Monday, March 21, 2011

The Legendary Test

How much longer do you think you will keep playing World of Warcraft?

I guess I’m not the only one who has been wrestling with this question lately, seeing many long-time guildies taking off for greener pastures in other games.

I’ve come up with a way to find out, and it’s as easy to take as a pregnancy test. I call it The Legendary Test and it consists of one simple question:

Imagine that you are a raider and that you’re playing a casting class. In the 4.2 patch, Blizzard is expected to introduce a legendary casting staff. Will you candidate to become the staff carrier of your guild?

Long time commitment
I don’t know how others distribute the legendaries in their guilds, but in our guild, our legendaries have been given out through a dkp auction, just like any other loot, but with one difference. If you wanted to candidate you should be likely to keep playing for a long time to come, with a good sign-up history, committed and prepared to put in the extra efforts it may require, such as gathering expensive materials and working on quest lines.

When the previous two legendaries were introduced – first the Ulduar mace and then the ICC axe, I obviously wasn’t a candidate, playing the wrong class. However I don’t doubt for a second that if those weapons had been suitable for mages, I would have loved to get one. At that time I was certain I would keep playing WoW for years, and I knew beyond any doubt make good use of the weapon once I had completed it, killing evil dragons under the banner of Adrenaline for a long time to come. Something else was unthinkable.

When I took the Legendary test on myself the other day, asking if I’d go for the weapon this time, the answer came up just as quickly. Only that this time it was in the opposite direction.

No. I won’t candidate, since I’m not 100 percent sure I’ll be around to complete it or use it for very long once it’s forged together. To candidate would feel completely wrong and unfair to my guild.

Losing the grip
This is not a farewell post, this is not the post where I declare “I’m bored with WoW and I’ve already cancelled my subscription”. But I can’t deny that something has happened, that something is in development. WoW is slowly but surely losing its grip on me.

I don’t think it has to do with the way the game is designed. It’s prettier, more polished than ever; I think they’ve more or less nailed it with the raid difficulty, coming up with good solutions to offer challenges to players on different skill levels and I really can’t see any reason to complain about lack of content either. It’s a beautiful, many sided and well crafted game, in many ways a lot better than what it was like when I started to play it four years ago.

There's something different that is in the doing, which affects me and gets to me. And I think it’s mostly about the community.

Every week there’s someone who leaves, a blogger I used to read or a guildie I used to raid with. And when they go they take something with them. Each one takes a little fragment of what kept me so invested and given me so much enjoyment in WoW. You could call it soul shards.

Today I got the message that one of my best friends in WoW has decided to call it a day. He’s not the first one and maybe not the last one, but suddenly I realized that I’m starting to run really low on soul shards. They’ve been taken from me and it doesn’t seem to me as if they’re replaceable.

I’m so low on them that I don’t pass the Legendary Test anymore. And as sad as it sounds, I realize deep down that this actually might be a Good thing rather than a Bad thing.

After all, when I’m completely out of soul shards and will decide to move on, there will be room for something new to come. Somewhere there are new shards that I can find and love and gather into shiny legendaries. I just don’t know where and how. But they’re out there, waiting to be discovered.

The WoW episode of my life isn’t over yet and I still can’t tell for sure when it will be. It could still be many months away. I don't know. I’m closing in though. I'm closing in.

It’s just like when you approach the sea and hear the birds already at a distance. They’re calling for me, louder and louder.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

my god, your posts just keep on getting more and more depressing

Nils said...

It is a natural process, Larísa. No need to hurry or hold back. Raiding after some months is something you d for the community; not for the game.

When other games come out, communities react very slowly, but they do react. First the less integrated players move away. Then the better integrated players. And then the community either changes (that's happening with my old WoW guild) or is dissolved.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. Change is generally positive. There are many, many MMORPGs out there. They will be released over the next few decades.

To say it in the more poetic Larísa-way:
Try to be one of the birds you describe and to look at the big pictures below you. There are many fun hours ahead of us.

Larísa said...

@Anonymous: sorry. :(
You can go back in the archieves for something more cheerful. Although this post actually is intended to be more hopeful than sad.

