What is your favorite evergreen game?
An evergreen game is a game that you find yourself going back to consistently despite doing other things and playing other games in between. Usually an evergreen game holds up over the course of months or years.
My very first MMORPG was World of Warcraft. I started playing it because bookahnerk had been playing it and after telling me how great it was, I caved in. At first, I had just asked him to let me try the game myself on his account… I got my own account two days later. :p We played until the end of Burning Crusade, but quit before Wrath of the Lich King came out. While bookahnerk went back after half a year in WAR, I stayed away for a longer time… this, however, will be part of another blog post later. Yes, I will take you on a journey. ;)
I don’t think a single year has passed where I did not go back to World of Warcraft. I had left during BC, as mentioned above, returned at the end of Wrath of the Lich King and stayed for quite some time of the Cataclysm expansion. After that, I always returned when Blizzard had given me 7 free days again. But it even goes as far as putting a reminder in my calendar, so I wouldn’t forget to activate my current 7 free days before they expired at the end of last week. :p One time, after those 7 free days, I also bought the expansion “Mists of the Pandaria” and a 30 day game time card. Unfortunately, this was also just a few days before Rift announced going “free to play” and WoW had no chance against me being able to play Rift again.
Speaking of Rift, this is the second game that qualifies for the title “evergreen game”, at least when it was still sub-based. Every few months, I would get a few days – I think it was on weekends – of free game time. I always went back to play that game during those weekends, dreaming of the day they would go free to play. Needless to say, now that it is free to play, I am playing it and enjoying it immensely (while yes, also giving Trion some of my money once in a while – I feel this always needs mentioning when I say that I play again because it is “free to play” as I don’t mind paying, I just do mind being forced to pay every single month).
Just a few days ago, I downloaded Lord of the Rings Online again and logged into my account for the first time in about half a year or so. I even bought the Beorning class, created a character with that class and started playing it. But returning once for a very brief time does not count, right?
If I could, I would also return to Warhammer Online in a heartbeat – yes, despite ranting and raging about how bad that game was. :p It did have some really good ideas for really good features and if only they could be implemented well (without lagging, rubberbanding, server crashes), this game would have been quite good, actually… in PvP, at least. Let’s better not mention the PvE side.
Still, the one and only game that always draws me back is World of Warcraft. I did get all expansions but Warlords of Draenor and the just-announced Legion. We still went to the announcement of the expansion at gamescom. We were already at the convention anyway. There was so much excitement and yes, nostalgia as well, of course.
So, while I do like returning to WoW for those 7 free days – and also, logging in to my account with my low level characters (you can now play for free with characters level 20 and below!), I just don’t see myself returning to the game in a serious manner. This ship has sailed. Not because I don’t like World of Warcraft anymore and not because the game would bore me, but because I do have so many alternatives right now that I’m more or less actively playing (Guild Wars 2, Rift, Trove and, most recently, Wildstar – especially when the latter goes free to play later this year), that there simply is no point in investing any serious amount of my gaming time for yet another MMO. But that gaming nostalgia will always be there. I will always have fond memories of WoW and the fun I had with friends and family. And whenever I do start up that game, I realize: Those times are gone. They are fond memories, but the current game is just not the game I used to play anymore.