Breaking Up with World of Warcraft

by Ed Lau on December 3, 2006

After two years, I’ve decided to leave World of Warcraft. I might come out of this sounding like much more of a nerd than I would prefer but it almost felt like I was ending a long term relationship. This had all the characteristics of breaking up with a girlfriend, really…or at least it feel like it. Let me explain.

I was no regular player in this game. I was part of probably the top 1% of the game’s population of what must be about 7 billion as what is known as a “raider” in multiplayer games such as WoW and in doing so, I spent a good, oh…20 hours a week playing. The word is derived from raids, which are encounters that require expert planning and execution within the game world, often requiring up to 40 people to work together to defeat whatever it happened to be that particular day. It’s often a dragon or a rock monster or some kind of evil chick with oddly hot voices.


As you can imagine, raiding would not be much fun without 40 (or more…since not everyone can be on every night) awesome people to do it with. I have to tell you, the people who I met in this game are some of the weirdest, craziest and wacked out people I’ve ever or will ever meet…and they’re also some of the best and most interesting. I was part of the leadership of my particular group of misfits as one of few who had been there since the beginning and one of the few who took responsibility of the administration. I’m not kidding about the work…there’s all kinds of accounting and analysis to do. MMORPGs are no ordinary games, especially when you are in such an organized group. I felt honored to be given such responsibility in such a successful group, like being CEO of a Fortune 500 but with, like, work and more swearing, use of the word “gay” and possibly the most politically incorrect conversations in history. We were truly something special.

Raid guilds that stay together are a strange phenomenon on the internet. You learn about the people behind the characters on the screen and they become good friends just like anyone else you’d meet in life. I know some of the folks in my guild well enough to hang out with them when they visit Vancouver or send them congratulations when they get married or give them advice when they complain to me about their significant other. It’s strange that you can find out so much about people when the internet is thought to be so annonymous.

Leaving behind something I’ve done seriously for two years as well as the good friends I’ve made along the way feels much like a breakup, especially on the first day that you stop logging in. It’s a difficult process but usually it’s for the best. However, unlike any other game that you can just put down, it’s hard to say goodbye to such real human connection.

I don’t see this as a goodbye, really. More like a…smell ya later. The last two years was truly some time totally wasted and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

in Entertainment,Tech and the Net

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Carl December 3, 2006 at 5:53 am

You can join again when BC comes out. We’ll all be starting new characters on new servers. I’ll let you know where we end up…

Maybe you can grow a pair and play on a PVP server this time ;)

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Gdog December 3, 2006 at 6:52 am

Dude, delete this post as it makes you sound like a total nerd. ;)

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Todd December 3, 2006 at 11:56 am

I like your entry but I was kinda hoping you would explain WHY you stopped playing after 2 years. I just started playing the game a couple weeks ago (10 day trial) and part of what I do for a living is making graphics for games like this – blizzard truly did an amazing job with this game. I may end my short lived jaunt with the game after the 10 day trial as I run my own business and time is truly scarce for me – plus it gives me pretty bad headaches playing for hours on end.

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Ed December 3, 2006 at 1:04 pm

There are plenty of reasons, really but mostly, I was just burnt out. The game got to the point where it just became a job and I couldn’t handle the time commitment anymore.

I highly recommend you play, though. The game is still really fun but after two years of nearly 20-30 hours a week, eventually you just burn out.

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Stephen December 8, 2006 at 12:19 am

Good! Now concentrate on your blog.

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Craig March 4, 2009 at 8:20 am

played wow for 3 years. quit. threw away my disks. deleted from my computer. sold my account. so suddenly i had all this time. in the 6 months since quitting, i’ve started photography school, got a girlfriend and started learning Flash. amazing how much you can do with an extra 25 hours a week.

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saxon June 16, 2010 at 8:39 am

i miss wow too much my account got hacked and i had to cancil my acount :( waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawaaaaaaaaawawawawawawwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawaaaaaaaaaaawaaaaaaaaaaaaawaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawawawawawwawawawawawawawawawawawwawawawawawawawawawwawawaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa I MISS WOW!!!!!!

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