Kurnak said...

I feel I'm in the same boat as you. Our guild has always had tough times for raiding (except during TBC and vanilla), but now is dishearting when you have even problems to put up a 5man guild run. And while you could pug in Wrath happily (even raids could be acceptable via pug), Cata is just a nightmare most of the times.
Maybe we all the "leftovers" should meet again in SAN and get some quality time together... breath some fresh air into the diminishing embers.

Anonymous said...

My opinion, my dear gnome: it's time for you to quit. This is just another in a series of posts you've done lately on feeling that it's time for you to walk away soon, and that to me is a very clear indicator that it's time.

I know, because I've been going through the exact same thing. /salute

Larísa said...

@Kurnak: that sounds really bad. It's not liket that for us, we're actually better off than in a long time. Last night I think we had 5 reserves for our 25 man raid, which is a good thing if you ask me.
But even if the guild is doing quite fine at the moment, I can't help feeling the loss of my soul shards.

Fuzzy_Magicz said...

So many long-time, respected bloggers seem to have been quitting lately, which is depressing. But I suppose everyone has their time.
Personally, I'm very happy with the game's current state, hardly any of my friends have left, and I see myself playing this game for a long time yet. Good for me xP

Anonymous said...

Friends come, and friends go. It's life.

Sure, I have fun playing with friends. But I don't need them to keep playing in order for me to keep playing. Occasionally, I enjoy a good single-person game. I keep playing single-person games without friends in them.

It's the *game* that matters, not transient friends, and WoW is one incredibly good game, which just keeps getting better.

Backthief said...

The best thing in MMO industry would be if WOW shuts down tomorrow. Its a killer for the whole market, an almost-monopoly.

Sometimes i found myself in front of the computer "hmm should i reactivate my accc? No, better not, this is a turned page in my life, just like a ex girlfriend. I miss it, but i moved on"

Nairu said...

I'm feeling with you, I really hate to see people leave the game. But I also meet new people everyday, and while they are no 'replacements', everytime I find myself within another group of fellow players it's like a new world opens up to me, complete with a fresh view on the game I thought I already knew in all its facetts. This is not saying that you should try to find new friends if you don't feel like it, but if you feel you still love the game itself and are just missing the players, perhaps you should have a look around for other interesting people.

Sean said...

Closest I've ever come to a Legendary is the daily Thunderfury spam by the morons in /Trade. I did have some friends from what I thought of at the time as a pretty high falootin' raiding guild help me do the questline to get Quel'Dalar cause I was too stupid to sell the Battered Hilt when it dropped for me from trash in HoR. Little did I realize how lame it actually was, lol.

All joking aside, If I had any shot whatsoever at landing a Legendary and carrying it for my guild I'd sign up, 'cause I'm not planning to quite playing WoW any time soon and it's something I've enver done. I would enjoy crossing it off my list.

Anonymous said...

I've always felt that legendaries are like golden handcuffs. I've turned them down in the past because I didn't want the guild/game to have any more hold on me than it already did.

Anonymous said...

Larisa.

I love your blog and it feels like we are at a turning point - the soul shards are slipping away faster and faster or peharps I didn't notice until now.

Where once it it didn't matter so much - I now want to save as many as I can. You blogging is one of them!

Do you feel that new bloggers can fill the gap or is it already too late?

Stubborn said...

Dear Larisa,
There's a bittersweet flavor in realizing that you're getting tired of WoW. I've tasted this delicacy several times over the past few years, but always I suspected I'd come back and dine some more.

That said, I've tasted the flavor you have yet again. It's not the same for me as before, though. I'm not searching for another MMO to fill the gap this time. I know something has fundamentally changed for me; I just don't care about raiding like I used to. I still play and enjoy it, and I don't think I'm near stopping just yet, but the urgency, the desire, the fire for progression has burned out, I think.

Also, remember the birds you hear are disgusting scavengers fighting one another for a scrap of suntan-lotion covered flip-flop foam. Sea birds sound great, I suppose, but like many things, shouldn't be looked at too closely.

