Monday, July 23, 2007

Azeroth Interrupted: WoW couple success stories

Last week, we talked about some basic guidelines for having a successful WoW playdate with your significant other. This week I want to talk about some examples of couples playing WoW together.

From last week's comments, we have a few success stories and one not so happy ending. Diana received a tiny red dragon for Valentine's Day (I want one!). Scott and wife, fellow SWG refugees, have characters they level together. Erica and husband watch fireworks in Stormwind together and and play a bunch of duos (an excellent idea). And Jasperwind romances his betrothed in Azeroth and bought her a pretty dress there.

Rudathin coaxed his bride into playing and highly recommends dedicating characters for duoing. You can read about their exploits in their blog. (RP Alert) He also directs us to The Daedalus Project where there is actual hard data supporting WoW as a "place where existing RL ties are being strengthened."

Dan, I'm sorry to see that you did not have a positive experience playing with your girlfriend. You are better off without someone who has a wandering eye. Playing WoW together can enhance a relationship, but it won't change people from their true nature -- however much you may want it to.

This brings us to my very first piece of reader mail. (Yay!) After writing my first Azeroth Interrupted, I got a great story from Baroes and Reighlei.
Baroes and his wife used to each play games but the only game they played together was Guitar Hero. Otherwise, they have a nice social life outside of the home, but they were looking to play something together. Baroes got hooked on WoW first, trying a subscription game against his wife's objections. I will let Baroes, the human rogue, tell the rest of his story:


So began the life of Baroes. I played for 20 levels before my wife finally broke down and created a character. I played Alliance so it only made sense to me that she choose Alliance too. I didn't even show her the Horde side. She made a night elf healer named after our dog. A week later, I bought her a new computer so I could have mine back. We were both hooked. We would discuss strategies and places to go. We were working as a team.

Then one day she was in Booty Bay for the first time and I heard her exclaim: "There's a cow walking around!" I looked over and saw a big old Tauren warrior doing his little dance on the docks. She was mesmerized. She logged out, and started her first Horde toon, a Tauren druid, ten minutes later. She named it after the dog as well (Reighlei). She never played her priest again.

So here we are now. A happily married couple, playing computer games and having a blast. Except that we finally found our balance in killing each other. We are on a PVE server, but any time we cross paths, we duel, or we both flag for PVP and go at it. We both have low level characters in each others guilds to talk and laugh. WoW has given us a way to play together, with gameplay pleasing to each of us in our own way. We've settled arguments by dueling. Who makes dinner? Meet in the Circle! Our guilds will sit around and watch us duel, never lifting a finger to help. Unless I'm camping her, then she sweetly asks her guild's raiders to quickly swing by and keep me nailed in place. It's a lot of fun and has brought us a bit closer.

We still have our social lives, and it's fun to find other couples who play WoW together. They treat it like it's a dirty dark secret. When they find out it, always seems to be the wives that will gush and compare notes, while the guys tend to drink another beer and nod and laugh. It's also very amusing hearing my wife using terms like gankfest. Or talking about mind-controlling unsuspecting warriors into the lava during duels.

Lately, WoW is the main way we can be around each other. She recently took a job as an auditor at a large hotel chain, and we see each other online more than we do in person it seems. It's only 2 work weeks out of the month, and she is home on weekends, but darn do I miss being able to see her face frown when my rogue tears her apart. Or her giggling when her whole guild plays kick the rogue with my corpse.

[End Baroes]

With all of the bad press WoW and video games in general get, it is great to see so many real life examples of people using WoW to enhance their relationships. If only the general media would talk about the overwhelming number of positive stories instead of the isolated horror stories. Ah well, if wishes were horses... all my alts would have mounts.

Robin Torres juggles one level 70 Tauren Druid, multiple alts across multiple servers, two cats, one toddler, one loot-addicted husband and a yarn dependency. After years of attempting to balance MMOs with real life, Robin lightheartedly shares the wisdom gleaned from her experiences. If you would like to ask Robin's advice or if you have a story you wish to share, please email Robin.Torres AT weblogsinc DOT com for a possible future column.

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