Dear World of Warcraft,
It’s been a while since I logged into you. After three years together it was obvious we were getting nowhere, and I had to leave. But it was just like you to surprise me, out of the blue, with that present. Mists of Pandaria, wasn’t it? You always knew how to get to me. You always knew my weaknesses.
What could I do except to go back, right? I promised myself it would be the last. Our on-again, off-again, love-hate relationship was just too much to bear, and I didn’t want to get trapped in it. I’m at a different time of my life now, and I no longer have the leisure of staying up with you, late into the night…
The first thing that struck me was how much you had changed physically. It’s like you shone all the brighter now. Maybe age had also brought a certain maturity to your looks. You were still the same, yet so much more attractive. Or maybe it was because I had been missing you, all along. I wandered across your green grass, smiled at the Pandaren training in the starting area, and sent out a few tentative attacks.
Like someone learning to ride a bicycle again, I inched my way back to familiarity with you. It was emotional, almost painful. The years apart had taken its toll on both you and I. Though you looked more or less the same, the different you still lurked beneath the surface, and constantly took me by surprise. It was like we were once again strangers, and I had to re-learn you, touch by touch.
I didn’t have to visit a trainer to learn skills anymore. Back then, this had been both a momentum breaker and a respite. Heading back to town also meant I could rendezvous with the profession trainers, visit the vendors to empty my bags, and to auction off anything valuable I had found. Now that taking a break was no longer necessary, I found myself playing on, and on, and on. I’m not sure if I should be happy about that. I miss the downtime, and the socialising it afforded me as I ran back to civilization. I miss that me-time, and the interaction I had with players beyond the two of us. A relationship is not just about you and I, after all.
What irked me the most, though, was that you had become simpler. Once a whore for theorycrafting, you had thrown all that out the window by distilling your talents into three simple builds, accessible by a single click of the mouse. Where we used to sit, faces close together as we pored through talent trees, were now three buttons: tank, DPS, heal. I’m definitely not happy with that.
But I have to admit: you have matured. You no longer make me waste my time, running from village to village across the verdant grass. You’ve introduced carts, you’ve introduced new variants of quests. You no longer have me repeating the same kill or fetch requests. You’re simpler, easier to read, and on some days, that’s a relief. I don’t have the time to spend all day with you anymore, so your newfound independence is astounding… and attractive.
It’s been twelve levels that I’ve spent with you now, after a year and half’s absence. The things I once found unbearable about you have changed, as have the things I loved. You’re a different game now, as I am a different person.
And in spite of myself, I’ve been thinking: could we really work out again?
I’m willing to give this a go. I’ll dust off my heart – the level 85 priest it is – and take it for a spin in the depths of yours. After all, another five levels with you won’t hurt, will it…?
With my tentative love,