It seems like just yesterday I started playing World of Warcraft. The game had been going for some time (I came in just prior to the Sunwell patch during Burning Crusade), and I didn’t even realize then just how big the game was. Now that WoW is nine years old (holy hell for an MMO), I’m starting to feel old. I’ve put six years into the game (minus the last 9 months), and there are many who have been around from the start.
At its peak, the game had over 11 million players. Now that number sits just north of 7 million. It’s still a crazy figure. Also consider that some of the 7 million current players weren’t part of the millions playing in previous years and the game has done insane numbers. The game’s fifth expansion will come out to continue the legacy. It will probably release right around the 10th anniversary of the game. Staggering.
In 9 years there have been Crusades, and Lich Kings, and Temples, and Pandaren, and Cataclysms and so much more. But above all that experience has no doubt been friendship. The reason many people play, and a contributing factor into why those of us leave tend to come back, is because of the kin we meet and conquer the digital world with (or, you know, pick flowers with….buy shirts for…help tame a pet for…). The positive aspect of the WoW community is what Blizzard should be most proud of in their near decade of World of Warcraft. Look at all the blogs out there (after you look at this one, ok?). People are passionate about the game and the world within it and they share that in any way they can. It’s pretty impressive when you take in the whole thing.
What made me think about all of this as the game celebrates birthday number nine? Truth be told, I logged in and discovered the Dev team had sent my character some mail. It’s a 9% exp. and rep. buff that lasts an hour.