12 days without WoW

So, I mentioned at the end of my last post that I was going on holiday. I did, and I am now back! I'm fairly poor and don't get to go on holidays often, but I was still somewhat surprised when I realised that this was the first time since I started playing WoW that I was going to be away from the game for over a week, as well as from the internet in general. I mean, that's kind of crazy if you think about it, isn't it? Logging on to a game almost every day for over four and a half years! Not even moving to a different country disconnected me from things for that long.

As it happened, my subscription was due for renewal only a few days before I was going to leave, so I decided to let it run out and then renew it after coming back. No sense in paying for the game while I wasn't going to be around, right? The only problem was that since my subscription had been running continuously for years, I didn't know how to cancel it and couldn't find an option on the account management page to do so.

I did some research on this and it was rather... interesting. I found a couple of old forum threads on the subject and they were bordering somewhere on the edge between amusing and insulting. Basically, someone would ask where the link to cancel your subscription was located, and people would respond as if the poster was stupid. "It's right there!" they would say, sometimes even including screenshots, but these certainly didn't match my own screen. Yes, I'm sure that I do have a subscription; I've had it for over four years. No, I don't have any pending payments. And no, I do not have a cancel subscription link! The best theory I saw someone come up with was that Blizzard has been sloppy with transferring really old subs onto Battle.net and that's where this problem originates. I don't know, it made more sense than anything else. Fortunately I realised in the end that I could simply delete my credit card information and stop the payments that way, but the whole thing still felt slightly awkward to me.

You might think that someone who's been playing the same game with such regularity for four and a half years must be pretty addicted to it. However, I'm quite happy to say that my holiday was pretty good evidence of the opposite, because I didn't really miss WoW at all. I had two dreams that featured the game during that time, and I occasionally wondered how some of my guildies were doing (as people, not necessarily in the game), but that was it. I did miss the internet in general however. Not having internet access these days when you're used to it is just annoying. I saw some statues that I couldn't identify while in town and I knew that the internet would have been able to enlighten me, but of course I couldn't check. I actually had to read the newspaper and listen to the radio to get access to any kind of news, and they often only offered limited coverage of the things that I was actually interested in. Outrageous!

So while I had a good time during my holiday, I was also happy to be back home and have my computer back afterwards. I immediately checked my guild's forums to make sure that nothing too bad had happened in my absence, but I actually hesitated a little when it came to resubscribing to WoW. I thought it was telling that I hadn't missed the game for its own sake, and it had been kind of nice to devote more of my downtime to other things in its absence, such as reading. Also, the latest bunch of WoW-related news that I had glimpsed since my return hadn't exactly been encouraging either. (More premium services? Massive raid nerfs? Meh.) However, in the end I also had to admit that spending all my evenings reading had got a bit boring in the past week as well, and I really wanted to play with my guildies again.

So I tried to resub, and Blizz wouldn't let me.

Oh, now you're on! Whatever doubts I had had momentarily, they immediately vanished as I furiously wanted to subscribe to the game again simply because I wasn't allowed to. In specific, it kept rejecting my credit card for no discernible reason, and after three attempts I got locked out of trying again for the day. Who knows why? This morning it went through just fine, and I was actually rather happy to log back in. The graphics seemed crisper than ever, and I even enjoyed slipping back into my guild admin duties, dealing with some of the guild finder requests that had piled up in my absence. Having habits is not a bad thing as long as you remain aware of them.


  1. Hehe, welcome back Shintar! :) I was wondering about your longer silence, but now I see that I missed a line there, good to see you posting again and yay for holidays - 4.5 years are indeed a crazy long time!
    And I always felt that way during my wow absences in the past; like you say, it only shows that things are basically in order, you can play when you like but you dont 'have to'. :)

    the whole deal about (re-)subscribing can be weird - the fact that we have to question ourselves about it and give the question so much weight. we'd never do that with other hobbies, for example if you played an instrument, it would be perfectly fine for that guitar to stand in a corner for months and just be kept available until you went back for it. no symbolism there or deeper meaning. but with (payed for) MMOs there's always that more active and conscious choice to make.

  2. Blizzards fucked up credit card service doesn't allow you to use white spaces within the credit card number. Maybe that was the issue?

  3. @Syl: Well, it's always that way when there are money and other people involved I think. If you had to rent your guitar and were playing in a band, you would probably also think twice about how much you really want to invest yourself into the activity.

    @Kring: Nope, that wasn't it.