Have You Played… World Of Warcraft?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

No, seriously, have you? And when? And for how long? And did you return? I ask because I have played World of Warcraft [official site] but only for two months, years apart, and treated it more as any singleplayer RPG. I’m interested playing MMOs as non-ongoing things, but realise this is uncommon, so I’d like to ask folks who have played it for long stretches: once you’d seen it all, was it for hanging with cyberpals or a timesink or…?

I first played WoW in 2006, shortly before the release of its first expansion, The Burning Crusade, when a pal lent me an unused account for a month. I’d never played an MMO before so it was all very exciting. Hundreds of players! So many levels to gain! A huge world to explore! And… it all felt a bit empty. I joined a guild but the whole game seemed pointless by the time I encountered variants of the same monsters. It didn’t help that the levelling process quickly sent me to zones far more drab than the starting zone. I couldn’t afford cool items and skills unlocked as I levelled anyway. I was happy to hand the account back after a month.

I returned for a second month around the release of the Cataclysm expansion in 2010, having picked up a bundle with expansions for about £20 on sale. Over the years, it had become a far better solo and low-level experience. Cutscenes and quests felt more like singleplayer RPGs, with cutscenes and huge battles and other things the new instancing tech hid away from other players. I felt more like I was in a living world. Levelling was far more pleasant too, though the tweaked XP curve went a bit too far, and I’d be urged to leave zones a fair while before I finished their main quest. I quite liked this WoW. I played solidly for a month, getting quite far along the Wrath of the Lich King path and cracking a lot of dungeons thanks to the Dungeon Finder. It’s a big theme park that will show you a lot of colourful places and interesting things, which I found novel for 30 days.

I can’t imagine I’d play it much longer than that, but if you spot WoW on sale nice and cheap (it includes most expansions in the base game now, and of course comes with 30 days of time), maybe give it a play. If you have played it, and played it for a long time, how was that?


  1. rocktart says:

    WoW is free to play for the first 20 levels now, so there’s that as well.

    • po says:

      You can also play characters of 20 and below while your subscription has lapsed, as all inactive accounts now revert to the Starter Edition restrictions (plus the ability to join a guild/use guild chat, provided you already had a character in that guild before your sub ended).

      There’s also an addon that will let Starter Edition accounts chat with each other, and ask subbed players for help in making groups, provided you’re on a realm where other people are using the addon, eg. Aerie Peak-US (both factions)/Aggramar-EU (Horde)/Magtheridon-EU (Alliance).

      If you do sub though you can get to a point where you’ll be able to buy game time tokens with in game gold, but you won’t be buying them until you’ve got endgame characters, and a fully upgraded garrison to earn a lot of gold with.

    • k3zza_m4chin3_ says:

      8 years and counting on this game now, although i do take a lot more breaks from it and no longer do progression raiding. I like other MMO’s too, but Wow just fills a certain niche for me, with it’s fleshed out game world, inviting atmosphere and content.

  2. Shinryoma says:

    Yes I have. But quit around the time the first expansion came out.

    • Gothnak says:

      Same as you, i found running around collecting boar eyes and stomachs got rather boring around Level 39 or so… One level off a mount. Wasn’t ever a huge fan of going on raids.

      Tried playing it when it switched to free and played till about level 5 and gave up again, it’s just all to monotonous, irrespective of enemy it’s, 1, 2, 4, 3, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 5… etc…

      • skyturnedred says:

        To be fair, most games can be simplified to just pressing a few buttons. Heck, fps games are all about that left-click!

      • Jeremy says:

        Any sort of reductive argument can be made to explain why you might dislike something, but it’s rarely the reason why something doesn’t entertain. For some reason, the click and repeat of WoW didn’t grab me, and yet I play plenty of strategy games and RPGs that essentially use that same mechanic. Why didn’t WoW stick for me? It was the barrier to entry for the high level content, and the time required to actually be geared up for that content. Once it bumped up against my real life (I don’t mean this in a disparaging way, I still play plenty of video games), then my real life responsibilities won out.

        Probably my favorite creative activity could be reduced to the most boring sounding reductive argument.
        -Interpret words on a page and have thoughts.

      • po says:

        Pretty much the whole levelling experience up until the latter stages of the current expansion has been dumbed down, because all most players want out of it is to get through it as fast as possible, so they can see the shiny new stuff. There is never any need to use crowd control or step out of the fire until much later (although as someone who started in TBC, I’m still glad Setthek Halls can chew up and spit out bad players).

