The End of an Era

Today my WoW subscription runs out and I won't renew it. For many people that wouldn't be a big deal, and I'm sure there are a fair number of players around for whom it's completely normal to let their subscription lapse repeatedly and then just renew it again whenever they feel like playing. Not for me though. I've been playing this game pretty much continually for five and a half years. I was devoted to it, and paid Blizzard hundreds of euros for the privilege of continuing to play, but now that I'm done I think I'm done for good. I'm not good at enjoying things in half measures.

To be honest, it had been a long time coming. Basically, I've only been logging on for the rated battlegrounds for months anyway, and ever since I started playing The Old Republic, I'd find myself stalling even then, thinking, "I like my rated battleground buddies, but I'd rather be playing Star Wars to be honest."

However, social ties are extremely powerful. Just because I didn't want to let the team down, just because I have only limited ways to talk to some of my WoW friends outside the game, Blizzard got another couple of months worth of sub money out of me. I really do think they've got their priorities all wrong by not caring more about the social aspect of the game.

Anyway, eventually it became too frustrating regardless, and I decided that I wasn't going to keep paying for what had basically become a fancy chat client for me at this point. I only have so much free time to spend on MMO playing, and I'd rather be spending it on a game where I actually have fun with the game itself too.

So I made a goodbye post on our guild forums, which I tried to keep light-hearted and positive, emphasising that I still wanted to stay in touch on a personal level if at all possible. Most of the people who replied seemed to take it well, but some also seemed to take it harder than I expected - in writing it can be a bit hard to tell sometimes whether someone is completely serious or adapting a slightly tongue-in-cheek tone.

Two days after I made that post, our rated battleground team leader also threw in the towel. I've been assured that it's not my fault, and I could definitely see signs of his growing frustration long before I made my announcement, but it still left me feeling extremely awkward, as if I had personally gone and ruined the game for a whole bunch of other people as well.

Logging in one more time on my last evening also felt very strange. There was nothing different about the game of course, but knowing and thinking about how it's the last time makes all the difference in a person's head. I felt waves of nostalgia wash over me as I looked at all my characters, and I may even have become a little teary-eyed, soppy fool that I am. However, it was telling that when a friend asked me whether there was anything I wanted to do on my last day, I couldn't think of anything. Everything that I really used to love about WoW is in the past now.

I put most of my gold into the guild bank because I didn't see a point in having it all just sit there when it could at least be funding guild repairs for a few weeks or something. I didn't delete any of my characters however. Never say never.

Since I couldn't think of anything else that I wanted to do, I just sat down on a rock in Nagrand and chatted a bit. As it was getting late and I found myself wondering what would be the best time to log out, a call went out in general chat from a little orc who was looking for help with the Ring of Blood. We grouped up and I healed him through it; he thanked me and continued on his merry little way. It felt like an appropriate point to stop, after having brightened a stranger's day a little bit.

Since I won't be playing anymore, I'll also be retiring this blog, though I'll still continue to read and comment on some WoW blogs at least for a while I guess. Thanks to everyone who took the time to read any of my posts and shared their thoughts on my writings over the years. I'll now be adventuring in a galaxy far, far away.