The sweet part of the flavor is that you're going to have so much more free time to pursue something new. I sit and imagine what I could have done with the years of time I've put into WoW now.

Whatever you choose, however far in the future you choose it, I'm sure it will be great.

Lucrosos @ US-Hyjal said...

So, as I read your post and some of the comments, I'm reminded of an old play and movie titled "The Seven Year Itch". Quite interesting, really, that there may be a correllary with the film and the situation in WoW. Yes expansions keep making the graphics better, and there are new zones and raids and instances, etc. But in the end, no matter how you dress up the ice cream sundae with sprinkles and chocolate sauce, its still the same ice cream. Maybe we're all starting to get that 6 or 7 year itch?

Syl said...

we have a saying here that whenever one door closes, another one opens. :)
wow's been a great time for most of my time in azeroth and yet, during that time I was not open to anything else on the way that might have been wonderful and inspiring. it doesn't even have to be a game - like you said yourself, so much creative energy might be set loose. it's fine to focus on something for a while, but it's important to realize that there's so many more out there for you too.

but like you, i miss that community sometimes, and maybe it's even one that doesnt exist but is idealized forever more in my mind. our memories are like glitter inside a snow globe, safe and conserved - every now and then you'll take it and shake it, a sad smile on your face for times past. but it's a dear memento and it will last, if nothing else does.

hound said...

The box I bought stated "Over 5 million players". That was shortly before original Naxx was released.

We have over twice that many players now.

We still have some Alpha testers playing the game.

There are more bloggers, more players, more content, than ever before.

The well has gotten deeper and wider and wetter. There is so much more to write about now than ever before.

What you are seeing is veterans leaving. But there are so many new players and bloggers to meet. People who are going to keep playing for years to come.

Your soul shards aren't gone, you just have to find some new ones.

The White Stripes say it best,

"When you're in your little room,
and you're working on something good,
but if it's really good,
you're gonna need a bigger room.

But when you're in your bigger room,
you might not know what to do.
You might have to think of
how you got started
sitting in your little room."

Some people play for the experience, for the technical thing that MMOs are. But you play for emotional reasons. It's a beautiful game with some really great people to meet.

Your soul shards are still there, but you'll have to read some new blogs and meet some new people in the game to find them. It's a bigger room now than it was before, you did well enough in your little room, you can do it again in the bigger one.

If you love the game keep playing. If you're sad and feeling lonely, you'll have to fix that. It may take some time, some effort, but your shards are waiting to be picked up.

Go get your shards, Larisa!

Tesh said...

While I like the notion of this "legendary test", I flatly reject the idea that a guild would have claim on me, or the idea that I would owe them something for acquiring the item. Seems to me I'd have paid for it via the DKP system and playing to the point of getting the thing.

I'm loyal to friends, but not because of shinies.

Anonymous said...

It strikes me that you like sharing experiences with like minded friends, and who doesn't? save for an Ebenezer Scrooge or two, one may encounter, here and there.
You feel a bond, and feel a loss when its gone, which really just means you appreciated, valued and enjoyed what was happening whilst it lasted and all things have time spans.
Given my guesses at what you like, I'd suggest you make more bonds with like minded friends in even more area's of your life and enjoy them as they ebb and flow and change as others can enjoy their time with you too.
Love and peace to you on your shared journeys they are the memories we are making :)

Ngita said...

Legendaries have often been the kiss of death for players in both guilds I have played in.

Be it from the fact that individual is now a very large target to be recruited or from the fact that a lot of players seem to feel they have beat the game and its a good time to stop.

I am currently working on the ulduar mace because our previous holder left the guild within 2 weeks of completing it back then.Too be fair a lot of it was politics and stress because we where not quite good enough to complete yogg 1 pre toc.

I turned down the chance at the first legendary mace just before the release of aq, partially because I thought the other choice deserved it and partially because I would have been responsible for the non legendary parts cost. The guy who did get it? Gone in 6 weeks.

DannyFlorida said...

The incredibly rich lore in the Warcraft universe is second to none, and it is one of the main reasons I started playing WoW and keep playing after six years.

