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?