OLD SITE

You're currently viewing the old version of the GameGrin site as this article hasn't yet been moved to our new site.

Visit the new site at www.gamegrin.com

Back to World of Warcraft

/played. 95 days, 15 hours, 24 minutes, 16 seconds and counting. That’s over a quarter of a year spent on World of Warcraft, and that’s just one character. In comparison to many other WoW players out there this probably seems mild, so what is it that makes this MMORPG so addictive?

Having played on and off since Vanilla (original game in 2004), I’ve recently returned from a two year break despite claiming I’d never go back (sound familiar?). Being a big MMO fan, I have tried many other games in this genre; Guild Wars 2, Star Wars: The Old Republic, The Secret World, Lord of the Rings Online, City of Heroes, DnD Online, DC Universe, the list goes on and on. The problem is, none of them captured me like WoW did, even ones I started out really enjoying, I played for a couple of months and then quit, feeling jaded and dissatisfied. Inevitably I always end up back where I started; with Emsey on World of Warcraft.

This experience got me to thinking, what sets this game apart from the others? Why are people constantly coming back? I decided to do some investigation and spoke to a number of WoW players, both ex and current to get their opinions and personal experiences.

One of the first people I spoke to, Sarah Dyer, had a similar story to mine. Having tried games like Rift and Age of Conan, she got bored after a few levels and just kept thinking back to World of Warcraft which she has played intermittently for around five years. Sarah pointed out that, in comparison to other games, WoW has a relatively gentle learning curve. The simplicity of the game allows players to jump in appreciate the beautiful environment and fantastic story and characters. She goes on to say that, due to spending so much time in Azeroth, she has “learnt so much about the game that [she] feel[s] at home there”, it’s familiar.

Certainly many of the players I spoke to felt the same way as Sarah; Neil “Wedge” Hetherington, also mentioned about the “pick up and play nature of the game”, something that is just a breeze to get into, no frustrating initial gameplay.

So is it just the laid-back approach to WoW that makes it so unforgettable? Definitely at first, but of course that is more of an aid to sinking into the game to begin with. What I find really interesting is why people who have left “for good” just keep coming back.

Martyn Elwell, who has enjoyed Azeroth since practically day one has played sporadically since, but the one thing, or rather person that kept calling him back was his warlock, Taloc. “I missed my warlock!”, he said and went on to explain that he spent a great deal of time building, forging and levelling, not just Taloc, but his other characters and he was eager to see how they would progress or change on the release of a new expansion or content patch.

This attachment to characters seems to be a common theme as other players spoke about the emotional investment that goes into levelling them, and a lot of people said that they missed playing their paladins, druids etc.

It’s not just the avatars that people miss though, the players become a huge part of your life too. I met my best friend through World of Warcraft, and even relocated cities so that we could live nearer to one another. Guilds are an incredible thing, much like a family, they bicker and help each other out, have a blast and overcome the hardest of battles together.

The beautiful thing about your relationship with your guildies, is that they are formed rather unusually. In real life, you meet someone and instantly, (subconsciously or not so much) make judgements based on their appearance. Even on social media, we base opinions on people’s pictures and “About” section. In World of Warcraft the people you meet are from around the world, and are not restricted to just people you meet in whatever city/town you happen to live in.

Another lady I spoke to, Lydia Morris, puts it beautifully: “You become close to them in a way quite unlike that of your relationship with your [real life] buddies... Maybe because you've come to know them in a fairly unadulterated fashion - you have something significant in common, you complete tasks with each other's help and you're not influenced by the way they look, their job or their friends (or not quite so much, anyway) - and I have certainly felt less judged by those I've come to care about in WoW.”

It’s true that you can be anyone in World of Warcraft, but more importantly, you can be yourself. Babbling for hours after the raid finished on Ventrilo, or wardrobing different chest-pieces in guild chat, to get opinions on which suits your character best, there’s no worrying about what people think, you don’t have to get out of your pajamas, or put makeup on, because you know as soon as you login there will be your faithful guildies, happy to greet you, regardless of what you wear or look like.