  3. orionite says:

    I played on EU servers right when it came out, played with friends and a small guild for about a year and had a lot of fun exploring and discovering this world together, as everything was new to all of us. Then we all hit 60 (we were slow) and the game changed completely. Was turned off by raiding, since I already had a full-time job and didn’t need another one. Unsubbed and sold my account to a friend of a friend a few months later.
    Cam back and leveled to cap in Burning Crusade, mostly solo. Enjoyed that but knew I was going to leave again after that. Did the same for WotLK. Haven’t played since.
    I like questing and the story, but can not commit time to being in a guild or raiding, anymore. MMORPGs are pretty much over for me.

    • gunny1993 says:

      Huh, I came to the same conclusion but for pretty much the exact opposite reason, I would gladly put aside 4- 8 hours a week after work to Raid but the umpteen hours it takes to grind out their boring ass quest chains stopped me having fun.

    • Sic says:

      Yeah, same here.

      I was in a guild called BIG, a fine bunch of folks, but when we started raiding MC, it just started feeling like work.

      I get the attraction, I really do, but I’m not the kind of person that can just play a little and be happy with having a couple of nice items. I damn near completed The Grail in SP Diablo 2. I want to min-max, exploit and experiment with everything. WoW doesn’t allow me to comfortably do that. It means doing it 24/7. It’s just too big.

  4. eggy toast says:

    I never, ever have. Thankfully.

    • Mutak says:

      WoW is such a touchstone game at this point that i can only shake my head when game snobs show off how cool they are by dismissing it out of hand. I’m not saying it’s great, but it is important within the field.

      • Spider Jerusalem says:

        I feel like it’s important for all the wrong reasons. I cut my MMO teeth on The Realm, Asheron’s Call, Ultima Online, etc. World of Warcraft never called to me, seemed to be the antithesis of those games.

        • Mutak says:

          Maybe so, but it turned a lot of non-gamers into 20+ hour per week players for years. That contains some serious lessons.

          • dontnormally says:

            It also destroyed any chance of my most-anticipated (for over a decade now, yay.) game from getting made: Warcraft 4.

          • Spider Jerusalem says:

            Indeed. It made the casual MMO a reality. Not a bad thing in and of itself, but game companies saw fit to chase the accessibility/themepark dragon rather than return to the more innovative and emergent roots of earlier MMOs.

            A shame, really.

      • orionite says:

        “I never tried it, thank the lord!” Yes, who knows what could have happened to you?! The game could have caused you irreparable damage. Not having tried something is rarely something to be all that proud of, I found. Let alone something as trivial as playing a game.

        • Mutak says:

          That might be a little harsh. I’ve heard something like this from more than one person: “I have a history of addictive/self-destructive behavior and i could tell that game would be a bad habit for me.”

      • Wootster says:

        Ive never played WoW, and dont feel it would be my thing. Played Runescape when I was younger and went on to EVE, StarWars Galaxies and played things like Rift. I fall out with all of them for the simple reason that I dont have enough time to commit when it comes to guilds etc but they always feel empty when not playing alongside friends etc. Now with all the expansions etc it just seems like such a mountain id rather not try to climb.

      • Arglebargle says:

        It only took me six days on a free week trial to know that I did not care for WoW at all. And that was for reasons that weren’t going to change: Poor lore, writing, level and campaign design, style of humor, etc.

        Whatever Blizzard puts in that special sauce that attracts millions doesn’t seem to work on me.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      I’ve never played mostly because I use to work a job where all everyone did was play WOW in their free time. So I had to hear about it constantly for like 4 years straight. It was like they were in a cult or something as it’s all the talked about, which put me off the game forever.

    • dorobo says:

      I remember there were rivalry between wow and eve and gladly I was on the eve side.

  5. Awesomeclaw says:

    I played up to getting a flying mount, but I never really felt like there was any real story pulling me along. It just kind of felt like I was wafting place to place doing side missions rather than anything really substantial. I think FF14 and SWTOR do a much better job of this.

  6. Anthile says:

    Can’t say I have. I have seen too many friends fall victim to it.

  7. gunny1993 says:

    Loved WoW for the raiding back in WOTLK days, the organisation and achievement of getting stuff done better and better each time is great.

