Tanking for Dummies

Tarsus is an Old Cow
November 2, 2009, 12:46 pm
Filed under: Lists | Tags: ,

As I have mentioned before, Tarsus was the first character I made for World of Warcraft.  I had dreams of Hordes of Tauren armed with pole-arms tearing it up in PvP spamming /moo.  Though after I learned Tauren didn’t have access to the war totems they carried in Warcraft III he was neglected for a while, he will still be five years old in March.  That’s pretty darn old for a MMO character.

But it got me thinking.  At five years out, this spring, I will have been playing WoW for longer than I’ve played all other MMOs combined.  Everquest, Dark Age of Camelot, Anarchy Online, and Ragnarok Online all held my interest for a little while (up to two years in the case of EQ), but never for as long or sustained a period as WoW.  So, why is that?

Here’s my thoughts on the matter:

  1. I get to play it with Jov – Playing with your significant other is pretty much better than anything you could ask for, but it’s only a piece of the puzzle (after all, Blizzard is now trying to keep up both of our interests).
  2. The non-realistic graphical style has kept itself surprisingly contemporary – While most MMOs appear seriously dated 5 years out, Blizzard seems to have picked an style that has a certain amount of wiggle room.  Any updates that will be applied come Cataclysm will only likely extend its life.
  3. Access to End-Game Content – I was lucky in some ways and thanks to great guild reputation and good references managed to get into the raiding thing pretty much right when my first character hit max level (technically a little before, I suppose).  Blizzard has clearly make it a priority to keep that content as accessible as possible and this would certainly explain why.
  4. Fun and amusing leveling content – Giving me some reason to actually level my characters means I have something to do when not raiding.  It also means that if I loose my “Access to End-Game Content” I might still play the game.
  5. A community of like-minded individuals – aka a guild.  For me, EQ only stayed worthwhile as long as I was with my guild (shout out to any “Holy Monks” that might be reading).  It’s demise when the end of my subscription.  So it might be said for WoW as well.  If Axiom ever kicked the bucket and failed to re-constitute itself (or I failed to find another guild), it probably wouldn’t be long before I was out of here.
  6. The Warrior class – It should be worth mentioning that the actual class I play (and, at that, the one I play almost exclusively!) is a leading contender for the reason that I’m still here 5-years on.  I certainly never feel like playing a Warrior tank ever gets stale.  If it ever did, I’m not sure if I would be able to play something else.

Is there anything that you, dear reader, feel should be on this list?  What keeps you playing when other things might lure you away?


7 Comments so far
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That’s an old cow indeed! My orc is not quite that old, 4 years in April, but I am very attached. Even though I am going through terrible burnout atm, prot warrior will always be my first love.

Comment by Kadomi

My zombie priest turns 5 at 12:30 AM EST on the anniversary of release :)

For me it’s actually somewhat the opposite of your #6: I am kept entertained primarily by the diversity of classes rather than attachment to any one in particular. If I get bored or fed up with the direction of any given class, there’s 9 more that I can still have some fun out of poking at. Plus the intra-class diversity is fairly wide; a change in spec can often dispel my ennui.

Comment by Yuki

Linedan will turn 5 in March as well…the parallels here are scary, y’know that? Tauren prot warriors, rolled in the same month…creeeepeh.

Anyway. My list of why I’m still here parallels yours. I played Everquest for almost four years, and there, like here, I was with a great guild (Spirit of the Moon on Innoruuk) and got to dabble in the early versions of “end-game” content…Plane of Hate, Plane of Fear, stuff like that. I started during vanilla and left not long after the Velious expansion. But EQ was a grind. Soloing 1-80 as a holy priest in vanilla WoW was nothing compared to trying to level 1-50 in vanilla EQ. Blizzard has struck a nice balance with WoW leveling. It’s slow enough that you actually have to put some effort into it, yet quick enough that it’s not a soul-destroying slog. I’ve had great fun watching Linedan evolve from my original concept of a non-tanking destructive painbringing monster Cherokee minotaur into a giant steel-clad wall of impenetrable tanky beef. I never wanted him to be a prot warrior, and yet now, I can’t imagine him ever being anything but a prot warrior.

In the end, though, it’s the people, just like always. I’m with great guilds on both Horde and Alliance on Feathermoon, a fantastic raid group, and get to play the game with the true love of my life, my wife of 8+ years.

Comment by Linedan

My list seems like it’s nothing like yours at all. My number one reason for why I’m here (and stay here) is that I’ve never played another game before – ever. This is all I know, so I’m happy with it.

And I suppose like Yuki, a reason why I’m still here is that I could play all sorts of classes. I’m not sure how some of you can play just one class almost exclusively and not get bored with it. If you have the secret, send it my way, it would make my playing SO much more streamlined.

Comment by Anea

@Kadomi – I always find that taking a week or two off and staying away from guild forums, etc helps me refocus when I need it. Real world vacations don’t hurt either, or so I am told.

@Yuki – You and Jov are always more alt-o-holic than I. But in part that’s because you have (had?) more free time.

@Linedan – Creeepy. Steel Clad Tank and Destructive pain-bringing monster have never been closer together. Perhaps this will only get more-so in the future.

@Anea – You kinda have to love what you do, and I love the frantic animated feel of warrior tanking. Even if I was to pick up another tanking class, the feel would be totally different. You just can’t get it anywhere else.

Comment by Tarsus

To some extent that was true, although actually now that my playtime is limited the relatively small amounts of progress I can make are often much more rewarding on alts than they are on my 80s.

In fact I suspect I spend substantially more time by percentage on alts when I have little time than I do when I’ve got buckets.

Comment by Yuki

[…] Keeps You Here? November 4, 2009 Filed under: Uncategorized — Beruthiel @ 1:10 pm Tarsus posted the other day about the things that have kept him playing wow for going on 5 years.  The […]

Pingback by What Keeps You Here? « Falling Leaves and Wings

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