It’s been funny recently to see people that I haven’t seen in ages, both in the guild and outside of it. Everyone is coming back for Cataclysm.
I haven’t raided since Ulduar, and I dropped out of the guild not long after that so I could just mooch around in peace and not feel guilty about my slacker ways. Now that I’m back, I’m loving being back in the fold, and I’m actually ok with being an often-despised Social member. I like having guild chat flowing around me, even if I’m not doing anything with anyone. I’ve been accused of treating MMOs as single-player games in a multiplayer environment, and there is some truth to that. I don’t want to spend five nights a week raiding, and I hate pugging with strangers – people are asshats, by and large.
But I love that sense of shared history, of belonging. I’ve known some of the people that I see every day for what, five years? That’s a long time in terms of the shared environment of a game. It’s like seeing family again.
The other thing that I’ve noticed is that there seem to be a LOT of asshats running around. I don’t remember people (aside from the occasional jerk) being so immature and unpleasant. I’ve seen griefing, killstealing and general petty nastiness over and over again. A guildmate said that perhaps these are people who have come back for the expansion, and don’t have any roots in our realm community – so they don’t care if they get a bad name. Perhaps so – I can’t imagine anyone deliberately trying to get a bad reputation.
It reminds me a bit of being in Aion, and that had one of the most unpleasant general communities of any game I’ve played so far. I would hate to have this game, or perhaps just this server, turn into something like that.