    But the story (Well lore, I hate lore, it’s like story for bad writers) was meh and the quests were grindy shite and the massive power creep on gear (I like getting new gear, but 20% DPS increases from single items are not cool) turned me off.

    Not time wasted, great to play with friends and make new ones, but I haven’t liked the look of a single MMO since stopping WoW

  8. elderman says:

    World of Warcraft? Never heard of it. Is it related to those old isometric RTSes from the 90s and early 2000s? Is it good?

  9. Urthman says:

    It seems ridiculous to say you played a game for 100 hours and then got tired of it as if that were a negative judgment if a game. Just because Blizzard wants you to play WoW forever doesn’t mean we have to adopt their criteria for success.

    I’m currently playing Guild Wars 2 for the first time and fully expect to move on to something else once I’ve seen most of the incredible world they’ve built. I regard it as a fantastic success as an RPG even though it will certainly fail in its ambition to completely take over my gaming life for a year or three.

  10. Kemuel says:

    My relationship with WoW’s a bit weird.

    I avoided playing it when it was new because I disliked Blizzard and Warcraft, but picked it up some six years later when I started seeing a girl who was a hardcore player. I played for maybe four-five months working my way through vanilla, Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King, during which time I began to see the appeal.. started re-running bosses in search of specific bits of gear, installed DPS tracking addons and looked up skill rotations, led parties and generally knew what I was doing.. but before I got around to buying Cataclysm we broke up and I dropped the game shortly after.

    I don’t think I was doing it entirely for her, and I do get an odd desire to go back every so often that neither Wildstar nor Guild Wars 2 ever managed to produce.. but I always look at all the other stuff out there to play and tell myself that chapter’s closed now.

  11. Nevard says:

    There’s not much to do in game at the moment, so my sub is ticking down unused, but I fully intend to pick it up again when Legion comes out (only a month until we get more news about that).
    I picked up WoW near the end of the “original” game, started playing seriously in Wrath of the Lich King, and haven’t stopped for any huge period of time since then. It’s not the deepest game, but I love the social activity of raiding, nothing quite like it.

  12. Cens says:

    I don’t think I was doing it entirely for her, and I do get an odd desire to go back every so often that neither Wildstar nor Guild Wars 2 ever managed to produce.. but I always look at all the other stuff out there to play and tell myself that chapter’s closed now.

  13. solextre says:

    I played for nine years before I let my account fade. In PVP you begin by playing random battles with random collections of players. As you get better at it, you become able to join guilds that field competent teams. After you get really good at it, you can join teams of expert players. The same progression is also there with PVE “dungeons”.

    Playing with a group of people who are really good at it is an exhilarating experience, but it takes time to get there.

  14. Cens says:

    Eeh what I meant to say after I stupidly pushed reply to soon, is that I can totally relate to this part. I feel exactly the same way, without the reference to your ex ofcours ;)

  15. Freud says:

    I have. End of vanilla through Burning Crusade and half of Lich King, mostly high end raiding. Good game and I can understand its longevity. Never a MMO for me again. I don’t think the genre has anything to offer me beyond what I have experienced.

  16. barelyhomosapien says:

    I played WoW for about 5 years EU launch through to the end of WoTLK.

    I played on role play servers and it was for the storytelling, character building, and friendships that built up around that.

    A full time job, money to finally start buying games again and a relationship gradually eroded my interest to nothing. I’ve tried many times since but I don’t have the links in the community anymore so it’s not as appealing.

  17. SaintAn says:

    I don’t anymore. Blizzard has a history of homophobia and they’ve completely destroyed WoW in the most recent xpac. They hardly even put out content anymore even though they are charging a $15 monthly sub, $50-$70 per xpac, and selling mounts for $25 each even though they’re not making content for the money they are receiving.

    WoW should not be supported until they get their act together and stop treating the people that give them money like trash.

    • po says:

      The way I’d sum up Blizzard’s WoW dev team is ‘creatively talented, technically inept.’

      While they can create beautiful worlds to play in, they are riddled with bugs that should be stupidly easy to fix (eg. mobs spawning underground), that will most likely remain in place until another Cataclysm type expansion completely remakes the area.

      Raid bosses all seem to have scripting lifted from old encounters, which the devs can get away with, seeing as every expansion pretty much obsoletes everything from the previous one, rather than building upon it, and with such an old game there are plenty of new, younger players who won’t have seen the old content to compare, and don’t care to see it either.

