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11 Jun

The casual and solo WoW player

Whereby I describe my on again/off again time and playstyle with WoW over the years, and finally get a WoW character to level 70.

I am what I’d call a hardcore player of video games in terms of task/tinkering obsession, but a casual player in terms of game-goal orientation. That is, I might spend hours and hours leveling up every skill/profession on multiple characters to check them out, but I don’t care about game-titles/awards, game-story-plot/factions, doing what it takes to acquire the “best gear”, racking up PvP scores, or even winning/finishing the game. So for a single-player strategy games and RPG’s I might spend months on certain aspects of the game, but never quite finish the game.

WoW, for me, has been no different. When this online-RPG first came out, I spent about 3 solid months obsessively playing. I loved leveling the profession skills and running around looking for resources in what felt like a gigantic endless game world. I loved Hunters, because I could have a pet kitty, and because I like to play alone and a pet is good for solo-Wow. I avoided other players, I didn’t accept party invites, I didn’t duel, I never had a character that reached lvl 60 (the max at the time) and I never saw the inside of a dungeon instance until it was useless to do it for anything but exploratory knowledge. Still, I was happy and had a blast. One of reasons I prefer WoW over other on-line games I’ve tried is that it’s fairly friendly to people like me - people who like to play mostly alone - or maybe with just a few friends - and don’t care much about the things that supposedly make an online game an online game. I’ve always said I’d kill for a complete single-player version of WoW.

But like with any game, I eventually I got a little bored of the repetitive “grind” and I stopped playing for a long, long time. Then I picked it up again for a couple months, then stopped again. Then I picked it up yet again. Only this time, I started completely over again on another server, instead of going back to my old characters. Things had changed a lot…the first expansion had come out by then….but my style of playing hadn’t changed - I still largely run around collecting resources, and I’ve become an Auction House/make gold addict. If you don’t know, the Auction House is where WoW players can buy/sell items they find to other players - without having to actually talk to other players. I love this aspect of WoW - it’s kind of like a mini-game. The challenge of acquiring the stuff to sell and the timing of when to sell and what to sell and so on.

Currently I have one main character (hunter) and several 25-40-ish “alts” - alts are characters you play when bored of your “main” or for other various reasons. Most of my alts exist largely to have access to the max level of non-Outland lvl profession skills, such as enchanting, but it’s also just nice to play another class now and then. Anyway, this time around I reached level 60 and beyond w/my main - wanting to see the new Outland expansion areas was a strong incentive. After that, I’ve been playing off and on (mostly off), obsessing for a few days or a week at a time and then ignoring the game for 3-4 months. When I did play, I hunted resources to make gold. Obviously, this isn’t a great way to level up a character, so my main has been “stuck” at level 68 for over half a year.

Now the new expansion “Wrath of the Lich King” is supposedly going to be released semi-soon, so I determined that I had to get to lvl 70 to be ready for it. Much agonizing and horribly, horribly annoying monster-grinding later, I got there…and since I had so much gold already saved up, I immediately bought the Epic flying mount. It did make me sad to part with so much of my hard-earned gold (I’m even more miserly in WoW than I am in real life), but the Epic flying mount is much much faster than the ground-mount that I’ve been using forever. And I must say - if I’d know flying around Outland would be this cool, I’d have done it a bit sooner. It really is awesome. Too bad you can’t use it in the old pre-expansion lands, too.

wow flying gryphon

My only problem now is that I don’t know what to do next. I mean, you’re supposed to do all this instance-goal-oriented stuff once you reach lvl 70…but that’s not my bag. I don’t want to play with other people. And most of the great items can’t be had without doing that stuff, so I doubt I’ll ever be equipped with anything much more than I already have. Besides, what I have allows me to survive/do ok in the surface areas already as it is. I’m not powerful, but I survive. So I guess now it’s back to the Auction House game to restore my depleted gold reserves as I wait for the 2nd expansion…I wonder how long it would take me to collect 100,000 gold, for instance…why, you ask? Because I can. And now that I can fly, it should be a lot more efficient.

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