I encourage you to read one or more of the Warcraft novels. Start with the latest one, "The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm." Also, for something brand new and especially recommended right now, check out the "Curse of the Worgen" comic series. It is receiving rave reviews; you're sure to like it.

If nothing else, read the popular weekly column named "Know Your Lore" at WoW Insider. They have some truly eye-popping, well-written articles. Everytime I read a "Know Your Lore" article, I can't wait to get back into the game again.

Delve into the lore to reignite that WoW spark!

Johnny said...

I think its vice versa. People eventually want something new, no matter how great the book/movie/school is.

I have eight 80s and will be leaving WOW in twelve months. I don't regret a minute of any of it.

Inno said...

I've observed this cycle with each expansion and with certain content patches. I deal with the blahs by setting goals while looking for that spark to return that I misplace at times. If that doesn't work I'll take a break and do other things until the game calls me back. People come and go in our lives and in the games we choose to play. Be happy to have met them. The good news is that others will come along.

Good luck getting your spark back. Maybe you should get yourself a sparkle pony. I know you've always wanted one.

Perdissa said...

Hi Larisa,

I think I'm at a similar point to you at the moment. I'm playing regularly, but more out of a sense of commitment than anything else.

I remember a time when I would get upset at the thought that WoW may close shop some day, because I love my toons and godammit, I want to play!

Nowadays, the main things on my mind are cutting back playtime and pondering whether I should cut back on raids. I don't think there has been a single thing that is making me unhappy, but as some have said, 4-5 years is a really time time to be playing this game already.

Ultimately, if we lose interest in playing one day, I will always remember the good times and friends I made playing here. Heck, I might even make a figureprints statue of my main for closure.

Kialesse said...

Larisa Barkeep with ale flowing free
in joy thou hast lived. Beware ennui!
If thou hearest the cry of the gull on the shore,
Thy heart shall then rest in Azeroth no more.

With all due respect (and more beside) to my lord Tolkien for the blatant plagiarism, although in your particular case I don't think he'd mind. It is a rather bittersweet thing to sit exiled from Azeroth while in the service of a higher calling, patiently waiting for the time when I can renew, and watching the WoW landscape changing literally before my very eyes. Who will be our lighthouse when you extinguish your lamp?

And when at last comes the end of our fellowship on the shores of Tanaris, I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are evil.

gnomeaggedon.net said...

Bah long comment lost...

I'm here
I'm thinking of you
I too wonder what our fate holds.

Syrien said...

This post made me think of a poem about mourning knowing that a broken heart mends (which involves loads of booze). My apologies to the non-scandinavian readers, I did not find an English translation, but wanted to share it with the barkeep regardless.

Avskjed

Han sa: Du glemmer meg nok sikkert fort.
Til høsten kjære - bare vent og se.
En måned etter at jeg har reist bort,
så vil du ikke tenke mer på dét.

Men jeg skal huske denne skjønne våren
og at du var så vakker og så god.
Så kjære - om en uke, nei i morgen
vil dette lille hjertesåret gro!

Hun satt og tegnet streker på et bord
og tenkte: Ord og ord og bare ord!
Så glatt og dyktig han er. Så flink.
Til mannen sa hun bare: Få en drink!

Men han, som hadde ventet gråt og bønner
og scener, følte seg forunderlig snytt.
Og halvt i sinne sa han: Ja, jeg skjønner,
for deg er dette ikke noe nytt.

Hun smilte blekt og svarte: Kjære venn,
for deg, for meg - å, la oss ikke trette.
Jeg vet jo at du har rett. Men nettopp dette,
at jeg skal glemme deg så snart igjen,

det er dessverre ikke noen trøst.
Mitt hjerte blomstret slik for deg i våres.
Og at det skal stå bart og tomt mot høst
og ikke lenger banke eller såres

ved noe som er deg - din munn, din stemme,
ja selve mangelen på hjertesår,
og at jeg sikkert kommer til å glemme,
dét er den sorgen jeg drikker for.

- Inger Hagerup -

Blackee said...