Of course this can be a drawback too, as Ian Plumpton told me. He has gone back in the past, “for the social element”, but now that they are no longer playing, he has left once again, “for good this time”. So the social side of things can either draw you back in, or keep you away, depending on what your situation is.

Some come back anyway, knowing that none of their old friends, or very few are still playing, and it can be quite hard. Chris White, who has recently come back says he misses “the family feeling that the guilds had” and now finds himself “craving the conversation and the social interaction”.

So it’s obvious that the relationships, and social side of World of Warcraft seem to be a big part, if the not the main part of what people love about the game, but because of the ever-changing nature of the player-base, it can’t be that alone that brings people back, or even sets it apart from other MMOs.

There was still something missing, something important that I couldn’t put my finger on, so I decided to talk to someone who had played WoW, but not gone back to it. Harrie Bailey played World of Warcraft in the past, but “wasn’t in a guild because [she] only played for a short time” and because of this there was never really any pull to go back, finding enjoyment in other games.

I also spoke to Daniel Bain who plays to be able to keep in contact with a real life friend: “The main reason I play is because it’s the best way for me and my good friend Izzyknight, to hang out as he lives half way up the country. Of course there are a lot of social websites and free MMOs to play that we could do this, but we have been playing [WoW] together for a long time, building a guild together, trying to complete end of game patches.”

Something in both of these conversations really stood out for me. Time. The reason Dan still plays WoW and not something else, perhaps cheaper, is because he and he friend have played it for a long time, developing memories. The reason why Harrie wasn’t fussed about going back was because she only played for a short while and did so without a guild, meaning less opportunity to create stand-out memories.

This, I believe is why World of Warcraft is so much more popular from other MMOs, and why it is set apart from the rest. The game has been around for so long, and that is something that can never be taken away. Things may change, players may change, but one thing never will: the nine years of fond memories that are associated with it.

It is a like a long-term relationship. You may have broken-up now, maybe even multiple times, but you have this huge part of you, that remembers all the great things about it. Nostalgia is a powerful thing, and like any relationship, the bad memories fade into the shadows with only the good ones remaining. The great thing here too, is that WoW has much more scope to improve, and resolve past problems, leaving a constantly progressing game, with a massive history that no one can ever take away.

So there are many things that make World of Warcraft great; beautiful environments, epically crafted lore, its pick-up-and-play nature, easy to love characters, a family of guildies, and the thing that ties it all together: its past and the nine years of memories that over seven million people have made whilst playing.


Emseypenguin | 17th August, 2013
Kaostic's picture
This really makes me want to go back and play :'(
Great article! I think it summed up well for me as well why I didn't go back - as I felt that the community of friends that so enamored me with Wow in the first place wasn't there anymore.
Emseypenguin's picture
No pangs of missing it when you looked at Zor there David?
FoxyStoat's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emseypenguin View Post
/played. 95 days, 15 hours, 24 minutes, 16 seconds and
Hahaha, I won't be even daring to /play!
Emseypenguin's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxyStoat View Post
Hahaha, I won't be even daring to /play!
Awww go on, I'd really be interested to know!!
Kaostic's picture
I wish there was a way to do /played over all your characters at once because I never played my characters for very long. I have like..
- Lvl 90 Priest
- Lvl 80 Paladin x 2
- Lvl 72 Hunter
- Lvl ~65 Priest
- Lvl ~79 Mage

And an array of <60.
Listy's picture
fubar use to have addon that did all played time
Platinum's picture
Well was nice knowing you the short time you have been here...
Wedgeh's picture
90 Warr
90 DK
90 Rogue
87 Hunter
85 Druid
84 Monk
then a few sub 70's

I dread to think what my total time is.
Emseypenguin's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Platinum View Post
Well was nice knowing you the short time you have been here...
what do you mean?
Wedgeh's picture
I think he means you're gonna get lost in warcraft again and never be seen :P
Platinum's picture
Yep basically, and fucking hell Wedgeh that's a lot of time on the Warcrack.
djdawsonuk's picture
Having recently being informed that Hunters can no longer wield a staff, and a bow at the same time I feel like I cannot return to my hunter, given that the 'epic quest line' for hunters gave you a bow and a staff as rewards... All that work. Wasted.

