It doesn’t feel like that. Not even close.
It feels like I’m just at the beginning. It feels like I’m still in the tutorial stages. Technically I still am in the tutorial stage.
I’d have finished most AAA video games by now.
If I didn’t understand why World of Warcraft takes over lives before, I guess I’m starting to get a feel for it now. I’m a level 14 warrior who hits shitty level 10 bears over the head with a wooden shield. One time I was in Elwynn Forest and some weird Wizard type dude casually ran past, raining green hellfire on every man, beast and Murloc in a 200 metre circumference.
I was like… ‘WHAAAAA?’ Impossible to comprehend.
Point being: 12 hours in and I’m still an Idiot in Azeroth. I haven’t scratched the surface. I literally have not come close to scratching the surface. I’m a fish with gills. my flippers have barely evolved legs and I’m gasping for air, flopping in and around the surface. I’m not scratching shit.
At one point on Friday night I clicked into the map. I accidentally zoomed out instead of zooming in.
Cool, I thought. This world is pretty massive. I clicked out again. And again. Then I gasped for air like the afore-mentioned floppy fish. The size of it. The sheer scale. How is this possible? How could I even explore this properly? How could I get to the point where I could successfully navigate this space in the way I can in other games?
In 12 hours I had explored the majority of Elwynn Forest and about half of Westfall. Take a look at the map above. See that small red circle? I haven’t gone outside that radius.
It put me in mind of a comment I read on one of the earlier instalments of Idiot in Azeroth. I can’t remembering the specifics, but the comment went something along the lines of “I’ve spent about 300 hours each on about three or four different characters.
“I consider myself a casual player.”
He considered himself something of a casual player having put ‘only’ 1000 hours into the game. I’m currently trying to think of a single video game I’ve put anything close to 1000 hours into. Multiplayer in every Halo game combined? Maybe?
Have I done anything – like hobbies in everyday actual life – for more than 1000 hours? I can only think of a handful of things: soccer, running, climbing. Sports I consider/considered myself -- at one point in my life – fairly adept at.
Point being: World of Warcraft isn’t a game, it’s way of life. It’s seems obvious, but realising it, after spending 12 hours playing the game, is a different thing entirely. It’s like thinking you’re treading water in the deep end of a public swimming pool, then suddenly understanding you’re barely keeping yourself afloat in an ocean miles deep. The feeling is strange: a mix of awe and despair. Unless I commit myself to this – fully – I will most likely never truly ‘get’ World of Warcraft in the way current players, with a decade of experience under their belt, get it.
I will always and forever be an Idiot in Azeroth.