      Their Community Staff are a total fscking joke compared to those of other developers, and are little more than paid sycophants, silencing any dissent on the forums, giving canned responses when players have problems (eg. ‘We’re looking into this’, and it’s still not fixed years later, or ‘delete your addons/cache/reinstall WoW/Windows’, from someone who obviously has no grasp of what the problem is). You get the impression they’re all outsourced, while other studios actually have their CMs in the same office as the devs, and they do actually act in the benefit of players ( <3 DERebbeca and [DE]Megan from Warframe, and FadedPez, SkaDude and Mikachu from FireFall. These are studios that know how to treat their players. By acknowledging problems, passing info onto devs, and actually fixing shit when it's broken, in a timely manner).

      Really, you can learn everything you need to know about Blizzard by looking at their patching schedule. If PvP needs balancing, they'll give it another try in the next expansion, at the same time as they're completely redesigning fundamental systems like classes, stats and talents (last time I checked GW2 was doing PvP balance tweaks fortnightly).

      And yes, WoD is very much the expansion where Bliz are 'not making content for the money they are receiving'. They lost 3 million+ subs with this expansion (the biggest issue being with garrisons), and instead of making WoD patch 6.3 to add an additional raid to the expansion people had bought, as expected, they cancelled it to release yet another expansion early.

      Blizzard's answer to every major issue with this game has always been 'release another expansion'. Not 'Listen to the players', or 'Learn from other developers'.

      If they were a rock band this is the point where you'd hope they break up, go to rehab, pull their heads out of their backsides, and maybe in a few years get back together and actually produce something good again.

      • Zamn10210 says:

        If you’re interested, the community staff aren’t outsourced but they are in a different office to the devs, indeed, a different continent – they’re in Ireland (at least for EU).

        I used to live in the city where that office is. It’s not considered a great job, basically equivalent to working in a call centre so you’re right to think that the community staff aren’t very well trained or paid.

  18. kud13 says:

    No, never did. When it first came out I was still finishing high school and the idea of paying subs for a game was ludicrous.

    When I went to Uni, I started working, and could have probably afforded it, but this was when the stigma of “WoW addiction” was at its peak, and I was an asocial gamer as it was.

    And then me and Blizz parted ways for good, so the temptation never re-appeared. Although back in the day I was crazy about WarCraft and enjoyed the lore, I never made the leap to online play. I also discovered Deus Ex and then other imsims in Uni, so any passing interest in the idea of MMOs faded away.

  19. Thankmar says:

    I started playing around the release of Maraudon, and played happily almost nothing else till shortly before the Grand Tournament patch. Although I joined a guild for a while (RP-Guild, Trolls only) and saw some dungeons, even went to one Molten Core-Session, I played it mostly as an single player thing, trying to turn my account into a machine that could spit out any resources as well as craft anything. Which worked only partly. Also tried to make gold for the more expensive things by trading, which also was fun for a while.
    I loved to try to see everything which I could as a single player, starting new characters with new classes and races and so on. Really loved exploring. Because of the music, certain ambience sound, some environments, WoW felt like a home away from home for some time. When I logged in after a long pause, there was always some melancholy involved, seeing and hearing things at once so familiar even after time has passed.
    But then, after the release of Cataclysm, the pauses got longer, the stretches of play shorter, the homely feeling ultimately waning. Still, I´m lookin forward to every new expansion, happily playing nothing else when its there. For a short while.

  20. Auru says:

    Been playing pretty much the whole way through (took a year out during cata/start of mop)

    Met some amazing people, travelled to different parts of the world to meet them.. done an ungodly amount of raiding and loved it, given the choice I think i’d do it all over again :P

    Games had it’s problems over the years, it certainly has issues right now even (thank all the gods the raids in WoD were good) but I still enjoy it.. the actual ‘game’ itself doesn’t have the shine it once did but the world they built and carry on building is something I really love.

    If you are new to WoW today, I implore you.. go in completely blind, there is an absolute ton of information out there about the ‘right’ way to play and most new players join in because friends are playing.. and they have their own advice as well. Even so I heartily advise newcomers to just dive in and try and work their way through the game at their own pace.. even if you don’t stick with the game longterm, chances are you will have more fun that way.

