Confessions of an ex-World of Warcraft gamer.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


So I'm confronting a hobby I've spent doing since I was 13, sometimes hours and hours at a time. Escaping into fantasy worlds with imaginary characters. It can be healthy, and it can be dangerous. I've been on both ends, mostly the dangerous one.

My WoW addiction wasn't your typical item or PVP ranking but the longing for roleplay and company through roleplay. I hardly ever wanted to know the person behind the screen; I just wanted their characters with mine. It didn't matter if they were friend or foe, lover or murderer, they were just there and we were cooperating on something creative.

I think this is why I feel happy and confident when I'm working on a group project for art or design. I'm being creative with other people who enjoy being creative. It's hard to find the time to do that in college unless it's for a class or doing work. But even so, that's such a nice feeling.

The Rping goes past WoW. I Rped in MUDs and Yahoo chatrooms throughout high school. I like making up characters and worlds, and sometimes Rping was a good way to get an initial feel of them and explore their personality.

Unless it's about an interest, I never liked getting to know the people behind the character. It didn't ruin the character itself so much as it drove me away from the person as a whole. Sometimes I didn't mind them. But you had all kinds of people who came into Rping; many of them had mental conditions, myself included. We would clash over small details. I would spend nights agonizing over a plot's progress or a character's condition. I didn't feel personally attached to my character, as in, if my character had to die, so be it. But I think I was just as attached to the plot and world.

I used roleplay to explore aspects of my mind with people I couldn't explore in reality. But, most importantly, I used it to get away from the real world. I remember staying up past sunrise to finish a roleplay. I remember obsessing over plot details.

I guess as time goes by, you start to drift away. You find better outlets for things. I like drawing better than roleplaying. I can still escape into a fantasy world and make up a story, but it's different. I can share it with other people. Other people can give me feedback on my characters and their world without me having to rake for hours for someone who shares my same interests. I find it more amusing to muse over ideas. It leaves me less drained, takes up less time, and just letting the imagination go wild. I can muse with anyone. I can't roleplay with everybody.

I've been playing on an acquaintance's (at best) private roleplay server. I'm not on very much anymore unless roleplay is going on, and it's kind of irritating to watch.

I don't even think I log in to participate when something big is going on. It's more like watching a zoo.

Some people are there to have fun, but out of those, you have people who take rp as a serious art and then more. When they are out of character, they enjoy talking about their character more than I'd desire to talk about my own. They spend a long time planning in advance what's going to happen instead of letting improv takes it's course. It's irritating to watch because I was the same way a long time ago.

I want to say things to them, and sometimes I do, only to watch them do it all over again. I've been there. Most everything about the roleplay risks was told to me; it was a matter of me applying it. Now I know making long, empty text descriptions are useless compared to a rich sentence. I know getting wrapped up in the politics of details is energy better spent elsewhere, like musing or drawing or writing. Or daydreaming.

I watch now because I'm bored. I talk about it because I'm bored. I have some sympathy for them, but I won't tell them that. They won't take it the right way. I know because I wouldn't when I was like them, either. I'm also not here to help them unless they ask for it. I'm not offering, but I'll help you. I'm just here now.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The breakup letter.

So, last week, I was having a talk with a friend who I met on WoW. (we quit together under the terms the game was stupid, but I was addicted and he wasn't; he's been EXTREMELY supportive of me, though)

At the time, I was on the rebound playing on private servers. Although I wouldn't play as compulsively as I would on retail- considering one server had extremely high rates and custom content, and the other was 1-hit-level-70, I still played on my weeks off from school and work to cope with my anxiety and stress that had accumulated over the years in addition to being in such a 'dead area' (Read the previous post).

I was repeating to him what happened in counseling in a sort of zoned out state. At the same time, I was playing Windows Solitaire for the hell of it on the PC in the kitchen while waiting for my dinner to finish cooking.

It was the first time, in a long time, I had to play a game that commanded my skill and actual attention.

It was kind of a slap in the face. I said "IM LOSING AT WINDOWS SOLITAIRE." But, it was more to it than that; WAY more. I can't explain it, but it hit me hard. I was expecting the same kind of gameplay I had been used to since December 6th, 2004. And, all of a sudden, the gameplay I remembered from 1984 just jumped on me.

