Five Years

I was informed yesterday by a friend that today is the 5 year anniversary of our first foray into the World of Warcraft.

I was spooked a little because I had spontaneously decided to download, install and reactivate my account after about 2 years of not having played it.

I’ve played Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games since around 1999, when I joined the world of Britannia in Ultima Online. I was around 19 at this time, new to the internet and in utter awe that actual other people were sitting much as I was operating their own little guys in this vast, isometric world full of Dragons.

My gaming career has seen accounts with City of Heroes, Star Wars Galaxies, Anarchy Online, Eve Online and World of Warcraft. The latter two for significant amounts of time.

It’s interesting how each of the games listed there have something important to add to the genre. UO was the first of its kind, City of Heroes was the first aimed at a more casual audience. Star Wars Galaxies was the first to go insane and implode, Anarchy Online was the first science fiction set game{1}. Eve Online was the first (and still only I believe) ‘single server’ based game. WoW of course was the juggernaut. First (western*) game to break one million subscribers, its broad appeal growing it all out of proportion to the rest of the market.

I played WoW from day 1 of the European launch and played for well over a year before a new job forced me to re-evaluate the amount of time I was spending playing computer games and the fear of slipping back into bad habits.

Last night, after waiting for many (many) hours for the client and its associated patches to download, I logged in for about 20 minutes, starting a new character in the same lands that I started 5 years ago.

Things have changed, it all looks a bit different, but that feeling you get when you gain a new level; that never goes away.

I may well write down some of my thoughts on the changes at some point.

*MMORPGs got bigger quicker in South Korea earlier{2}