I recently went into detail about my prior addiction to World of Warcraft. Now I’ll share why I’m excited about WoW Classic.
It may seem contradictory, since gaming addiction is real and I suffered from it with this game. However, I can safely say I’ve thoroughly kicked the addiction. I’ve revisited WoW several times in previous years since Cataclysm launched (under the watchful eye of my SO, Reki), and even though the game has shifted to become even more addictive due to easier dungeons, group queuing and the like and easier loot, it’s never had a hold on me like WoW did. Heck, even Final Fantasy XIV, which I’d argue is a superior game to WoW Classic in some ways, didn’t suck me in as badly as my initial foray into the Warcraft universe did.
Because I sunk so much time into World of Warcraft, I feel like my attention span for games in general has declined. I have genuinely tried to — I mentioned FFXIV earlier — but I always find my attention wandering after a few hours. Games like The Sims 4 and the like can keep me engaged for 6+ hours at a time, but I have trouble revisiting them within the same week, sometimes even the same month.
It also helps that I’m a live streamer now. As a variety creator, I am frequently game hopping, and my community expects and even appreciates that. It’s done wonders for my patience and tolerance, too; I’m way more likely to find things I appreciate even in some of the poorest designed games (except for you, Duke Nukem Forever).
That being said, World of Warcraft holds a special place in my heart. It was my first MMORPG, and while a far cry from being my first online game, it was my first experience with guilds (or clans, if that’s what you prefer to call them) and the team-building involved with meeting complete strangers and forming a growing, managed crew with them.
The sense of responsibility and duty levied on you, especially when you’re a teenager to which this sort of trust is so rarely given, is a powerful thing. Being a fairly typical cishet white dude, I tended to find myself having a lot of “clone syndrome” — I felt as if I brought nothing unique to the table because I was a pretty typical dude, a carbon copy of other cishet white dudes. I wasn’t supremely talented or skilled, I had few interests outside of video games, and I preferred to make friends online rather than in real life. It’s a big part of why I can empathize (not sympathize) with white kids today who get pulled down the rabbit hole of the current neo-Nazi and white supremacist movements: being part of something greater makes you feel like you have value. It’s stupid, but alas that is why it’s important for kids to learn to think for themselves.
But I digress heavily here; guilds definitely weren’t breeding grounds for racial superiority movements or anything of the sort. They were a place for strangers to connect and work together to overcome obstacles and defeat foes. In this case, raids were king. Working as a team for hours on end once or twice a week to kill huge monsters was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever been part of. An organized group of up to 40 (10-25 in later expansions) people coordinating efforts to win the day against colossal creatures was such a chaotic, enjoyable, and unforgettable experience.
It is mostly this camaraderie that makes me pine for the classic days of WoW, and I’m so excited about Classic coming. It wasn’t the hugely long hours spent gathering materials or expanding my trade skills, nor was it the countless hours spent grinding to max level. It was the people. The friendships formed, the teamwork executed, and the time spent bonding over a game where a character you’ve spent a ton of hours making the best you could kills giant creatures with like-minded folks.
I’m extremely excited to play WoW Classic on stream, and it’s because I’ll get to spend time with my community building a guild and working together in a meaningful way; the community we’ve built will become a community not only outside the game, but in it too. It’s a great way to spend time with friends, and I’m hopeful you’ll join in with me when the game launches this summer.
A live streamer, podcaster, and game lover hailing from the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Regardless of the game, Tim thoroughly enjoys what each game can bring to the table, whether it be visuals, audio, writing, or a combination of the three. He wants nothing more than to have a positive impact on gaming in some manner.
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