(Note: there will be minor story spoilers for the end of the Antorus raid here).
I’ve been playing World of Warcraft now for many years. I first picked it up because I wanted a hobby besides watching TV and movies, basically. Plus I wanted to get more of the jokes in The Guild. I was very cognizant of its addictive properties, and although there have been moments, largely I’ve been pretty good at not falling too much into that trap.
I’ve disconnected from it a bit in the last few weeks. Although arguably its in one of the best places the game has been with the Legion expansion, I’ve just had other things to do. Good books to read, for one, and Hearthstone to play. Plus with my current workout routine I’m getting to bed around 9 or 10, which with dinner doesn’t leave me much time to play. And my weekends have been busy too.
One of the biggest features of this expansion, Mythic+ dungeons, also haven’t really spoken to me. I have yet to do a single one, honestly, and finding groups manually gets me a bit anxious, so I just haven’t really gotten into it. I don’t fault the system in any way - and I do want to check it out at some point, but a timing based dungeon with a group of strangers (who first have to judge me worthy, or whom I have to manage) doesn’t really speak to me. When I do login, I have plenty to do between working on the class mounts for alts, working on reputation and gold farming, and just generally doing whatever speaks to me. Often that’s been hopping on my demon hunter and going nuts on a few world quests. That’s the beauty of WoW for me, and why I doubt I’ll ever really quit it - it offers a ton of content that you can consume at your own pace. Even now one of my favourite relaxation activities is to hop on a lower level alt and replay some old content. It’s almost meditative to me. And the idea of character creation and the internal narration always speaks to me. I can tell you stories about so many of the characters I’ve created. There are few who don’t have a fleshed out background, at least in my head.
Yesterday, the final wing of the current raid, Antorus, was released into the LFR, or Looking for Raid tool. This tool places you in a random group (properly made up of tanks, healers and DPS) and puts you in an easier and limited version of the raid, usually 2-3 out of 12 or so bosses. It’s a wonderful way to see this raid content in a way that’s far more accessible to those without a regular raiding group, and it offers lower level loot to still entice you to come back to the raid in harder difficulties. I queued up to do it on my main character, Mizbrek, the goblin beast master hunter, and quickly was placed in a group facing down Argus, the final boss of this raid. It took 3 attempts to get the boss down, but we did, triggering the final cinematic, wherein Sargeras, the Dark Titan, is imprisoned by the souls of the remaining Titans.
Sargeras is a figure we’ve pretty much never seen before this in WoW. He’s been the driving force behind much of the strife and war in WoW. Without him the Orcs would have never come to Azeroth, the Lich King would have never arisen, Hell the Night Elf civilization would never have been subjected to the sundering.
(Note to self: write AU fanfic where Sargeras never gets corrupted and what Azeroth would look like without that).
Although we’ve never seen him before, he has caused immense pain and suffering. His agents have killed trillions of souls. Essentially the whole of Warcraft, both the strategy games and the role playing game, have lead up to facing him down. There was intense debate before this if we ever would. He is a Dark Titan, a god, an immense being (he’s about the size of a planet) of unimaginable power.
And we defeated him.
Not directly, of course. It just wouldn’t make sense. But through our efforts we helped defeat a lesser Titan, freed the other Titans, and they were able to imprison him, essentially ending his burning crusade. I found myself surprisingly emotional after this fight was over. I haven’t “beat” WoW. It’s not over. There are immeasurable other threats to face. Not to mention this was a lesser version of this fight. But it felt powerful. It felt good. It felt so wonderfully good to be back into WoW.