WoW – 10 Years Leading the Pack

Bhagpuss found a neat idea from Atl:ernative Chat, that came up with a neat way to recognize WoW’s personal impact.  Reading through his post, I found a fair bit in common and a fair bit of nostalgia as well.  So here goes.

1. Why did you start playing WoW?

I was a pretty big W3 player, was deep into EQ/UO and found the MMO concept pretty decent.  I somehow got into the very early beta and fell aback at the sheer quality compared to what was available.  Interestingly, I found a website about the game (WoW.net I think it was) and wrote some guides for the beta.  Someone found them, offered me a job writing more guides and that sort of cemented me into the game.

It also helped that I had a dozen or sort friends that I converted to play with me.

2. What was your first character?

Dwarf rogue.  I was active with him until MoP too.  I loved Rogues, always have.  They were pretty darn solid DPS class, and at the start weren’t all that glass canon.  I think the best part was stealthing dungeons with a couple other rogues, clearing it out.  BC was prime-time for Rogues.

3. What factors determined your faction choice?

Barrens decided it for me.  I think for quite a few years the starting area for the Horde was horrible.  Westfall and Dun Murogh were amazing in comparison.  I liked the Horde concept and the characters, but the actual gameplay was not fun.

4. What was your most memorable moment?

Good question, hard to think of one off hand.  Clearing MC in vanilla was up top, chess event in Kara too.  My healing shaman ruling AV for a few months is also top of pile.  Hmm, the most memorable are likely the two massive guild implosions I experienced.  One where logistics of MC destroyed us.  A guild of 60 people, we had a bench for raiding and still couldn’t get everyone to show on time.  The other one was related to DKP drama.  Oh the days of loot ninjas!

5. What is your favorite aspect of the game, and is it still the case?

Originally, it was the ease of access along with system integration.  Everything seemed to interconnect with everything else.  Plus the game had a low skill level for entry but a relatively high skill cap.  The first one is gone, completely obliterated through iterative design focused on the second.  I think the game is much, much to simple today and has trained too many people to just faceroll and expected purples.

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

The auction house.  I’ve never found the art in-game to be particularly attractive, just average.  I like the concepts of the zones just not a big fan of the implementation.  I will say that every expansion has been drastically better than the last.  Cata certainly showed that clearly by re-jigging the starter world and making Draenor look like poop.

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

I started at launch, played consistently until a few months into BC.  Since then, I play 2 months starting the expansion then 1 month after the last expansion patch.  That’s a fair amount of time and I’ve enjoyed most of it.

8. Do you read quest text or not?

I do on the first play through.  Blizzard has very good writers and some pretty memorable characters.  It’s really impressive what they are able to communicate without voice.  While over the years there have been MANY conflicts within the lore, overall the quality of the text and stories has been solid.  I think this is the most consistent part of the game.

9. Are there any regrets about the time in game?

I think I played too much at the start but over the years the play time has been sensible.  I rather enjoyed the single player aspect and the “live world” aspect.  I do regret most of my time “farming” gear though and ignoring the social aspects.

10. What effect has WoW had on your outside life?

A lot.  Much more than I would have thought.  I met people through WoW, made a ton of money (off the guides), applied learning to the game, developed a better understanding of system complexities, improved leadership skills.  WoW taking the forefront of my gaming plate for so long gave me an outlet, as an introvert, to try new things without long term consequences.  I’m a firm believer that gaming can provide some significant real world benefits.

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