What we are seeing here, and its not just Larisa, is the twilight years of wow, leading onto its eventual death after the next expansion (by comparison to current subscription rates).
"But why...?" you cry, "how can this be you old fat balding man living in your mothers basement?"
Well, I'll tell you why, its due to boredom. Plain and simple. To put it in context, let me elaborate.

Immagine your favourite biscuit (mine are Timtams, an australian chocolate covered thing that melts in your mouth, best in the world). Now if your hungry, you open the pack and grab a couple and eat them. Totally awesome!. Exactly what you wanted but you need more. (this was vanilla wow, totally awesome).

Now your still hungry, so you grab some more. This time you stick the end in your coffee and suck the gooiie centre out with the hot coffee using them like a chocolate straw, then eat them. A bit different, but still very good. (This was BC, a bit different, still awesome).

Now your still not full, and grab a couple more, but they are starting to melt, so you stick them in the fridge to cool down, then eat them cold. Still taste great, but not really as rewarding as the other lots, but you know they are still awesome in the back of your mind. (this was LK expansion).

This time you look down and your 3/4 way into the packet of biscuits so you grab a few remaining ones and smash them Biscuits up before shovelling them into your mouth (basically Cataclysm).

This is cataclysm as it stands now. Still the best game in the world (like my Timtam chocolate biscuits), but you've had your fill... and so has everyone else.

The thing is everyone is starting to see it in guilds, trade chat, and pugs, and blogs. Wow is a bloody awesome game when you look at it, but people are just over it, or getting to that point. And it doesnt matter how much new stuff gets added, its basically the same stuff over and over, and everyone has had it in all its glory and there is a time when we need something different, and after 6(?) years people are starting to yearn for something more.

A lot of people are going to Rift, but I don't think it's a long term thing, because basically its a re-packaged wow with a few slight modifications, but its still a high fantasy sword and sorcery MMO. (Oh my a chocolate biscuit thats round and has a double layer of chocolate coating, awesome.... oh wait.. I just had a pack of biscuits almost the same as that).

I think what people are doing now is just waiting till something better comes along, like project Titan. Actually, not better, just different. No talent trees, no sword and sorcery, no spells, no global cool downs, no heals, no tanks, different.

My guess is Titan will be a Bad Company 2 style MMO with real time FPS playstyle but as an MMO, as there is nothing like that in the market atm, and it needs to be different to pick up wow's player base that are actually quite bored of the (overall) repatition of wow's style (conan, LOTR, Warhammer, Rift, et al). With a bit more grown-up'ness about it. A little bit like Eve, you die, you loose stuff (but not that extreme). You learn skill that mean something, how to drive a car, a plane, a helicopter, make ammunition, become a medic, apply bandages, etc, and do stuff that has an affect on the world, and your comrades (and guild).

I think I'm going on a bit, but hopefully you will catch my overall meaning. Wow is losing its appeal, not from being a bad game, its not, its awesome, but its just gone on too long, and people need a change. Blizzard knows this, thus Titan is born, different to wow, to capture its player base that know its time to move on to something different!
(sorry for the long post)

Anonymous said...

I have been playing WoW for 6 years now, but have had a couple of breaks in those years. I feel another break is coming up (atleast now that World of Tanks is getting a release next month :))

Larísa said...

@Nils: Yeah. Bit the changing process is still a bit painful. Even if you turn into a seagull.

@Anonymous: sooner or later, yes. Not today, no. But yeah. I see the dirction too. /salute.

@Fuzzy Magicz: Consider yourself lucky, having such a low turnover around you. I think that makes a hell of a difference to be honest.

@Anonymous: To begin with I think the fact that WoW is an incredibly good game was enough. But as time has passed the social network aspect has increased in importance. And when it weakens and starts breaking down it’s a big issue for me. I can see that having a different approach might be good for you in the long run. But again: if WoW was ONLY a game without the social approach, I honestly think I would have quit years ago. A good boss encounter isn’t enough if you don’t belong to a team. Not for me at least.

@Nairu: True. It’s just that… I don’t know. After all those years I guess I’ve become a bit lazy, reluctant to start over again. It takes a long time to build up relations like those I’ve had. I don’t think I’m prepared to do it again at this stage of the game.