  21. skyturnedred says:

    I played about five years, started on launch day. I still think vanilla WoW was one of the best gaming experiences I’ve ever had. I played a druid, and from the start I refused to be a healer – I was a stubborn feral druid even though it was not considered viable then.

    At first I was not given a raid spot unless they didn’t have a choice. Once I got in, I proved my cat dps was enough to contribute meaningfully, and was allowed to join future raids. Then, one day, they asked me to try tank The Beast. I did, and it went as smoothly as it could. By the end of it, I was tanking Ragnaros himself.

    • Jenks says:

      Fellow feral here, my path to raiding was a little different –

      When you drag 9 other people to High Warlord by being the best damn flag runner ever (I’m sure every other feral thinks they were too), they were a lot more forgiving of the mediocre dps in molten core!

      • skyturnedred says:

        I did that stuff too, though never that seriously! Vanilla was the best time to be a druid, you truly felt like a hybrid character.

  22. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    No. MMORPGs never really interested me.

    I loved Warcraft 3, and I was curious how the world developed after that, but not enough to pay for the game and invest the time to play it.

  23. Joshua Northey says:

    I played back around when it first came out for maybe 6 months? Less even? Spent over a month in game.

    Decided that as great a time as it was, it was too much of a time sink. Plus I had seen most of the content and max leveled, and wasn’t really into raiding.

    Was a great time, and would love to play something similar with my kids for a few months some day.

  24. zind says:

    I started in vanilla after BC was announced, got carried through some Molten Core well after Naxx and AC40 were both on farm for the big guilds, but had a lot of fun. Did a TON of BC raiding, and then just hit a wall halfway through WotLK.

    Since then I’ve poked my head in around the time of each new expansion and spent a week or two trying out the new stuff, getting my character and crafting skills maxed again, and checking out the changes, but I’ve never stuck with it for more than a month again.

    It was great while I was a college student with more time than money, but now that I can afford to buy new games that often require less time and are much more fun-dense, it has little draw for me.

  25. Premium User Badge

    Iamblichos says:

    Funny that you post this today… yes, this past weekend I went back in after being out for ten years. I last played in Vanilla WoW, and left because the 40 man raids made me want to die. I felt like it was a bait-n-switch; the early leveling was a lot of fun, but they switched games on you to rep-farming and raiding at the endgame, and that just sucked. I’m taking a look again, but not sure I’m going to stick with it… it just all feels old, tired, sad, and a little dated. Of course, No Man’s Sky and the Dwarf Fortress update both stubbornly refuse to drop, so what else was there to do?

  26. Solidstate89 says:

    Nope. Never have, and more than likely never will. MMOs ain’t my thing.

  27. aoanla says:

    I played World of Warcraft for the introductory month, back around the Burning Crusade expansion. I actually really only played that long to give it a full fighting chance to grab me – I think Alice’s experience in her first time is basically parallel to mine.
    I get that it’s changed a lot over time, and, ironically, my dad actually had a WoW account for several years (I think he mostly liked the open-world aspects of the game – he never joined a guild or did any advanced Raid content or anything), but it definitely seemed rather empty, boring, and potentially full of grind.

  28. Styxie says:

    WoW was the only game which was ruined for me by other people trying to help me. I played around Cataclysm, running around the world exploring and leveling and not really giving a shit about the gear I was wearing or how much damage I could do, but then I joined a guild.

    I got along really well with everyone and made some great friends, and they started asking me to come along with them on dungeon runs and later raids. This meant that I had to start caring about the meta game, rotations – all of that stuff just killed the enjoyment for me. Pandora’s box had been opened and once I was aware of that kind of content, I couldn’t really go back to dicking about in the woods and reading quest text, so I left the game.

    Luckily WoW has become so antiquated over the last five years that I can’t imagine going back to it, and Guild Wars 2 has struck the right balance between casual messing around and manageable higher level content that I’m looking for.

  29. Barberetti says:

    Yep, from 2006 to about a year before WotLK came out. Did another stint from about halfway between WotLK to a month before Cataclysm dropped (mainly to build my bike), and had planned to call it a day at that point before remembering that I’d promised to level to cap with a friend once Cataclysm was out.

    Put up with leveling in Cata for the first 3 weeks before saying “fuck this pile of dumbed down shit”, deleted my characters, and chucked the game in the bin. never been back, and never will.

