Like many bitter exes (that keep going back) I have done my fair share of beating up WoW on this blog although it always came from a place of “tough love”.
This looks like fun and I decided to do it – for Science! (or something). I am making a blog post about it (although there are plenty of ways to participate – email, Google docs, etc.) so go check it out!
1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?
I had a friend, Lorendous, who was a good friend of mine and guildmate from DAOC. He left DAOC for Wow but I held strong. After the Pendragon community was trashed by Mythic I had enough, and finally followed my friend there. My history of MMOs started with EQ, to DAOC and then to WoW and while I have beta tested, bought, and played everything in between EQ was #1a and WoW was #1b. I could actually reverse that if you count personal impact – they are very similar in shaping my gaming life.
2. What was the first ever character you rolled?
Hunter. Sadly. To be fair though, I only got him to level 20. I recently did a post about his LBRS solo runs but to be more honest my first “main” character was (is?) a Night Elf druid. Couchon. He was the one I found my first guild with, the first I got to max level, raided with, etc. Oh, the stories. My old guildies still call me “Couch” no matter what game, what toon, or what class/name.
I switched mains years later to a Shaman (needed the heals, chain heal was king and we were in SSC) and I LOVED enhancement and the unique nature of totems and what Shaman brought to a raid group. I also have a top level Paladin so I can do 5 mans in LFGs while tanking and a rogue too.
3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?
Solely my friends. Same with server choice. I was Alliance and did not have a choice in the matter. Later, I did roll Horde but I new everything about the Alliance in and out and had such a comfort level with that side that it made more sense for me to keep rolling there. I did join a Horde guild with some friends once but I only got to level 70(ish) and really, I have so much going on Alliance side I just stayed there.
4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?
Not beating A’lar. It was a roadblock for our guild. We could always get under 5% but never won. A guildie was last man standing when he was at 1% (Greenteabag) and that sticks out. It tested us time and time again but we all showed up and did our best. I did, by myself at level 90, long after the guild was gone. It was still satisfying, but I wish we got him. I think its odd that I chose a failure moment as one of my most memorable but the hours we spent together there was bond-building.
Most other memories are around raiding and progression. We were a family, casual guild (that at one point had 13+ kids BORN into the game..) and we were a top 10 progression guild on our server at one point. That was fun.
5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?
5 mans. It wasn’t always the case – first it was raiding, but I can’t take the required time to raid anymore (work, life, family, kids) but I love 5 mans. The Dungeons, the lore, the teamwork – it’s how I learned to love tanking because its the fastest way to 5 man glory, progression, and gear to do all of that. It’s actually why I quit Wow in Pandaria – they took away the ability to grind rep through tabards in dungeons and I absolutely HATE dailies – my whole end game was a series of dailies. If I would have been able to grind rep through dungeons I’d probably still be playing.
6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?
UBRS. It was the first tryout guild run I did with the Grey Rangers, and I was accepted into the guild. That one decision changed my entire gaming career from that point. Druids back then were OK for healing but absolutely essential for Innervate. I was good at Innervating. (yes, its one button. That was tongue in cheek!).
Grey Rangers was a 40 man guild, and it was hard because to field that large of a team we had people in our guild that didn’t really fit. With the announcement of the next expansion going to 25 mans, we broke apart the guild and made our own. Still, in GR I was able to experience all of Molten Core and BlackWing Lair. Our 25 man guild was a blast and some of the most fun I ever had in gaming.
It all started in UBRS.
7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?
I’d have to resub to pull that. But I’d almost be afraid to. I was a 4x a week raider, 3-4 hours, 6-7 days a week. I also had top level crafters of almost every profession. I roll 4-5 max level characters (Rogue, Paladin, Shaman, Druid, Hunter) so to add it all up would be tough. I’m genuinely curious though, if I ever sub again (or get a 7 day pass…) I’ll check it out!
8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?
Shit no. Wait – does skimming count as reading?
9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?
When I bailed on the guild I founded. It had changed a lot (I had stepped down from GM) but still a LOT of good people there. My gaming life started changing and a few of my closer friends left to a separate server. I still have a guildbank alt in my old guild and my hunter, and when I sub I go in to see who is still in the guild. I stay pretty quiet though, I bailed on those people. I am still amazed at the number of people still playing in that guild. The commitment is amazing.
10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?
Almost got divorced! A pregnant non-gaming wife will have that effect on your marriage when you are 4+ hours a night, plus constantly on the guild boards, etc. etc. While that is true, it also gave me the confidence and leadership skills. I run a rapidly growing business and it actually helped teach me how to manage people, competing interests, many personalities.
On the whole, WoW added more to my life than it took away – I still have a bunch of Facebook friends from those days and I sneak back in during expansions to poke my head around. It’s not a home anymore for me, more like a cottage – go there for the odd season, evening, or weekend and it’s familiar and fun. The same neighbors are on the same lake and its nice to say hi and rekindle friendships.
And 5 mans. Fun to run those new 5 mans.