Monday, August 25, 2014

10 years 10 questions!

Today I'll be answering Alternative Chat's 10 years 10 questions! I submitted them to hopefully make some history in her podcast, but it was also a good excuse to make a blog post. 

Why did you start playing World of Warcraft? 

I originally played Blizzard games like SC and WC3. I was visiting my family in Germany, actually playing WC3, when my uncle found a magazine article about WoW coming out. It sounded cool but I actually forgot about it until April 2005, when a friend at school mentioned that he bought this game and I would love it. He told me the name and said I needed to buy it and tell him when I did so we could play together. Literally that same day, after I got home from school, my brother came downstairs and told me he just bought this game and I had to play it. He introduced me to it and said I could play on his computer while he was at work. I recognized a lot of elements from WC3 and of course I fell hard for the game within moments, and the rest is history.

What was the first ever character you rolled? 

actual vanilla screenshot

The actual, very first character I ever rolled was a tauren hunter, but it was on my brother's account. I got him to 37 before my brother had enough of sharing his account and I had to beg my mom to buy me the game and pay for a sub for me. When I made my own account, I remade my tauren hunter under the name Pascal. I dreaded having to relevel all that way but there was no way I wasn't going to. He was my first max level character and I have him to this day, making sure to level him up to max level each expansion.


Which factors determined your faction choice in game? 

I didn't recognize any significant differences between factions except that the horde had tauren and trolls, my favorite units from WC3. I picked tauren right off the bat and stuck with them. My brother actually played alliance, and neither of us were willing to convert - still even to this day. My faction pride grew with my attachment to my characters, though I did try to play alliance unsuccessfully a couple of times.

What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why? 

I have an absolute ton of memorable Warcraft moments, but if I had to pick one it would have to be when I soloed the [Barov Peasant Caller] quest in Vanilla on my hunter. The last quest for that chain was to kill the undead Barov's brother - Weldon Barov, a flagged, elite alliance NPC. I couldn't get a successful group for it - if I recall correctly I actually got a group once that wiped on him and gave up. I figured - I'm a hunter. I kite things for fun all day - I kite Stone Guardians, Devilsaurs, Deepwind Gorge demons, I can handle this guy. I played on a PvE server, so the fact that I would be flagged for the entire kite made me nervous, but other than the start in Western Plaguelands, it was pretty Horde-oriented territory. 

I planned my kite path - he was located at the alliance Chillwind Camp, which had an exit to the south toward Hillsbrad Foothills. I would kite him south through the mountains, around and out of Hillsbrad west into Silverpine, then north up into Tirisfal Glades. This was when arcane shot did 183 damage, so I jump-spun arcane shot Weldon Barov through four zones for 183 damage every 6 seconds. He actually evaded once, but luckily I hadn't gotten far and was able to keep him tapped all the way up into Tirisfal Glades, where luck would have it, out of any zone, there was a level 56 dwarf hunter. He saw me running through, jump-spinning and kiting this guy and just kind of followed and looked at me. I never had panicked so hard in my life - how could I defend myself while continuing to kite Weldon without having him evade, or me dying? Weldon barely had any health left when the dwarf started to attack me. 

I had kited him all the way about to here, almost full circle
I just kept running and shooting Weldon, and finally killed him right before the dwarf killed me. I didn't care that the dwarf had killed me, I was so thrilled that I had completed my kite path. I ran back and looted the quest item off Weldon before making an alliance character to tell the dwarf how grateful I was that he didn't kill me before I had finished my kite, and exactly what I had been doing. He was actually pretty impressed and apologized for attacking me.

What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case? 

My favorite aspect of the game, in broad terms, has always been PvE. To be more specific, I enjoy accomplishing things - quests, raids, achievements. I'm not a completionist, but perhaps a selective completionist. There are specific things I want to be able to do and I seek out and do those things, but it's not important to me that I complete every thing. I always have to be raiding - I get flustered and actually angry if my gear isn't above average. I don't need to be the absolute best, but if I'm not up to date and in a progression guild, I feel like I might as well not be playing. It's been this way for me since I first hit 60 and started to raid on my hunter back in vanilla. I'm comfortable not being in a hardcore progression race guild, but the worst experience during my entire time playing was when I was in a guild that couldn't even clear normal content. I even pulled in friends from my guild that had dissolved (the disbanding of my old guild being the only reason I ended up in this lower-end guild) to try and help me carry them, but it just got to be too much and I was so fed up that I ended up not playing for a few months altogether before looking for a legitimate guild.

Do you have an area in game that you always return to? 

Not really - not anymore, especially not after the cataclysm. My favorite zone during Vanilla used to be Winterspring. I spent almost all of my free time there - I would farm herbs on my druid or farm furlbogs. I loved Deepwind Gorge on my hunter - I would farm thorium in there, which was fantastic with almost no competition, along with the fact that I could feign death past demons to stop anyone who WAS competing with me from catching up to me. I also enjoyed kiting the demons up to Everlook, as I said in an earlier question. I found quite a few eyes of shadow, which made me some good gold. Apparently it was a pretty weird place to spend my time because I constantly got whispers from guildmates asking me "What's in Winterspring?" If I wasn't in Winterspring, I was in Un'goro or Silithus, usually farming and killing difficult mobs for fun.

