When I Loved World of Warcraft
With the announcement and hype driving World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, I couldn’t help but think back to when I was loving this game. You don’t know how many times I played that cinematic trailer on repeat. Part of me always will, but the consistency was always a problem for me. That and being able to keep up with a computer that can handle the game, because trust me if I had a stronger computer that game would be on it right now probably. Unfortunately that isn’t the case, so the best I can do is sit here and reminisce about those good times. I may not have been there from the beginning, which normally the vets of the Vanilla days would stick their nose up about, but I got immersed the same as anyone else in this world.
My story isn’t as special as most others might be, but it was memorable enough to stick with me all this time, and is that not what matters most?
It has definitely been some time since the last time I played World of Warcraft. Some years now if I were to just throw out a general time. I believe the last expansion that I played was Cataclysm, and that went on as long as a group of friends were able to find them time to sit back and raid for fun. Now I was late to the party figuring out what this game was since I joined during Wrath of The Lich King, but a friend one day came over one day and as usual we didn’t have much to do. So he tried convincing me to play WoW, at first I turned him down because I was broke and didn’t really know what it was, so he explained to me what it was, sounded interesting so I asked him if I could do things like cast lightning or transform which he said yes to both. Liking what I heard I got the trial and soon after went to playing the game for real which was very exciting feeling like I was open to a new world. My character was a druid named Hailstrom and played as a DPS/Off-Tank Healer.
Sure there was a lot of grinding and leveling, but that’s just the game, what I took from playing it was the experience. You fight a lot, you interact, you raid, buy, customize, role play, duel(which I sucked at), and ride or fly anywhere in the world of Azeroth that you are able to go. My favorite thing was raiding, it was the most amazing experience to be able to go through a dungeon with like 39 other people fighting your way through multiple monsters and mini bosses just to fight the Lich King who very well may be one of the best villains created for a game. I met a lot of people who were very friendly and acted like real people. Even if I wasn’t meeting people in person, I was meeting people who didn’t make me feel like I was alone. Which was exactly what I had needed at that time. My first guild was called Heavens Paladin Army, they used to just be a guild full of paladins, though they changed that before I came. Regardless it was an awesome group of people who I had fun talking to every day I was online both through text and voice chat (Ventrillo). It was as close to a family as you could get through a video game helping each other out, even during the Guild meetings which everyone had the tendency of bursting into rage over. Of course I did fall off when Cataclysm came because the game changed so much that I kinda felt lost in the world, and these changes also turned those I was close with away from the game, so I had no choice but to eventually retire myself waiting to come back.
I’ve never really been defensive about my love for WoW since I never cared for other’s opinions on it, and I think that was the best thing about it. People sink so many hours into their favorite games, but it was only because the game was World of Warcraft that it was popular to poke fun at. Like anything that pushes you to come out of your shell, World of Warcraft did help me a lot when it came to communicating with others. A good players can do a lot on their own, but someone who could work with others and hold a proper conversation can go further. I mean my happiest moment was killing Deathwing and I can recall being that happiest little nerd staring at the achievement I got for it. I had the right group of people to run it with, and unlike the fight with the Lich King, this one I lived all the way to the end.
The exploration was a big thing that kept me invested. From the point that I started playing, there was so much to go back to and experience for myself. Everyone wonders what to do once you beat the main storyline, and the answer was very simple. Go off into the world and see the places you’ve never been to. Solo all the dungeons or raids that you should at max level be able to handle on your own or with a few others at your side. There are so many cosmetic or trick items as I call them that you can put into your inventory to shake things up. I remember when I was playing on a RP server, me and another guild member got in trouble because it would be serious business and we would burst into PvP action. You know that the leader did? Forced us every week in front of everyone to go 1v1 in the Stranglethorn Arena. It was fun because we would pull out the most ridiculous items just to get one over the other. I got my butt whooped after a while because the other guy got clever and found a shield at deflects all spells.
When it came to achievements, “Leeroy Jenkins” will always have a place in my heart, but it was “For The Alliance” that was my highlight moment. True excitement is taking every player you can find to each major Horde city and show them what’s up. I remember one city where my computer almost crashed from all the madness that ensued in one place. With that said, starting trouble in Horde cities by yourself can also be fun. I’ve made a few enemies stirring the pot.
If I had the opportunity to jump into the world of Azeroth again? I would probably take it because there is always something to do if you’re looking in the right place. There will always be something you don’t like about a game like this, but at the same time there will be plenty to enjoy as well. I would probably for one actually give the Horde a chance. Some might say they have done it all, but will only play either Alliance or Horde instead of getting the best of both worlds.