"10 Years of World of Warcraft" or "How /Played made me want to /Wrists..."

11 November 2014
by Jon ParshallJon Parshall
We're coming up to the launch of "Warlords of Draenor", the latest World of Warcraft expansion. We're also drawing closer to the 10-year anniversary of the launch of WoW itself (November 23, 2004). And now seemed like a good time for me to reflect on my history as a WoW player.

You see, World of Warcraft wasn't an intentional addiction. That's what all addicts say, right? But really, it wasn't. Back in June 2006, someone at CodeWeavers got the bright idea that having a couple of accounts on WoW, and creating a "CrossOver" guild, might be a good way to build a little PR for the fact that CrossOver ran WoW on Linux systems. Thus, "The Lunch Party" was formed, and we started playing. It was five of us: Jeremy White (our CEO), Jeremy Newman (sys admin), Aric Stewart (developer), Jessica Nunn (tech support), and myself. And we dutifully leveled our 'toons to about level 30 before the CEO decided to call it quits. We had one last raid on Shadowfang Keep, and then most of my lunch friends logged out for the last time, never to return.

[The Lunch Party's last hurrah...]
I went into a funk. But I decided to keep playing anyway, because, hey, I wasn't level 60 yet. And along the way, I started meeting new friends. So I stuck it out.

Boy did I...

Today, I logged into my account and foolishly started compiling "/played" statistics on all my characters. This exercise is not for the faint of heart, because "/played" tells you exactly how much of your life you've poured into this stupid game. As of 2014 I have, umm, five level 90 characters, a couple 88s, and a 72, plus the normal coterie of bank alts and whatnot. Total time played? A smidge over 289 days. Yeah. My "main", my mage Liiris, alone accounts for 110 days, 15 hours, 5 minutes and 39 seconds; her warlock sister Arva another 52 days and change. Holy crap. (And my literary agent wonders why my second book hasn't gotten done a little faster.) In truth, much of that playing time was accrued years ago, during the first two World of Warcraft expansions: Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King, which most any hardcore WoW player will snootily tell you were the high points of the game. Liiris has only 3h48m of playing time as a level 90 character. I've never even been in a level 90 dungeon with her. So, why bother leveling these 'toons to level 100 when the new expansion hits?

Because it's level 100, of course...

Plus, nobody likes a quitter.

I guess that's as good an explanation as I can think of. I'm kinda OCD, as you may have guessed. And despite my dismay at 289 days of my life having apparently been washed down the tubes, the truth is that I did make some fun friends along the way. My wife thinks that it's weird to call them "friends." But they are, even if I've never met any of them face-to-face (Rick and Kristina and Sara, I'm lookin' at you). The bottom line is that human connection gets expressed in many mediums, and whacking monsters together is just as valid as any of them. I value that bonding, and those friendships. I just kind of wish it hadn't take 289 days to make it all happen. Water under the bridge, I guess. On to Warlords of Draenor!

P.S. Am I gonna use the free level-90 player boost? Aww HELLZ no! That's for sissies. I've leveled 698 levels worth of 'toons the "old school way," Sonny Jim, and I'm not gonna start wimping out now! You kids nowadays, you have no idea what it was like back in Vanilla (grumble grumble)...

About CodeWeavers
Founded in 1996 as a general software consultancy, CodeWeavers focuses on the development of Wine – the core technology found in all of its CrossOver products. The company's goal is to bring expanded market opportunities for Windows software developers by making it easier, faster and more painless to port Windows software to Mac and Linux. CodeWeavers is recognized as a leader in open-source Windows porting technology, and maintains development offices in Minnesota, the United Kingdom and elsewhere around the world. The company is privately held.

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