  30. cpt_freakout says:

    After finally getting bored of City of Heroes (took my brother and I like 4 years), we jumped around various MMOs, classic or otherwise, looking for a new grand adventure that would be as enjoyable as CoH. One of our stops, was, of course, World of Warcraft. I don’t remember which expansion it was on, but it was still somewhat early and there’d been only one or two of them at most, I think. In any case, we enjoyed it just enough to play over a month and a half, but then everything just started to feel like work. The community didn’t help much, but, thinking back on it, I guess that coming from CoH it was like changing from a small town to a city, and everyone seemed pretty hostile from the start.

    For me, WoW was addictive for all the ‘wrong’ reasons, reduced basically to the satisfaction of seeing numbers go up. I didn’t like the combat either back then, its rhythms quite awkward and slow, its focus on summing parts rather than cooperating making groups often necessary but nothing special. I understand it’s changed a lot, and I’m just going by a vague memory, so all of those points might be obsolete now.

  31. Asurmen says:

    Plaed during beta and enjoyed it. I played on my brother’s account for a little while after release during summer break from uni. Eventually got my own account when they introduced character transfers during my second year at uni. Raided Molten Core and others with guild and enjoyed it.

    Burning Crusade was a high and low point for me. Enjoyed the raiding even more but resource consumption for raiding also increaed, turning it into a full time job. If I wasn’t raiding I was grinding gold and engineering materials for my bullets. A few long term people in the guild, including my brother and his girlfriend, left during BC to join more hardcore raiding guilds (we were semi serious with ours).

    Sometime during Lich King I realised I wasn’t enjoying it anymore. Even more people had left the guild. They’d been replaced by new faces, but precisely because they were new meant I had no attachment anymore. I had stronger feelings towards my history with the game than the game itself.

    Still, towards the end of Lich King my brother convinced me to resub and join his guild’s alt guild and do some raiding. Enjoyed it.

    Catacalysm rolled along now. Enjoyed it. Raided all the way up to Deathwing and started doing some hard mode versions of the bosses. I can’t remember for the life of me what guild I was in at this time. I think it was made up of old faces who had rejoined to form a new guild. Probably best time since Burning Crusade.

    By time Pandaria came out I’d moved in with my girlfriend. While she’s gaming friendly I decided that I couldn’t keep a relationship happy and raid, and that was the end of that. Haven’t played since.

  32. Jediben says:

    Wow appeared during my last year at university and I spent many months wondering what on earth my housemate was doing with a tiny bearded gnome, seeming doing nothing but casting Arcane Explosion all day. Counter – strike was my poison. Shortly after leaving uni I had an itch: no desire to get a job yet and some inheritance to see me through rent for a bit. I started a rogue on blade fist EU and went on to have 5 or 6 years of amazing fun. Burning crusade, wotlk, even cataclysm. Along the way I met my girlfriend (she spent 4 years ad a warlock) but then the pandas and a career came along.

  33. Artificial says:

    Think I started part way through TBC and played pretty casually through until part way through Cataclysm.

    I was in my Prime towards the end of WoTLK and absolutely loved everything about the game. I loved revisting the vanilla areas to level up alts and I loved exploring Northrend, running the dungeons there and casually attemping the raids. I was really drawn in by it all. I loved the setting and it all just seemed to click.

    Then along came Cataclysm where absolutely nothing felt like it clicked at all. The old vanilla areas were all spoiled and changed which made levelling up no fun for that bit of nostalgia. The questing and progression felt all so streamlined and souless, which was the same as the dungeons, they all felt so sparse as well as being in less interesting locations than the WoTLK ones. Didn’t even get as far as raiding before I stopped playing WoW never to return.

  34. Ivan says:

    For anyone that ever wonders if anyone reads their comment: I enjoyed reading all your various experiences with WoW, so fear not, I guess. They improved my life marginally!

    With that said, I personally played WoW from around release until just before BC, and then a bit after/during BC. I tried again on a free trial during WotLK and was pretty put off by what I saw, so I stopped.

    I still get WoW itches, though, but I know they are itches for something that doesn’t exist since present WoW is much more streamlined and has had the rough edges sanded off. And that’s not to say I really wanted those rough edges, just that the itch I get is purely nostalgia, for a feeling and time in my life that no longer exists, and the game itself can’t really stand in for that time anymore, now that I have responsibilities, interests, and routines beyond a high school / college kid during summer vacation (which is when I did most of my WoW-ing).

