The more I got to know WoW, the more time I wanted to spend playing it. My play time increased and I tried new things with WoW – new characters, new classes, new zones. I tried dungeons, battlegrounds, world PvP, and roleplaying.
After a few months, WoW and I were nearly inseparable. I barely looked at other games. I felt as though all my gaming needs were being met within this one package. So, I played even more often… until that honeymoon phase was over. The euphoria wasn't there anymore, but I still really liked playing WoW. But, it felt different. I needed space.
That was when I took my first break. And it wasn't my last. Many of my breaks were filled with console gaming.
It didn't feel like cheating, because I played primarily one player console games. They were on a completely different level than MMOs and most certainly were not like WoW.
It never took long before I'd return to WoW. I'd feel guilty for being away for so long, hoping I hadn't missed out on too much and that WoW would have me back.
Of course, WoW always accepted me back with open arms.
Eventually, WoW and I had to have The Talk. I still love WoW, but sometimes it doesn't provide everything I'm looking for. I didn't like knowing what I was missing. But WoW… WoW was always forgiving and accepting of my need to explore.
My need to be free to game as I pleased.
More console games would come and go, but WoW was always there.
Next I tried something different. I didn't really take a break from WoW, but started playing other games on the side. Sometimes playing both in the same night even.
I played Age of Conan, Warhammer, Free Realms, and Luminary. I went farther with those games than I had with the other MMOs, yet they were still like one night stands. They would satisfy me in the moment, but leave me wanting something more the next morning.
WoW was patient and never judgemental, for WoW, too, saw a lot of players.
Enter Aion. I'd heard about Aion from others and really liked what I heard. I checked up on it, and saw it was a very good looking game. But I needed to know it was more than just looks. During the open beta testing, I was sold. Aion was the complete package. Aion made me feel like WoW once did.
Before Aion came along, I'd never seriously questioned my relationship with WoW. I started to second guess it. Could I really leave WoW for Aion? I returned to WoW after Aion's beta period was over, wanting to fill my time until Aion went live. Since Aion has gone live, I've been playing both games. Sometimes on the same night, sometimes they trade weekend visits.
I appreciate them both for what makes them unique, and am comforted by the familiarity of their similarities. However, I've come to the realization that I cannot leave one for the other. Oddly enough, Aion makes me appreciate WoW in ways I'd started to take for granted.
For now, neither Aion nor WoW are forcing me to make a decision. I think they understand that sometimes an MMO player just has to swing.
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