@Sean: Actually I would have used the Quel-Dalar quest thing for myself given the opportunity. Screw the weapon. It’s all about experiences, to see quests that very few others get into. But that’s just me, maybe I’m weird.

I hope you’ll get a shot at a legendary!

@Anonymous: That’s actually a pretty good description of them. As much as they are a gift they can easily become a burden.

@Anonymous: Hehe. I appreciate your effort to “save me”, although to be honest I’m not sure in what way you could. Time will have its course. I’m not sharing those thoughts and emotions to have someone save me, it’s more about just getting out the stuff I have in my head. That’s what my blog always has been about. About the blogosphere… yeah I reckon there are new bloggers who might fill the gaps. But I still miss those who have left us and it’s hard to connect the same way to the new ones, even if I’d like to.

@Stubborn: Good point about the birds! Again: I’m not leaving today. I just didn’t pass the Legendary Test. I know one thing for sure: I’ll never regret the time I’ve spent on WoW, never look back with disdain. I’ve gotten so much in return. It was worth it.

@Lucrosos: Hm… but wasn’t the message that you want to go back to your wife? Or I might remember it completely wrong.

@Syl: Oh I love snow globes! Wouldn’t it be cool if you could make one from on of our (admittedly horrible) guild screenshots? Capturing one of those moments forever… I guess that’s also a bit what I’ve been doing in my blogging. Taking shapshots.

@Hound: Hm… In one way I guess you’re right. The thing as that the people I’ve been playing with are the veterans. It’s really not easy to start over again – and the question is: is it even desirable? By the way I always looked at others as veterans and myself as a newbie, but I reckon after four years of playing I might have crossed the line myself…

Larísa said...

@Tesh: Hm… I guess you’re right in one sense, but… I don’t know. Being in a guild for very long makes you feel a bit different, even about trivial things as loot. My loyalty is irrational perhaps, but very real.

@Anonymous: Yeah. Ebb and flow. That’s what it is. You can’t try to hold on to it when the ebb comes, it doesn’t help and it only makes you frustrated. Peace and love to you too.

@Ngita: We’ve been luckier than that actually with our weapons. Our Ulduar mace is still owned by an active raider, who actually says he carries it with him, even if it’s usually replaced by something more powerful these days. Our axe holder rolled a new char quite shortly after he got his axe and has now left the game entirely. But it never felt as if it was a waste to make it still. It was a guild effort, something we took pride in that we managed to complete it.

@Danny Florida: I’ve read a couple of novels, but older ones. Pretty crappy (by the infamous Knaak), but nevertheless – yes, it added flavour to the game to read more about some of the characters. Perhaps I should give The Shattering a go, even though I must say that I doubt that it will provide me new soul shards.

@Johnny: some games can actually last you lifetime. Chess comes to mind. But I don’t think that’s the case with WoW.

@Inno: Sparkle pony! That would be the day… You’re teasing me!

@Perdissa: I never could understand the point of a figureprint statue, it seemed ridiculous to me. But now that you say it… the though suddenly makes sense. It’s actually worth considering. And I guess it’s a sign of the same thing as the Legendary test.

@Kialesse: Oh, that was beautiful! I don’t think he’ll mind. But are you sure the ship takes off from Tanaris? It’s too much of a goblin commercial place for me. I’d rather say Darkshore, somewhere on the nightelf countriy west coast. A hazy day when the colours shift into soft grey.

@Gnomeaggedon: Not all comments need to be long to express something. Thank you my friend. It’s good to see you still around after all those years.

@Syrien: I had never seen that poem but it was very beautiful and relevant. Thank you.

@Blackee: Don’t apologize for long comments. Walls of texts are appreciated and even encouraged at this place. We do things here in our own way. I think you’re quite right about what’s going on in the game. For my own part I’m not quite sure if I’m actually tired of the biscuit or if I’m mostly sad I don’t know any of the new biscuit eaters, that I feel a bit like a stranger. Maybe it’s both. Anyway… I’m glad you said it this way. WoW IS a great game but six years is a very long time, especially when people play it so intensely as many do.

