It feels weird.
According to the account transaction history on wow.com, I have been paying for this game since December 2004, and you guys, that is a long-ass time. It’s such a long time that I healed in my first serious raiding guild with this nice kid, spent another entire expansion and a half on another server, and jumped servers a third time to find myself melting face with that nice kid all grown-up into a great guy. The fuck? That is both terrifying and awesome all at the same time (and I still adore you, sensei).
I gave up serious raiding because of a combination of factors, the primary two of which were a lack of story and a lack of time. The end of Deathwing is the end of my Warcraft story, and raiding with a toddler has turned out to be drastically different than raiding with a baby; the baby pretty much kept herself entertained, but the toddler wants to share every interesting thing in the world and also stays up a lot later at night (no afternoon nap, ALAS).
This has been a remarkable seven years, and I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. You hear about Internet Friends not being the same as Real Friends a lot less often now, and I think WoW is to thank for that just like it’s got at least a little bit of the credit for how gaming has a lot more mainstream acceptability now. You can find a WoW player anywhere and that’s amazing. What Blizzard created with this game is mind-blowing, and the lasting friendships I’ve made over the years is testament to how gaming brings us together and keeps us there, a common thread regardless of our nebulous and scary Real Lives.
Thanks for that, Blizzard. I appreciate it.