Who could imagine a life after WoW?

| Monday, August 8, 2011
I might have been six months since I last played. Or maybe less. I'm not really sure. That day was a bit of a non-event, so it's hard to remember.

Thinking back to before then, I couldn't quite imagine not playing. I mean, sure, people quit, but it never quite made sense. It was like hearing about someone moving to Afghanistan. It's theoretically possible, but plausible? Not really. I mean, what does someone do there? Outside WoW? At the very least, there surely are not sufficient activities to fill all those hours. It would be like quitting sleeping. What does one possibly do with all that time?

Beside that, it's a familiar, accessible place. Press a few buttons and you're there. It's like a hangout just down the street, except closer. Would you suddenly just stop going? It would be weird. People would wonder what happened.

Intellectually I knew that there were things to do outside WoW. During times on intensive studying or research I'd gone days or weeks without playing. But it was still there, offering to fill a bit of spare time, if I had it. I knew that every day literally billions of people went through their days, even their entire lives, without ever having played WoW. Or even another MMO. I can't quite see why anyone would play EVE when real accounting is so much more lucrative, but it's there. And of course I knew that one day WoW would end. But that was on par with the ironically-named heat death of the universe: so far out there that we can't quite perceive it.

Now it seems flipped. I can't imagine playing WoW. Oh sure, here and there I think "I want to do [activity]", but then I realize, I cannot. Not only has the game changed to make it impossible (screw you, Cataclysm), but the very idea of playing seems strange to me. I could log in, pick a character, and then what? Kill a boar? So... what?

It makes me sad in a way, to think that something which was important to me for over five years could just fade aay into meaninglessness. Aw shit. Now I've gone all existential angst.

What did you think of life after WoW before life after WoW?


DracoChapel said...

i also havent played in a year. and sometimes i think of playing it again, when my mind puts on the rose tinted glasses. but then i remember the reasons i quit, and the occasional thing i read about it that makes me less inclined to return.
I dont think a lot of the time was wasted, but too much of it wasn't fun anymore.

it took a couple of months before i found something to do with all that free time, a lot of PC games got played but none could keep my attention (or were long enough to last). now the free time is divided up throughout my week, i no longer set aside blocks of time for raids and pvp and dailies and all the other stuff :)

scrusi said...

I had a lot of glimpses of my time after WoW before my time after WoW (if that makes any sense) due to breaks. That made the transition rather smooth.

What hit me rather unexpectedly was the decline in my spoken English skills now that I didn't have multiple Teamspeak sessions a week. (Though I suppose changes in my professional environment towards another language had something to do with that as well.)

hound said...

I probably don't really count, since I still play. But, I don't really play.

I log in and do some dailies once or twice a week, then I don't hardly think about the game at all in between those breaks.

I have maxed out Blacksmithing and a pattern I wanted to craft, but I hate grouping these days. I don't read the boss strategies anymore and hardly know how to play my character. So I actually paid another blacksmith to craft my item for me since he had orbs.

I've played other mmos, but they either shut down or just can't keep my attention any better than WoW. But I did manage to play Portal 2 all the way and liked it, but won't be playing it again any time soon.

I do a lot of reading when I'm not playing. Bukowski has my attention these days. I also have other hobbies that I attend to.

So, I don't know. I guess I'm still playing, but not really?

Salvaenus said...

Honestly before I quit, I hadn't thought about what comes afterwards at all. I guess I am what some people would call a kind of a busy guy, wife, 2 kids, 9 to 5 job, house that thing... but somehow somewhere I found the time to raid 3 nights a week and do dailies ?!?!? Now that I am no longer playing it's not like I have oodles of free time that I don't know what to do with, my free time is just as filled but with other past times. I think I have tried every single F2P mmorpg out there but quickly realized that it's the same hamster wheel just in a different cage so these days I waste what little free time I have with games like multiplayer Minecraft or Torchlight but mostly I read. Malazan book of the Fallen, excellent series, two thumbs up here.

Anonymous said...

Why do we all sound like a bunch of jaded old has-beens when it comes to post WoW life? I end up doing the same thing...trying other F2P MMO's (none suffice and I completely agree Sal), and end up reading boooks or finding kicks in other hobbies. I feel like we are all searching for something that can bring back the feeling of wonderment and adventure that WoW did when we first entered.

