Tonight, I took my WoW characters on what was likely to be their final journey. Likely, not definitely. It was actually quite an emotional experience. I felt I should tell the girls that 'Daddy wouldn't be playing WoW anymore' because they really enjoyed parts of me playing the game. At first they were laughing and joking about it but then they became quite concerned about the fate of Kylea and especially Gorthaal.
It's strange, because those are the two characters that I have really grown attached to. Indeed, the first thing I did tonight was clear out some of the chaff from my account. So goodbye to Barklee (my bank alt, made utterly useless by the enchanting nerf in the expansion), Madusa (my warlock experiment) and Gorthadin (a paladin, if you didn't guess). I was going to delete Swallow and Spit, but I thought better of it. She's a babe. Not one flicker of emotion crossed me when I typed 'DELETE' into the box. They are nothing.
Gortessa was my shaman, a figure of much mockery from me. At the time, I loved levelling her but she was such a pain to play - I simply fell out of love with her. She became the worlds best equipped bank alt. So it was fitting that she donned her armour and took vigil above the Orgrimmar bank.
Kylea used to be my alt, but she increasingly became my main. For someone that levelled as a resto druid for 60 levels, the sheer unbridled power of a mage was intoxicating. As a toon she really kicked ass, but she never really clicked with me as a character. She is now sitting on a flying oasis high above Nagrand, with her feet up, relaxing.
Gorthaal however, is another matter all together. Maybe the Tauren 'nature' connected with me somewhere hidden and deep? Maybe the role of the healer that I did for so long was my true calling? Maybe it is just because Gorth is my first character and my memories of his adventures are so vivid, even from Day One, EU Opening. He's been the workhorse character, slow and steady winning the race. He's the toon people associate me with. In essence, in WOW, Gorth is me. I wanted him to, in a very soft 'Toy Story' style ending, to have a peaceful place for his digital retirement. Little was I to know what would happen.
I was hijacked by Nathanial, aka Mark, my mate from the pub and the guy who took over the GM-hood of the Dungeoneers from me and he said 'You didn't think you were going there alone'. I nearly cried. In fact I did have a tear in my eye. In near silence we flew to Thunder Bluff and then rode through Bloodhoof and into Red Thingy Mesa. I found my hill and sat down. We chatted for a moment about my quitting and then with a /salute and a/sleep, Gorthaal finally got his rest. And yes, I found it sad. And that was really strange - it is just a game after all? No, it's more than that, it's a community and a representation of you within that community. It is more than just a game.
And so it ends. Just over two years of a wonderful gaming experience. I spoke at length with my wife about my cancellation and why I had chosen to do it. I think I might just not have the time or rather the regularity of time to be able to really PLAY another MMO ever. However I do not regret the experience one iota. It's been a fantastic experience, with the highest highs and the lowest lows. The worst bit? That has to be the split in the Dungeoneers and the seismic changes that made to so many people's games. The best bit? It's hard to say - seeing Ragnaros and Ossirian dead was great, being able to take part in taking down Azuregos and Kazzak was cool. No, the best bit was probably when Dave, Andrew and I took PAIN to the Alliance in Arathi Basin. Great pvp memories.
Now, it's time to concentrate on my writing - fanfic and roleplaying games - and to squeeze every drop of fun out of the kids before they grow too old to care.
One last time though.... FOR THE HORDE!!!!