I still can't put it into words; it's more to it than that. I said "I really need to get rid of WoW." After all the trouble I went to re-downloading it and putting it on not one, but two computers...

I asked my friend what I could do to get it out of my system. He suggested that, if he were me, he'd write something like a breakup letter to WoW. List all the good times. List the bad times. Say why you can't be there for WoW anymore. Burn the letter.

Truth be told, I hate writing. I hate writing my own name with a pencil, even; I have to use a pen. This makes no sense because I draw a lot; it's part of my study and work. But the act of typing gives me a lot of relief.

So, that's what I did. I poured my heart out. Those good times I kept dwelling on, I put that in there. The bad times that started to come up, especially when honor was introduced, was included. I included my own lack of self-discipline and my dedication to WoW, my eternal search for that missing something in the huge void in my life. But I also criticized WoW for what it did to people who I'd met ingame, people who were friendly in lower levels, but turned selfish in the endgame, and how WoW made that one person realize their life was just more than a game. (who rubbed off on me; I'll get more into that person later someday)

I haven't printed it out; I don't think I will just yet. It's still on my hard drive. I read over it and add more to it that I've forgotten. One of the issues I had was lying to myself, and I just kept unloading and unloading. I can't comprehend how much of a relief it was to write that letter.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My counselor says I need to leave this town.

I am a completely different person when I'm at school. I'm eager to communicate, I try to go the extra mile, I hang out, I stay after (if I'm not too tired or hungry), I get into trouble, I have a good time. If I game, it's with a group of people I am physically with.

I don't think about WoW or any other MMO. If anything, I think about making one.

At home, it's just the same old redundant out in the country. I go into my room. I may try to talk to my family, but they get distracted or are just as tired. I go online and do online things. It's boring and unfeeling. And yes, sometimes I may play on the WoW private servers just to put a dent in my redundancy. But even then, there is nothing there.

The medication I'm on right now makes me dream every night. Sometimes they're painfully vivid nightmares that make me scared to go to sleep. But other times, they're exciting dreams that make me never want to wake up again.

I sent my friend a text message last night because I didn't feel like coming online:

I feel so stifled. I go on WoW to play & I feel nothing. I don't finish my Neverwinter Nights download because I don't know what I can get from it. I then realize I'm not gaming for fun, but for compensation of this redundancy and my limited options here. And then, what does one do when your last outlet becomes a part of that redundant, stifling pattern to where you log in and play mindlessly, so far gone in the task, you're numb to your drug of choice?
I think the question was rhetorical. Nonetheless, it's haunting my mind.

I have to go to the next city over to give my housing deposit over for the dorms. My financial aid approved of me to get them, so all there is now is to wait until move-in time.

But what do I do until then?

Saturday, August 04, 2007


I see the new xpac's been announced.

It actually looks... tempting. I remember playing WoW and hoping for an epic solo quest, changeable hairstyles and dances, etc. And now, they're adding it, but...

Treadmill, treadmill, treadmill...

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Cheat like me!

If you're really hardcore into an MMO and say you're gonna leave once you get x epic item, why not try high rate free servers and get it, say, in an hour?

Do you feel that it is wrong and going against the original publisher's intentions? Do you feel it's "unfair" so you want to do it "the honest way" like those on the official servers to get your legendary? Do you want to work hard so you can truly bask in your achievement?

Bad keyword here: WORK. You do not play games to do more work, remember that.

This is what I did with WoW; playing on free servers really, really, really opened my eyes. It wasn't the final boot, but it was shove forward when I spent under 2 hours hitting 60 and was decked out in purples. It looked nice, but, once I had it all, I couldn't imagine grinding for it on the official servers. Since I'd experienced it elsewhere, I didn't give a damn about spending all those hours just to look uber in a game.

