Back to work this week, which means I have to scale back the World of Warcraft binge I was able to indulge in during the evenings over the 10 days of the shutdown period for christmas and new years. For the first time since early 2008 I didn’t do any work related emails, reading, writing or admin and it was glorious. I spent the days with the family, with trips to the various Melbourne Zoos, Botanic Gardens, and the local Parks, as well as a spot of gardening and engineering (also known as assembling the kids new outdoor swing set).
By night I resurrected the career of my World of Warcraft, human mage character Tallidus, devouring the new content and reaching level 85, specialising in the Arcane talent tree and spending a fortune in gold improving his riding and crafting abilities. Player guilds have been an important component of MMOs since the initial commercial success of Sony’s Everquest and they have been a fixture of the social life of WoW servers since launch.
Back in 2005 (that is BK or Before Kids), as L. and I progressed from level 0 to 60, we were part of the original Stormwind Infantry, an Alliance faction guild on the Silver Crusage server (a US server, alongside Blackrock that featured Australian and New Zealand players). L’s character, Nyssah, and Tallidus, soon became guild officers and we participated in the early PVP battlegrounds and early Sunday morning social gatherings in Stormwind, Dungeon raids and the occasional Barrens storming and impromptu open realm PVP. Great times.
Going back to Azeroth for the Burning Crusade and the Wrath of the Lich King expansions, I didn’t feel much of the need to get back into the guild culture, but the new expansion Cataclysm has introduced new guild ‘perks’, experience and reputation system for the Guilds. Roaming around the world Tallidus received plenty of random guild invites – the worst type, just a random invite box without any previous contact or interest from some ‘scrub’ (the MMO equivalent of a FPS ‘noob’). It wasn’t until I was visiting the Action House in Dalaran, that I received a very friendly invite to join ‘Seriously Casual’ a guild with around 250 characters, about 20 or so online at one time from the Guild Leader Tutenshaman. The casual nature of the guild is great, it’s friendly and helpful and each time we run a dungeon the more experienced members take the time to walk us through the boss fights. I’m already thinking of joining up my new Worgen characters and leveling them through to 85 to be a part of the guild progression, but that said I really should stop playing and get back to doing work again in the evenings. Warcraft takes a great deal of time to properly invest in and I’ve already noticed that I’m not doing as much research related reading as I probably should in the evenings and my thoughts tend toward WoW more than other things during the day! I’m just a classic WoW addict.