Behind the Curtain: Why we play World of Warcraft

There's never a bad time to take a look behind you and examine your past. This is as true for MMOs as it is for anything else in life. With Wrath of the Lich King now up and running, we at Massively were wondering about some of the reason people have stuck with the game thus far.

Relatively speaking, World of Warcraft is still quite a young game, having only been running since November of 2004. In contrast, Everquest has been running since 1999, and Ultima Online beats both, having started back in 1997. I'm not here to talk about which game came first though, or how many players have stuck with EQ or UO since their inception – I want to talk about WoW, and why I think so many people stick with it.

Let's be perfectly honest – there's nothing groundbreaking in WoW. What Blizzard basically did (and still does) with WoW was to take much of the exisitng MMO-tropes and cranked them up to 11. I don't want to get into a list of what Blizzard did right and wrong with WoW -while there's a chance that would be a feature worth reading, there's just as much of a chance that it'd be unutterably dull. Our own Samuel Axon was talking the other day about some of the games that inspired Blizzard when they were creating WoW.

Why do we keep playing? The simple answer is that we enjoy it, and it's an awesome game. Unfortunately, the simple answer doesn't make for a very interesting column, so we'll need to get a little more detailed. I spoke with some of my friends, and asked them why they've played WoW for as long as they have. Join us as we take a look at some of the reasons they came up with.

This article was originally published on Massively.