So. World of Warcraft. A game I’ve been putting off playing since inception.
Diablo has always been one of my favorite games but I always found it a little limited. Added to that, I was one of those people who pre-ordered Ultima Online in the special collectors edition that came with the cool little cloth map and three months of subscription. I almost made it through the first month and a friends prodding left me spending three hours a day fletching arrows for a bit of the second. By the third month I was busy trying to unclog the toilet that I’d flushed that damn cloth map in.
Not that a lot of people didn’t love UO, it just wasn’t the game that I expected.
World of Warcraft is exactly that game that anyone who has ever flushed a cloth map was expecting. It’s the game we’ve all been waiting for since Ultima Online. It’s the game we’ve wanted to buy since we pre-ordered that damn collector’s edition. The game we’ve wanted to play since someone first told us they were making a big cool multiplayer RPG that was going to be… dare I say: Massive.
I had a lot of reasons for tossing one of the greatest games ever on the backburner for almost two years. They mostly boiled down to two: Time and Money.
I had recently started cutting back on gaming in an effort to acclimate myself to the real world. You know, so that I could do stuff like graduate from college, get a job, kick ass, get a hot girlfriend, take names, read more, and chew bubblegum. Some of you are just going to have to trust me on those. Exist they may, but in the two years since WoW first stared at me from a shelf I’ve only had plenty of gum.
I’ve always been the type to go through RPG’s in excruciating detail so that I can experience every single polygon or pixel or voxel (man do voxels bring back memories) or line of dialogue. We’re talking 200 hours on FF7 for one of my three playthroughs. While I’m aware that some of you can beat that, eventually my constant berating of Sims players started to get to me and I realized that WoW had incredible potential to ruin my life. So my first excuse for not playing WoW will be called ‘The Sims Axiom.’
WoW is a completely non-borrowable/bargain bin title and you have to pay monthly for it. So randomly letting myself into my friend’s apartment to play Kingdom Hearts on his PS2 or using my massive employee discount at the used CD store weren’t even options. The trial, you say? … well… I think it’s safe to say that it would have gradually ironed my life out of existence, too. These days there are ‘free servers’ but getting them to work on my new Mac (shut your mouth) was more complicated than my ability to overcome ‘The Sims Thing.’ Besides, I like content, so the free servers for me would be like having a plastic blow-up doll for a girlfriend. (No offense – to each his own. Blow up dolls can be cool. You can even bond with them by typing up lengthy ‘so I’m dating a gamer’ articles for them and posting them on your webpage where readers would never know… Jay.)
More recently I started using the excuse that I wanted to wait for the expansion pack. Which I kept pretending was just around the corner. That went out the door when I was reading about E3 this year and allowed my eyes read and comprehend the 4th quarter ’06 line.
So that brings me to last week. I can run it. I have a week off. Stubbs the Zombie is getting boring and frustrating. My new housemate works at an Apple store. Cue scene:
Me: “Hey, thanks for cleaning the bathroom. I can’t believe that we went that long without flushing.”
Him: “It’s nothing really, I just really like the look of shiny porcelain, something about it really does it for me. Here have another expensive imported beer.”
Me: “Wow, thanks. … …
Me: “… Could you pick me up a copy of World of Warcraft? …
At this point I immediately interrupted him and changed the subject. My body’s immune system distributes anti-‘crafts throughout my bloodstream. My pupils contract like they do in movies when heroin addicts shoot up, only the other way.
I must maintain the wall.
The center must hold.
There’s a chance that he won’t even bother. I barely mentioned it. I didn’t give him any money and I didn’t discuss payment. World of Warcraft is a big deal. Really he’ll probably just forget.
He didn’t forget.
Mac people never forget.
…The valkyries tell me that the install process is done. Time to create an account. I’ll finish this later.
Ed: He didn’t. He wrote this three weeks ago.