Saturday, August 16, 2014

9 Years, 10 Questions

A little late, but I'm jumping on the "10 Years, 10 Questions" bandwagon. This fantastic community project originated over at Alt;ernative Chat.

1. When did you start playing World of Warcraft?

November of 2005. I had been hearing about it since it launched, but it took a year and an eavesdropping Apple Store employee for me to be convinced it could run alright on my G3 MacBook. Wherever that dude is, he rocks. Hence "9 Years" in the title of this post.

2. What is the first character you ever rolled?

JC Sway, the hunter I still play as my main. He has since been 4 races and both factions, and is about to go full circle back to his original night elf self. I now also have a max priest and a cadre of other classes forgotten along the leveling trail, but no other class has come close to how I enjoy the hunter. I got lucky with my first choice.

3. What factors determined your choice of faction?

I grew up on the paper and dice RPGs of the 1980s, so going with the gang of Elves, Dwarves, and Gnomes was a no-brainer. I honestly gave it very little thought.

4. What has been your most memorable moment in WoW and why?

Ok, gotta do two here. The first was when my server opened the Gates of AQ. I was just out by myself leveling along and got a /w from a friend. "Get down to Silithus ASAP! Hope you're not too attached to your laptop's video chip.." Concerns about my hardware aside, I decided to see what was happening. When I got there I had never seen so many player characters in one place before. It would have been even more impressive if they were not all just standing around. After about an hour of waiting/wondering what the heck was up, all hell broke loose. At about 5fps for me. But even as my MacBook was taking a good, long, look at itself, my mind was blown. Huge enemies everywhere and the whole server fighting them off together. For the first time I got to experience the power of the MMO format and WoW's popularity. It was simply incredible and I was hooked. Getting a couple of blue drops just added to the fun.

My second favorite WoW moment was my guild's first Gruul kill. We had been working on him for a few weeks. For many of us it was our first raid bigger than 10 people. For me, it was the first fight I would now describe as "progression." The idea that it was normal for us to need weeks to learn a boss fight was foreign to me. People that had played other MMOs or raided Vanilla assured me we were working as intended, so I kept at it. When we finally got the kill, I showed my raiding inexperience one more time by yelling into my headset. The elation of finally getting 25 players to execute a fight strategy hooked me on raiding instantly. I have had a ton of fun raiding with many different teams since then, but not even finally getting Heroic Spine felt like that first Gruul kill.

5. What is your favorite aspect of the game and why?

Raiding. I love the teamwork it requires. I have often compared it to running a play in football when trying to explain it to non players. Being the "trap guy" on the Moroes pull, for example, was really fun. I so don't miss traps being out of combat, however.

6. Do you have an area in the game you always return to?

It's not exciting, but Stormwind. That's where the AH is, so I have to go there pretty much every day. I don't understand why we never get an AH in expansion areas. I also enjoy returning to the farm I developed in Pandaria, so I imagine my garrison will be a regular hangout.

7. How long have you /played, and has it been continuous?

Nope. No way. Never. The notion of looking at my /played is terrifying. I have never looked at it and never will. My therapist and I agree that /played is a bug and needs to be removed from the game.
I have taken breaks, but I've never missed an expansion. I also take breaks from raiding, usually during the summer.

8. Admit it, do you read the quest text or not?

More often than not, I don't. Especially if I'm just trying to level quickly. If a zone or quest chain starts to interest me, than I read the text. Any time I catch myself wondering what I'm doing or why, I will open my quest log and take a look.

9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?

I wish I had just bought WoW when it first launched. I regret my "Summer of Horde" when some friends and I faction changed temporarily just for a change of pace. In and of itself it was fun, but it reset my Argent Tournament rep before I had all the mounts. I'm not doing all that jousting again. Totally regret the 1,000 times I jumped off the ledge in UBRS without dismissing my pet. Except that one time. That one was on purpose. Why I didn't think to screenshot an entire dungeon chasing my gorilla is beyond me. If you've never seen it, picture the opening scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside of gaming?

I've made some great friends that I have gotten to meet in the real world. Even more importantly, I am staying connected with some of the childhood friends I used to roll a d20 with. Now we can continue our adventures as adults, without being in someone's basement until 3am. Also, carpal tunnel.

This is the most fun I've had writing a blog piece in a while. Thanks to Alt;ernative chat for the amazing idea!

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