June 7, 2010

Not Always “Just a Game”

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:46 am by Aduial of WrA

So the drama is still going on and there almost 300MB of screenshots collected on the issues so far and for a video game that is absolutely ridiculous, and I won’t be filling this post so much with details of anything but more of a very rambly, semi-philosophical post instead, or so I’m hoping.

One of the things Silveran’s said in regards to staying on WrA vs fleeing to the server he’s changed to (since it was up in the air if the rest of us would follow or not until last night, where we decided to stay and tough anything getting thrown at us out), is “it isn’t worth fighting that much for a damn videogame for me.” One of the problems conflicting in that that some of us, or at least I, were having, is that WoW really isn’t just a video game. MMOs, in their very nature, can become so much more than “just a video game,” and it’s probably why some people like Tam retreat to single-player games with robot unicorns, or older GameHouse and zone.msn.com type games for me (even have Collapse open in a different browser right now).

MMOs are games that require you to interact, and not just with the game itself, but with other living, breathing, thinking, feeling people. People by large are very emotionally driven and form attachments, whether fleeting ones to accomplish a quick goal, or more lasting ones. I’ve made several and fairly close friends through MMOs, Silveran himself included. I’ve heard of cases of people playing a game long after they are burnt out just to keep in contact with guilds or friends, so because of these attachments MMOs like WoW can quickly become, and usually do become, so much more than a game like collapse or an FPS or such.

I had, at one point, my friends lists full on both my warrior Kas, and a couple other alts. I had 100 friends listed on them and could not add anyone without removing someone. And for the most part, these lists were vastly different. There were about ten people who went on every list and stayed there, and that’s about 90 different people per toon for three of them, and right now I’ve about four toons hovering 60-70 friends each, again mostly different. These are all connections, attachments that I have on WrA, people I can pull into a PUG or something when needed, and several of these people are actually fairly decent friends that I’ve made, who I don’t get to communicate with often outside of WoW for one reason or another (many of them don’t use instant messengers, for example). There’s a lot more that I’m used to seeing and sometimes socializing with in certain global channels. This is not even mentioning that if I were to change, I’d have to get used to a whole new economy or anything… but these are all connections I’d lose, and a lot of friends I would lose. It would be like growing up in one town for most of your life, then moving somewhere with about five other people and not being able to talk to anyone from home or contact them anymore, while leaving most of your things behind, and having to get used to every store being different… Everything being different.

And, yes, sometimes change is good. And if we absolutely have to, I will stick with my close friends and bid my semi-decent friends adieu, but I really would rather it not come to that. I wish it hadn’t already for Silveran. Trying to play on both servers was suggested as well, but, honestly, I can’t do that. To reference the analogy above, a server is my home. I know not everyone plays this way, but I do. It’s what I know, it’s what I love. The server and community as a whole is what has gotten rid of my burnout before, it’s a large reason I keep coming back to this game when I am so fed up with it. I tried doing the 2-server thing when I rolled my draepally over on Farstriders, and it just plain didn’t work. I ended up spending all of my time on one, or the other. And now that I spend so little time on the game compared to what I used to have on it, I realize now more than ever that I would fail on one server, if not completely burn myself out trying to deal with two.

There’s also the fact that.. My toons already are who they are. Some people get a ‘feel’ for their toons even without roleplaying them, and, I’m sorry, it’s going to be pretty much completely impossible to keep that identity when you are changing their whole race and faction. However on top of that inherent identity that I, too, have for my toons, even before I was roleplaying them… The ones on WrA I have roleplayed, several of them quite extensively. To change them so drastically would completely destroy them. Tam wrote on this when he changed his blood elf priest to a dwarf priest.

