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I just ran away from Blizzcon

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RUN FOR YOU LIFE!!!!!

Yes, it’s out.  The new WOW expansion info: Wrath of the Lich King.   Level 80!  I was there for the announcement, it was really cool!  There were some Warlocks in the best costumes I’ve ever seen crafted, even on Hollywood sets.  I hope warlocks own that competition!!!  There’s a new hero class, the presentation movie looked fantastic, I’ve always wanted to try out a Blood Elf…what’s that sound?  My self-discipline being vacuumed from my brain?!

It almost happened.  I had a very close call where, while in line to test out the expansion on one of about 1000 PCs they had set up for 20 minute play each, I rationalized the possibility of returning to Azeroth.  I was with a few former guildies of mine, wearing a “The Guild” tank top but completely giving up on handing out “watchtheguild.com” cards because the Blizz Blitz made me feel so small in comparison because I only brought about 50 cards for like, 20,000 people (duh).  At that moment in line, I truly decided, “Hey, why not?  I’m sure I can just play a few days a week…hero class?  Oooh, I want to be one of those, what are the rigorous and life-melting requirements for that epic achievement?!? COUNT ME IN!” I saw my weekends slip away, my acting classes dropped, all in the quest to belong. Honestly, it looked so damned fun.   I wanted to play so bad, fool around on vent so bad, give my life up so bad.

I have an addiction problem.  And the only thing that prevented me from running home to start up the game and install the expansion was listing in my head the things I really want to achieve in my life right now and (more decidedly)…well, trying out the expansion.  Don’t get me wrong, WOW is wonderful.  But I logged in (they gave me a Horde character, strike 1, I hate ugly characters 🙂 ) and we were in the new areas and…well, where do we go?  I wasn’t used to the OLD expansion abilities, that took some time to set up, and then we started wandering, getting nowhere, going in circles, traveling back and forth on boats because we were lost and being transported back and forth by huge merlocs and then got a few shadowbolts off and…TIME’S UP.

Oops.   Reminder #1: Time sinking isn’t fun.  That’s what I loved about Diablo 1 and 2:  Get in and kill immediately.  That’s what I love about the Wii:  Get in, play 1 hour, acceptable to get out without feeling like a loser/incomplete/didn’t get anything done.   I mean, I had a HUGE 5 month addiction to Puzzle Pirates (Excellent wonderful game still) which is a fraction of the size of WOW.  WOW is just too immersive.   It requires too much time for a perfectionist with an obsessive personality to do casually.  And that little sampling was enough for me to leave Blizzcon early and resist all the lights and graphics and people hanging out with their guildies.  I will always follow what happens in WOW and read about it’s evolution, but I will have to do my gaming elsewhere and live vicariously through my friends that play.

However, my pass IS still good tomorrow, so maybe…. 🙂

  • alex

    Wow thats pretty cool that you were there for the announcement.
    All I can say is that you have much more willpower then I, and I will probably end up sinking weeks of my time playing after the next expansion comes out. Hopefully it wont come out for another year or so, so I wont feel quite as bad.

  • Negative, the WOW time sink is way too intense. If you were going to game you should walk away from one of the greatest time sinks invented. It only gets wrose with each expansion too.

    I’ll offer three suggestions, in order of possible publication:

    http://www.playtr.com/index.html

    http://www.warhammeronline.com/english/home/index.php

    http://www.startrekonline.com/

    The best news is that none of the three are active games yet. Also, none of the three should be heavy time sinks from what I read.

    I had a guildmate sink 1500 hours into WOW and not even have a fully equiped character, with the same amount of time as working a 40 hour job for over 37 weeks, or over 9 months… That is way too much time for a toon, way too much time…

    You can do MMORPG’s without losing your life. You just have to choose the game carefully or obsess over games that aren’t out yet. =)

    Not out yet, seems to be the most effective gamer time-sink-diet thing. Playing games your mostly burnt out on works too. =)

  • David

    I recently gave up raiding and such, basically quitting WoW so of course the new expansion is coming out. I think I will have to take a pass though for the very same reasons you state.

