The Final Solution (to my WoW addiction)
After tooling around in-world in WoW for about , oh six months or so, I'm pretty much clear on what I need to do. There's alot I've already taken: the stunning beauty of Mauradon, edgy sunsets on Thunder Bluff where I mind controlled horde to jump to their death. Winning the DPS Race in Warsong.
I usually keep pretty decent priorities. This game violated those priorities. The most important thing in my life right now is the sort of undefined, quest that is life . Some people call it god. So be it. Then comes the kids and the wife - whom I miss very much. Funny how I sort of set things straight about how I am going to be, when she was gone before she left. Work then follows. Work really edges in right about third place. Then after that you have running, etc.
Several hints and insights in WoW are provided - most of the game programmers had to solve the same problems we are solving (or walking away from). They want you to break the addiction and use the game in a healthy way. Credit goes to them, as much as anyone - for helping me find me way out.
The solution was to notice three things :
- The environment is social - and your role that you take is part of your social expression
- That ability to do things in that social framework, for yourself and others - is practice for doing it in real life - help others, and find adventures and quests. Its all about the quests - grinders just don't get it.
- There be currency in all things !
I guess we will go with last, first. The currency aspect of the game was my final key to escape. Basically, I was playing three characters. There were two mains, and one support character. This is essentially how I set up a successful business in Second Life, and how I operated there as well. They are not really "alts" or any one being a "main" because they are all given fairly equal treatment.
The three characters I play are a Mage and an auction house specialist (mule).
Quests are fun, but perhaps the neatest thing I found was a way to generate gold (currency) by selling things in AH. This was a major insight and a major way out of the game for me. I realized, first, the game allows for a sort of business with training wheels type of thing happening-- When I found out how to generate profit without farming I realized that I had popped the lid off of a really neat set of circumstances that pointed back to my own skill in business. Obviously its not really something to write home about, but being desperate right now to get my small business off the ground - and so being able to find that in-world was as fun as finding it in Second Life. Translate. Alot of fun.
Its very hard to be a good businessman in the software industry - too much ephemera. Undocumented code, poor ability. Missed deadlines. Makes it a grey market item . Software isn't like , say. - pizza. You buy materials, make it. Its either good or bad. People buy it or they don't. In software, you have the aspect of variable skill and variable output to deal with.
So, in-world, I have this fixed margin business. I get a kick out of making markets in the AH for the Alliance and.. perhaps... destroying them for the Horde. I experiment with prices, discovered how raising a price can soften demand, lowering it can strengthen the demand, etc. I make markets. I buy out my competition. Undercut them. And I make a small fortune. Its funny to see a low level character banking more money than an entire guild.
The social aspects of the game were what you recognize first they are probably your first - one discovered how to play together. Companionship. Equality of men and women, and dissolution of the boundaries that race would provide. A draenei can be chinese, german, english. It doesn't matter. Its the sword in the fight. And its surprising how many women are actually quite good at the game. Then again they know how to play together since they're little so men sometimes have catching up to do in that category.
So off with the training wheels. And I am off to do this in real life. WoW will stay around, but its entertainment. And education. I got a good deal. One more thing. The fact that this happens at a point where I can sell my characters isn't a mistake. High levels fetch anywhere from 300 to 1500 dollars on ebay. Blizzard doesn't like it, but people do it just the same.
My life for the Horde.