How long have I been playing WoW?

In the beginning…

I started playing World of Warcraft sometime around October 2006. I would have had to of been 10 years old at the time. I remember my older brother coming home one day with a new game for the computer. He finished installing it and played it, I came up to him, interested in the game. Everything about it seemed magical, I had never seen a game like it before. I just sat there with him, watching my brother play the night elf hunter he had created, adventuring through the beautiful Teldrassil.

I asked him if I could play too, when he was done. He agreed and the next day he logged me into his trial account I created a Human Paladin. Immediately I realized how lost in this world I was, having never played an RPG before I didn’t know what quests where, I didn’t go off adventuring I just looked around and asked my brother what to do until I got an understand of where to go and what to do. When his trial account ended, we made a new account when my brother bought the game. Together we made new characters – he made another hunter and I made a warlock.

After a few weeks, our mum started to notice we were playing the game an awful lot. So to keep check on us and make sure we were playing in a safe online environment, she created her character and started playing as well.

…well, to make a long story short…

Eventually, my brother stopped playing WoW as he got older, though my mum and I still play and have been raiding together since Wrath of the Lich King. During our time playing WoW, my mum has had a heart attack, I came out as gay (to our guild as well), my mum and I have made a bunch of friends online in our guild and have even met some of them in real life as well. On top of that I have also just finished my final year at school – and I got the legendary cloak the same day as my graduation assembly.

I am not a social person – I like calm and quiet surroundings and I tend to not talk to people much – however, I am nowhere near as anti-social as I used to be, mostly because through the social aspect of WoW and raiding with my guild I have created a lot of my social skills. Without the friendly chatting and banter during raids and the casual conversations in guild chat, I don’t know what I would be like today. Having that environment in WoW where there were people I could chat with and hang out with really helped my issues with socializing.

I was also bullied in my early years of high school and WoW became a safe haven for me. It was my escape from reality when I could not handle reality anymore. If I felt really horrible or depressed, playing WoW distracted me from the real world and gave me the ability to be happy. And now, my escape has turned into my passion, I am a proud nerd and gamer.

I would have to say that is possibly one of the best things to have happened to me in my life (so far).

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My most and least favourite expansion.

My most favourite.

If we’re talking about best memories and experiences, I would have to say Wrath of the Lich King was my favourite expansion for WoW. I loved pretty much everything about it, I loved the scenery, the exploration, the at most sphere and the story, it was also the first time I had reached max level and experienced “end game” (even though I had been playing since just before the release of Burning Crusade).

I fell in love with my Death Knight as she grew to be my first level capped character, followed quickly by my Paladin and Shaman. I first got into the whole gearing game and learning about the end game progression with patch 3.2 and the introduction of the Dungeon Finder. I know that it got a lot of flack, and still does by some groups of purists, but without that tool I don’t know if I would have gotten into and addicted to WoW as much as I did (not a bad thing by the way) and I certainly would not have gotten into raiding, hell I didn’t even know what raiding was until ICC when a friend asked me to pug in as a healer for his 25man ICC raid (and I won the intel shield he had wanted so baddly).

Wrath was my introduction to the rest of what WoW had to offer me. I was still young so I didn’t grasp some concepts about the game and I was probably the worst player ever, but I enjoyed myself and even to this day Icecrown Citadel is still my favourite instance because of those first time experiences I had in there. Even to this day I still raid with some of the people I had met back then, we grew and experienced what new and wonderful things the game had to offer as a guild and we continue to do so.

My “least?” favourite expansion.

I wouldn’t say there is an expansion I just hated, because there isn’t. To be honest I can’t talk about Vanilla or BC since I didn’t actually experience those when they were current. However, the expansion that is my least favourite is left to be Cataclysm.

Cataclysm has it’s flaws, primarily with it’s end game content. Personally, I LOVED the new races and the revamped world, it made leveling actually really fun for a bit, I made new toons and leveled them through various zone progression paths and factions just to see all of that content, it was great. Except in order to provide that there was noticeable content lacking for end game. I still enjoyed my time in Cataclysm when the content was fresh, but after that newness feeling faded the content became … stale.

Not all is lost of Cata’s end game though. The Tier 11 raids we’re actually pretty cool and some of the fights across the expansion we’re really nice and fun to progress through. Cata still holds points for me because after my introduction to raiding in Wrath, Cataclysm was where I “grew up” as a gamer, I developed a lot of raid awareness and I learned about a lot of the core concepts about raiding.

Conclusions.

Again, I wouldn’t say there is any expansion I did not enjoy for some reason or another, there are some moments in certain expansions I may not have enjoyed much, but those made up by the experiences I had during that content anyway.