@Anonymous: That’s a way to do it. I’ve never had any long break for my own part and I don’t think that’s the way I’ll do it. When I’ll be done, I think I’ll be done, no going back.

Nellisynthia said...

"I know Mezzy ..."

She rested quietly,deep in the carven room beneath the tavern. On the edge of her bed, warming her hands by the fire. Her oldest companion, in truth, her oldest companion, watched over her - the quiet Voidwalker hovering concerned. He did not like it when his mistress felt this odd strange way, this he could not protect from; there was no foe that could be rent by his talons.

It made him feel ... and that set him off balance. He wasn't supposed to feel.

"I know Mezzy, it's been a long time since we sat down and talked. And I'm not sure why. Perhaps its because we've traveled across the broken hills of the Outlands, because we have seen the Liche King fall ... and even though the world has been torn asunder, where it has lead us ... is back home.

"Right back where we started.

"I'm not sure that is a bad thing Mezzy. It is not the thing that minstrels sing of, but I'm not sure it's a bad thing.

"You see, this room, this one room in the Thunderbrew, with Belm above to yell at us when we come in all dripping of dragon bits or slaked with brimstone from those stupid elementals, this is home, Mezzy.

"This is our home."

The little warlock smiled, "I can't imagine us not here Mezzy; I can't imagine us not wearing the Veritas turtle. Not standing beside Wynnie and Gia, beside Inflagrante and his Lady of Light. And you know, if you had asked me a handful of months ago, if we'd be part of those who fought through the hardest of trials with Ady and Rethfar and Uinen, claiming them first, I would have said ... no ...never happen ..."

"But it did.

"Between our old friends.

"And our new friends."

There was a soft smile, as she closed her eyes.

"There's a saying, old as time. That you can never step into the same river twice. It's so true, Mezzy. And I think, I think too many people are stepping into that river and if its not the same one they knew before, it's somehow bad, it's somehow that something's been lost.

"Sometimes the river takes what we hold precious away.

"Sometimes it brings something new.

"The precious we lost we cherish. Freyara and learning that Felhunters can't jump, the first time we were in Uldaman. Jellypeppy and Etrio, sneaky little gnomes and yet with hearts as wide as titans. Xastra, who broke from us so hard and harsh and yet had the grace to come back to mend that hurt. If we remember them, they aren't lost Mezzy. Even the slightest mention, where someone else can hear, and they live again ... and again and again.

"The precious we find, we treasure, we laugh with, to forge a tie as strong as those we lost. No, its not the same. It can't be, and more importantly, it shouldn't be. But they are just as vital, just as valuable."

Pale eyes open, her gaze wistful.

"Will the river take us away one day?

"Yes. And I would hope, hope that when it does, we will leave behind those who will speak of us with the same smile. That way, that way to we can live on.

"Will it happen anytime soon?

"I don't think so."

Her smile broadened then, quiet, as she looked up to her oldest companion.

"Do you want to know why?"

After so many years, so long that river had made its way to the sea, he was indeed, truth, her oldest companion.

"Because Mezzy ...

"You are still the stuff both magic and dreams are made of."

Mhorgrim said...

Larisa,
Might be time for you to take a break. It isn't a sin to go play another game for a bit and come back when you are ready. Also, another interesting idea is rerolling a fresh toon, not as a raider but as a casual toon to just go out and have fun with from the bottom up. I do hope things get better for you though. Have a great day!!!

Anonymous said...

Hmm.. when I'm reading this, words of one Queen's song come to my mind

There's no time for us
There's no place for us
What is this thing that builds our dreams, yet slips away from us
There's no chance for us
It's all decided for us
This world has only one sweet moment set aside for us

Yes, who wants to live forever.. even in Wow?

Hyacintha said...

It's been hard for me to read posts like this, and it seems there have been a lot of them lately (and certainly not just from you, Larísa). I can understand how a game, or any activity, can lose its luster after several years. I think that's a natural progression, even if it's a little sad for everyone involved.

What makes it difficult for me, though, is that I'm not at that point yet. I started playing halfway through Wrath, so experiencing my first change of expansion has been new and exciting. I still have things I want to do and see in the game. I still have the "spark," I guess you could say.