    I do miss the people though. All the purples and whatnot mean jack. Oh, I do miss ganking lowbies too.

  • Samantha

    Hey David, you sound like a David I know. Do you know a girl named Samantha that stole a book from you a few months ago but feels really (kinda) bad?

  • David

    Nope, I do not know any Samanthas. The internets is full of Davids though!

  • Samantha

    Ah, oh well. I’m sure you’re cool, too. 🙂

  • Aw, wouldn’t that have been cool though, Samantha! Out of curiosity, what was the book? 🙂

  • Samantha

    It would have! This David sounds just like my friend, and he does WoW too.

    I took CS Lewis’ Mere Christianity, but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.

  • Boris

    Felicia you’re so funny. LOL.

  • David

    What’s funny to me is that my friend James wants me to read Mere Christianity because it is his favorite book.

  • Samantha

    Ah! How do you type out the Twilight Zone theme?

    Doo Doo Doo Doo, Doo Doo Doo Doo…

    Are you sure that your friend James isn’t actually named David and you aren’t me and James – who’s now David – isn’t actually you?

  • Richard

    I can sympathize. I too have an MMORPG addiction.

    I played WOW. I played EQ, I played UO, AC, AO, and E&B, and recently DDO. But I’ve given up MMORPGs for the same reason you did. Despite liking them, there’s too much hassle running around and getting places. Like an hour of prep time for 20 minutes of adventuring.

    I don’t know you well enough to say how you should live your life, but you, being a young, attractive TV/film actress, probably should be tearing it up working on getting parts in bigger and better things, rather than wasting time walking from one end of Azeroth to the other.

    Best of luck to you in your endeavours!

  • kehn

    Felicia –

    (I’d be surprised if Wrath of the Lich King comes out anytime before Summer 2008, to be perfectly honest.)

    WoW like every other MMORPG is a hopeless time-sink. Anyone who’s done any kind of end-game stuff has to have spent a LOT of time. I never did any major raiding myself until recently but if I ever looked at time /played on my 2 main characters… *shudder* Still – it is possible to have a life and raid 2-3 times a week, a lot of people I know do end-game stuff while supporting families and having jobs.

    However, if there’s other RL stuff that you want to do, then yeah – that can and should come 1st. I used to be the de facto GM of a guild and I always told my guildmates that I would gkick anyone who I caught being online if I knew they had a hot date. 🙂 And having the wherewithal to walk away to do productive stuff like you’ve done shows an admirable amount of discipline.

    But… yeah, my guild needs more raiding warlocks, damnit!! What’s your spect? Succumb to the darkside!!!!!!!!

  • David

    This is like Sybil only not made for TV with all this coincidence. My perception of reality is skewed!

  • Courtney

    You were a warlock? I think as a rogue, that would make us mortal enemies… (although I never pvp… way too carebear… so you’ll probably have the edge there).

    I think I have the same issues as you did in terms of addiction. I quit once and it was tough. I missed raiding, the camaraderie, the new challenges, the excitement of getting new items, joking on vent. I came back for TBC with the intent of just playing a few nights every now and then. Now I’m back to my old habits of attending all the raids and all that entails being prepared, which is consuming all my free time.

    I’m a gamer. Always have been, always will be. Whether it be card games, board games, video games, mmo’s, or even dabbling with the pen and paper types. I like the friendly competition/companionship that these games bring about. Also, nearly all my irl friends from college play in the same guild, so WoW is a way to keep in touch. However, WoW requires so much more in terms of obligations. There’s too much that I want to be doing that WoW is starting to interfere with.

