Some time back, I don’t remember where or when, I read an article where a major game company (Think it was EA) claimed that piracy wasn’t the only reason for the “industry’s downfall”. You’ve probably guess what already. Yup, WoW. The person being interviewed claimed that people spend so much time playing WoW that they have less time for other games. At first I thought this to be ludicrous, but after considering it for a while I started thinking he might have a point.
Last week I bought Mass Effect. So far I have enjoyed it a lot, but still only played it for about roughly five hours. In comparison I’ve played WoW for… Well let’s just say a whole lot more. Not even a brand new (to me) game that I really enjoy is able to tear me away from Azeroth. WoW is over five years old, the latest expansion over a year and 3.3 has also been “finished” by some guilds. But I’m still finding tons of things to do in game.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts the people playing the game is a large part of what keeps me playing. When I tried LOTRO and WAR for a couple of months each, the thing I missed the most was to have some to chat about random things with while doing some of the more tedious tasks. I never made it past level 20 in either due to this and the fact that leveling was really dull in both of them, especially in LOTRO. Seriously, you expect me to have fun killing things with a LUTE?! While people were mashing monster faces with axes and wearing shiny looking plate armour I was standing at the back playing Kum-ba-yah.
The only game that really has gotten my full attention during the time after I started playing WoW is Oblivion. And I suspect that some of the things these games have in common is what makes me really get into a game. Both games have a lot of depth. I’ve probably invested hundreds of hours in Oblivion and still not seen all of it, the same goes for WoW. They also have quite large communities and very passionate player bases. Although Oblivion isn’t a multiplayer game, it still felt social somehow.
I’m not quite sure if I think playing WoW so much it decreases the amount of time I spend on other games is such a negative thing. While I might have missed out on some real gems, WoW’s given me more than most games could have. I’ve made several real life friends, two of whom I talk to on almost a daily basis. The guild is planning a real life meet up this summer and I’m really looking forward to meeting some of the people I’ve been playing with for months and years. A lot of people label games, and especially MMOs, as a waste of time. I think, at least in my case, it’s quite the contrary. I’ve gotten more out of this game than I have of any other game, or movie, book or song for that matter.
I would really like to hear your thoughts and experiences on the subject though. Has WoW and MMOs had any affect on how much time you’ve spent playing other games? And do you regret spending what is probably silly amounts of time playing a single game?