Monday, June 23, 2014

Breaking up (with WoW) is hard to do

World Of Warcraft Cataclysm In .gif photo 1531746.gif

I've said before that one of the reasons I started Kentucky Geek Girl was to talk about gaming. Back in 2010, when I started the blog, I was a pretty hardcore World of Warcraft player. When I use that term, I'm not necessarily saying that I was in a raiding guild with top tier gear and advanced progression. No, I mean that I played the game as often as I could and had since 2007.

My main, Katryona.

I signed up for my free trial in September 2007  and after much prodding by a friend, I joined Shadow Council Alliance. Things were fine, I learned the ropes of the game and all was well. I was definitely a bit of a n00b, rolling on Spirit plate for my Warrior. I leveled through Burning Crusade and hit level 70 in the summer of 2008. I had a lot of fun doing dungeons, with PVP, and questing. My main, Katryona, was a Night Elf Warrior and I loved her. Slowly but surely, however, that I started to feel it: addiction. It creeped in slowly, but by 2009, it had completely taken over.

I'm the first person to admit that I was completely and utterly addicted to World of Warcraft; they call it WarCrack or reason. We were thick in the middle of Wrath of the Lich King at that point and I had leveled 2 characters to 80 with a third well on her way. Once I faction transferred my main, Katryona in September 2009, I was playing constantly with my best friend who was also my guild leader.
This was my favorite log-in screen. I loved Wrath of the Lich King.
WoW really is pretty cheap entertainment. You pay $15 a month and you're set. Why wouldn't we use it as our primary form of entertainment as broke college students? You buy some booze, snacks, and sit down to play some WoW: it's a good combo. The problem I found was that I let the game monopolize my time. I let school, friends, family, my health, pretty much everything fall by the way side. The addiction was real. I languished for awhile before I really took control of where things were headed.

In 2011, I did something about it. I quit cold turkey and didn't play for well over a year. I focused on my weight loss journey with working out and Weight Watchers. I played more board games and that's when I also really focused on Kentucky Geek Girl. That Fall, I went back to school and when I didn't use WoW as a distraction, I rocked it out, getting on the Dean's List that first semester back.

My success continued well into 2012 when I resubscribed to the game a month or so at a time, but didn't fall back into the same pattern that I had one been in. Mists of Pandaria was just coming out, I sold a friend on WoW and I gave in to my own peer pressure and decided to pick up the expansion. I'll be the first to admit that I was just wasn't impressed with the Pandaren. I absolutely love my Worgen ended up creating a new Worgen Warrior that I played with a friend. We played through the expansion, leveling our baby Worgen and I didn't do much at all with my main. In January 2013, I was hit with an unfortunate case of no internet, so I didn't start playing with any frequency until later in the Spring. I still quit for a few months and come back on a whim.

I enjoy playing World of Warcraft. The story is (for the most part) interesting, I like the challenge that PVP presents, and it's something that I can do with my friends when we've tired of board games or binge-watching TV. But the game no longer holds the same control over me that it once did. Last summer, I transferred Katryona to Wyrmrest Accord, a medium population RP server. I joined a guild that I really enjoyed and began playing a lot because it was something that I could do with the Lexington friends before I made the decision to move back to town. I felt the desire to play all the time start to knock on my door, but I quelled it before it could really take hold. I'm at a point where I know that playing all the time is not a positive thing for me and I'm able to stop before I start again. I don't know if I'll ever find a game that I want to play as consistently and constantly as I did WoW.

And while I'm okay with that, I still find myself wishing I knew how to quit the game, for good.

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