Throughout WoW our characters become like part of a story and, in a way, they really are. It’s sort of like something I’ve seen come up a lot in regards to roleplaying any major lore events, because afterall it’s not like by lore you were one of 10 people to down the Lich King or whoever, but you were part of a larger force. Part of an army. If you must reference such things in your roleplay, acknowledge that at the least, etc. And, even when someone’s playing a character not on a roleplay realm… It would still, in a way, hold true. Yes you can do most instances and raids on farm as many times as you like (until Cataclysm at least..), and you can do it months if not years before or after someone else does it, but usually everyone to get to end game has done mostly the same instances, and took part in all of that with their character… who is a part of something bigger. Every quest your character does is another page in the story, every zone you complete is another chapter in their life, one small life in a much larger plot. And I’ll give there’s probably not a lot of people who actively, if ever, think about this, but it is still, to an extent, true… And because of that, too, games like WoW can become more than just a game. You’re not just running in to shoot bad guys because you can, you’re playing your part in a larger story to the best of your ability (which can be fairly easy, admittedly, but still). And a lot of single player games can have stories, sure, but I’ve yet to play one (granted I’m not much of a gamer and am not used to, errr, platform games or ones that aren’t really free) that can suck you in quite like WoW or possibly other MMOs. Probably because you get to see and interact with your fellows characters in the story, so this point ends up tieing it all together in a similar way a 5 year old would wrap  a toy pony for their friends’ birthay party.

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5 Comments »

  1. Silv said,

    I agree 100% with you. In the last year and *think* a half or so that i’ve been playing on the server, i’ve made a lot of friends. the whole TL crew was just the tip of the iceberg (and still the most solid of all friends i’ve ever made thank you very much)
    I’ve been gone on silv for two days. I miss the server already. I miss the people, friends list (which thanks to holofriends i still have).. atmosphere….
    economy….
    access to my banktoons….
    I say its ‘just a game’ because in the purest sense, it is. I pay monies to have the privilage of playing said game each and every month. Reality is, wra, the TL crew.. closest I can call to family without being mennoite.. I’ve got lots of very fond memories of the people and server in general. But, on the flip side, as long as I have some sort of contact with those friends i’ve made on the server, if the stress becomes greater then i’m willing to put up with, I also have (little… bit of a trek there.. i’ll explain next time I see you) only a pinch of regret moving. Its a give a little, get a little kinda deal.

  2. Jezre said,

    Hey there! It’s lovely to find a blogger from my own server, and Horde, for that matter. I’m Jezre, a tree-healer (also Nicala, hunter, and Phrae, resto shaman). I glanced back through some of your posts and I enjoy them immensely. I’ll be keeping an eye on your blog. :3

    As for the “it’s just a game” thing… Ugh. I hate that excuse when used in any context. It’s like… When there are people involved, it’s not a game anymore. It’s about relationships. It’s real people, with real feelings, real opinions, etc. Once I was in a PuG with a huntard who kept pulling before my pocket tank and wiped us several times, and we were all raging at him. Just before being votekicked, he was all “itz jus a gamelol”. It may be a game, but that does not give someone leave to screw over real people, y’know?

    • Oh wow, my first commenter from WrA that I didn’t link here! Hi! 😀 Great to hear you’re enjoying what you’ve read here.

      Yes, exactly! I’ve mostly heard it as an excuse for someone’s ill behavior as well which is just not cool, too. Huh, we actually had a hunter doing stuff like that in a recent UP heroic, even said something similar before we kicked him… Wonder if we ended up randoming into the same person?

      • Jezre said,

        Hehe. Found ya through Tam’s blog, and then saw your WrA tag and was like “Oh ho ho! What is this?”

        As for the hunter, I have no idea, but I know she shares those sorts of tendencies with many other huntards. >_>

        • Ah, good ol’ Tam’s blog! He’s pretty much the main reason I decided to start this one, actually, so good place to find me I suppose. There’s at least a couple other WrA bloggers out there that I know of, one that I’ve linked here (being our Main Tank and one of my good friends), another has like 3 or 4 blogs he writes on that I haven’t linked until I find out which one is he going to be writing on now…

          And eh, that’s probably true unfortunately. Should say something that I didn’t remember anything about the huntard themselves aside from being a huntard, I suppose…


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