Even after all this time, it’s World of Warcraft.
I play a lot of MMOs. I kind of flitter between them, checking out new ones when I can, sticking with some for a while. I stuck with City of Heroes the longest, and I think that made me miss the boat.
I was playing CoH when WoW initially hit, and my brother got really into WoW at launch. Special edition, played tons, all that. He gave me a trial key and I don’t think I even bothered to download the game. I was happy with City of Heroes and kept playing it instead. Got really into the RP community on the Virtue server. Made a lot of friends.
But CoH didn’t last forever (even with City of Villains trying to boost things) and every time a WoW expansion hit more people left. And then when any new MMO hit people left. And eventually when there was any major game release at all, people would just disappear forever. It kind of sucked but, that’s how MMOs go.
So around the time Lich King hit I was like, WoW’s got a lot of people, I’m going to get in on it. But I couldn’t. I played for about 3 months, tried out a bunch of different classes and both factions, and it just never clicked with me. Something about the gameplay just wasn’t engaging enough. At the time I was comparing it in my head unfavorably to City of Heroes, but in retrospect that wasn’t really the problem.
I just missed the boat on being a new player among other new players. Everyone was all established and had their friends and everything already. Anyone I already knew who played had their group they played with and you couldn’t really just slip into that when the gameplay roles were all filled already. City of Heroes I had gotten in on at the right time. World of Warcraft I got to too late.
I try to get into it every once in a while, usually around when an expansion hits or some big update sounds cool. And I still just can’t manage to feel comfortable playing WoW. I wish I did. I loved Warcraft as a setting, played WC 1, 2, and 3. I was even reading Warcraft novels before WoW was a thing. But it passed me by and I never managed to get onboard.
And now there’s this huge shared experience of World of Warcraft that almost every online friend I’ve had took part in at some point in their video-game-lives that I never had. And it’s always a weird feeling to be left out of that nostalgia.