What's the advantage of getting it on the official servers?
  • People who you've gamed with get to share in your acheivement and compliment your hard work.
  • People on the server admire you for having all this awesome gear and being so powerful because of your skills (read: time) obtaining these peices!
  • You're now one of the upper crust, the best of the server.
These do sound quite nice, because you did it on the official server. You did it the right way. You did it the honest way. So now, let's imagine you worked hard for all this cool gear and you have a friend who just started on a free server and got this SAME GEAR in the same night they started. It's probably funny to you; you think "psh, that doesn't count. At least I did it THE REAL HARD-EARNED WAY."

But you have the same exact gear in the same game. What does it matter? The only difference it makes is the other people, the HONEST (because the difference between honesty and dishonesty to Blizzard is $15 a month) players will be praising you (til the next patch comes to nullify your gear's glory). So you feel really great about all this gear... that you spent all that time getting. The same gear your friend took less than an hour to get.

Playing on free servers with high rates (XP rates, drop rates) pretty much brings all the content in the game up to the surface. Most free servers keep up with the latest patches, too. A few now support Burning Crusade as well. With the slow grind out of the way, you see all that the game has to offer. If you're itching to see 50,000g, all purples on your paper-doll, and probably have every epic mount in the game (yeah, they violate "official mechanics," too. :) My night elf rogue had an epic forsaken mount AND a kodo!) then you can do it all in less than a few nights with these.

They're quite easy to search for. I'll link to the one I used for World of Warcraft here. You'll want to aim for ones labeled "high", "very high" or, my favorite, "funserver." Here's a toplist of private servers.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Appointment & Burning Crusade

It's been a long while since I posted. I went to the therapist's not long after my last post. I got diagnosed with anxiety and was offered to come back for an update and if I felt I needed medication. I haven't gone back, not because I thought I needed medication (I've been taking St. John's Wort and Gingko Bilboa regularly and it helps IMMENSELY) but because I haven't had the extra cash to do so.

While in class, I wonder would it be worth going back. The therapist was a good listener. But the things she told me to go do were things I had been telling myself to do for months: draw more, go back to the gym, hang out with friends more. I'm not self-diagnosing myself, but she didn't tell me anything diffrent and then asked me if I felt I needed medicine, so I didn't feel compelled to set asid money to try and go back. Since this post, I started doing yoga, hung out with friends so much over christmas break, I ended up sleeping 12 hours one day,and drawing when I when I can, considering I already draw a lot for my major.

I've been drawing out themes for my website (which is currently disclosed from this community as I want to remain anonymous) because I feel a strong calling twoards web development and design. I've also been remodeling my room a lot. I consolidated my closet and it's embarassing to say this, but organizing my room is fun. It's still junky, but I can actually find things again. Sort of.

I guess I should talk about Burning Crusade since it's been out. I actually recived an IM from an old WoW player who was popular on the server for not being very bright. I had told her, months prior, I'd quit, uninstalled, trashed the game. She comes up to ask if I got BC. I laugh. She says it seems I've started hating WoW more ever since I quit. I told her it's like stepping back from something you love at first sight. You don't realize it's flaws once you're away from it. It's not that I hate WoW, it's just that, when you strip it down to it's bare bones, it's no diffrent from a lot of games of it's kind. And there's NO SKILL involved for anything; you are rewarded for time. It's only good if you're in good company as it is a buffed-up chatroom. Or rather, I don't think people stay logged in as long if they're soloing. There's a LOT of games like this; it's the trend now.

I hear BC is good. I also hear of a few new mmos being released. I'll feel tempted to play them, then read what they have, and it comes out as the same old "pick a race, kill and level to kill and level some more" pattern.

I think I'll go play Sims 2...

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Saturday, December 16, 2006


2 jobs and school full time, I don't know if it's because I've been too tired or two distracted to experience the gaming pangs. I truly belive it's because I'm busy and re-adopted more intrests like drawing and got more priorities in place as well as end goals (like moving the hell out of this place and getting closer to the campus).

I am going to the psych's on the 21st of December so I will make an update regarding what was said. This town is small, and many doctors I called kept thinking I said I had a gambling addiction. Gaming addiction is still so new.

I'm worried, not because of being afraid to say much as I intend to pour my heart out, but being afraid the doctor will think I'm tripping out, nod once, and throw me on some pills. I don't mind medication as a temporary mood assistant (especially for stress) but I really want the help and support.