    Maybe I should try the cold turkey route, too. I’m not sure I can play only part-time. However… if Demon Hunters become the next playable hero class, all bets are off 🙂

  • COURTNEY DON’T GO BACK! RESIST! On another note, Hellgate is out Oct 31, just announced officially. I am so ready to play that game. It looks AMAZING. I think if you can balance playing under 10 hours a week, it’s a perfectly fine hobby. 10 hours a day is a problem.
    I have since started playing pen and paper D&D and now alternating with Spycraft, and it’s a GREAT substitute to gaming, and it’s only once a week, so it’s limiting. I want to bring old-school back since I’m now hooked 🙂

  • Alex

    Dear Felicia,

    i am a gamer, too – i think everyone is by human nature but some get kicked in the ass too hard or get all twisted by our education system.

    Anyway, I am kind of riddled…you really love that stuff and stick your nose in it (Blizzcon)…how much time do you invest now in reading about WoW ? 😉

    I just heard from your addiction, I am of the same age as you, want to reach some goals in my life, but not many…I can cope with my “addiction” to gaming in general and “feeling good” – I am just way too hedonistic. …believe it or not, you could die the next day and then ?

  • David

    Finding a table top group is hard. I used to table top RPG quite often back in the “day”. Mainly AD&D, TORG, Twilight 2000 or Over the Edge.

  • Courtney

    It’s funny how this is becoming an AA meeting.

    Hi, my name is Courtney and I’m a gamer. I’ve been off WoW for 32 days now. Things were going good until I heard a baby make a gurgle sound that resembled a murloc. Instinctively, I hit him with a baguette I was carrying, but then I agro’ed his mom and had to kite her around the store until they reset.

    Hellgate seems like a lot of fun. I loved Diablo 1 and 2. Also, I’m very tempted to call in sick when Team Fortress 2 comes out. Then there’s Guitar Hero 3…

    But if you wanna talk old school gaming… I remember loving Oregon Trail and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? on the green and black apples. Gotta love being able to spend class time on those games by explaining to the teacher how they were educational, and then proceeding to do nothing but hunt buffalo. A friend had an Amiga, and I found any reason to visit his place.

  • Samantha

    Finally I can relate! I don’t WoW or, really, do any of this other stuff (although I was around it a lot) (A LOT), but I did play Oregon Trail, so I’m with you.

  • David

    My friend Lee named a character Green River Killer in Oregon Trail who just so happened to die while crossing the Green River. Then, about 20 years later I find out my sister was working a few doors away from where they were secretly keeping the Green River Killer.

    Coincidence? Yeah, pretty much.

  • Yeah imagination being the key with old school tabletop. Spycraft can be fun and I’ll always love being a Faceman. =)

  • Matjaz

    your addiction problem reminds me of mine with Football manager. every year when it comes out i get a pirate version and .. I’m basicly gone for 2 weeks.

    i heard much about WOW and the people that get addicted to it so I avoid it. it’s much bigger than Football Manager and with my obssesive gaming style that’s just a very bad combo..

  • Edgar

    Funny, I’ve been playing for two years now and finally have glazed over a little.

    I became an officer in my guild and basically few of us managed to keep it running through the dark times right before BC and right after.

    Now we’re thriving and there’s been a push and new blood in the guild… sadly, I am no longer an officer and now I don’t have much of a desire to play as much as I used to… so I started on Diablo 2 again… fun times!

  • OMG it’s so weird how many ppl I know are defecting BACK to Diablo 2!! I know at least 5 former WOW people who have loaded that classic up and are more than content to play that rather than sit on a Gryph for 20 minutes getting from one place to another 🙂 It makes me mad that Diablo 3 hasn’t gotten made already, I mean, there’s sequel-itis in everything, why avoid making something that actually DESERVES a sequel?!
    That’s why I’m hoping that Hellgate is good because I’m going through withdrawal on online games, and it’s very dangerous 🙂 Thank God WOW takes so long to install.

  • Edgar

    Felicia, its much easier on the super duper expensive fast mount… avoid the stupid flight paths and go straight to your destination.

