I've been playing World of Warcraft off and on since before it's initial release in 2004. I've never been a huge fan of MMORPG's in the past either because they require far too much grinding or they place too much of a focus on the multi-player aspect and essentially ignoring the solo player (because I have such a busy schedule I tend to be more of a solo player in general). When WoW came along I was intrigued by the small barrier to entry, it's simple and effective questing system and it of course had the advantage of the Warcraft history built in.
Because of my lack of focus when it comes to games (I'm far too easily distracted by other things) I would generally play for a few months and then take several months off from WoW. My latest hiatus lasted about a year. It took a new expansion to get me back into the game.
I've been playing again now for about 4 months or so and am delighted to say that I'm having a great time and not getting bored nearly as easily as I have in the past. Previously the highest level that I achieved for a character was 44. At that point I would either start a new character of a different class or just quit altogether. My current main character is a level 58 rogue. I'm glad I've really stuck with the game this time as I'm only now starting to discover the higher level content; content which I haven't seen before.
Here's why I think WoW is such a great game and why it always keeps me coming back for more....
- As mentioned before the barrier to entry is minimal. You can easily jump into a new character and figure out how to play it pretty quickly.
- The interface is customizable. There are some fantastic add ons out there that make the game more fun and efficient to play all because Blizzard decided to make the interface scriptable.
- It's feasible to solo. Although some classes are better than others for this purpose WoW is accessible for the solo player.
- The stories and history of Azeroth that ate presented to you throughout the game is nothing short of astounding. There are definitely some truly creative minds at Blizzard.
- There is a ton of content. The world is just huge. If you get bored questing in one area there are likely several others that will be suited for your character's level.
- Multi-player specific content is reasonably accessible. The UI makes it easy to find other people to group with for the games instances and the rewards are worth it. Also the 5 man instances can be run through in a few hours so it's not a big time commitment.
- The new achievements system adds an interesting twist. If after all the main content you start to get bored they have some very interesting and sometimes strange things to do for accomplishment points (and bragging rights of course).
- Leveling isn't quite as difficult as it used to be. This is another aspect that makes soloing possible.
- You're not penalized for not playing for a while. When logged out you actually become rested. When your character is rested you gain twice the experience when killing creatures for a while which can make up for some lost time.
- Though I mainly solo I've started a small guild with a few friends and we run instances together occasionally. That only adds to the fun. Since I finally got a character past 55 I've been playing the new death knight class from the latest release and have also been able to visit Outland.
I'm still discovering new and cool things about the game. It's easy enough to suck you in and deep enough to keep you playing for a long time.