So when I read posts from people who have been playing longer and who are beginning to lose interest, I can only hope that there are others out there who are just starting the game and still have years of enjoyment left in them. Even though it might seem like the end of the world (of Warcraft) when your favorite blogger or beloved guildmate logs off for the last time, hopefully it's just the beginning of a new era of gaming, both for the veterans who are moving on and the new blood moving in. =)

DannyFlorida said...

Find your Cheese, Larisa!

http://thebigbearbutt.com/2011/03/22/cat-scratch-fever

You know, starting over on a different server might just be the answer. It is for many players when they want to re-ignite that WoW spark.

Holly said...

Well, I'm not sure if I'm the best to comment here, but it seems to me, since the guild is 'doing the best it has in a long time' and you seem to have -more- people than you have in a long time, all that means is there are more people to create soulshards with!

Darnit woman, I'm supposed to be the cynical one, and not post a sappy paragraph like that, but more people = more friends, go get to know them, you'll get attached quickly, look at those puppy dog eyes!

Ðesolate said...

WoW is a Game at all. A game with (almost) infinite content (expandet until day X). Games do not only get boring by content but also by concept. If you start to struggle to keep at playing, just stop it.

Pick up some offline games or other MMOs. And try to chance the main concept of game. Changing from WoW to rift will not really work. I tabbed up to AoC&DDO some time (not optimal but I'm a nerd, who counts on me anyway *smile*). Worked for me but would have been more relaxing if I'd tabbed up to CSS/TF2.

Remind yourself that humans usually need a constant change. Sticking up to the same old thing only pleasures the minority. If you decide to switch back to WoW after some time, keep in mind not to loose your motivation in whatever you do.

If you do something that annoys / bores you, you should get payed for it (dramatic full stop).

Anonymous said...

Hey

Go out and buy a Battle Chest. Start fresh and feel the struggle once more... And to redo the *new* old stuff can bring the smile back ;)

Then jump back to the old account when new patches comes to try out the new stuff... this is my wow plan at the moment. Annars får du ha en bra vår ;)

Brent said...

Part of what you are just eexperiencing is really just life. You are getting older. Some things just change along the way. I had this experience a few times both in the game world and in real life. You do what you have to do but if it isn't fun than you need to do something else. I am not saying go leave wow. I felt the way you are for a year in ffxi. It tok me a year to leave and then start in wow. In wow I hit. A point where I wanted more from my guild. I wanted a challenge that they couldn't provide. I went to a raiding guild. It was great until they collapsed. The next raiding guild I just couldn't stand so I went back to my old guild. I have Ben there for five years. Yes it is quiet but I still play and enjoy myself. The game isn't as exciting but I think in part you can play less and achieve as much or more than before.

Good luck with this. There are no easy answers except you make it what you want to be. That's just life.

Chris said...

I'm sorry to hear that you're feeling this way and completely empathize. I think a lot of us have been there. At some point you have to decide whether you're ready to move on from such a big part of you life. It's never a question of "if" and always "when." It's not all bad, though. When that time comes, you'll be free to try out other things you've been interested in. Many of us choose to try other MMOs and so come to know ourselves (and our preferences) that much better.

It's a sad thing to go through, without a doubt. But never doubt there's a silver lining. You may come to find something else you really enjoy and take part in communities that will fulfill you just as WoW's has. You never know what the future holds -- and despite what people say, there are a lot of great gamers out there to know and play with. The dopes, just like in WoW, are the minority. Good luck!

jonreece said...

I'm already passing purples to guildies during raids, only taking them last if nobody else wants them, just because I am very unclear how much longer I'll be playing.

I also swapped from a six month sub to month by month.

We'll see.

Tesh said...

Oh, it's a personal thing, definitely, and I don't think you're irrational or wrong in any way. I'm mostly just noting that the test can have a twist to it. ;)

Carra said...

Hey there, Larissa.

Sounds like you need to take a break from WoW. Why not do something else for a while? You can always come back playing.

forz1 said...

this post got me thinking and I felt the need to look further into it on my blog. thank for the creative nudge :)