Warning: This post will probably be long, contain repetition and not be a good read.
Before I start, this isn’t a post about coding games, this is a post about playing them.
So I play games, well, I use to, I quit them recently. So why did I do this? Simply because gaming for me became about the person I was playing with, not the game I was playing. Lets do a brief history…
I started out my gaming career with FPS games, Quake 2 to be precise, oh how I loved Deathmatch! That was fine, I then moved to Counter-Strike in beta 5 and quit in beta 6.2, came back for v1 and quit about 2 weeks later. I came back again for Counter-Strike: Source for the beta, and quit again not long after retail launch.
Some Diablo, Diablo 2 and Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction and StarCraft later, I moved to Final Fantasy XI – it was great, a friend, Lee, starting playing it with me and another, Jeff, joined later on.
There were other games in between this, but nothing overly mentionable, it was the same kind of genre, FPS mostly. The height of my career being playing for a high end UK team which did some EU cups in CS:S. The team was all made of long standing friends having a laugh, we never meant to go anywhere, we were just good. I use to play on the top servers against the top players in other games too.
Then World of Warcraft came out. Jeff moved to WoW because his girlfriend played it, me and Lee decided to move over too. Jeffs girlfriend had already been playing a while, we didn’t start playing it straight from release, so she was already 60. We were all leveling up together (except the already 60 girlfriend) and having fun, but Jeff wanted to level faster than us to catch his girlfriend up and we ended up splitting up the leveling group and all went at our own pace. We eventually all ended up at 60, Lee stopped playing nearly the same time he hit 60 but me, Jeff and his girlfriend didn’t.
They went off to do PvE, they’d already joined a raiding guild while I was leveling, I hit 60 and went PvP until a spot for a mage opened up in his guild and I decided to try my hand at PvE. My trial was in crap gear, on Nefarian (BWL was the latest instance out), I had no idea what I was doing and I was in an elementalist spec because it was the most fun for PvP. My trial was a total success and I was accepted the same night. We ended up about the 6th best ally guild on our realm, Magtheridon EU.
Shortly after Naxxramas was released, my hardcore guild folded. However before it was released another friend had started playing. I was helping her out some with the early quests, we knew each other but weren’t in a relationship. Come level 55 we were in a relationship. I wasn’t playing my mage much, I’d decided to level a rogue alt – not with her for reasons beyond this post, but at the same pace. We ended up hitting 60 the same night with the help of friends from my guild and co-ordination on my part. Things were going great between us, we were gearing her up in instances ready for The Burning Crusades grind, the guild were helping still. In TBC she was to become one of our main tanks. We’d level together, gear together, etc. My game had changed at this point without me realising it. I was no longer playing the game because I enjoyed it, I was playing the game because my girlfriend also enjoyed it and it was another thing we could do together and have fun doing. My game became all about playing with her. Alts, instances, leveling, you name it – it wasn’t fun without her beside me.
The Burning Crusade gets released. All was going to plan. We were leveling together although at our own pace compared to the guild and we still had all the same aims. At 70 she was to become our main tank and we would triumph over all the content thrown at us together, with the help of the friends we’d made as we went – I’d known these people for a long time as I knew them from my hardcore days and in the end, she got to know them well too. We ended up taking an extended weekend holiday to go and see the main 4, Ruel, Calli, Khel and Mannon, who lived close to each other. So the day finally came, we were 70, we were raiding. It was great, totally amazing. Then we split up (again, for reasons beyond this post). I was obviously a wreck, but I kept playing WoW. It wasn’t the same, at all. This is when I first realised the game had changed for me. My mage was benched unless the guild needed it and my rogue got dusted off. It became my loner character, I left the guild on it so people couldn’t talk to me in general and I rolled it PvP. I hit 70, I was doing PvP, it was still crap.
I needed a change of scene in the game. I figured it was bad stigma with the realm after everything that had gone on, everything reminded me of her. My server got free migration to another realm, some ingame friends (not from the guild) were on about starting up a hardcore PvE guild and were thinking of moving to another server. The server they were thinking of moving to was on the free migration list and I already knew someone who had moved there, so I decided I’d move regardless and off I went. The guild never happened so I ended up playing solo again. I was on a new realm, new faces, it seemed different and like I could enjoy the game again. I made some new friends, and took the mage (and rogue a bit) to the PvP scene again. This was going well, I was enjoying it all again, yay!
Fast forward a whole lot of time and stuff going on that isn’t interesting and Wrath of the Lich King comes out. I’m 80, my rogues 80, a couple more characters were 80, or maybe it was just my warrior at that point. I’d totally quit PvE still, only helping my guild out if they needed the numbers which wasn’t very often. Then comes Icecrown Citadel.
More uninteresting or irrelevant story later, I end up with my latest (and since the 29th of August, now ex) girlfriend. I was enjoying the game still, but it was again for someone else. This time I was wiser though and I knew it had happened. We went PvE for a little time, but it wasn’t enjoyable for us. We either wanted more from the guild than it could give us or nothing. We opted for nothing. A friend I’d known since not long after moving to Kor’gall, Trunks, had started his own PvP guild up, Feministic Front and we joined that. It was great, we were doing premades, having fun, I was enjoying WoW, I had an amazing girlfriend, I was on top of the world.
Then we broke up.
Now, I love StarCraft so I’d bought StarCraft 2 but I stopped playing this because of my girlfriend. She didn’t ask me to, but it was something she said one day about the type of game and not liking it and the reason behind it. I felt I shouldn’t play it, so I didn’t. Me playing it didn’t bother her, but I wanted to go into 2v2 with her on it and she was never going to play it and then other reasons on top that I’d decided on, I just stopped.
You might recall I also said I liked Diablo, played them all. Diablo 3 will be released at some point, me and the girlfriend were planning to get totally into that. Now we aren’t together I don’t actually want to play it. Well, I do, but I don’t want to without her.
I play WoW, or rather, I did. I cancelled my account when we split up.
I realised at this point, not only had I made WoW only fun with someone special playing it with me, but I’d made all gaming about this other person too. I only wanted to do things with her, it was no fun without her. I didn’t want to play WoW solo when we were together, playing it when we weren’t together was out of the question and a simple server change wouldn’t help me now.
Now, not everyone will fall into this, I could be the only one – but this is my blog and I still have no idea how you found it and I’m allowed to blog about what the hell I want! However gaming for me is quite probably now ruined. This is not my girlfriends fault, not at all, but without her in my life (or possibly someone else) I don’t want to do it anymore.
Will this change over time? Maybe, who knows. We only split up less than a week ago and she was my world. I had plans to propose. I knew when, how and where I was going to do it, and it was a special date in a place with special meaning to both of us, I had a few of options for this and which one I took depended on a few factors closer to the time. Regardless, I had it all planned out. To say my world is totally upside down now without going into details is an understatement. My world is falling apart and I am with it in many ways.
So why am I writing this post? I don’t know. As far as I know, no one will ever read this. I guess I’m using my blog as my open diary. I’m sure when I started writing this there was more of a point to it but I lost my way and if anyone ever reads this, I probably sent them to sleep far before the end of it. I’ll maybe revise this post at some point. Who knows.
Now, how did you find my blog?