I am so lonely.
As I sit at my PC and turn on World of Warcraft for the first time in a few weeks, I realize that I am utterly alone in this world. Oh how I long for the golden days of my MMO excursions. But alas, those days are over and now I find myself in one of the loneliest categories of gamer that exists – the casual MMO player.
Just a couple of years ago, I was entrenched in the world that Blizzard had created for me. I had a guild that was like family. We were friends. We talked about our lives as we went on 25 person raids, leveled villages to the ground and slaughtered lower level PvP flagged opposing factions. They were my team, the reason I eventually started signing on to play. And play I did. Hours upon consecutive hours of gameplay, so much that my legs would cramp from sitting too long. I would forget to eat. Or I would eat too much because of all the sitting. I was glued to this world, oftentimes in an unhealthy way. The long hours I spent leveling, grinding, raiding, socializing bore into my daily life and soon I was consumed with World of Warcraft. It didn’t revolve around my life. My life revolved around it.
Then one day, my guild disbanded.
There had been tension in the ranks and the guild was split pretty much down the middle. Some people, including myself, went to another guild. But it was never quite the same. I felt like a child from a broken home. It became difficult to organize times to see my friends online. We stopped raiding. Nothing was organized. I found myself getting on for a few hours to grind by myself, occasionally hooking up with some of my crew for unproductive things. Then I slowly began weaning myself off of the game. An hour less, and less. Eventually I left the guild I was in, having found it not very welcoming to begin with. I was a loner, Dottie, a rebel.
Soon I began signing on only to level a skill or check my auctions or do the occasional quest. This is how it has been for a long time. I still sign on to play, and when I do I find that there is no one for me to play with, for several reasons. Any of the friends I have who do play World of Warcraft usually somehow end up on a different server than I play, and when I start a new toon on that server, I am still left in the dust as far as leveling goes because of how little I sign on. Eventually it’s not very fun to be a level 20 playing with a level 80. It’s not fun for me and it’s not fun for them. So it stops happening.
I recently joined another guild after raiding with a couple people. I joined out of the need to belong, the desire to socialize, and the valuable resources that a communal guild bank offered. It seemed to be going well for a few days. I was playing pretty regularly, leveling with some folks that were near my level, questing, and generally kicking butt. And then the inevitable happened – I got busy in that crazy real life thing. I wasn’t really able to sign on for more than an hour or so for a few weeks. When I finally did I found I had been dismissed from the guild for inactivity.
I was alone again.
I can’t seem to shake my love of Warcraft, even though I rarely play it anymore. I can’t bring myself to close my account and stop for good. It somehow gets in your blood. There is a need for it that is never quite satisfying unless you spend most of your waking hours doing it. So occasionally I sign on, work on my leatherworking skill, skin some wolves, do a few quests by myself and hang it up for the night. I rarely socialize or team up with people because I know it will be fleeting experience. Best not to get attached to folks you’re never going to see again. And so I find myself a lonely hunter class in the woods (I picked this class so I could at least have a pet). I like to pretend she’s just anti-social and hermit like, living in the forest off the land, only going into common areas to make trades and get a haircut. In a way it’s nice, but I miss the days that when I would sign on, the green text on the side of my screen would explode with greetings from fellows I knew. Alas, those days are gone.
And I am the loneliest MMO gamer there is.