Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Welcome to My World!

Okay, so I did it again. I disappeared from the blogging scene. You can chalk it up to my personality. I try something new, and I get obsessed with it. Then I find something new to get obsessed about. This blog was what I was obsessed with months ago, and sometimes I remember to come and update it.

So what's my new obsession? World of Warcraft. That's right. I, like two million other users, have been suckered into the best MMORPG game ever made.

I'll admit, I was a tentative convert. I had played two other MMORPGs in the past, Star Wars Galaxies and, most recently, City of Heroes. In both cases, I wound up canceling my account and selling the software on e-Bay.

With Galaxies, I was one of the beta testers (in Beta 3, so I'm not claiming to be anything special). I fell in love with the idea of being able to live in the Star Wars universe (being a rabid fan of the original trilogy and a devourer of the books), of having my own adventures in a galaxy far, far away. And I have to admit, I had a blast .... for the first six months. After that, though, I hit the wall. I had to start grinding just to reach new levels with my character, a Wookie named Orralyyybecca (which, if you know me in real life, shouldn't surprise you). I had to log on and kill things for no reason other than I needed to to learn a new skill, and it just wasn't fun. Not only that, but at the six month mark, there were still some major bugs that should have been squashed by the development team but weren't. After six months, I pulled the plug and, while I sometimes wonder what's happening (especially after the expansion, Jump to Lightspeed, came out), I never had a burning desire to go back.

With City of Heroes, it wasn't my idea to leave. Not really. See, after burning out on Galaxies, I was wary of going back to a MMORPG. But I read such wonderful things about it, I had to see what it was like to be a superhero in Paragon City. So I ponied up the dough, bought a six month account, and took to the streets. And I have to say, I had a blast again. It was a lot of fun becoming Etz'alel, a brooding superhero who could create illusions in people's minds and control the weather. But then my computer popped a memory card. Suddenly the game couldn't work and I had to send in the tower to be fixed. Going cold turkey made me realize that I could live without it, and so I cancelled my account.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I had been reading about World of Warcraft in the magazines. I kept hearing about what a mindblowing game it was. And I have to say, I was tempted. I've played all the Warcraft games except for the expansion pack to Warcraft II, and I have to say, Blizzard, the company behind the games, are geniuses. I knew it would be a good experience to try out WoW. I just wasn't sure.

And then I got a free, 14-day trial in a magazine. I couldn't resist. I installed it and tried it out.

What can I say? I'm a sucker. I'm back into MMORPGs with a vengeance. As a matter of fact, my Paladin, Jensina, just took out a mean ol' ogre named Chok'Sul with the help of a few mages, a druid, and a hunter named Scrimshaw. It was a blast, even if it did take close to an hour and a half and my character died four or five times. I'd do it again (and probably will!).

Might history repeat itself? I'm guessing it will. Just wait for me to become obsessed with something again. But there's a difference this time:

My wife is hooked also.

See, Jill never really understood the allure of these games. She watched me play Galaxies, and I offered to let her try it, but she didn't want to. When I got City of Heroes, I once again offered, and she didn't want to. For some reason, though, she decided she would see what the fuss was about, and the next thing I knew, I had competition for the computer (normally Jill only uses it to check her e-mail or to write papers for a class she's taking). I'll come home from work, and she'll be out slogging through a group of troggs or spiders or something.

I have to say, while sometimes I don't like having to wait my turn to enter the world of Azeroth, it's more fun this way. Jill and I watch each other play and offer advice, moral support, and cheers. As a matter of fact, while I was fighting Chok'sul, Jill kept an eye on my teammates to make sure everyone was doing okay. Maybe the obsession will last a little longer since we're sharing it. I don't know.

So if you're a WoW player and you're on the Moonrunner server, and if someday you run across a dwarf warrior named Morabel or a Night Elf hunter named Adrisa, say "Hi" to my wife and make sure to add, "Welcome to our world!"