/sigh.
Misterwoot's picture
183 days on the hunter, 123 on the Shaman. Unsure on the other chars, probably a good 100 or so each over the 2 DKs, 2 Warriors, horde shaman and paladin.

WoW has had about 900 days or so of my life over the past 7 years and to be honest, I'm done with it. I was there 6 months after release, killed end game bosses as a 6 night a week 6 hour a night raider, went casual, played both alliance and horde and ended up only logging in for the guilds I was in and the people in those guilds . Now those are gone so is my reason to continue giving Blizzard my cash.

On to greener pastures
Maggy's picture
395 played days on my currenty live chars..


that ignores any of the alts I've leveled and then deleted (which there are more than a few)

and everyones saying theres no guild life left, but have you thought about all rolling on the same server/race?
Misterwoot's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggy View Post
...everyones saying theres no guild life left, but have you thought about all rolling on the same server/race?
I did, it's why I moved from Alliance on Runetotem, to Alliance on Anachronos and then on to Horde on Draenor.

The game just doesn't have the draw for me anymore.
Kaostic's picture
I'd enjoy and re-roll if all of my friends I'd play with (mainly GG'ers) would roll on the same server/race and we could all be guildies and raid and shit. But it tends not to work like that.
Misterwoot's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaostic View Post
I'd enjoy and re-roll if all of my friends I'd play with (mainly GG'ers) would roll on the same server/race and we could all be guildies and raid and shit. But it tends not to work like that.
Exactly, the people I would want to spend serious time with don't play WoW anymore for various reasons stretching from having a family now, to being a rock star (yes, seriously. lol) , to being ever so slightly dead.
FoxyStoat's picture
I had a post and a reply which was full length discussion about my gaming experience with WoW and my enjoyment of it and why I think people return.

But.

After the amount of slating and shit regarding my choice to play WoW that I've been thrown by people of this forum in the past, I'm not going to even bother.





Though I'll add it's nice to see some civilized discussions going on this time around.
Misterwoot's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxyStoat View Post
I had a post and a reply which was full length discussion about my gaming experience with WoW and my enjoyment of it and why I think people return.

But.

After the amount of slating and shit regarding my choice to play WoW that I've been thrown by people of this forum in the past, I'm not going to even bother.





Though I'll add it's nice to see some civilized discussions going on this time around.
I'm never going to badmouth anyone for playing WoW, after all if ReDeYe or Vicious Kittens were still around I'd be raiding with them right now. Hell, if I got an email from Silverius, Elektra, Phloem, Spacebeard, Skippy, Coryss or any of my other ex guildies I'd be in game and grinding dailies in preparation for another 6 hour boss ganking session without hesitation. Sadly, those are names I shall never see in game again.

Nostaliga over being in the 3rd guild in europe to kill Nefarian in BWL only gets you so far I'm afraid. Eventually you (or at least I) end up with empty chat boxes and nothing but dailies.
Emseypenguin's picture
You certainly won't get slated in a thread about my article, I will make sure of it. I'd personally love ti hear about your experience, but understand if you'd rather not share at this time.
Emseypenguin's picture
Going by this thread alone, would anyone be interested in creating (reigniting) a GG guild together?
Maggy's picture
i would be interested, i would prefer alliance, tho i do have a maxxed horde
The Griddler's picture
I'm in a similar boat to Harrie. I only ever played it for a few hours using a 10-day trial. The time I had with the game wasn't enough to get me hooked and I also had a pretty bad experience with other players.

