I wandered about for two hours. After I had walked a few miles I stopped, turned around a few times and jumped twice in frustration… then over a fence. “You can never go back” people say, and now I saw it was true. Friends move on and people change. Those you once knew are… well… different. You can’t quite put your finger on it…

… actually no, that’s a lie. They’ve all turned into giant shoulder pad wearing, flying mount riding, level 70-fied idiots.

After a hiatus of about 7 months I have once again been drawn back into World of Warcraft. I have never been the most active of players, never raising a character over about level 25 but wandering around is nice. My problem was that I was never organized enough, or even bothered enough to get into a guild, a friendly group, or meet up with my friends regularly. This despite the fact that at the time I worked for Vivendi and so had WoW coming out of my ears. As the song goes… “When I was young, I never needed anyone. And making love was just for fun”. Well, those days truly are gone now. I have realised that even if you never interact with anyone else in WoW, you still need those people there, bustling around, questing alongside you, yet never speaking. Now there is nobody… they’ve all moved on. “Oh everyone’s in the high level realms now”, a friend of mine said. What good is that to me? My character feels like he’s walking through Hull after the UK’s shipping industry deteriorated. Now everything just seems… disjointed. The vendors are still vending, soldiers still soldiering but there is no life any more. I think I missed the party.

Recently I picked up Lord of the Rings Online. I can’t see myself carrying on with it but it’s nothing to do with the actual game. I just know that I will be equally non-committal about the whole thing and in 3 years time everyone else will assaulting Mordor and I will still be delivering steaming hot pies in the Shire. But I want to do it… I really do. I want to feel that buzz of taking on an instance. I haven’t really done that.

But even though I feel sad that I’ve missed out on the fun here I must explain exactly why it doesn’t bother me that much. I used to listen to my old flatmate play with his guild a year or so back. He was a lovely guy but some of his guild mates seemed a little strange, perhaps even unpleasant. One evening, his party had spent 30 minutes setting up to do something, a raid is it? Suddenly over the teamspeak I heard two little children:

“Mummy… mummy it’s dinner. We’re hungry.”

“SHUT UP… mummy’s busy”

So yeah I feel left out, but left out of what? That’s like a German sitting watching his defeated army walk past at the end of the second world war and saying “Boy, that Nazi party sure seemed like fun”.

Why would I want to be a part of that?

This post originally appeared on Gameplayer.se and well before I made it moot by hitting level 80