Thursday, June 5, 2008

I still love the cheese

How long will we keep playing WoW? Has the time come that it's time to move on, or does the game still have that magic attraction to us? Is it still a piece of tasty cheese which gives us what we want?

The Big Bear Butt recently published a very well written blog post about this. The cheese analogy originates from a management book in the form of a fairy tale. The point in this story is you shouldn't stick too long to something that used to be good but actually isn't as good as before, just because you feel secure with it. You must look ahead for new opportunities.

He raises the question for how long WoW will be the good tasting cheese. And it's not only a good post - many of the comments are also well worth reading. The answers are pretty mixed - I guess they reflect the diverse opinions there are about this in the WoW community. Some players are definitely on their way somewhere else - they've clearly lost their appetite for the game. Most of the ones who still love the cheese in it talk about the social aspects, rather than the game itself. They'll hang around in Azeroth as long as their friends do.

The regular readers of Larísa's corner probably know where I'm standing in this issue: I still love the cheese. I still have sparkles in my eyes every time I enter a raid instance or even a simple heroic. I'm not burned out and have no intention whatsoever to go looking for some new kind of cheese. There's still plenty of it in the game that I haven't tasted yet. But then I haven't played it half as long as Big Bear Butt and many of the ones commenting the post. I could imagine I would feel a bit different if I had been on this cheese diet for over three years.

Still the social side of the game has a strong hold on me as well. Let's say that everyone in my guild agreed on leaving the game, but keeping the guild as it is, just moving to another MMORPG. How would I react? Would I stick to WoW, trying to find a new guild? Or would I move on with the others? I'm not sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if I moved on with the others. After all most of us are herd creatures, aren't we? If we've found a clan where we feel that we belong, a sort of family in the game, we'll stick to it if we can.

But if the guild wouldn't assemble again, if we were lost and gone in the wind, spread out in emptiness, how would I do then? I'd probably keep playing WoW until I got bored one day or until Blizzard stops developing it. And then I'd quit, and honestly I'm not sure I'd start another online game. After all it's pretty time consuming. Maybe I would try out some completely different hobby. Like learning some kind of budo discipline, which means levelling too, but from another point of view. Or taking up mountaineering or becoming a gourmet chef or writing a novel or whatever kind of challenge that came to my mind. There are many different sorts of cheese out there you know.

For the time being WoW still tastes wonderful to me. It's just a bit saddening to think about all those players who now seem to have lost there appetite. I've got the feeling there's more of those "I'm quitting the game"-posts on the forums and blogs than there has been before. I can't help feeling that we're viewing sunset rather than sunrise.

On the other hand there are new players coming. I used to always be the "new" player in any party I entered - now I'm not. Every now and then I meet players who started half a year ago or so, and they're in the same wonderful learning curve as I am, still hungry for progression and new adventures to come. It's just that you seldom hear their voices on the blogs.

So I guess we'll stick together for a while. The Secret Society of Cheese Lovers.


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