Disclaimer: I am not currently playing WoW. I stopped playing in December 2013. I am undecided about picking it up again in November with WoD. I probably will, but I am most certainly not counting days until release.
The Godmother over at ALT: ernative has been busy blogging about WoW as ever, and one of her projects is a survey about the game. WoW will have it’s 10 year anniversary in November, and in honor of that anniversary, she’s asking 10 questions. I decided I would share my answers.
- Why did you start playing World of Warcraft?
It was early 2005, and WoW had been released in Europe in February. The hype train was in full mode. One of my co-workers had been in the closed beta and raved about the game at me. As a long-term Warcraft player (since 2), I was curious and decided to try the free month that came with the box. Actually getting the box wasn’t very easy, WoW was actually sold out in German retail stores and there was no digital distribution yet. I had to wait til March 5, 2005 to be able to pick it up.
- What was the first character you ever rolled?
The most unlikely character for me ever: a female night elf hunter. Anyone who’s ever played WoW with me will probably boggle at me now. I had never completed Warcraft 3. I almost finished it, but never quite did. The last mission I played was in the Night Elf Campaign, mission 4, you’re supposed to wake up the druids. Then came WoW. What I clearly remembered from Warcraft 3 was how much Tyrande kicked ass, and how cool Night Elf huntresses seemed. The only other notable female character in Warcraft 3 had been Jaina. I don’t even remember my character’s name now. I hadn’t got the slightest clue what I was doing. My earliest associations with WoW are trees, forests, the music of Teldrassil and Ashenvale and getting stuck in caves. Also, falling off Teldrassil and getting stuck on a root halfway down, trying to get away from there for hours. I also vividly remember a level 10 deathrun through the Wetlands in order to get to Ironforge and Stormwind. I quit playing her in the middle of Darkshire, equipped with a blue int dagger (night elf hunters started with the dagger weapon skill) with a melee proc. Whenever I felt too uppity about my mad WoW skills I only had to log her on, my perpetual badge of noob shame.
- Which factors determined your faction choice in game?
None whatsoever. I paid no mind to faction. I had my mind set on becoming a kickass night elf hunter, they were Alliance, so I went Alliance. Then later, I re-rolled on the US servers to play with friends, and they picked Alliance. Due to timezone differences, we never actually got to play with our friends, and so the SO and I rolled horde and fell in love. It simply clicked for us. Since then, fall 2005, I have been a dedicated horde player. Horde is where the heart is.
- What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?
When you have played a game consistently for almost 9 years, in my case, there are many memorable moments. A lot of them are tied to my former position as raid leader of the guild I was in from 2005 until 2012. I remember of first setting foot in Karazhan and the elation of the first raid boss kill we worked for so hard. The triumph of acquiring the Champion of the Naaru title during The Burning Crusade. The joy of playing with friends. The feeling of loss when my SO Schmitt got bored with the game and quit in November 2009. But my most memorable event is probably still the success of having obtained our dreadsteeds in vanilla, when my SO and I both played warlocks. At the time, it was a very long and sophisticated quest chain. It was a concerted effort with a lot of help from the guild, with people helping with the farming requirements of the chain and the gold required, and grouping up for our Scholomance and Dire Maul West runs. So my eternal gratitude goes out to Nagna, our orc warrior tank, Zade, our undead priest, Tryna aka glyneth on Twitter, undead warlock with most of the mats required, and of course my SO. A party with three undead warlocks. The best of times.
- What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?
Tricky! I am jaded and am one of those old farts with the rose-tinted goggles. Which is why I can list things I loved and no longer do. In the past I would have said questing. In vanilla WoW there was only questing, and I loved checking out all the various races, start zones. I have played everything. Unfortunately I don’t think modern WoW questing can be compared to the old experience from pre-Cataclysm. Questing today is too streamlined, with little to no replay value, which is why people rush through content by sticking with dungeon queues. I have been guilty of this as well. It’s simply too easy to outlevel quest areas which makes quests too trivial, and the stories don’t lend themselves to replay. Then you walk through the Dark Portal and end up in BC questing, and it’s all an even more disjointed mess as you end up level 64-65 in Hellfire, a zone you would leave as 61 or 62 when the content was fresh. – Hm, now I think I have made a good case for questing not being my favorite aspect anymore. Another favorite aspect were heroic 5-mans. It’s really what I did most of the time. In TBC they were so difficult that everything else after has been a joke. They were fantastic. I loved tanking heroics. Then two things happened: heroics were made easier, and LFD was introduced. Nowadays you get your challenges in CM dungeons, but if challenge=speed, then I don’t want to be challenged anymore. – It’ll have to be raids then. Here I must differentiate that I do not enjoy raiding for raiding’s sake. If that was the case, I wouldn’t have quit in December, when my guild had just killed Siegemaster on normal. I love the thrill of learning new fights, of killing new bosses. That’s exciting and unbelievably rewarding. I always wanted to raid. In vanilla, I got a shot at Zul’Gurub with another guild, and loved the excitement, even though this raid group was utterly frustrating and we killed maybe two bosses. But I wanted to experience more encounters like that, and get iconic rewards. Since then, raiding, albeit casual, has been the best part for me.
- Do you have an area in game that you always return to?
Not really. I am not exactly a role-player in WoW though I enjoy RP realms the most. If there’s a place I would call home in WoW it’d either be the Barrens before Cata, or Nagrand. The Barrens at sunrise can still give me the shivers.
- How long have you /played and has that been continuous?
I am afraid I can’t answer this question, as I do not have an active subscription. I can say that it’s been entirely too long. My US account had insane amounts of hours. I can’t even guess right now. As for the continuous part, no. I unsubbed from WoW in the Cataclysm content lull between expansions, in May 2012. I came back in September after the Mists beta got me excited again. I unsubbed again in June this year, even though I stopped playing in December 13, because I was on a 6 months plan and slept right through renewal.
- Admit it: do you read quest text or not?
If I do the quest for the first time ever, yes. If I am on an alt and have done it before, I skim.
- Are there any regrets from your time in game?
I don’t know, that’s tough to answer. Sometimes I wish I was less German. During my stint as guild officer, my blunt manner probably pissed off a lot of people. I just don’t have it in me to sugar-coat much. I like to consider myself as a nice but very honest person, which can be lethal when you’re supposed to be a raid leader. But yeah, I wish sometimes I had been less blunt and maybe nicer.
- What effects has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?
I met a ton of wonderful people through WoW. Some only online, unfortunately, but I value their friendships. People who sent me condolence flowers when my mom died. A couple of weeks ago my friend Erin married her boyfriend who she met online, and I was invited. Wish I’d been able to go. I’d be happy to see all of my DotH friends anytime. Same with ARC, my fantastic European guild. I got to meet a lot of people I raided with last summer. I started blogging, first only about WoW, then about games and such in general, and through blogging met more awesome people. A big shout-out to Spinks, who I greatly value as a friend and blogger. You guys really need to come visit us in Germany. 🙂 All in all, it hasn’t only wasted hours of my life away, but given me precious connections to cool people. Maybe even boosted confidence that I can be a leader, though I am still working more on actually applying that RL.