    As a side note, I only ever really liked the solo play, leveling parts of WoW. Max level was dull, and I wish that raiding, like nuclear weapons, had never been invented. It’s just a silly and lame gameplay concept, in my opinion, and ruined what was a pretty special experience. I’d still probably pay Blizzard a three-digit sum if they ever released “Single-Player WoW” where I could maybe shift into RTS format to handle raids, just to “see” the content, but I’d rather eat rocks than actually endure a group dungeon.

  35. Luciferous says:

    I’ve tried WoW multiple times and always cancelled before my first month was due down to the fact the game is hideously dated visually, I went back recently to see how the graphical upgrades had effected the game and it is prettier… But playing FFXIV avidly for the past two years has spoiled me with its beauty, great story, wonderful community and really fun gameplay.

    • po says:

      When coming back to WoW from other games it’s always struck me just how hideous it looks (Although to be fair their artists are really pushing how good the technology they’re using can look).

      I guess that’s the price for making a game for the kind of people who don’t want to upgrade from a PC so old it has an AGP graphics card (if it actually has a discrete graphics cards at all).

      • Premium User Badge

        Iamblichos says:

        Yes, this! It didn’t strike me when I first played it, I just noticed everything looked cartoon-y. Now the clipping and the weird, bulbous characters and buildings, OMG – it’s so distracting sometimes I find it hard to focus on what I’m supposed to be doing.

  36. King in Winter says:

    I have, in fact, never played World of Warcraft. I was subscribed to another MMO back when it launched. Blizzard was known to me back then as a company that made some boring games (that is, RTS) so I was paying pretty much zero attention to the launch. I recall some people I knew went to check it out, but I was unwilling to pay for two subscriptions. I stayed in the other MMO roughly year and a half more, after which I didn’t want to jump straight into another.

    Then fast-forward to early 2007 or so, and I was considering picking up MMOs again. Out of the blue I received an invite from Codemasters to their Lord of the Rings Online beta. I think I was in their system because I had tried to get into their then-cancelled Dragon Empires MMO beta at some point. Anyway I liked what I saw, and I was in LotRO soon after it was launched. And again, I didn’t want to pay for two subscriptions.

    I’m still playing LotRO, having switched to lifetime membership that has paid itself back many times over. I might’ve checked out WoW at one time or another since I no longer paid a subscription fee… but by that time everyone I knew had left the game so I had zero interest going into it anymore.

  37. lomaxgnome says:

    I’d love to see the number of accounts of World of Warcraft that have ever been made in North America and Europe, the game sat in the top 10 retail sales for years. Their subscriber numbers have never been real, always distorted by the way Asian accounts work. But I bet at least 30 million copies of the base game have been sold over the years, maybe more. Granted, plenty of people have owned multiple accounts, but such a huge portion of people I’ve known played it at one point or another.

    Personally, I quit for years, but being able to buy game time with gold brought me back this fall. It’s amazing how much they have continued to improve and refine the game over the years.

  38. MisterFurious says:

    I had a free three week trial and didn’t last one week. I thought it was just “EverQuest Jr.”, like “Fisher Price’s Baby’s First MMO”. There was nothing new. It was the same old crap, just dumbed down and cartoonified, which is Blizzard’s whole MO, really. Take someone else’s game and dumb it down and cartoon it up for Mass Market appeal. I called it “World of BoreCraft” and quit and never looked back. That was before the expansions, which I’ve heard made the game even easier.

  39. aliksy says:

    Never was in a position where paying a subscription fee made financial sense. Played it a bit back in 2008 on a friend’s account and by that time a lot of it was so old hat it didn’t impress. Unengaging low level combat and super old fashioned “kill X of Y” quests really didn’t do it for it.

  40. jonahcutter says:

    I played the first year or so, and it was one of my best gaming experiences ever. Exploring and learning before the game got technical. Everyone in a mishmash of gear and specs.

    Playing on Tichondrius with its intense pvp community, the fighting was wonderfully vicious. Battling up and down Ashenvale, across Tarren Mill and throughout BlackRock Mountain are enduring memories. It’s where I learned to loathe the Alliance, a grudge I happily harbor to his day.

    Chatting while on long flight paths or autorunning through The Barrens. LFGing in chat. Players communicating and moving throughout the world. As the game became “easier” to traverse and get groups, and more technical, it became less and less interesting. Less like an actual living thing to experience, and more like just mechanics to manipulate to get a loot payout.