    But still, Diablo 2 is a fun diversion… I also play Eve Online, but it doesn’t take much of my time since you can train skills offline. So I do, and play the missions or mine ores in bursts to make more money for the skills.

    Oh, and I have a lifetime subscription to Lord of the Rings Online… I had to so I could enjoy it without that sense of OMG its expensive paying for this that I get from WoW or Eve.

    Oh man, I have too many MMORPGS… someone help me!

    Seeing that Conan will be out soon (if they stop pushing it back) and also Warhammer… AAAAAA!!!

  • Edgar

    One last quickie…

    Totally happened to me… I almost died in Diablo 2 at level 1 because I tried right-clicking on the mobs instead of left-clicking…

    Also, there is NO use for the spacebar. None.

  • Hey there! Just wanted to say grats on breaking your addiction and wished I’d have bumped into you at Blizzcon so I could have known about “The Guild” sooner than today. Loving it so far. I hope you stayed around long enough to see the contests and catch the reason my group was there. We make the machinima series, “The Grind” and took first place for our “Halloween Special”. Anyways, please continue your funny series and never lose site of your goals in favor of some shiny pixels.

  • Jaron

    So I think the whole addiction thing comes from the fact that we are all just looking for some sort of companionship. If you just can’t resist playing WOW (and I have that problem some days) just call up some friends and go do something/(anything) and you will feel a lot better. A game of cards, a few beers/wine/margaritas (if you’re old enough) and you will have forgotten about WoW at all.

    (By the way I love your work and your site is great!)

  • Thanks Jaron! I really appreciate your stopping by, definitely come back! We make friends here, lol.

  • Samma

    Felicia, how did you quit WoW? help! 😛

  • Chiefdrewmanchu

    Felicia,
    Well done with “the Guild”, enjoyed it greatly. Planning on sharing it with many of my friends. Remembered you from Buffy, so it made it that much better. Loved that show and the brilliance that was Joss Whedon. I love to play WoW and live in the real world as well, I try to make free time to play (stay connected to some friends out of state) and a brother away at college. But I do play less than 10 hours a week (during the school year) teaching, coaching, and advising some clubs takes up most of the hours in the day. But I too have returned to the paper/pencil world of D&D after a four year hiatus, didn’t realize how much I missed playing a role. Truth is gaming has made me a better teacher. Anyway, I really wanted to get back to the topic of Mere Christianity (one of my favorites and would encourage students to read).
    For one final comment, to encourage others to delve into the realm of D&D. I recall doing a reasearch paper in high school about Mr. Spielberg (can’t call him Steven) that he used D&D to cast the kids in the movie E.T. to check their ability to play a character. One of the reasons that they are playing the game in the beginning of the movie. I don’t recall the article that I got that from, it was after all many moons ago. But who knows, perhaps…just perhaps, it could inspire some gamers to get out there and aspire to be…actors? If not in Hollywood, maybe a local community theatre, they need you too. And yes that is the part of my life I had to sacrifice for the one I am doing now, I can’t sacrifice the game (whatever that may be for the moment).

  • You know, I’ve considered quitting WoW many times, but I just can’t seem to make myself do it. I hate that feeling that’d I’d be letting down the 200 something people in my guild. I have a feeling you know exactly what I mean. Anyway.

    As far as tabletop games go you might enjoy Vampire: The Masquerade or any of the variations of it. I used to play them and they were pretty fun.

    If I was gonna go back to an oldschool PC game (not Oregon Trail, but buffalo hunting ftw!) I’d go back to Starcraft. 🙂

  • fasterlvling

    i hope you guys like waiting til 11/03/08 becuase thats when the expansion comes out!

  • Shane

    Im noticing a trend of people quiting WoW as of late, but im still too addicted to quit, i even went on a deployment to kuwait, and even at 2000 latency i couldnt stop 😛

  • Long time reader, first time commenter. I just want to say I appreciate all you do with your site. This is one of the first sites I visit every night.

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