How long have you /played and has that been continuous? 

me right now
At the time of writing this, my druid's total time played: 352 days, 8 hours, 53 minutes, 47 seconds. My hunter's total time played: 133 days, 4 hours, 13 minutes, 52 seconds. I main swapped to my druid right before TBC, so the majority of my hunter's played time is exclusively from vanilla. My altoholic mod shows my total time played across all characters as 555 days. Who knows how much of that total played time is from afk, though - I am incredibly guilty of frequently afking without logging out. I'm actually afk in game right now. Being logged into WoW almost has become a standard of my computer time - some people keep facebook open, I keep WoW open. I have taken two or three significant breaks for the game, but my longest break ever was only six months, while my shortest was two months. I've had a few "non-raiding" breaks, but due to previously mentioned concerns, they don't last very long. As soon as I fall a tier or so behind I get anxious.

Admit it: do you read quest text or not? 

It depends on the situation - if we're talking about the race to max level after an expansion release, absolutely not. I do go back and read it when I level through that area on an alt, and sometimes when I'm feeling roleplay-ey I'll stop and read quest texts. I read almost all of the quest texts while doing Loremaster, and quests that you do at max level I read. I read all of the legendary cloak questline quest texts, along with the isle of thunder and timeless isle quests when that content came out. Basically if at least one character is currently at max level, my tendency to read quest text greatly increases.

Are there any regrets from your time in game? 

One of the things I've never really been able to get over was that my guild retired from raiding early in vanilla. Free server transfers opened from our server to another and we had to decide what we wanted to do. We were all at the entrance of AQ40 when our guild officers were talking to us over vent about whether or not we wanted to all transfer to the new server. A side effect of the mass migration, along with the impending expansion coming out, was that the guild decided to take a raid break. We had recently killed Twin Emperors in AQ40 and on the whole, the entire guild kind of just didn't want to deal with the hallway trash for hours each raid night just to have a few attempts on Ouro/C'thun, as we only raided three times a week for five hours. We only killed two bosses in Naxx - Anub'rekhan and Instructor Rasuvious, and they just /didn't feel like/ killing more bosses. I have always been a little resentful of this. 

I was in that tiny percentage of vanilla raiders who saw Naxx and AQ40 and I wanted to clear it. I never wanted to take that raiding break, and especially after Naxx got redone in Wotlk and there was all that hubbub about it and how so few people had seen it at level 60, I started to be pretty bitter about missing out. I never got a single piece of tier 2.5 and the only piece of loot I got out of AQ40 or Naxx was [Badge of the Swarmguard] Battleguard Satura, which while it was definitely a highly sought after and amazing trinket, is all I have to show for my late game vanilla raiding prestige. I was never even able to replace my Rhok'delar - Ashjre'thul and Huhuran's Stinger were both taken by the same hunter.

What effects has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming? 

I began playing WoW when I was in 10th grade. I had a few friends who were into more delinquent activities, but they knew I was adverse to getting into trouble and so would exclude me from most of their activities. I was afraid being around other people and being in public. I went to a Halloween party once and it was probably the worst experience of my teenage life. I had social anxiety and had nothing to fall back on, so I was basically just worried about how lame I was all the time. 

When I started playing WoW, I became entirely absorbed into it. I woke up and played WoW for 20 minutes before going to school - I usually waited until the very last minute to the point where my bus usually ended up having to stop and pick me up as I was running down to street towards it. I went to school, came home and played WoW until I was yelled at to go to sleep, rinse and repeat. Any interactions I had been having with my few friends dwindled completely as I was no longer interested in talking to them on the phone and I had nothing interesting to talk about at school, as the only thing I was doing was playing WoW. 

The thing is, though, I didn't care anymore that I was boring and didn't have any friends. I was a proud, strong tauren hunter and I had dragons to kill. My poor self image and other issues I was having basically just dissolved as my interest in worrying about them faded away - my life was in Azeroth. There was a point where it was, perhaps, worrisome - especially after I graduated from high school. My mom didn't pressure me to get a job or go into college, and I didn't want to - I wanted to play WoW. My brother had moved out in kind of a hurry and had left a majority of his belongings, including his computer, in his room. I more or less moved into my brother's room and played WoW on his computer all day and all night. It was hot in his room during the day in the summer, so I fell into a pattern where I slept all day and stayed up all night playing WoW. My mom had kept me very sheltered and, while worried that I was basically addicted to a video game, she was thankful that I was home all the time and she didn't have to worry about me getting into trouble. I was able to talk to people and make friends in game, and while this was back when people you met online "weren't real people" they became my real friends.

World of Warcraft became a crutch for me when I was growing up, in place of who knows what. While any addiction is not exactly healthy, I believe it kept me safe from a slew of other options that could have been much worse. This game was the most prevalent factor in my development from a teenager into an adult, and honestly I would never change that.

No comments:

Post a Comment