Hi all, I started playing World of Warcraft Vanilla just the week it was out, almost 8 years ago. Since then, I have been playing the game almost 9 hours a day on average, and occasionally up to 12 hours a day when it came to farming. There is total of more than 1200 played days on all my characters combined.
I was first led into WoW because I didn't had any friends, and my grades were failing in high school, and I had needed a place of solace to retreat to in order to hide myself from my life's failures. I received a very large inheritance from my grandparents who passed away, and I was thus able to live in seclusion for many years without having to worry about working or studying. In fact, I can still go on playing for another decade or so before I am finally forced to work.
Since then, I have played every class in the game, and have 12 characters, of which 8 of them are level 85s clad in high-end epic gear.
However, WoW has lost its charm ever since, and I no longer find myself capable of finding the game fulfilling. Back then I played it for the following reasons:
1) There was an air of innocence when I played it, because the world was so large, and I felt humbled by the vastness of the world.
2) Every experience was worth experiencing, and was centered at the present instead of the past or the future.
3) There was no need to get epic gear, focus on DPS in raids, or find ways to defeat others in 1 v 1 or arena setting. It was just pure joy regardless of how bad I was.
4) Every player was new, and there was this genuinely serene feel to everything around me. I was curious and excited to carry on adventures, so were everyone else.
5) It was so realistic back then, that I literally found my life's purpose in whole. Everyday, I would get up just to play WoW.
So for a year or so, I was entrenched in WoW, exploring every detail, and appreciating every moment. I found my self-esteem and sense of worth and awe based on WoW exploration. There was just so much beauty to explore.
However, eventually, the original charm of WoW was lost, and with the exception of the starting phases of each expansion, I found myself doing the following:
1) Focusing on farming
3) Doing arenas
4) Getting only good gear and items
6) Showing off my characters
The main reason why I could not quit, is simply because ... I have no other option. WoW has defined me. Everything in WoW has become a substitute for things in real life, and I cannot get out. In fact, I get the following from playing WoW:
1) Social Status: being a guildmaster, and being exalted to many factions.
2) Self-Esteem and Self-Worth: being knowledgeable about all classes and most dungeons and raids, and professions.
3) Profession: literally, professions across all my characters.
4) Friends: guild members and associated members
5) Fashion: my gear and possessions
6) Money: my possessions and gold
7) Need for Novelty: exploring new things in WoW, especially during expansions
8) Entertainment: PvP, BGs, Arena, raids, dungeons etc.
I have been playing WoW for so long, that I simply do not have anything in real life that can substitute all these possessions.
It eventually got to the point whereby I just lost interest in WoW. However, with MoP coming up, I might regain that interest after a while. I am not sure what will become of me in the future, but I will continue to WoW, and more so when MoP is released, and for future expansions. It's not that I like the game at this time, but rather because I simply have nothing more which I like more than WoW.
So this is my story. I cannot reveal my account or identity though, but I am saying this because of my own acknowledgement of how extreme WoW addiction has been for me.