So now you know what's this game is all about. Good times, lots of fun, and hours and hours
of content. It's great, you could play it for days...and forget to eat...
and die. No joke, this game really is addictive. People have literally played it so much in one sitting that
they forget/neglect their basic needs to the point that they die. It's hard to believe, but there have been at least
two cases of this type of incident. The game really is fun, I have played it for many hundreds of hours, and still
play it today. There's only one problem with the formula - it demands more time than you have. There is just so much
stuff to do and accomplish in this game, and you can only do so much at once. There are thousands of quests to do, 8
playable races with 10 playable classes, many unique professions of trade, dozens of huge regions to explore. One
can't possible complete all the tasks, but if you enjoy the game, and have an addictive personality, you'll try your
damnedest to achieve every task possible. The newest expansion added a system which tracks all your statistics now
too, and has implemented hundreds of 'achievements', which are mundane tasks which reward you with achievement
points. These points are glorified bragging rights points which you collect to show how bad-ass you are (and how many
endless hours you've dumped into this infernal game!) Yet each time you get one, you feel great.
Addiction starts out with the perfect formula. The rewards start out frequent, and large. When you start the game, you see a massive world to explore, and each level up takes less than an hour. You begin to get quite powerful quickly, as the time to level up keeps creeping up time required. There are 80 levels in total (for now); your first level takes you less than 5 minutes, and your 20th level takes anywhere from 1-4 hours. As you progress, it just takes longer and longer. By the time you hit level 60, it takes 4 to 8 hours or more to level up. At level 70+, level-ups can take as little as 5 hours for the experts, and anywhere from 12-20 hours for the casual/non-hardcore players. Sum it all up, and you've spend AT LEAST (especially your first time playing) 10 days playing. Not so bad right...no no, that's DAYS. 10 * 24 = 240 hours of gaming. Alright good. So now you are level 80, your tough as hell, and finally you can take a break, since your the maximum level and there is nothing left to do right?...WRONG.
The game is just beginning, you have scaled but a tiny foothill leading to the largest mountain, and everything you knew has been ripped away from you. You aren't tough, your character is the weakest piece of trash the world has ever seen, and the game has literally just began, you have only beaten the tutorial level. There are monsters that can kill you in one hit, and players who you do so little damage to, they are literally invincible, no lies. So now what, you don't want to be a pansy do you? I didn't think so. Now you need to GEAR UP, and get manly and tough. Off to the dungeons! The daily quests! The Heroics! The Raids! You need to conquer the dungeons of the world, with an organized party in order to get what you desire...the gear! But you don't get the gear from one dungeon, no. You get a chance that the item will 'drop', and then you get a chance to obtain the item, along with your party, using a loot-rolling system. Basically you run dungeons to get tougher, eventually you get tough enough, and you are ready to do 'heroic dungeons' These are the same dungeons as before, but the difficulty is cranked way up, and the gear is way better too, but there's a catch. You can only do these dungeons once a day. Now your chance to get the piece you want is really thin, you could run it up to 10 times before it drops sometimes, and then some newbie @$$ out rolls you and gets the loot you worked so hard for! It's a never-ending cycle of pain. So you stiff it out, you do your heroics every day for several weeks, and the time has come, your ready to start the REAL end-game content, raiding! If you thought heroics were tough, then you were walking around blind. Raids are highly organized multi-man dungeons, usually 10-man, or 25-man. Each fight is a tactical battle, where each player has a special role he must fulfill, or he risks killing the entire party, each member is a key to the success. This difficulty results in the inevitable multiple deaths you and your party will endure. Great, so you finally manage to clear your first dungeon, but before there was UP TO 5 people who could roll on the loot...now there's up to 25! You could clear several raid dungeons without receiving a drop of loot...and to make matters worse, these dungeons are limited to 1 run per week...better luck next week, it's okay. The raids can vary from smooth and enjoyable, to utter hell. Here is a link to an intense raid leader getting a bit too excited. Be warned, there is some swearing/other offensive content involved. This is just an example of how intense the game can be. On tough raids, parties often use a voice chat server to allow commands and duties to be issues by voice, and to increase communication and coordination. That's just how into this game people can be.
I could rant all day about how long everything takes to do, but the main point is that you FEEL as though you NEED to get these tasks done. You begin to feel as if you miss a raid this week, your life will end. You feel as though if you don't get your daily quests done that you won't get anything done in the game. You will start to play WoW on your friday and saturday nights instead of going out and doing all those fun things you used to do. Your friends will call to hang out, and you'll tell them your raiding and can't, or that your playing WoW, or that you are busy. The priorities in life begin to suffer. You will start to call in sick instead of going to work, or you will skip school, because you just can't get enough. This game is addictive! It has life ruining potential. If you don't play enough, your friends will out-gear you, and pass you. But don't just take my advice, just look around the world. If you google search 'wow addiction' you will get hundreds of guides on how to break the wow addiction. It's rather amusing...and sad. That link uses many tactics identical to the steps to breaking the addictions of drugs and alcohol, such as "admit you have a problem".
Alright, that is probably a good enough rant for now. I'm sure you can see why I believe this game is addictive, and how it can potentially take over your life. But that aside, the game IS fun. It is enjoyable to power up a character and explore the massive world. The key to success is to not take it too seriously, and to always put your friends before your game addictions. If someone wants to hang out, go hang out. WoW may be an addictive ass, but it is also faithful, and will always be waiting to be played another day. So if you decide to play this game, pace yourself. It can be hard at times, when all your level 80 friends are telling you to hurry up, but in the end, it's about enjoying the game as much as possible, and not neglecting your friends, family, school, work, or any other commitments!
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