I've taken to WoW like a hooker to smack. It is a *really* good thing that I'm retired, because if I weren't I'd be in trouble, even just after a month of play. However, since I do appear to be able to break myself away long enough to spend time with my wife, take the dogs for walks, and keep the place clean enough for the department of health (were they at all interested), I'd say that I'm a functional addict.
No big surprise - when I made the leap into WoW, I knew it was addictive, and I'm clearly predisposed to addictive behavior. It is the primary reason I've stayed away from the game so far, and why I don't gamble and why I'm glad that alcohol and my body have a love/hate relationship. And, in true addict-speak, I will say that I think it tends to have quite a few good side-effects, the main one being that if I'm playing WoW I'm not bored and looking for ways to entertain myself by spending money on wargames I'll never play. So in one sense, and this is a sense that I'm aware applies almost solely to me, this is a "good" addiction similar to religion or work, which at least provide some positive aspects.
The way I've managed to keep things in some sense of control (and when I say control I mean playing less than 15 hours a day) is simple - I don't play that much when my wife is home. Since she works two and a half days a week, that means I've really only got one or two days when I can play for six or seven hours. And I do, with breaks for lunch, the bathroom, taking the dogs out, all the things that are critical. Since most people I know are working, my previous hobbies were knitting and soloing wargames, so I can't really say that WoW is a) any less productive, and b) as expensive. In fact, at $15/month, this is a pretty cheap addiction from a monetary sense, and I already get broadband.
Enough justification. This week was a pretty good week. At present I have two main characters, plus a "short timespan" low-level character that I use when the others need to go into an instance and I don't have the time to devote to such an endeavor. My oldest character is Leonadril, a 21st level Gnome rogue specializing in assassination skills. He's pretty much run out of quests in Loch Mordan and Westfall other than the big ones with the Ogre and the Deadmines, the quests in Duskwood and the Wetlands are a bit too much for him, and the Redridge area is right on the border. Being a rogue, I do really well attacking single critters, but not so well if there's more than one unless I can sap the first one and they're both a level or two lower than me. Three is a real bad idea. Anyway, at present I'm not doing a lot of work with him until I've got the time to devote to an instance, unless I'm improving my fishing skills or going mining for ore. I have a lot of neat engineering projects I'd like to do, such as the goggles, but I need leather and Tigerseye for those, so I guess I better get mining and find someone to trade with. Leonadril is playing on the Desdren server (or whatever it's called, I can never remember).
My second character, and in many ways my favorite, is the Orc shaman Chanya, specializing in Herb Gathering and Alchemy, which I like better than mining/engineering, at least in the Barrens where there are a lot of good herbs to pick up. She's at level 16, which is amazing since I've only been playing her for a couple of weeks. She dies a *whole* lot less than the gnome, mostly because of her ability to make potions and heal herself. She's gotten the Fire and Earth elemental thing going, and that's her specialization. So far, she's capable enough to take on anything at two levels above her so long as she gets a chance to prep and nothing else jumps in on her. Fortunately, with her healing skills and decent potions (which I use constantly in combat situations), she can usually handle a surprise if her first opponent is close to finished off. I've really enjoyed the Durotar and Barrens areas, definitely a different feel from Dun Mordan with the gnome. Chanya is on Farstriders.
One big difference I've noticed is that I seemed to have to have Leonadril travel to Elwynn Forest and environs in order to really get enough quests and points to level up. While I've enjoyed the discovery elements of the game (they are perhaps the most rewarding for me), I'm a bit disappointed that if I started a human I really wouldn't be gaining that much unless I picked a much different class. At this point, all of the Elwynn/Westfall quests will be pretty much known quantities other than the newbie ones, a bit of a disappointment. Of course, there are always the Dark Elves and the Draenei, but I haven't felt the need to get Chanya into the Tauren lands (other than one quest to Thunder Bluff), and so I'm hoping that I haven't ruined any of the surprises there. I suspect that much of the 10-20 level questing will happen in the Barrens, so a bit of a bummer there, but again I still have the Undead and the Blood Elves.
My third level character is a Dark Elf tank (fighter) on The Scryers. He's just out of the newb zone - It occurs to me that Leonadril was out of the newb zone at level 3, while Chanya and the Tank didn't leave until they hit level 6 (which took about three hours to reach for both of them). That may have driven the longer development time, complicated by my learning of the game and interface.
That's enough for now. Next I'll talk about what I've learned with the interface, podcasts I'm enjoying on WoW (or not), and my avoidance of add-ons.