I started playing World of Warcraft nearly 3 years ago on my 15th birthday. At first, I thought it was a great game. It was rich in storylines with a wealth of activities to do.
My grades always stayed good. I studied. I didn't have to work. Parents for for everything within reason and as long as my grades are good. But pretty soon, World of Warcraft was all I did in my spare time. If I wasn't doing homework or household chores, it was always World Of Warcraft. It wasn't that way at first.
As I advanced in levels the pressure was on to reach "max level" and get into end game content and do raids. So I was spending more and more time working on getting my levels higher to reach that maximum level. Once I did, the pressure was on to be "geared", have the the best of the best. While I enjoyed the game, I wasn't about to put it ahead of my studies or my family.
I thought that as long as my family and school work came first, then it there would be no problems. I enjoyed playing and doing raids. The guild I was with had a schedule that fit with mine perfectly. I couldn't ask for better, right? One day I was suppose to raid, I skipped it. I informed the guild leader I needed to skip it so I could finish my science project on electricity. I thought things were fine. The next time I was at a raid, I got kicked out at the last moment and ended up with nothing. I asked why and the guild leader said I shouldn't skip out on raids. Then I got a speech about priorities and I will never get anywhere if I don't learn to put my priorities straight. I thought that was the end of it. Then I saw a post on the guild forums saying I was banned from attending raids until I learn to get my priorities in order. I posted a lengthy response. I mentioned my age and I was upfront about it form the start and that my studies and school work came first becuse getting an education is what will help me support myself after I leave home. Better education, better job, more money. The response I got back was made me rethink my time in World of Warcraft. The guild leader accused me of attacking his policies and said an extra 2-3 hours to help the guild wouldn't kill me. A few people stood up for me saying that me putting my education first was admirable. One person said "So you want him to put aside his school work for the guild one time. You told me that 2 years ago. That one time turned to many and I've had to rearrange my life around the guild needs. f**k you no longer. Grow up.". People left the guild. The guild leader blamed me for his guild starting to fall apart.
I left my guild and tried to search for another. I got in one, but was kicked shortly after because apparently my last guild leader claimed I stole everything from the guild bank. It seems he made a toon with a name close to mine and took a bunch of stuff out. He did the same to other guild members. I will always regret every joining the Champions of Light guild on the Whisperwind server.
I ended up changing servers. I found what I thought was a good guild. I thought so until I was expected to be on more than I could be. I was pushed and pressure to "come on for a few" to help out new guildies. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against helping new players, but I am against putting some game before things in real life. I got chastised by people for not being on one night to help out because I went to a movie. I explained that once in awhile I deserve to do something for myself considering how hard I work to do well in school. I got a lecture about how movies are entertainment and not a necessity. I fired back with saying World of Warcraft is the same thing and I wanted a little diversity in my activities so I don't get burned out. a large number of people jumped all over me. I got a long speech about priorities and how I should put my guild's needs before my own. I was like "So these people expect me to not go out or spend time with the few friends I have just for their bits and bytes on a computer game?". This was the final straw.
While most people rage quit, I simply logged out and stopped getting time cards. I felt relieved. While I was working on some calculus homework one day, I began to think of so much I missed out on by putting so much time to that game. Despite that school work and family and friends were #1, I still missed out on alot. I got a job at Burger King that I still enjoy. I'm helping my parents out with the bills and saving for college. I didn't think of World of Warcraft again until after 2 weeks that I quit. I started to get angry messages on Facebook asking why I've been shirking my responsibilities for the guild. I was referred to as selfish. I was told I was just as bad as some death knight named "Dfanning" that left years ago in 201. I blocked each and every one of those people. The guild that was doing this to me was some guild on the Anvilmar server. I don't remember the name of the guild, but it had the word "Shadows" in its name.
Now that I have washed my hands of World of Warcraft, I feel like I have escaped a cult.