I am not posting this to talk about the lawsuit that the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing has brought against Activision Blizzard, nor about my personal reaction to the news (spoliers: it wasn’t shock). There’s very little that folks more eloquent and less jaded than I am haven’t already said much better. I considered letting my subscription lapse again in light of the news, and then I realized I was already considering letting my subscription lapse for totally unrelated reasons.
In the end, I made the decision primarily on the strength of one thing only, and it’s not a thing that Blizzard Activision can be given any credit for whatsoever – what I’m talking about of course, is the strength and longevity of our guild.
Let’s rewind a minute: Back in Warlords of Draenor, there was a lot of burnout in our guild, including almost all of our active officers at the time. It occurred to me that maybe, if we did a little bit of research, we could find another place where we could still hang out together, but enjoy the atmosphere a little more.
I did the research. I made polls. I made spreadsheets. We set up a Google calendar, and scheduled nights to try out pretty much everything the market had on offer, free or paid. We went on this way for weeks, but nothing stuck.
And although a few folks have successfully moved on for good, I think most of us keep getting drawn back in because of what we have built, not what Blizzard built for us.
For me, the 9.1 content was … fine, I guess? When I first renewed my subscription, I was super enthusiastic to dive into the new story & areas, unlock flying, get back in Torghast, and check out the new raid. For the first couple of weeks, I did just that, logging in every day, keeping up with my renown, and it felt really comfortable to be back.
Then, right before I unlocked flying, I hurt my hand. I couldn’t do dailies, I certainly couldn’t do anything more challenging than that. I missed our first raid night, and decided to switch mains for the tier to fill a hole in our raid composition. Once I was finally feeling up to playing again, I realized I had lost quite a bit of that new patch enthusiasm, and have since been logging on sporadically at best, to the point where I’m starting to feel bad about how far I’m falling behind.
In fact, the way I’m currently playing is a way I never let myself play in the past, and I think a big part of the uncertainty I’ve been feeling has more to do with the idea that I’m wasting money on something I’m not extracting adequate value from. I normally pay for my subscription by buying tokens with gold, but I’m no longer Azerothian-rich, so I’m actually looking at a cash investment for the first time in years.
I currently have 14 days left on my subscription, and I haven’t actually logged in since our last raid night on Wednesday, and yet, I’m still strongly leaning towards renewing. I don’t see my subscription as an investment in the game, but rather, an investment in the friendships I’ve formed over the past decade. Even if I am just logging on for raids, it’s not a waste.
Bonus Blaugust prompt idea: Do you sometimes play games you’re not actually that excited about because you’re playing with friends?