To all the friends I leave behind…

Partly due to all the announcements last week, we’ve started discussing Warhammer on my WoW guild boards. Before that I’d been a bit cautious of raising the topic because people can be sensitive to ‘poaching.’ I hate that phrase in MMORPGs. You can’t poach a player, they aren’t sheep. They decide for themselves what they’d be happier doing. And if someone decides that they’d be happier in a different guild (or game) for whatever reason, there’s no point angsting about whether or not they were poached.

Anyhow, reactions among my friends are a mixed bag. A lot of people are planning on trying the game for different reasons:

  1. Some are longtime Warhammer fans who have been sharing stories about their old armies
  2. Some like to try every new MMORPG
  3. Some are intrigued as to what I’m so hyped about
  4. Some are old DaoC players
  5. Some are burned out and aware that the next WoW expansion may not be out for months, and that there’s no new content planned until then.

Quite a few plan on playing purely as a stopgap. Others have no interest at all.

But we’re all aware that our friendly guild and friendly guild alliance will not be the same after a new popular MMORPG comes out. Maybe everyone will be back in WoW when they release Wrath of the Lich King, certainly the ‘stayers’ are vocal about that. They think this is a temporary glitch. My guild are a mature bunch so we don’t get much gloating about “doom and gloom” announcements, although you could find that in other forums from current WoW players.

MMORPGs do compete with each other for players. Right down to the individual level, most of us don’t have time to devote attention to more than one of them. And the games themselves encourage and reward focus and time spent. (Honorary mention to CoH here which is a pretty good game as a second MMORPG should you want one, it’s very easy to hop in and play with other people who will not stress over your gear or experience. Also its double xp weekend this week.) So in a sense, if I post something upbeat about WAR on guild forums, I am trying to lure people away.

I’m not trying to break up my guild. It won’t break up, it’s very stable and can survive a few people jumping ship. Just I’m bored with WoW and excited to try WAR and I want to share that with my online MMO gaming friends…. who happen to be in my WoW guild. I’ve had a few people message me in game saying that they’re excited too and discussing what classes we all want to play, but saying that they prefer not to post on the boards. So we all tread carefully around each other, trying to be sensitive to everyone’s concerns about change. Who will be leaving? Who won’t? Who will be back inside a couple of months?

But still, like a lot of people who will be trying the game, I’m hoping to find a new online home. For a year or two at least. And that means that the next few months are a slow, quiet goodbye to people I have been playing with online for a couple of years. No one admits this yet, but it’s hard to stay in touch with people when all you had in common was that you played the same game, unless you became very close friends in real life.

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5 Responses

  1. I still plan on playing WoW when WAR comes out. Of course my time in WoW will be limited (as it is now), to raiding once or twice a week. I do like the raid progression challenge in a casual way, so I am not sure WAR will replace that. Due to that, I have no plans on leaving the guild.

    In fact, I hope the guild opens up on WAR, as I like the people. Is it possible i will only have time for 1 game? Sure, but thats not in my plans. Will have to see what happens.

  2. I told my guild 2 months ago I was going to take a break for awhile. Possibly till WotLK comes out and they kicked me from the guild. I raided as a healer hardcore with them and considered some very nice to chat with but none in that guild were my RL friends that played WoW just a raiding guild. Still it was cold to drop me after all I healed them. No worries all my RL friends are going to WAR.

  3. I do think I’m quite lucky with this, because of the LotRO lifetime sub. It means I’m not really leaving my LotRO guild just going on a bit of a hiatus. And I’ll still be active on boards and stuff, but who knows what’ll happen when addiction hits!

  4. You need to burn as many bridges as you can to prove your devotion to WAR. If you ninja’d a boss from your guild and sent screenshots to Mythic I bet you’d be a sure bet to get in the beta.

  5. The reason people tend to be sensitive to the issue of ‘poaching’ as far as WoW goes is because player loss, especially to larger, more hardcore guilds is the largest cause of halting progression for many casual/semi-casual guilds.

    With WAR, this won’t be an issue because there is no raid progression to halt, but in a PvE game attrition has serious implications on everything your guild can even hope to accomplish.

    (On a side note, my old guild is a good advert for what happens when a semi-casual guild gets the ‘few good men’ they need. They’re progressing nicely through SSC/TK where before they only met a brick wall.)

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