Should I renew my WoW account for WotLK? + confessions of an MMO-addict (long)

A little history: I played Everquest when I was in high-school, and I fully fell prey to the addictive rush of improving my characters, and ended up more or less sealing myself in my room for 2 years and doing nothing but going to school, coming home, and playing Evercrack until it was time for bed. Rinse and repeat. On weekends and holidays I would just play all day. Maybe doing a small amount of homework in between, but I was king of doing the bare-minimum (even before I started playing EQ I was like this with my schoolwork).

Eventually by my junior year of high school I decided I had to get a social life and not be a total shut-in so I cancelled my account, deleted the game, and swore off MMORPGs forever. When WoW came around it looked interesting, but I didn’t want to hear about it.

I managed to stick to that and stay away from WoW for a good 3 years or so after its release, but one bored day I finally caved in and bought it. And became addicted as I was with EQ. Now I was working instead of going to school but it was the same pattern: come home from work, play all night, go to bed, repeat.

Just a few months ago did I finally cancel my WoW account, mainly since I had achieved everything I wanted to (Gladiator title from the arena, something I thought I’d never accomplish) and was a little bored with the game. Also I recognized its effects on my overall life and was ready to break away from it.

But of course now that WotLK is out I am sorely tempted to re-activate. My mom even pre-ordered the game for me for my birthday, which made me cringe a little since I probably wouldn’t have bought it for myself. But it’s supposed to arrive by… tomorrow. And I will have to make this fated decision.

I want to believe I can keep my play in moderation and lead a balanced life, but knowing myself, and knowing how much I get into this game, I have major concerns. On the other hand if I don’t re-activate I’d be depriving myself of something I thoroughly enjoy doing, which is definitely an addiction - but probably a far less harmful one overall than some other addictions I could think of.

I am genuinely torn here as to what would be best for me in the long run - I see lots of potential benefits and negatives either way.
EDIT: I just returned to the SDMB from a hiatus and I forgot about the new forum - The Game Room. If a mod could please move this there I’d appreciate it.

If you have ambitions, do not renew. If you don’t, then go ahead.


No no no, play EVE Online instead.

No. You enjoyed your MMO phase once, and now it’s time to move on. You are in college now right? Be social in meatspace. Expand your horizons. WoWoW is a much better game than WoW anyway.

FWIW, I was similar to you, except replace high school with early college. I don’t have any regrets, but I’m certainly not going to play MMOs with that frequency again.

Same situation - junior high and high school, quit by my senior year and haven’t touched an MMO since I reached college. (Well, aside from Age of Conan, but I got a free copy at the Oslo launch so I kinda had to. Patriotism and all that.)

I have zilch regrets and would definitely hook back up if I ever got to a phase where I’m just working 8-4 for a year or two to pay down my study debts. But not in the weekends. (That’s the Golden Molde MMO Rule; not in the weekends. Weekends are for beer, books, films, friends and sanity.)

Sounds like you know you should not play. If you feel like it is a detriment to your life, then just don’t.

On top of that … IMO here for the sake of encouraging you to kick…

WoW is just boring. I played long enough to just completely burn out on the gameplay. Every PVE addition is basically more of the same in a new skin. Same quests, same instances, same bosses … all with new models and names. Same 4-5 buttons you mash over and over. PVP is fun but the score-keeping grind gets monotonous fast. If you’re tempted to go back for the Shiny New Expansion Content! … think twice. You already played it, it just looked a little different. You can always just watch videos to see Blizzard’s pretty artwork. You don’t need to buy it and shut yourself in to enjoy it.

If limiting your play is a serious problem, then don’t renew. I played hardcore a year or two ago, and looking back I cringe at how much time I wasted on raiding and similar things. I play now, but at a much more casual level, and I’ve resisted getting involved in the huge time commitment things. My two guiding ideas were that:

  1. If I wasn’t having fun playing at that exact moment, I would stop. None of this “if I just grind through it I’ll have fun after” crap. A game is supposed to be fun, if it isn’t then why are you playing?

  2. If I had to start scheduling my time for WoW, I would just stop. Blocking off 3 hours chunks of my life for a game multiple times a week is a really bad way to improve myself as a person, so I avoid that level of in-game commitment.

This seems about right. I’m playing about a half hour or an hour at a time for the most part now, and though I miss running instances, honestly thinking about it, I don’t miss the instance runs where you wait around for half an hour for the fifth member to accept a summons, only to have your tank say “crap, I have to leave” four fights into the instance.

I think it’s pretty much been said, but if you’re worried about it than simply don’t get back into it. If keeping yourself on a schedule of only a few hours a week or something is really that difficult, than don’t get back into it. But if you can do that pretty easily and it honestly won’t be detrimental to your life, than it’s not a problem, you should enjoy yourself. But enjoy is the key word there. If you’re not having fun, don’t play the game. If it’s preventing you from having fun in other aspects of your life, don’t play the game. I’m a gamer, I love to game, but I definitely go out and have fun with my friends and such, gaming is just there for me when I’m at home during the week and I don’t really feel like going out, or for those lazy sunday mornings, hehe. Gaming can easily be an addiction, and it can easily be every bit as detrimental to you as some other addictions (my roommate in college dropped out of school due to EverCrack and never had a girlfriend cause he would never go out. It got to the point where he wouldn’t leave the room for MEALS! He’d eat some canned garbage his parents sent him)

Honestly, given your past experiences, I’d not get into it. Yeah, you CAN do WoW casually, but it’s very difficult. If you enjoyed the social aspects of EQ, well, you can’t get that in a couple hours here and there in WoW.

I quit months ago and am happier and better off for it.

Luckily I have a family (wife and small kids) which pretty much forces me to not play 5 hours/day (which I probably would if I could get away with it). I usually play 2-3 hours a couple of times a week, which still seems like a lot for someone approaching middle age.

If you’re the addictive type (and it sounds like you are) I would avoid getting back into it.