What's funny is I recall the exact same thing occurred after leaving the first Everquest...you find something to fill the gap and then once 'the next big thing' comes out that provides that same sense of fulfillment, it all becomes fresh, new and exciting again.

I don't know what the new shiny will be, but rest assured it will hold us in stupor and awe just like the other MMOs did...so don't worry :)

Strawfellow said...

I guess you could say I'm in the "looking for the next big thing" phase as well. I manually resubscribe to WoW if only because at times I find myself wanting to log in. But lately I like the idea of thinking about doing something in the game more than actually doing it.

"Maybe I should roll a priest. I've never played priest before. But then I'd have to level him up through those same zones again. And then gear him out. And then PvP or Raid. Nevermind."

Even RP has lost its appeal to me, but that's most likely because I've run out of things to roleplay. So it's taverns, fake fights, and drama queens all over again.

I guess I have it subbed out of a sense of hope that I'll find something rather than having anything to do. You can add my ticket in to the angst pool, Klep.

Teebags said...

I used to think the same thing about EverQuest, but I quit, then along came WoW. I quit WoW then tried Rift (it's just WoW.. really) then got caught up in Eve. Show me an accountant that, whilst working out the yield and profit of Tritanium also blows up the accountant in the next cubicle with a fricken laser then steals his stapler.

Klepsacovic said...

"Why do we all sound like a bunch of jaded old has-beens when it comes to post WoW life?"
Speaking for myself, maybe because I am, virtually speaking. :)

Nils said...

Good post. WoW, most MMORPGs, lost their most important asset in recent years: meaning.

I can still think 'cool' when somebody talks about adventuring in a dark fantasy forest.

But that's not what WoW is. When somebody talks about WoW I can only think: 'dailies, lol'.

Nils said...

Salvaenus wrote
I think I have tried every single F2P mmorpg out there but quickly realized that it's the same hamster wheel just in a different cage so these days I waste what little free time I have with games like multiplayer Minecraft or Torchlight but mostly I read. Malazan book of the Fallen, excellent series, two thumbs up here.

That's exactly what I read right now, too. Several hours a day ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm still playing but I can see my post-WoW life from here. It looks pretty good.

I still enjoy the game but I'm not as heavily committed as I was before my friends & family guild fell apart. I level alts and pvp some but I don't raid anymore and the only dailies I do are the JC ones just because I like working on my professions.

I'm looking forward to GW2 coming out. When it does, I'll play that for a while but not obsessively or exclusively.

obscurefox said...

I still play, but have left other games in the past,I remember how much they were entertaining and never feel the time was wasted, but then I'm given to doing things I enjoy that others may see as a waste( I once built a fairy neighbourhood from sticks rocks and bark outside over some weeks which I never bothered to photo just because I felt like it). It can seem strange to look back on past hobbies( like a closet full of US frontier style clothing I once made and wore) an remember how important it seemed when you were doing it and how irrelevant it can seem now, but at least for me nothing seems wasted and the memories are pleasant to occasionally dwell on and in the long term every thing is just a collection of memory of experiences.
right now my new shiny is designing my own game, and I think I may also see the end of my WoW time, but who knows

Gankalicious said...

Hey! Just letting you know I've stolen, er I mean, quoted you.......


Reuben said...

I had trouble thinking of life after WoW, before life after WoW. Actually, it might have been something like saying good-bye to $90 a month, because that's how much gameplay I'd get out of a non-WoW game before loosing my interest. Having said that, The Witcher and Assassin Creed were two games that managed to hold my attention while I was playing WoW.

Now that I've tried RIFT for a month or so, and haven't bother to play that for a month or so more, I'm almost in life after MMOs.

And life after MMOs is full of Torchlight, TF2, The Witcher 2 (but done with that now), AC2 and lashings of Farmville. I keep LotRO handy to remind my why I've no further interest in playing MMOs. Co-op, yes. MMOs, no.

So I get a little confused when I hear Diablo 3 get referred to as an MMO. I thought it was just a dungeon crawler with co-op. I'll probably play Torchlight 2, instead, which will be released before D3, with less Blizzard angst.

Blizzard have really lost their shine, for me. I think the Activision side is bleeding in, and making announce things that remind me how the CoD:MW2 developers got canned. Makes me a little mad, and sad.

Life after WoW means not subscribing to wowinsider (or whatever it's called these days), and not having to log in and play a game every day of the week. Well, there is that raging Farmville addiction. Let's say, one less game to log in to. :/

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