  41. icecoldbud says:

    Played Wow since vanilla, played for like 5 plus years then occasionally would let my script lapse. For the last few years I basically resub everytime my a new exp pack comes out and level a toon or two to max level before letting script expire. I have met a lot of friends there over the years and have flown around the country meeting some of them. I just resubbed again a month ago to level a few characters but actually haven’t played one day. I have logged in to fool around a bit and say hi to old friends and well now, basically, its a 15 dollar a month chat app!. tehee….

  42. Ashrand says:

    Never played it actually, I was convinced that ‘EQ but the elves are purple’ was a flash in the pan next to the actually interesting stuff EVE was trying at the same time. When i finally had to let my EVE sub lapse i had become convinced that EVE itself wasn’t enough to generate the kind of experience that MMO’s had always promised, with an ever changing player built society. EVE has unfortunately remained the closest thing to that reality outside of maybe Wurm Online and though it’s made progress it still hasn’t totally lived into that ideal (and even then has shed a lot of more casual players along the way). And next to the summer of love that is EVE, WoW’s burning man always looks a bit rubbish.

  43. shagen454 says:

    I love that game, played it for years very casually. It has the greatest sound of any game ever. Great ambient effects/sound + environmental sound, spell sounds, action sounds, on top of fantastic music – excellent level design, very psychedelic. Must play STONED.

  44. caff says:

    “Have you played…. World of Warcraft?”

    For me, and I suspect a lot of people, that’s a bit like asking “so how bad did your crack addiction become?”

  45. fish99 says:

    I played the WoW beta for a few hours and then I played 10 hours as a guest account a few years later. I didn’t think it was bad or anything, but ultimately I’m glad I never got into it due to the way it consumes some people.

    My dad barely plays anything but WoW these days, and personally I think it’s sad to only play one game when he used to enjoy all sorts of different games. He also plays it beyond the point where these’s anything fun left to do.

  46. bleeters says:

    Yes I did, and in retrospect I regret both the years of my life and the money spent on doing so.

  47. Sangrael says:

    I played WoW from beta through the end of Cataclysm without a break in my sub. I initially got into because I had twins, and they were old enough that they slept regularly at night, but I couldn’t go out, so I needed a social hobby and a friend at work suggested the new warcraft game. I’d loved the original trilogy and had messed around in EQ, so it sounded good. I stuck around for the friends primarily, although I also ran a progression guild for that duration as well, and I felt responsible to maintain a presence. I still go back every expansion just to see all the changes, and I’m pretty psyched about Legion.

  48. LexW1 says:

    I played WoW from the Open Beta of the NA version (I was living in the US with my then-GF, now wife, we both played MMOs together a lot back then). Bought WoW day one, and I kept playing for about six months to a year. It was totally incredible for a while, but it got overwhelming in terms of what both the game and people playing it expected from you.

    Ever since then I’ve played it in 3-4 month bursts of decreasing regularity, and have both NA and EU accounts. I came back a few times before TBC. A couple of times in TBC. Twice in WotLK (once for almost six months). Once in Catalysm. Skipped MoP. Enjoyed WoD, until we didn’t (though contrary to a lot of “serious” players I think it was generally a good direction).

    Earlier we played it because we loved MMOs for many reasons – the virtual world, the exploring, the murdering of monsters, the murdering of enemy characters, the people to talk to and play with, the way the game played (particularly with groups), the atmosphere and so on.

    Later it became kind of the “only game in town” MMO-wise, because the gameplay of so many other MMOs seemed retro and clumsy in comparison, and not in a good way.

    Sadly, it’s not even the best MMO I’ve ever played (DAoC would be that), but unlike most others, it kept developing, and developing in a positive way.

  49. neotribe says:

    Roll it on a PVP server, Fangtooth! link to youtube.com

  50. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Played WoW for over four years. Started during the EU final beta, got the game a couple of months after release (in time for summer) and basically played until I got sick of it during late TBC. After that I’ve intermittently returned for a smaller amount of time, but I think I’m pretty much done with it now. I liked the story from Warcraft 3 and exploring, questing and roleplaying in the world. Also, a bit of pvp.

    The ‘end-game’ is where the game died the first time, including the annoying attunements which made sure I couldn’t play with my guildies. Then add on more and more grind, dailies, story gaffes and monetisation.