30 Days: Game Played Over 100 Hours

This is one of a series called “30 Days of Video Games“, an exercise on daily writing.
Follow the link for the full list.

Uh… only one?

Well, I’ve already talked to death Civilization.  I just got done with rehashing the first step of my recovery from EverQuest addiction.  However, neither of those compare to what’s taken up most of my time.  Civilization is just tourism.  EverQuest?  A gateway drug.

No, we must battle the beast that should need not be named.  Let’s talk about World of Warcraft.

WOW, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, is the spiritual successor to EverQuest, but has surpassed the earlier game so much so that it has transcended it’s predecessor.  The same is true of my play time for the game, though, to the everlasting relief of my soul (not to mention my wife,) the game never took me like EverQuest did.  World of Warcraft was always a game I played a lot of, not a lifestyle like EQ was.  A good part of that comes from the gameplay elements that WOW improved upon from EQ; the much relaxed death penalty, the quest/objective driven structure of leveling, and most of all – INSTANCES.  Instanced dungeons, while not first introduced in WOW (I think Anarchy Online was the first MMO to do instances, but I could be wrong.  AO was certainly my first exposure to them) were certainly perfected in WOW and became a fixture (for better or worse) once the Dungeon Finder match-making service came around.  WOW was a much more casual game, a game where you could be rewarded for logging in an hour at a time – EverQuest, an hour was barely enough time to get a group & a camp.  That reward system made WOW much more enjoyable to play, and of course, I spend much more time playing it.

When I was playing EQ, though, I was at a point in my life where, well, maybe I needed drama.  And the Fourth Wall never failed to provide it.  (Our unofficial guild motto: “Fourth Wall: We Know Drama”.)  The drama, perhaps, was more addicting than the game.  But by the time WOW had come around, I had shaken myself out of the funk that lay on top of my EQ years – I was in a better head space and no longer needed that drama.  While I was embroiled early on with a guild that seemed to enjoy it, it didn’t take long to shed that and play with TFG and our circle of real-life friends.  My wife eventually got into the game, and by the time Wrath of the Lich King came around, we had a solid group of friends that spend our Saturday nights together on Ventrillo, some of us separated by hundreds of miles, playing the game together; having fun.

It was, easily, the best time I’ve ever had playing video games.

We’ve mostly all moved on, and the game has since lost a lot of luster for me, having fallen into the “been there, done that” category.  I look back on WOW with no regrets and no ill-will, unlike EQ which mars my life with the ugly stain of addiction.  I’m happy to have spent that time playing WOW – I don’t consider it a loss in any sense of the word – it was ever entertaining, and almost always fun.

Isn’t that what games are supposed to be about?

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