My name is John and I’m an addict

It’s difficult to explain, I’ve been so deeply enmeshed in things over the last year that it never really occurred to me how deeply I’d become involved. For those of you who’ve listened to episode 12 of the Ready Up podcast, you’ll already know what I’m referring to (if you haven’t then you should!) but this is, of course, about World of Warcraft.

I got involved as part of an experiment we did last year and from that simple start I’ve become deeply involved in the world of Azeroth and its ups and downs. It took a couple of false starts for me, but I got hooked in with an Elven huntress and set about leveling up with maximum possible haste. I reached level 80 with her just as Cataclysm hit and the worlds changed but the problem was, I’d not really completed anything. My goal had just been to level up and the completion of the stories within the world had been secondary, the goals I became aware of had moved outside the practicalities of achievement while still remaining in the ‘mode’ of that character. I’d also started to become aware of just how much time and thought I was putting into playing the game.

I’ve mentioned in posts past my lack of gaming time and the piles of games I’ve got stacked up awaiting completion and the realisation has come that Azeroth was becoming all consuming. During my trips around the world I made sure that my laptop had Warcraft installed so I could maintain my leveling progress. Then the Cataclysm happened and I had just cause to sit back and start to take control.

Yes, I wanted the new content, I wanted to see what happened to Azeroth and to all of the places I had known before. But I wanted to make the most of that rediscovery too. I made the decision that in order to take control I needed to set myself some goals and reach them, then and only then would I be able to say “I’ve done it, I’m content”. Having a mildly obsessive personality is actually pretty good if you can channel it constructively and that’s what I decided to do.

Mirovy – Drenai Paladin

I started a new character (yes, I know but bear with me here), she’s a Drenai Paladin called Mirovy and it’s my goal to hit two major achievements with her. 1) we’re going to explore all of the worlds and get the Explorer title and achievement. 2) we’re going to complete all of the required tasks in each zone to get the Loremaster title and achievement.

The second of these tasks is the major one and, believe me, does take time and effort in each zone to run through the quests required for the building block achievements but it’s in this effort that I’ve been able to start controlling my time and I’m also getting more out of the game itself. The Lore, the stories and the interaction between the factions and characters is played out during these quest strings and there’s so much depth now in the world that there is an additional sense of satisfaction too. My goals are now simple, I’m playing less per week and limiting my sessions to a story, or a zone’s worth of quests. This has given me time to work on finishing Assassins Creed: Brotherhood, Tron Evolution and the other games awaiting me.

Will I give up WoW? No, I won’t. But equally I don’t think I need to, I just need to make the bites smaller and leave room on my gaming plate for other tasty morsels too. Last week I was in South Africa for the week and didn’t play any WoW at all. I would have liked to but there wasn’t the bandwidth either in time or in internet access so I couldn’t. I’m still alive, the world didn’t end and I know that Mirovy will be happy to jump on her Gryphon and head off whenever I need her too. I also know that Ezio is ready with his blades and that my cars are in the Shift 2 garage just ready to roll.

Self discovery seldom delivers what you are expecting. Sometimes, though, this can be a good thing.

My name is John and I love games, all games, again!





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