“This is it,” I say to myself as I head to World of Warcraft’s website to unsubscribe. “This is the final time I’ll ever play WoW. It has taken too much of my time, and I need to focus on the real world.” As I answer every question of the exit survey, there is a single question that haunts me: “How likely are you to return to World of Warcraft?” This simple question that has absolutely no substantial bearing causes me to pause as I sheepishly answer, “10 – Most definitely.”
I leave the world of Azeroth for months to focus on myself. I go to the gym, I spend more time with friends, family, and I entertain myself with other hobbies. But then I find myself watching new cinematics, reading Q&A’s by developers, and lurking in our official Discord’s WoW channels that our guild, Emerald Templars, use for raiding. Eventually, ultimately, my will shatters and I come crawling back.
This time what got me was my bookcase. As I sorted through what I wanted to keep or toss, I looked upon my collection of WoW novels, art books, manga, comic books, and more and I could not bear to throw any away. Instead, I put them back and immediately resubscribed.
As I sat in my computer chair moments after purchasing the latest expansion, Battle for Azeroth, watching the game download, I asked myself, “Why? Why do I keep coming back to World of Warcraft?” At this current moment Kingdom Hearts 3 is released, Red Dead Redemption 2 is out, God of War is available, and so many other fantastic games! So why is this game that is currently under fire by fans the game that has such an immense hold on me?
I did some soul searching and I think I found the answers.
Unlike many games, MMORPGs have an immense community that surrounds players almost everywhere they go. While you can play a good part of the game by yourself, there are certain harder aspects that you need help with from other players.
Over the years, friendships form organically by working together with other players towards a common goal. That is how Emerald Templars, the official The Geek Lyfe WoW guild, was formed! Schrei205 and I became homies and suddenly we were taking on incredible beasts for hours on end!
Although victory was preferred, it did not matter if we took down every single boss without any struggle or got destroyed by the first boss, being together and gaming was so much fun! Even when the bosses were easy and things became routine, being with friends and hanging out was such a fantastic release from every day life!
The reason a lot of media is so widely accepted is because it takes us away from our very real problems and presents us with alternate situations and even worlds! The difference between WoW and many forms of media is the fact that you can create your character, have the ability to gather additional power, dress how you’d like, and can improve upon your class techniques to contribute substantially to difficult situations. Not to mention this is seen and felt by your peers.
This kind of power and attention is just something we don’t get to experience often in our daily lives. The real world is many shades of grey where we are all so uncertain about ourselves and if we’re doing the right thing or not. Yet leveling up, getting better gear, and keeping your friends alive are for a fact correct actions that don’t have to be worried about. You make constant progress and continue to power up without any question of your actions.
Do you want to get back into World of Warcraft and have awesome people to play with? Join our official guild, <Emerald Templars> on Wyrmrest Accord (US-RP)! We’re a casual guild with a Heroic raiding team that runs on Thursday (6:30-9pm PST) and Saturday (6-9pm PST).