Archive for November 2012

Retirement Reasons and Reminiscing Part 5

Welcome to my last post in a series in which I’ve been discussing my reasons for my retirement from raiding and the game as a whole. As usual, I’m not trying to tell anyone else to quit. If you enjoy the game, please, keep playing. I’m just trying to share my reasons and help myself (and anyone else, I guess) gain a better understanding of why, exactly, after seven years of playing this game, I’m pretty much done. And yes, my series here will also serve as reminders to myself why I quit when, six months down the road, perhaps I get that itch again.

As always, please do respect the comment policy! Thank you. :)

Reason 5: A sense of accomplishment.

I started out in this game, as I’ve already said, without knowing a lot. I was a scrubby, scrubby n00b like many new players, but I got my act together, learned how to play the game with its fairly steep learning curve and did what I had wanted to do before I even hit that very first level cap of 60 — I became a raider.

I have been a raider, for better or for worse, since early April of 2006. I have been a casual raider, I have been a much more hardcore raider and I have been a raider who has spent most of that time somewhere in the middle. My ideal raid schedule is about 12 hours a week, or 4 nights of 3 hours apiece. I’ve raided as much as 20 hours a week (wayyyyyy too much), as little as 9 hours a week (not quite enough for me) and spent most of Cataclysm raiding with two guilds (Apotheosis and Choice) for about 15 hours a week (just a bit much, but since 6 of those hours were spent as a regular raider and not a leader of any kind, it worked out okay).

I have dissolved guilds (RIP, Fated Heroes), I have created guilds (hello, Apotheosis), I have left guilds, I have joined guilds. I have raided with seven guilds over my career. I have killed … oh man, this might take a minute… 155 raid bosses while content was current (including all the beast bosses in Karazhan and including all the opera event types there, too, but not including heroic versions of fights).

I have earned three raid achievement mounts (25-man ICC, Firelands, Dragon Soul). I have cleared one single heroic tier since they came out with that infernal change (Dragon Soul). I have earned a server-first kill (Heroic Hagara the Stormbinder).

I have satisfied my curiosity.

I’ve also shown myself I can make gold, recently, by starting out at the end of Cataclysm with 20,000g and (with Majik’s help via cooldowns and supplying me with raw materials) turned it into 444,000g (and change) in just over a month (since I got back from Italy on October 5). I’m sure with another few weeks, I could have hit the gold cap, but I didn’t really care that much, although everyone should open their mailbox to 30k gold or more at some point in their lives.

Given the fact that I wasn’t terribly impressed with the expansion (although they did do a lot of neat things that I’m sure I’ll talk about at some point), I had no new goals. I had very little to motivate me to keep playing. Instead, my sense of accomplishment over the history of my play has continually nagged at me saying “Kurn, you can hang it up. You’ve done everything you’ve ever set out to do and more.”

And it’s true.

I didn’t just become a raider. I became a raid leader. I became a healing lead. I became a guild master. I became a WoW blogger. I became a WoW podcaster.

World of Warcraft has been a great place for me to hang out for seven years. It’s great bang for its buck. $15 a month has allowed me to spend countless hours (okay, not countless, we’re talking 400+ days /played) lost in Azeroth. When you think about how much a movie costs, for two hours of entertainment, you can pay about the same amount for unlimited hours of entertainment in a month.

I was happy to spend all the time that I did playing. I got involved, I became really active. I did it all for the love of a game and enjoyment of a game that, these days, no longer inspires me, about which I am no longer passionate.

I accomplished what I wanted to do and more. I satisfied my curiosity. And mostly due to the changes I’ve seen over the last couple of years to the game I once was very passionate about, I can’t get excited about it any longer.

One of the changes I haven’t talked about much isn’t something Blizzard did to the game, though. One of the changes is the people.

Players often say “if it weren’t for my guild, I would have quit long ago” and that’s true for me, as well. Were it not for Apotheosis, I would have probably quit during the Firelands nerf and if not then, certainly the Dragon Soul nerfs. But I had made a committment and I stayed on.

Others did not.

Shadowcry, Osephala, Euphie, Terex, Tia, Kam, Toga, Dar and Daey are all people who raided with us for at least a short time in Cataclysm but are all people I’d known for years, dating back to Burning Crusade. These people are among those I considered the core of Apotheosis in Burning Crusade. And one by one, all of them stopped raiding with us in Cataclysm, mostly due to time considerations or a lack of interest in the game.

There is a single person on the Mists of Pandaria raiding roster of Apotheosis who was in Apotheosis during Burning Crusade and that’s Dayden — and even he took a break for a few months in there.

Without most of my old friends and especially without Majik playing seriously, there’s no reason for me to continue. No in-game reason and no social reason. It’s not to say that I don’t think the current Apotheosis roster is awesome, because they’re pretty great people, but they’re not Shadowcry, who reflected caster spells back at them on Hyjal trash. They’re not Euphie, who was our Divine Spirit priest. They’re not Kam, who was our warlock tank. They’re not Toga, who usually forgot to unequip his fishing pole after fishing up Lurker. They’re not Daey, who snubs his nose at 99% of addons and still destroys things with ease.

Those were the days, for me. I kept playing for in-game reasons beyond Burning Crusade. And I continued through Cataclysm due to having made a committment to my guild.

But the game holds no more for me at this time. And all of my long-time friends, save Dayden, the Last Naked Man Standing, have stopped raiding.

So it’s time.

Here’s to three 45-minute Baron runs: one where Whisper or Volloz bugged it out for us, a successful run with me, Tia, Tan, Crypt and Daey and one in 39 minutes without a tank (Tia, Tan, Crypt, Maj and me).

Here’s to “HE’S GOT A REALLY BIG SWORD” and the Dire Maul arena and the NPA crew.

Here’s to soulstoning Daey on Hakkar so he could die and drop aggro, then rez.

Here’s to Toga and I never missing Tranq shot on Magmadar.

Here’s to 27-manning Gehennas.

Here’s to pony kegs after Maulgar and Majik blinking into Gruul.

Here’s to WEST SIDE, STRONG SIDE on Vashj.

Here’s to Lay on Hands critting Dayden with Vashj at 5%.

Here’s to me forgetting to heal Kam on Kael and her never living through Leotheras.

Here’s to Daey running to the corner of Void Reaver’s room for a timeout.

Here’s to Daey and I being mistaken for each other on that fight at least once.

Here’s to Dayden healing and Daey tanking on our Illidan kill.

Here’s to “WARTHON STOP NOT TANKING SHIT PLZ” on our first, and only, night in Sunwell Plateau.

And here’s to the current Apotheosis — best of luck to you all in this expansion and thanks to all of you for the unprecedented (for me) levels of raiding success.

This ends my series of retirement posts, but I’m sure I still have some things to say about the game. My subscription officially runs out today, but the blog isn’t quite done yet.

Thanks for reading.