Friday, December 05, 2014

World of Warcraft Day

Tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary of the day that I started playing World of Warcraft. Over those ten years, I actually had an active subscription for less than half the time, but in those periods, I was really into it. Here is a quick retrospective of my WoW experiences.

  • "I purchased World of Warcraft, the latest MMORPG yesterday. We'll see how much of a timesink it becomes..." - BU. My first character was a Tauren Druid named Cattleb, because "CattleBruiser" didn't fit in the name box. Initially, I thought it was a very pretty game, but not streets ahead of Everquest. What I enjoyed most was just wandering around and exploring.

  • By January 2005, I had gotten both Anna and Ben (as my housemates at the time) playing. We played three Night Elves, Plinky, Llehdoras, and Nedalya, and I would try to den-mother them from quest to quest while they persisted in running off the trails for herbs and minerals only to get ganked by the opposing faction.

  • By February 2005, I had become enamored with the Auction House, and spent nearly as much time buying and selling Enchanted Thorium Bars for profit as I did playing the actual game.

  • It took until May 2005 to reach the maximum level of 60 on my Tauren Druid, Atlee. I tried raiding but it was super boring.

  • In July 2005, the developers of WoW decided that "Maine Coon" was a swear word, and from then on, you could only buy Black Tabbies as pets. In September, many players were killed by a plague epidemic, which was later studied by real-world epidemiologists as a lesson in containment and outbreak.

  • In 2006, I was solely doing Battlegrounds, playing endless capture-the-flag matches with my guild, Team Turtle. I wrote a high-traffic Warsong Gulch Strategy Guide, and spent far too much of my life "grinding honor", which sounds more like something you do in the club. By now, even Kelley, Kathy, and Rosie were playing this game. Doobie played for about an hour.

  • The Burning Crusade expansion came out in January 2007, killing the Battlegrounds for a while (Death Knights everywhere). Burnt out on WoW and work, I cancelled my account and went outside, where I met Rebecca.

  • I reactivated in December 2007, after reading a blog post by Kim's friend, Sam, who said that the game had greatly improved. Our PvP Guild got so good that the other team would usually quit instead of facing us. To rectify this situation, we all leveled "evil" versions of our characters in the opposing faction so we could even out the teams on the fly. This particular WoW phase lasted about a year and a half before I cancelled again out of boredom.

  • I came back again in December 2010, solely to see how the new Cataclysm expansion had changed the old world maps. People like before-after scenarios, which is probably why Zelda's Light-Dark World conceits are so popular. This run was much shorter, as the Warsong Gulch bracket was nonexistent. I couldn't tell you a single thing about questing from 80-85, except that everything was phased, so you could never see other people running around you unless they were on the same quest. This made the world very empty. Also, Rebecca would start singing Nelly Furtado's "I'm Like a Bird" whenever my Druid was in Crow Form.

  • I turned on the game briefly during the initial days of Hearthstone in March 2014, but so much in the interface and skill trees had changed in the intervening 3 years that I got scared and quit.

  • Most recently, I resubscribed over Thanksgiving break, solely to have a brain-dead vacation distraction. A full review will be coming sometime later this month.

  • My favorite classes: Feral Druid for questing, Shadow Priest for PvP. Runner-up: Shamans and Paladins (both fun in PvP but boring to level). I never leveled any of the other classes above 40 as I would usually get bored somewhere between 15 and 32.

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