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How I avoided getting addicted to World Of Warcraft Classic

World Of Warcraft: Classic – a close escape (pic: Blizzard)

A reader reveals how he almost got pulled back into World Of Warcraft and why he’s glad Blizzard’s customer support is so bad.

I’ve been clean for over six years. I had got to the point where I didn’t even think about it anymore, when once upon a time it was everything and everyone. I would spend every waking hour thinking about it, I would cancel nights out because I wanted to indulge myself. I even called in sick to work on occasions, so I could spend more time with my mistress.

She got back in touch recently. I bought a new laptop, as did my partner who also had a fling with her. I joked with him about starting up our relationship again, maybe as a threesome. Then one day it happened.

He messaged me while I was on the train coming home. He’d downloaded World Of Warcraft and was playing classic (so he said). He’d succumbed. I folded immediately and asked him to download it on my laptop. By the time I got home I was too drunk and tired to consider playing, so I decided it would be the following night I reignited my passion with this addictive, all-consuming, beast of a game.

When I got home the following day, after thinking about my love the whole day, I realised he wasn’t playing Classic, he was playing normal World Of Warcraft. I had been surprised the classic version was free, and it turned out it wasn’t. You need a full World Of Warcraft account to play Classic. So I was faced with a choice, play normal World Of Warcraft for free, play Classic with a new account or play Classic with my old account. I didn’t want to spend money on a new account when my old one was sat there with all my progress and I really wanted to play Classic, not normal. Gaining access to my old account seemed like the only viable option.

My account was locked behind an authenticator on a phone long since traded in, so I had to email a scan of my passport to Blizzard so I could regain access. For about half an hour I was checking my emails every five minutes to see if they had replied. I realised it may take some time so I decided to watch Twitch and find someone playing World Of Warcraft Classic so I could have a look. I found someone doing a raid on Zul’Gurrub.

I watched them clear numerous mobs and bosses and it all began flooding back. The memories of my small band of adventurers taking on bosses and waiting in anticipation for the loot drop, hoping it would be for you. The camaraderie as we did it. The crafting and the gathering, the levelling and the massive world to explore. It was all so tempting and exciting. Then they restarted the raid and repeated what they’d just done, hoping for a different drop. And I had a moment of clarity – what on earth am I doing?

I never watch Twitch. In fact, I’m fairly vocal on the whole ‘watch someone else play’ scenario. Why would I watch someone playing when I could be playing myself? She had already consumed me. I was reading articles, watching Twitch, and had spent the whole day in a state of excitement not experienced since Skyrim VR came into my life. But that moment of clarity saved me.

By the time Blizzard had responded to my email, I had already decided I couldn’t just dip my toe back in. It seems that with World Of Warcraft, I’m either all in or not in at all. I had enjoyed the diversity of games, the excitement of VR, and had returned to my console roots. Did I really want to spend another five years hunched over a laptop repeating the same quests (daily quests – I hate you!) and the same dungeons?

I’m quite jealous my partner can just do a quick battleground – for free – and not spend his life researching strategies and character builds. He’s still playing now, a handful of times per week. I call him a temptress every time he does. But it’s clear to me I can’t do the same. I came through a difficult test (partly due to Blizzard’s terrible customer service!) and I can categorically say I will never venture to Azeroth again. Unless it goes VR, then you may never hear from me again.

By reader Petersmiler

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. As always, email gamecentral@ukmetro.co.uk and follow us on Twitter.

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