Although I think the main reason I never got into WoW was because I knew it was much more of a money/time investment than other games. Based on some of the comments here it seems I made a pretty good call :P
FoxyStoat's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emseypenguin View Post
Going by this thread alone, would anyone be interested in creating (reigniting) a GG guild together?
The majority of GG is on Draenor has Horde. Though there are others scattered around (myself for example) we do have alts in that guild for chatting and shizzle.
Beanz's picture
[FingersInEars]La la la! Can't hear you! Don't need to start playing again![/FingersInEars]
Hairy's picture
WoW was great in it's day. I left because:

1. Pains and numbness through my left arm were enough warning.

2. When one of the big patches brought a new faction and another bout of rep grinding to get x,y,z etc, I said enough. Logging on became too much of a chore.

At a lan about 3 years ago, I totted up that I had paid over £2,000 for upto 6 accounts and all the releases that came out. That was enough.

Don't get me wrong, made a lot of mates, had some great game lols, RL lols, attended a RL wedding of one of my old guildies, had WoW boozing weekends, camping weekend, all sorts of schnizzle with the guys n gals I used to spend hours and hours with.
Kaostic's picture
I subdued.

Granted, it was a very good game back in the day and it's lost a lot of what made it good, but the game is what you make of it. I used to take the easy route for everything, buying a shit-ton of mats off AH and what not. Decided to farm everything myself and see how it goes.

Plus, battle pets.. Basically Pokémon.
Wedgeh's picture
Well, make that 4 level 90's now. Got my monk to 90 last night. /sigh.
Maggy's picture
to be fair wedge you still play quite a bit. :P
Wedgeh's picture
Yeah but I've taken my fair share of breaks in the game too. Biggest being stopping in wrath just when ulduar launched and not touching it till cata came out.
Maggy's picture
although having just checked, i have 4 90's and serveral 85+'s
FoxyStoat's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaostic View Post
I subdued.

They always come back.
Beanz's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxyStoat View Post
They always come back.
Lies!


It's for "testing" purposes; honest!
Kaostic's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beanz View Post
Lies!


It's for "testing" purposes; honest!
Misterwoot's picture
Sod it! Bnet tag is misterwoot#2446 add away cuchulain draenor horde is my main :P
Kaostic's picture
Kaostic#2908
Maggy's picture
Sally#2820


what?
Kaostic's picture
What has Emsey done?!
FoxyStoat's picture


Warcraft always wins. They always come back.


Hairy's picture
YOU WEAK WILLED FOOLS !!!!111111ONEONE
Kaostic's picture
I suppose we also don't have to be on the same realm anymore, just the same faction...
Maggy's picture
yeah thats what i was thinking however i would move my char if i saw any progress on guildyness
HarrieSilver's picture
What HAS Emsey done..
Hairy's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarrieSilver View Post
What HAS Emsey done..


She's a witch - BURN HER !!!!
Emseypenguin's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarrieSilver View Post
What HAS Emsey done..
Muhahahahaha!!!

#emsey2148
( I think)
FoxyStoat's picture
I'm going to have this thread as my home page as the lols from it still amuses me even into day 3 of it's original post. More and more will return, mwhahahahaha!
Jamz's picture
Must. Not. Resub.
Hairy's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamz (rupert) View Post
Must. Not. Resub.
Definitely not re-subing
Beanz's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hairy View Post
Definitely not re-subing
We're not expecting you to reactivate all 6 accounts
Hairy's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beanz View Post
We're not expecting you to reactivate all 6 accounts
Youngest of the four kids is 18 in four weeks, so won't be doing that
Beanz's picture
Did some sums whilst pottering about as a Starter account...

£30 or so to get my account up to MoP, then £15 per character that I want to transfer across to where the action is, or start from scratch.


Might not bother with that come back after all...
Kaostic's picture
Or just not transfer?
Beanz's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaostic View Post
Or just not transfer?
So you want me to play on my own then?
FoxyStoat's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beanz View Post
Did some sums whilst pottering about as a Starter account...

£30 or so to get my account up to MoP, then £15 per character that I want to transfer across to where the action is, or start from scratch.


