansion and raiding regularly most nights of the week. I also leveled another toon to 80 during the time when I wasn't raiding and once that guild ended, I joined one on my new toon and was an active raider on that one. When that guild fell apart (seems to be a reoccuring thing) I decided to go back and level my horde character, finding a casual raid guild made of up members from her former guild.

Then I started to get bored again.

We took some time off around Thanksgiving and I wasn't really active again until after Christmas. When I came back, there had been another big patch - the one with the Icecrown Citadel content - and my guildleader said my gear was too low to join them on those raids. I hate grinding. Raiding and working to get drops is one thing, but grinding instances for badges over and over to get an entire gear set... just gets annoying and boring. I can't do it.And it didn't help that the part inside of my laptop that connects to the power cord only works 50% of the time and would cost at least $300 to fix.

So this is where I ended my World of Warcraft addiction... for now.

Hubby had canceled his account back in December so he could pay for his EVE account and had planned on switching to Star Trek Online, but decided not to, after playing the Beta for a week or so. Since he canceled, I didn't really have anyone reliable to play with - a lot of my "close" friends in game had already quit months before and the ones that were left were either too busy with their guilds or didn't really do much. It became a $15/mo instant messenger and why pay for that when I can use AIM and Facebook for free? I figured that was an extra $15/mo that we could be spending elsewhere for now, so I canceled too.

Now don't get me wrong, I do have urges to reactivate my account and play - especially more so now that hubby is working most evenings and I get bored easily. But I manage to resist the urge.

Don't worry though, we plan on coming back for the next expansion - Cataclyism - which comes out (we're guessing) in the last half of this year. I already have plans for a few goblin toons - including one as my horde banker with a Harry Potter-ish Gringotts name =D Hopefully by then I'll have an actual gaming laptop too - Macs are great for designing stuff, but I'll admit, PCs are much better for gaming!

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