I said in a recent post that, unlike many MMO players, I’m here for the characters more than I’m here for the social aspect of things. And I definitely wasn’t exaggerating when I said that. I love me some characters, and I don’t mind spending much of my MMO experience alone or maybe with one friend.
But I would be very remiss not to talk about the friends I’ve made through World of Warcraft. No matter how much of a loner you are, MMOs are at their core about a social experience, and eventually you will befriend people. And if you do any sort of endgame, then chances are at least some of those people will become important to you.
For me, it was a group of people who I fell in step with during a Zul’Farrak run in our early-40s back in The Burning Crusade. We stuck together and eventually formed a guild, and moved on up through the instancing ranks doing first dungeons, and then eventually heroics and a couple of raids. We were all friends; we talked to each other frequently both in guild chat and in Ventrilo and I’m pretty sure in some cases we probably spent more time with each other than we did with our “real life” co-workers.
We stuck together through the first third or so of Wrath of the Lich King before slowly the little group began to drift apart. People were logging in less and less or were playing on other servers. For a while we kept in touch outside of the game, but then that petered out as well. And so, we all went our separate ways.
Sometimes I think about those people who I once counted as good friends. I still look back fondly on most of these people. Theoretically, I could get back in touch with them, too, if I wanted. I have most of them added on Steam. And yet we never talk to each other – I feel like it would be awkward. “Hey, remember me from eight years ago?”
I suppose in these ways the game kind of mirrors life. How many old classmates or co-workers of yours have been reduced down to people you occasionally wish Happy Birthday to on Facebook? Quite a few, I’d imagine. That’s just the way life goes. Time goes on and old faces are replaced by new ones.
The memories will always be positive ones, though. And hopefully, if my old friends ever need me, they’ll know where to find me.