The Daily Grind: What’s the longest you’ve ever played a WoW expansion?


During BlizzCon this weekend, Eliot and I were chatting about an article series he’s working on different periods in MMORPG history. I mentioned 2009 as being an iconic year because it was the year the post-World of Warcraft MMOs started coming out… and bombing. I mentioned that Age of Conan and Warhammer Online notably came out that year and did so poorly with my bored-of-WoW guild that we actually went and played NGE Star Wars Galaxies, on purpose, for a few months to kill time. That’s how bad that period was.

And then? Wrath of the Lich King pretty much stole all our hearts right back. A new golden age in MMO gaming, as far as I’m concerned. “Wrath was the best WoW has ever been,” Eliot agreed. Part of the reason I think back on it so fondly is that my guild played a lot of it, especially after some of the mid-expansion patches started rolling out. Clearly, given that it was the peak of the game, a lot of other folks thought similarly. Maybe it was a product of its era – maybe, you might argue, it just didn’t have much competition, having bested newer games like the ones my guild noped away from. My suspicion, however, is that it was the design itself – the fact that it was relatively egalitarian in terms of content and gear, not much raid-or-GTFO, and so it kept more people longer, gave them a reason to keep going.

What’s the longest you’ve ever played a WoW expansion, and what motivated you to stick around?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Randy Savage

I had played WoW since the beginning all the way to the end of Cataclysm. Dragon Soul was not a good enough raid to be stuck with for months on end while waiting for the next expansion. Then they gave everyone free beta access to MoP and after experiencing enough of that, I couldn’t get myself excited to play the game anymore, as if that was ever my job to begin with. Blizz has been spiraling out ever since with far more steps backwards than forwards. All they had to do with BfA was get rid of what everyone hated about Legion, like the excessive RNG, and instead they doubled down on it in BfA. I’m not sure if Stella will ever get her groove back at this point.


I’ll let you know when I get to expansion content.


Probably a tie between BC and WotLK. I played pretty much non-stop with only a couple breaks here and there ever since I started playing at some point after vanilla launched. I even loved Cataclysm, but I was already slowly losing interest, and then each subsequent expansion kept me around for less and less time.

But during the days of BC and WotLK, I was in it to win it.

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I played furiously all through TBC and WotLK. Several years of my life doing some of the best gaming ever. Unfortunately, a lot of my friends quit WoW shortly after Cataclysm came out otherwise I would have probably played on through that expansion as well.


I’ve just checked my subscription payment history, and it appears I had one break during Vanilla from July 2005 to January 2006.

So I’ve played every expansion start to finish. Some I’ve played more thoroughly than others, certainly, and I have my favourites (Legion, Wrath) and less favourites (the rest) but I’ve been there for pretty much all of it.

By ‘all of it’, I mean I was unaware the gates of Ahn’Qiraj were due to be opened, missed the corrupted blood plague, only saw one night of Wrath undead invasion in SW, and certainly didn’t start any legendary cloak quests. Right now if there’s anything major happening in BfA then I’m missing it in Northrend… but then that’s just the way I decided to play it. I only hit level cap in Vanilla two weeks before Burning Crusade, it was years before I ever did any seasonal events, and it took until World Quests before I was remotely interested in any sort of ‘daily’ quest… so yes, I was there for all of it, but possibly not in the part of the world I was supposed to be…


Played BC, Wrath and Legion from start to finish. Don’t expect to stick around much longer with BfA. Getting really tired of the increased playtime traps that Blizzard are laying out with every new system they’re introducing. What happened to the concept of a player setting themselves a goal, working for it and getting there a while later. These days, your goal is stuck in the ever moving goalpost, always out of reach. You’re almost right there, but never quite. Just keep playing, just keep repeating!

I’m going back to Classic, for sure.

Ben Stone

Legion was the first time I played the whole way through without a break in my subscription. Pandaria probably comes second, and WOTLK third. Draenor hold the record for the shortest with me ditching my sub 1 month in and not returning til prepatch for invasion event levelling.


WotLK. I am still playing it as my favorite zone when I level new characters. Someday, I hope to see a ‘classic’ server up to and including WotLK, but NO further.

Sadly, I am off WoW now due to the current expansion and will not be returning until Classic WoW launches.

Wilhelm Arcturus

I legit played Wrath of the Lich King from the day it launched until the day Cataclysm launched. That was, therefore, peak WoW for me. Most expansions I end up taking anywhere from six months to a year away from, usually mid-way through.

Cataclysm though, I dropped that not too long into it and didn’t come back until Mists of Pandaria was already a year old. A pity, because MoP turned out to be a pretty underrated expansion.

Teh Beardling

The longest for me actually bridged two expansions vanilla->end of lich king. Shortest I have ever played was BfA. I pre-ordered it when it was announced then saw my class state in pre-patch and all the complaints in beta and held off playing for a month or so after launch. Went back at the announcement there would be class changes in tides of vengeance, played for a week and quit. It’s just not fun :(