Thursday, January 31, 2008

Videos are my achilles tendon

Not much can tempt me to come back and play WoW. However, when I watch WoW videos I get a certain desire to play. In particular I watched a video over at Crusader Aura which made me wish I had leveled my paladin more. Ahh, the lure of big numbers. It's all too much for me because in my head I know how overpowered an offensive holy paladin can be. I've watched Nomakk play his paladin in the 49 bracket. He can take on 2-3 guys at a time and either outlast them back to his team or kill at least one before they take him down. Talk about staying power!

Sigh.. no WoW though! I have no desire to come back, I just need to stop reading blogs. In order to do that I need to build that damn static blogroll already. It's really not that much work, right?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Firefox is tempting me

One of the reasons I gave for quitting WoW is that it took up too much of my time OUTSIDE of actually playing the game itself. This includes reading wowwiki, scouring thottbot for gear upgrades, the armory, the many MANY blogs that various people have, and a veritable plethora of random guild sites and strategy guides for various encounters.

Looking back through my bookmarks shows that a large portion of them are WoW-related. I'd say the number is close to half. Most of them are tips on playing classes I'm not used to, links to macros, or detail some minuscule nuance of the game that I wanted to reference later. All of these can be safely deleted, as there is no reason for me to know which type of tank is better for tanking encounter X or phase Y.

It's a lot harder to delete blogs off of my google reader. First and foremost, my google reader dynamically creates my blogroll on Laser Chicken. Even though I have no intention of continuing to post in Laser Chicken I would still like the content to remain the same for anyone who decides to visit it. I know when I was first getting into blogs and blogging it was nearly impossible for me to find the types of blogs I wanted to read about the class/spec I loved. This was the primary motivation for me to create a more organized (than most) blogroll on my site. When I found out how to create the blogroll directly from my google reader it was fantastic. I was able to find a blog I like, add it to my google reader, categorize it, and it would automatically show up on my blog roll. It was great for people who would sometimes switch, say from Balance to Resto, because I didn't have to change any html, just update their category. However, now that I'm finished with Laser Chicken, I do not wish to see those blogs in my google reader. This means that I have to convert my dynamically allocated blogroll to a static one, which requires a rather arduous task of coding up an html linked list. As with all projects that are large, I'm having a hard time starting it, so those blogs are all still sitting in my google reader.

In addition to the blogroll aspect of it, I'm having trouble deleting blogs out of my google reader because I like the authors. I like their writing style, I like to read what is going on in their lives, and I like to read the comments. This leads me to a big dilemma. Take Pike's most recent blog entry for example. I like reading Pike's material but if I keep her blog around I'll see stuff like this and think about my old days of alting it up. Now, I've been reading select blogs since I left (they are still in my google reader, I have no choice!) but up until this post none of the entries had given me pause to think about coming back. It's a slippery slope, if you see what I mean. Even once I make my blogroll static, I still have a tough choice to make about which blogs to keep and which to wave goodbye to forever.

Finally, I must and will stop checking the old guild forums. I spent two plus years with these people and I like them as individuals. If you cant tell though, I'm a little perturbed about their apparent lack of empathy for my departure. So I deleted my account from the site and won't be returning even though those forums are more often not about WoW than about it.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Life after Lasers

aka "I used to be a Chicken"

Welcome to my life after World of Warcraft. Previously I wrote a blog entitled Laser Chicken where I detailed some of my (mis?)adventures in WoW and some theory about being a druid in the game. Recently I stopped playing WoW because I'm tired of being a slob, I'm tired of looking at my dirty room and chores gone unfinished, and I'm simply tired of being tired. In replacement of my Laser Chicken blog I will be writing a blog entitled "That's Gold Jerry, Gold!" which will be a place to put all of my thoughts and ideas for a stand up routine I soon hope to build and exhibit at a local comedy club. However, that blog isn't exactly the best place to put my personal thoughts, which is why I decided upon the creation of this blog.

I stopped playing World of Warcraft on Friday, I cleaned up my mailboxes on all my alts (at least 14 characters!), and sent all my worldly (of Warcraft) goods to friends/guildmates. At first I considered not sending the items/gold. Of course this was a thought that would lead into regression: "if I don't send away my BoE blues I've been hoarding I can always come back and make some nice gold on them". So off they went. I sent my roommate Nomakk at least 15 level 70 blue BoE items that I had amassed from the days when farming the Mechanar by rogues was all the craze. Englehart (my rogue) got a lot of playing time back then. So Nomakk got all those blues, and the guild got everything else I though might be of importance or usefulness to someone.

The minute I logged off I felt great. I had no obligations anymore. I didn't have to worry about how we were doing in arena this week, or if I had done my daily quests that day, or fret about how I didn't get enough honor today to meet my goal of a piece of PvP gear every two weeks. Let me tell you, it felt great to not have to worry about any of that stuff.

People get addicted to World of Warcraft for different reasons. I think the reason I got so addicted was due to the fact that I'm a very competitive person. I want to be the best at everything I do, and it's not easy to be the best in WoW. It takes hard work and most of all it takes lots of time. In order to be the best you need to have the best gear, and getting that gear isn't always a guaranteed. Then when you do get that gear Blizzard comes out with an expansion with newer and better gear. One of the things I saw that really got to me and helped me to quit was a comic by Ken Harrison over at mmolecule. While it is a hilarious representation of the green armor that characters will probably be getting upon entry into Northrend, the point still rings true. All the gear we are amassing right now pretty much means nothing. When the next iteration of the development cycle comes around we'll have to start all over at the beginning. It's kind of disheartening when you think about it in that light.

So here I am, finally out of WoW. I've tried to quit before and was moderately successful at it. I stopped playing for at least a couple of months right before the Burning Crusade came out. Then Nomakk got me back into it, and I was good about my playing time for a while. Things can so easily spiral out of control though when you're a competitive person, and soon I was back in the game, lock stock and barrel. This departure will be a permanent one, and it's my intention to never play WoW again. I'm not even sure I'll play another MMO again. I don't have an addictive personality but I know what I can't handle and, for whatever reason, MMOs fall into that category.

Disclaimer: It is not my intention to "convert" anyone reading this blog who is an avid WoW player to stop playing. However, if there is someone reading this blog who wants help, I of course would be willing to provide that assistance. WoW is not the devil but for some it can be a personal demon. I've been there, I know those people are going through. It's tough, I know, but help is out there.