This blog is part of the series I am writing because I want to participate in the 10 Years: 10 Questions project. The project involves 10 questions that are being asked of all World of Warcraft (WoW) players. It requires people to reflect on their experiences with the game during the 10 years that it has existed.
For me, the previous six questions in the project were fairly easy to answer. I read the question and instantly had a general idea of what my answer would be. Of course, sometimes the final blog ended up veering out into other directions as I wrote it. This question, however, is one that I don’t really have a lot to say about.
That doesn’t mean that I think it is a bad question. It is a very valid question, especially considering the number of players who were extremely vocal about quitting World of Warcraft – forever – not too long ago. For me, my answer to this question isn’t very dramatic or complex. I suppose it does not have to be – so long as I give an honest answer.
Question 7: How long have you /played and has that been continuous?
I started playing World of Warcraft a month or so before The Burning Crusade expansion launched. It became available on January 15, 2007, so that puts me as starting somewhere towards the end of 2006. I know that I played WoW for a couple of hours every few days or so at first. I got more involved after that, but it took me years before I felt like I was playing a lot.
I know I played the game more frequently, and for more hours at a time, after my husband started playing it. We spent a great deal of time running around Azeroth exploring things together. The screenshot you see at the top of this blog was taken on February 21, 2011. That’s his main character, Hansbrix, with my main character (at the time) Riglee. Off to the side is Fridge, Hansbrix’s pet.
I cannot honestly say that I ever was a regular player. I never raided (or ever got close to it). My experience in the game never involved a regularly scheduled time to play. None of my characters have ever been at maximum level. It became clear to me that most other WoW players spent way more time in Azeroth than I did, and that has never changed.
I don’t think I can say that I’ve played continuously since I started. There were weeks were I played a lot, especially during the times when my husband and I were trying to do the quests related to an annual holiday.
There were also times when I got sick and stayed that way for a month or more (something not unusual for me). I learned that playing WoW while on certain medications makes fishing really fun and everything else too complex to attempt.
In 2010, I was unemployed and had just started finding a tiny bit of writing work. Back then, it took me two days to write one little 400 word blog. After that, I’d be completely wiped out. Today, I’ve gotten much faster about that. There was a time when I was writing five blogs a day, every day, for a particular client. I was exhausted all the time, writing frantically, and never sure if I would get them all done. Even so, I managed to get into WoW and spend quite a bit of time working on The Shattering stuff (but not much else).
My WoW subscription never stopped, so I guess I could call that “continuous”. That being said, I’ve always played rather sporadically. There could be weeks going by with me playing very little, and then I could have a few days when I played quite a bit. I did a TrialMan Challenge a while back (and blogged about it here). That put me in Azeroth more often than typical as I worked my way through it.
In September of 2011, Blizzard released the beta for Diablo III. I was not part of the “Friends & Family” invitation, but did get in not long after that. Ever since then, the majority of gaming “free time” brings me to Sanctuary instead of Azeroth. So, I guess the way to describe how often I play WoW is with the word “sporadic” instead of “continuous”. I’ve been continuously sporadic since I started playing WoW, for whatever that’s worth.