I wanted to share this with others, you can either read this and take with it what you will or you can read the source over at epicslant.com. It was something I was not expecting to ever realize but the more I wrote the more I realized it was true.
If I may, I would like to share on this subject. To share I have to give a bit of background but I will keep it brief.
I have played World of Warcraft on a competitive level (server first guild) since I started playing World of Warcraft. The day that I decided to leave was a week before Rift was launched (head start program), as I played Rift (CB1-CB6) and realized I didn’t enjoy playing “WoW” (After the GM and Co-Gm of my guild my best “WoW” friends decided to leave the game for IRL reasons) anymore I became more and more scarce to my guild, and more and more apt to play Rift. I played Rift to end game content (“Greenscale” / “RoS”) and found myself wanting for a different reason.
Later I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t the game, it was the people. The people make the game, the addiction isn’t the progression or the gear, or the satisfaction of killing a boss. The addiction is teamwork, knowing that you’re with a guild / team that has gone to hell an back with you and the not so obvious respect and comradery you have built with your brothers and sisters that spent hours together through thick and thin, just to wipe over and over again to get another step closer to that final goal, which is influential, but also a goal that can only be set and met with the people you call a guild.
I realized this after playing Rift to end game. I’m not trying to bag on my Rift guild, I just never got that family “I’ll go to war with you brother” feeling that I had with my “WoW” guild. It was only a few days after telling my Rift guild that I was leaving the game that I realized why I was really leaving. Somewhere between taking that step away from “WoW” and taking that step forward to the unknown, I figured out what gaming especially in MMO’s was about for me, and I believe that if more people took that step back and looked at the situation they would realize as well that gaming isn’t 100% about the game. A lot of it has to do with who you play with.
I can positively say that I would likely have quit playing “WoW” a long time ago had “Oldschool” and “Strife” my two very best “WoW” friends quit sooner. I can easily say that the reason I left Rift was because I couldn’t take one more day with my guild or server for that matter.
A lot of people blamed game play and homogenization of class mechanics and abilities for the reason that Cataclysm has been a colossal failure (which it was not) , but I think after a generation of people playing “WoW” together, real life called those who were just starting their lives to come be part of the real world, and the late bloomers and the older crowd (my crowd) that was already grounded in the real world were just left behind. Everyone got shuffled around and it was no fun anymore. All of those people that we had worked our tails off with to get T1-T9/10 were gone and replacing them was like replacing a family member, it’s just not gonna happen. A “decade of kids” grew up on us and left us to be part of the world, I did it after college, I left gaming only to come back to it after I had kids of my own. They will be back, families will form again, people will dominate content in some new game endlessly and effortlessly as they did before, and it will be fun again, but for most of us that played World of Warcraft in all of it glorious splendor it will never be the same until the next generation of “Almost adults” joins us and the “decade of kids that grew up” come back. Sadly I don’t think “WoW” has many more years to unite the masses, but another game will, that’s for sure.