Might not bother with that come back after all...
Blizzard offer a scroll of resurection now where if your account is offline longer than 90 days a current player can "res" you, transfer your toon to any realm of your choice for free and you get the Cata exp for free too.
Kaostic's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxyStoat View Post
Blizzard offer a scroll of resurection now where if your account is offline longer than 90 days a current player can "res" you, transfer your toon to any realm of your choice for free and you get the Cata exp for free too.
And get a free 80.
Platinum's picture
Just a thought, is it expensive for someone to start now? do you have to buy the games and all the addon packs? or is it free to play now? just buy a subscription ect?
Kaostic's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Platinum View Post
Just a thought, is it expensive for someone to start now? do you have to buy the games and all the addon packs? or is it free to play now? just buy a subscription ect?
You have to buy the games however; they're pretty cheap atm. I think you can get upto Wrath of the Litch King for like £10 and you get the first month free (£8.99)
Beanz's picture
Starter Edition is free up to level 20 (plus other restrictions)
Wedgeh's picture
Anyone want a scroll of resurrection?
Kaostic's picture
I can send a few too.
Wedgeh's picture
fuck off kris, i want the mount!
Emseypenguin's picture
Right well as you all suck and are horde, what realm am I creating a horde scum on?
Hairy's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emseypenguin View Post
Right well as you all suck and are horde, what realm am I creating a horde scum on?
No such thing as Horde scum, you Alliance bum bandit !!
Kaostic's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emseypenguin View Post
Right well as you all suck and are horde, what realm am I creating a horde scum on?
Draenor
Maggy's picture
as an alliance i can say that was mildly amusing
FoxyStoat's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaostic View Post






Also - Alliance ftw!
Misterwoot's picture
Alas, I am having to hang up my Dragonstalker helm and Azje'Thrul for a life in Eorzea.

Can't afford both AND Istaria (and no bloody way am I ever stopping paying for that) for both myself and the Mrs. So it's cat people and chocobos.

Until Blizzard do something else cool and drag me back.
Beanz's picture
17 days later; still waiting for Blizzard to sort out my account...
Listy's picture
5.4 out this week i heard
Emseypenguin's picture
Yup should be up on wed I believe.
Maggy's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beanz View Post
17 days later; still waiting for Blizzard to sort out my account...
hacked?
Beanz's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggy View Post
hacked?
Old GO email address
Kaostic's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beanz View Post
Old GO email address
Call them? I fix things within about 20 minutes like that.
fazer's picture
I had remove authenticator so I could replace it with a new one, I used the online chat facility. Took a while to get a GM, but was all sorted with minutes.
Misterwoot's picture
AAAAAAGH! FUCK IT!

Ok, ok, I'm back in WoW (the Mrs is too).


Damn you Blizzard!
Maggy's picture
your all WEAK!





(i dont know why you'd quit in the first place)
Kaostic's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misterwoot View Post
AAAAAAGH! FUCK IT!

Ok, ok, I'm back in WoW (the Mrs is too).


Damn you Blizzard!
That took, what... 2 weeks?
Misterwoot's picture
I'm not as strong willed as I was when I went a year away from it.

STOP JUDGING MEH!

I know, I know, I was weak...
Beanz's picture
Blizzard have finally disengaged their collective opposable digits from the rectal interface


Beanz#2306 is back in action
Beanz's picture
Will get around to adding everyone from this thread eventually...

My experience over the past couple of days:

Misterwoot's picture
So those of us on Draenor Horde side... add send me a realid message on misterwoot#2446 so I can jump on my hunter and get him dragged in.

Levelling a Gobbo Rogue atm, "Luggerbugs" .. the non spoonerised version was taken :/
Hairy's picture
Considered reactivating my account briefly.

Briefly.
Kaostic's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hairy View Post
Considered reactivating my account briefly.

Briefly.
I'm happy to SoR you, if possible.
Hairy's picture
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaostic View Post
I'm happy to SoR you, if possible.
OK, I'll bear it in mind, will need 2 I dare say if it ever happens
Maggy's picture
i can SoR as well.

I even have a level 90 hordie (GASP!) if you hordies ever get your act together.


))

Other items from around the web