I looked up the definition of Irony when I was musing this post. My brain is full of memories of the mid-90s and Alanis Morrisette singing “Ironic” and the uproar that she didn’t actually include any irony in the song… And this may not be irony, but it’s close and it’s a blog post and I just don’t care the difference.
The thing I miss most about WoW is the people.
Yes, the people. Marianne the Misanthrope. I built my online presence on a combination of bossiness, snark, and general hatred of the human race, and the thing I miss most is the people? Short answer: yes. Long answer: kinda.
I don’t miss raiding. The months I’ve had free of the weekly evening schedule have been awesome. If I want to game, I can play Dragon Age. If I don’t, there’s a myriad of other things to occupy my evenings with. It doesn’t make me more or less bored than a night in ToC, but it does make me worlds less frustrated. And what frustrated me? The people.
So why the contradiction? The things I miss are the things that pulled me into WoW in the first place. I miss goofing off on lowbie alts. I had a paired lowbie hunter with Seri who were the bane of Uldaman and ret pally tanks everywhere. I had my little holy pally (again paired, this time with David’s warrior) in Bubbles’ guild. I had my hunter who I’d actually almost managed to get to max level in the current expac (rolled in WoW’s first summer, mid 50s until the cap went to 70, mid 60s until the cap hit 80, and now lingering at the mid-70 mark).
I loved lowbie-LFD. Yes, some levels are full of pain, when you only ever seem to see Uldaman or Auchindon. But the groups tend to be friendly, chatty, and look for opportunities to stick together once they’ve found something that works. And if you’re in a group that doesn’t work, you simply drop and let the lotto find you something else.
I also loved some of my guildmates. I don’t want this to seem like I was in a guild surrounded by people who made me miserable. I mean, some of them did, but I really wouldn’t have stayed if it wasn’t for the fact that a good number of them, I really cared about. (And I had an offer open elsewhere, a strongly worded and frequently repeated offer. It was very very tempting, and I almost agreed, but my decision was to stay with the people I did, even when they did aggravate me.)
I can look back on might-have-beens and wonder if I’d have quit had I left. And… I think I would have, but it’s a moot point anyway.
So, yes, I occasionally miss WoW. I miss the people, I miss the company, I miss the fact that the “me” that I presented to the people I considered to be my friends for 5 years suddenly isn’t there anymore. And it’s not like I’m a different person, but… it was something in common. And suddenly, I’m moving in a different direction from everyone on my twitter list, and it feels like some strange place where I’m even more an outsider than I’m used to being.
What do I have to say about the changes coming with Cataclysm? Nothing, beyond teasing trees for their new ToL form, or plotting ways Life Grip could be used to kill your friends. I’m not invested, however. I’m no longer part of the WoW-blogging community, and suddenly I have nothing to discuss with my twitter list, or anything to comment on anyone’s blog, or anything to talk on gchat about.
I’m used to being alone. I’ve always been an introvert, a hermit, a misanthrope. But it’s always… awkward to become accustomed to friendships moving apart. And, for a time it feels like the world is suddenly smaller, or larger, and I’m in some strange place where it’s possible to be both surrounded by strangers and entirely alone.
It’s lonely. I think that was the part I was least prepared for.