Happy New Year, everyone! Welcome to 2013. I am not normally someone who makes a big deal about a new year rolling around because all of those resolutions and promises people make on January 1st are usually things that could have / should have been worked on any old random day instead of waiting until you have a new calendar to mark up. But this year I am in the spirit and I am stoked to make 2013 a great year. I certainly wouldn’t say 2012 was bad, but it was definitely typical. I ended the year having the same personal issues I’ve always had, the same unfulfilled desires I’ve always had, and the same opinion of me I’ve always had. But recent events, or at least my perception of recent events, has caused me to spend a lot of time reflecting on the deep, inner workings of myself over the holidays. I knew I wouldn’t like what I saw, which is why it’s something I’ve avoided for decades now, but I was way overdue for a closer look. And I’ve certainly emerged with new motivations and goals as well as the desire and willingness to become a better me.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to bog this place down with my journey towards personal discovery and reinvention. I did have to mention it here though because World of Warcraft is a big part of my life and the things I need to change and the emotions I struggle with are both impacted by the game and have an impact on my time in game. Because of this, it stands to reason that things like determining what I want from an activity and learning to focus on accomplishing goals will apply to both my gaming life and my non-gaming life. The purpose of this post is to try and get the process started and begin figuring out what I want from WoW in 2013.
I have always considered myself an adaptable person because when I am around people I enjoy, I will enjoy doing whatever it is they are interested in doing. Does that make sense? It’s kind of hard to explain. I suppose it can be best explained with an example. Like when I go visit my friend Lisa, she’s a huge fan of shows like Judge Judy and Dr. Phil so almost every time I’m at her house, we’re watching episodes of those shows that she’s dvr’d. Now while I’m there I’m totally fine with it; we’re having a good visit and I don’t hate Judge Judy. We trash talk the defendants and laugh at how mean Judge Judy can be. It’s a good time because I enjoy being with Lisa. But I’ve never watched a single minute of Judge Judy outside of visiting Lisa because it’s not something I’m interested in just for the sake of watching. Hopefully that clears it up a bit. But honestly, most people aren’t like that. When Lisa comes over to my house and I have Duck Dynasty playing, she doesn’t sit down and enjoy Duck Dynasty with me; she asks if there’s any Judge Judy to watch. Now before everyone tries to tell me Lisa is a terrible friend, let me just say no she’s not. She is not doing it to be rude, she’s doing it because she doesn’t like Duck Dynasty and I’ve led her to believe I do like Judge Judy. So she believes if we switch to Judge Judy we’ll both be happy.
I’m getting a little carried away and this is becoming wordier than I intended. Basically what I’m trying to say is I’ve spent almost my entire life being fine with whatever anyone wants to do as long as I get to spend time with them. I’m now realizing that’s a disservice to both them and me. It sort of makes it seem like our friendship is built around a falsehood, though Judge Judy has nothing to do with WHY we’re friends at all. And what it has done for me is made me boring. Vanilla. A blank canvas. Someone who doesn’t actually have my own likes, dislikes and opinions. And the few I do have I generally don’t walk around displaying because I might offend someone and unfortunately, I am the type of person who believes I need everyone to like me. You can see how this is one of the big flaws within myself I need to fix. I promise you (and me) this – I will and I am.
Not surprisingly, this type of behavior spills over into WoW and it’s something I need to fix in all aspects of my life. It affects what I do (or mostly don’t do) in-game and it even affects this blog because I typically censor myself here so as not to accidentally upset anyone. Well fuck that. I’m done censoring myself. Yep, I dropped an f-bomb. I realize that’s a pretty mild offense, but it’s a good starting place. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Guess what, people? I fucking curse like a sailor sometimes. Because I’m an adult, I know where and when it’s inappropriate, but this blog is my space and my mother will never read it. So starting today, you’ll likely see some cursing. I’m pretty bad ass like that. Lol.
So what do I want from WoW? That’s a damn good question. Every time new content comes out I get all excited and start talking about how I want to keep up with content and do raiding and max all the things. Unfortunately, it never happens. I’ve been playing for 5 years now and the only thing I have really accomplished is getting Loremaster before Cata dropped and getting the Holiday meta-achievement way earlier than a lot of people did. Neither one of those are that impressive, though a lot of people do seem to struggle with the holiday pvp requirements and SOMEHOW I had no trouble doing those the first time around. Now I’m at a point where shit needs to get real. I have had a lot of fun over the past 5 years, but I’ve also had a lot of quiet, personal heartbreak and dissatisfaction due to not getting things accomplished. I’ve spent the last several years still mourning the death of my first ever guild. Not being able to let go of that has certainly been hampering things. When that guild split, I had no idea what to do. I wanted to follow some people to the new guild, but I waffled due to a combination of loyalty, not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings and not being sure I was even wanted in the new guild since I wasn’t included in the original decision to split. So I stayed with the old guild and spent months enjoying chatting with a few of the people who stayed, intensely missing the people that left and doing not much more than standing in Stormwind feeling sorry for myself. I finally decided to move to the new guild and I don’t regret that decision, but by the time I got over there it was filled with a lot of people I didn’t know and who didn’t know me and they were months ahead of me in gear and content. I never really worked as hard as I could have to fit in there and I never really made a place for myself on their team. Then that guild split and I left it too.
I transferred servers, I rolled alts on various servers, I played SWTOR almost exclusively for 6 or 7 months. I have missed out on a lot of things in Azeroth I had hoped to experience. Now it’s time for me to take control of the game and make it be what I want it to be. Don’t misunderstand, I have had a lot of fun here. I have some great friends and Elfindale is in a guild with 2 of my longest known WoW friends as well as a whole group of awesome people. But just like before, I don’t seem to fit in. I’m casual, they’re not. I prefer constant rolling guild chat, they’re a very quiet bunch. I enjoy dungeons and heroics more when I can run with people I know, they don’t seem to ever do group runs. I have to put some serious thought into what I want to do with Elfi. My other level 90 toon is in a very tiny Horde guild with another couple of great friends. We’ve been having a blast doing old content for pets and mounts as well as silly things like 5 manning Ulduar 25 to get achievements. But I am not doing dailies, gaining rep to get better gear, learning Heroics or becoming prepared to run LFR. Just like my Alliance guild, I enjoy my time there. But I’m wondering how much of my time in both of these guilds are similar to my story earlier about watching Judge Judy with Lisa.
Part of me is afraid if I’m not actively spending time in these guilds, with these friends, our friendship will fade. I realize that’s part paranoia and is very telling of my self esteem issues. Part of me can see it may already be happening regardless of what toon I spend my time logged in with. So the time has come for me to really sit down and analyze what I want from the game. I will likely not stop derping around in old content laughing my ass off in Vent with my Horde guild, but outside of that do I want to get my Horde toon geared up and start working on dailies and rep? Or do I want to just leave her for derping and start putting serious work into Elfi? If I do decide to become more focused on advancing Elfi what exactly are my goals with her? Do I stay in the guild I’m in and just run heroics and LFR by myself or do I think about finding a guild that’s more in line with my casual, social style and be able to do things with a group? Do I want to level both toons up and have more options?
I don’t have the answers to these questions today, but I am determined to get it straightened out. It will go hand in hand with all of the other self-improvement I need to do and will be doing over the course of this year. I’m excited to finally be ready to work on being me. I am looking forward to seeing what 2013 has to offer, both in-game and out of game. If any of you have been in this type of position or have any special insights or advice you would like to share, I would love to see it. And I promise that if you offer up an opinion, I won’t simply adopt it as my own.