I was really looking forward to 8.3 in December. Family levelling was going well, I was ready to try the new features, planning which Alts would be taken through each zone once Shadowlands was released. Over Christmas, I spent a couple of hours reading through what was going to change going forward. Once it was apparent nothing drastic altered, it was just more grinding I was ready to roll. There’s a notebook to my right, untouched since it was purposed to keep track of progress.
In the last two weeks, a phenomenal number of things have changed.
This game’s always been a continuous grind, even in the days when 60 was all you could aim for. I watch Classic people doing it now, having a whale of a time: really, nothing has altered at all. What changes, of course, are the people. That would be me, now, deciding to write this blog post instead of editing a poem I hope might end up on the side of a bus in Guernsey.
Poetry has given me a purpose, writing allowing me to be more than the wee Dwarf Lassie on a screen. Yes, of course I miss the great days of playing with my husband, being in a Guild and feeling that unique sense of Community that so many of you keep telling me is why you play. I utterly get that, but that’s not enough any more. There needs to be risks taken, and realities addressed… and if I’m honest, I don’t dream of going to a Blizzcon.
I lied to myself for a very long time and it’s time to admit that and move on.
Now my kids have grown, and the people I used to love playing with most have all left, making new friends is a really tough ask. Then, I’m honest and realise that the people I’d like to be friends with now are not necessarily going to be playing the same games I am, or indeed playing at all. The virtual world hasn’t responded to the reality of other spaces either: nostalgia is not my answer.
It is, like it or not, a direct exchange of resources. To run or to level. To write or to do WQ’s. I have relaxations now outside gaming, and professional obligations that are really beginning to bear fruit. My priority set, inevitably, has shifted again, and in those situations it really is simpler to shut down the browser, cancel the subs and look at my life again in three months.
This time, crucially, I’ve not pre-ordered the new game.
If you’re reading this, you’re one of the couple of dozen people who does still care about my work, who understands what it is that really matters right now and why, like it or not, this cycle of in and out keeps happening. Except I think it might be time to say I’m finally done. I can’t keep up, need all my attention on career and not hobby. Now I have something that helps me relax that’s not writing?
I dunno, it’s still early in the year. Circumstances can and do change very fast. I won’t take the Dwarf to Ferelas just yet, but I am considering whether my son would like all my gold, of which there is a significant pile.
Leave it with me.