This wasn’t my plan, as I fully intended on actually completing this 20 day challenge that Saga started a long while back, but since my last day playing WoW was literally just two days ago, I feel I can probably finish this bad boy once and for all!
Let’s start with the actual decision to stop playing. I’ve known for a couple years that my WoW time was coming to an end. The Burning Crusade was the golden years of my career in this game for many reasons, and as such, the subsequent expansions never lived up to that same standard. Everything was getting more and more dumbed down, condensed and consolidated, the content was getting boring — especially with the introduction of the so called “Heroic modes” — and the guilds I was in were never quite the same as my original, familial one. I think there’s a lot to be said for a community when you log on just so you can talk with the people you play with because you get along with all of them so well, rather than to play the game.
In short, I simply started enjoying myself less and less, little by little, after Wrath of the Lich King and, later on, Cataclysm came out. I didn’t find the game play to be compelling anymore, there were not as many exciting things to do outside of raiding that were directly involved with raiding, like attunement chains.
Seriously, those were awesome, Blizz.
I’m the type of player that doesn’t like to do PvP (I’m also horrible at it, so I don’t think anyone would like for me to do PvP either, haha!), I don’t enjoy doing 5 mans after I’ve completed them a few times, and although I do like leveling alts … you can only do that so many times before you get to either: a) the level cap, b) bored of the zones you’ve leveled through a million times before, or c) you’ve leveled every class available.
Essentially, there really wasn’t much for me to do that I enjoyed, outside of raiding. I had a lot of fun doing old school runs with various guildies when my scheduled allowed, and late night chatting with people on Mumble was always enjoyable (especially when wine was involved), but raiding was really what I was all about once TBC passed. Given that the content got less and less interesting for me, and how I really hate Heroic modes — I’d rather move on to a whole new raid than go back through the same bosses, just with more damage, more health, more adds, and one new mechanic — I wasn’t feeling like I really wanted to stick around and torture myself through content I wasn’t particularly excited to do.
Then there were personal reasons, and one of the big reasons was that I play hockey, and winter league seriously screws you over in terms of raiding. My guild, Apotheosis, raids on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings; the two hockey leagues that I play for have games on Sunday and Thursday evenings. So not only would that put me below the required attendance for raiding, but being an officer on top of that … it’s just not conducive to getting anything done, and rather pointless as well if you’re in charge of loot mastering and aren’t around to do it half the time.
Aside from the sport aspect, however, I just didn’t have a whole lot of extra time and/or energy to work on things I wanted to work on, like all the many art projects I have lying around, unfinished. Practicing my photography and photo editing. Spontaneously going out with the girls on any given evening. I simply wasn’t having fun by scheduling my real life around a game anymore, and I much prefer it to be the opposite.
So the decision was made, I let the officers know well ahead of time that I would be stepping down when 4.3 hit, and I later let the rest of the guild know as the patch drew near. I was online, ready to step in if I was needed in a raid, but if there was anyone else that could be in, I told Kurn to sit me. Hell, I wouldn’t even let her get me my “Glory of the Firelands” acheivement! I think she resents me a little bit for denying her that small privilege, as she compared it to “not being able to get Maj Maj his ‘Hand of A’dal’ title”. ;)
Then, 4.3 hit on Tuesday and my raiding career was over, just like that. I was actually really excited at first; I was free of obligation on three nights each week, now! Not to mention various dramas that are inevitable with any raiding guild, keeping up with officer forums, spending a good chunk of my own time outside of raids to keep up with the loot mastering duties, officer meetings, etc.. It was like my life had new prospects after 6+ years of playing WoW, and that felt pretty cool! I had loads of free time now and I could do whatever I so pleased with it.
I logged on that day when I got home from work and started pilfering through all of my toons, working my way down the list. I got rid of all sorts of stuff on all of them, mainly donating things to the guild bank, such as herbs, flasks and potions, unused glyphs, enchanting materials, leathers, cloth, volatiles, ore, Chaos Orbs … you name the profession, I had materials to donate for them. I kept the more sentimental stuff, like goofy holiday items, tier pieces, tabards, etc., but I sold most other things, like my alts’ offspec gear and what not and gave away a few things, like AQ rep items to a priest friend, and the Dust of Disappearance and all of my lock boxes to Tikari. I gathered up all of my gold on one toon and sent it all to my boyfriend.
And then that was it. All of my toons had literally 0 gold, silver or copper. Nothing to sell, nothing to do. Save for one thing: find Avanai’s final resting place. Darista stayed in Stormwind, her hometown. Plus, as my good friend, Dayden, put it … she’s old and has to stay in the nursing home, never to show her wrinkled face again.
I found the perfect place for Avanai to rest for all of virtual time, a place that shall remain unnamed, save for the few that know. Not that it matters, but I like some veil of mystery at times.
This particular place was in my favorite zone, and although this more specific spot within said zone is quite boring, it holds some great memories from my favorite era of WoW. On that spot, I spent hours running around in circles, back and forth, just chatting and laughing with Kurn, Maj Maj, and my boyfriend, and the zone itself holds far more memories of hilarity and fun than I can hope to think of. She’ll have a great view of the whole place from there.
Then Kurn logged on, Maj Maj and Toga were on Mumble, and it just kind of hit me. Like I said, I was excited at first, but before I clicked on that “Exit Game” button, a sort of sadness hit me. I was about to be completely done with the World of Warcraft that helped to create so many amazing friendships all those years ago, and that I still hold on to very dearly. While it is just a game, it would not have been the experience that it was without those few people I have played with since day one, nor the great people I’ve met (some of them, quite literally) along the way. I may hate the company for what they’ve done to the game in the last couple of years, but I will always love them for creating an avenue with which I was able to create such relationships that will last even outside of the game.
It’s been real, it’s been fun …
… but it’s been really, truly, fantasmagorically, fun.