nostalgia

10 Years of WoW – People change

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“Damn Thrall, have you been…working out or something?”

When I was eighteen, I started my study to become a history teacher. I dropped that a year later, but that’s another story. While learning about the fall of the Roman Empire during the day and making raid bosses fall down in the evening, I listened to a lot of Paramore. I really enjoyed their light, pop-punk sound and the charismatic and powerful presence of the lead singer, Hayley Williams. In the clip to their hit song “Misery Business“, Hayley struts her own punky style, while also demonstrating her impressive voice. Their album “Riot!” was playing non-stop on my iPod back then, and I thought I would listen to this band forever and ever.

The years went by, and I started to care less and less for Hayley and her band. The albums after “Riot!” were not terrible, but I started to notice a shift in the style of the band. The fanboy in me immediately linked that to the growing popularity of the band, blaming success for straying from the one, true Paramore sound. The rational, quiet and boring person in me, however, understood that artists change and want to try new stuff. I might not like that new stuff, but no one’s forcing me to keep Paramore in my playlist, right?

Also, I had changed since first listening to “Misery Business” and “Let The Flames Begin”. I think that’s something many people forget when they complain about how everything was better in the past: others are not the only one’s changing, but we, you…I change too. What we like and don’t like is not fixed in our DNA. We change as new impressions are picked up by our senses, adapting to the new input and adding it to our frame of reference. No one is born the grumpy old man, but change might turn you into the grumpy old man.

The same goes for World of Warcraft. Sure, Azeroth has changed throughout the years, but the people playing have as well. The majority of people I used to play with have left the game. Did they leave because the game got worse, boring or repetitive? From their perspective, it might have. However, these people also left because World of Warcraft did no longer fit into their life. Their priorities shifted, their ambitions seemed to lie elsewhere and they simply were no longer willing to incorporate a MMORPG into their daily life. I still hang with those people, and we still think about the fun we had raiding together. Would I love to see them return to the game? Oh, hell yeah, but I also understand that who they are now is no longer who they were when we all shared a raid group. People simply change, and that’s okay.

If you know someone who has not changed one bit in the past ten years, you know a really boring person. I love how I’ve changed, I love how my friends have changed, and I love how World of Warcraft has changed. I know there’s still a lot of change for me in store. Who knows what I’ll be like when I (ever) get married? How will my future children influence my personality? What impact will my career have on who I am? In ten years, will I still be a person who will log in to Azeroth at the end of a busy day, to have fun with guild members and slay dragons?

Well, Hayley has changed a lot, but she’s still in Paramore. I think I can change a lot and still enjoy World of Warcraft, and so can you. Understand that it’s not just the game…it’s also you.

LIAR!

LIAR!

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You’ll never forget your first one…

 

I’m spending Christmas at my parent’s place, and since my gaming computer is not so easy to carry around, I’m stuck with my laptop here. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t visit my family so I can game twenty-four-seven, but it’s nice to have something with you to keep in touch with the world.

My lack of hardware made me find games that I could play on my laptop, and so I discovered that the PC version of the RPG classic Final Fantasy VII is on sale on the Square Enix Store. Since I’m more than willing to pay just €6,50 for such an epic game, I opened my PayPal wallet and just minutes later, I returned to Midgar and the adventures of Cloud and his allies.

It’s a crazy experience, revisiting the game that started my love for the genre. It’s like travelling back in time, knowing what the future of RPG’s will look like. Playing a game with an old-school ATB combat system (and a still awesome magic system) makes you forget about the emphasis modern RPG’s put on action-rich combat and dynamic experiences. The quite linear progression of both the story and your characters is something that would be the death of any new title, but in the time this jewel was released, it was praised and loved. Oh, how I remember the days when I put the first of three discs in my PSX, and how my brother, my friends and I enjoyed the marvelous world Square had created. Dressed in our pyjamas and armed with endless reservoirs of patience, we became one with the epic story and grand world of Final Fantasy VII.

Maybe it’s nostalgia combined with the holiday spirit, but as I equipped my heroes with Materia and started chasing Sephiroth, there were several occasions that brought tears to my eyes and a kind of sadness. I know that this generation of gamers will never experience a game like this again, and that my children will ask me what “my” generation found so great about this game, but just like my first kiss, I will never forget my first RPG love. I’ve already placed a box of tissues next to my laptop, knowing well what moments of tearjerkery await me.

Now excuse me, while I trod down memory lane, slaying monsters and breeding Chocobos…