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Friday, January 11, 2008

Septuagenarian Blues

The troubling aspect of MMOs is the very thing that allows them to sustain themselves for any extended period of time: endlessly retreating horizons. I reached level 70 today in World of Warcraft, but for some reason the accomplishment is not as soul satisfying as I had hoped for. I don't know what I subconsciously expected, maybe I imagined that as soon as I hit seventy I would immediately be treated to all the best gear, or maybe I expected a clandestine invitation to some elite corps. Maybe I expected that I would only be able to reach 70 by accomplishing some Herculean task. No, I reached seventy while killing a earth elemental in Shadowmoon Valley, in the middle of some simple "kill x of y" quest. No fanfare heralded my ascent, merely a halfhearted 'congratz' from my only guildmate that was present to share my triumph. So I stand, wearing mostly the same gear I had at 66, broke from buying the flying mount, staring down the barrel of a 5000g + climb to the epic mount and the endless pvp grind and instance runs needed to get the purple gear. It takes much of the joy out of reaching 70, but not all. Even when you come over a ridge after a long climb and find that the peak is still well above you, you can still look back and be proud. Even though I'm only one of millions who have already made seventy, who have done it multiple times, it still feels good to get to this point.

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