In honor of World of Warcraft’s 9th Anniversary today I thought I’d write a little post about how WoW has changed for me over the years. As I believe I have mentioned here before, I started playing WoW just shortly after it’s release in 2004. My boyfriend at the time sat me down at his computer and told me to make a character on his account, claiming this shiny new game was just like Dungeons and Dragons, but ONLINE! Needless to say, from the moment my little human warrior’s feet hit the ground in Northshire, I was hooked. I then took over my old boyfriend’s account and still have that first level 12 warrior who shared a name with my D&D character. Since then WoW has been a big part of my life, sometimes a bit too big.
Years 1 to 3
When I first started playing my whole focus was interacting with other players. I was just so mesmerized by the fact that all those little characters running around were actual people and I wanted to befriend all of them. I started up my guild when I reached level 30, which was what I felt a good level to be able to really help people out. The guild was The Pink Fluffy Kittens and people still tell me that their time in that guild was some of the most fun they’d had in WoW. I’d help people level and run dungeons and make them gear, but the main focus of PFK was just fun. I’d organize trivia competitions, gnome battles, scavenger hunts, just any kind of fun event that everyone could be part of. We even had weekly guild meetings in a bar in Stormwind, thought it has since been destroyed by Deathwing. The guild got to be a good size, around 300 players in it’s prime, but when Burning Crusade hit, my focus changed and the guild inevitably died off. It’s still there now, but I use it and it’s bank as junk drawer more than anything else.
Years 3 to 5
In Burning Crusade I started playing Blood Elves a fair bit. I made the Evil Fluffy Kittens as a Horde guild to attempt to keep us all connected, but it didn’t really work. I also got interested in doing more dungeons and end game content and joined a guild that was a bit less casual than PFK. It was kind of incestuous though. The players were older and quite a few had actually met up IRL and had relations, a MMORPG thing I’d been totally oblivious to! I got really involved in the “drama” of the guild when I started actually speaking to them on team speak, making WoW more like a playable soap opera than a video game. It was really entertaining for a while but of course with all the drama, that guild completely imploded. When it all fell apart I started to get into raiding.
I joined a raiding guild close to the end of BC that was more or less drama free. It wasn’t a hardcore raiding guild, but we all did our best and progressed through the early BC raids, Kara being my favorite. I really liked working on fights and mechanics, figuring things out and overcoming obstacles as a group. I didn’t like having to play on a schedule though and I believe that is what eventually drove me away from raiding, that and the release of Wrath anyway.
Years 5 to 7
When Wrath hit and all the gear I’d accumulated while raiding for hours and hours became totally obsolete, I changed my focus entirely to leveling. I re-joined PFK on all my alts and just started leveling everything! By the end of Wrath I had an 80 of every class and two 80 priests and paladins. I’d always liked having lots of alts, but that was the first time I got them all to max level. I got into PvP then because I had such a good understanding of how all the different classes worked. It definitely gave me an edge and for a while I really enjoyed it. By the end of Wrath however my interest in WoW was starting to wain. I was playing more xbox 360 games than WoW, basically just because I didn’t really want to raid, but had done everything else I could think of!
Years 7 to 8
When Cataclysm hit I was determined to get a realm first, level fast and blog my face off about it. I missed my realm first for fishing by 3 minutes and leveled my first couple of characters very fast, but then my interested faded. I tried starting up a new leveling guild that would eventually raid called Luck, but it never really got off the ground. I’d maxed my archaeology, was making really good gold in the AH, was kind of sick of leveling and there was this new game, Rift. I didn’t want anything to do with other players in WoW anymore, any social interactions basically made me lose faith in the human race. Players were mean and greedy and would take you for everything they could. I joined a guild with my little brother and while they were nice to me, anyone not from their guild they were horrible to, just for their own entertainment. I cancelled my WoW subscription and started spending my time in Telara with all my pretty characters and their armor customizations. Then I stopped gaming entirely for about a year, lost 110 lbs, went through some very hard times and did a lot of growing up.
I got Pandaria 2 months to the day after it’s release. It was the first time I hadn’t gone and stood in the midnight line up for an expansion. I played to level 90 on my main character and then un-subbed a couple months later. I didn’t come back until September of this year. I’m still very anti-social in game. I avoid interacting with players almost at any cost. I don’t even do dungeons. Now I basically spend my time leveling characters, trying to get back into making gold and farming old content. I spend 99% of my time in game alone and I’m not sure that will ever change. I’ve just had too many bad experiences with nasty players. Even my guild, Luck, I’m leveling completely on my own. I have a few RL friends who play, but they started on another server when they joined the game. I’ve started over on new servers so many times that I just can’t play over there without feeling like it’s a waste of time. My home is Terenas, where it has always been, unless the merge it with something else anyway.
I just found it interesting looking back over the last 9 years at how much my WoW playing has changed. When I started all I wanted was to interact with players and now I do everything I can to avoid ever interacting with anyone. I’m enjoying playing right now, but I am aware that unless I get into end game content, or they release another content patch, I’ll likely lose interest in playing again before Warlords of Draenor gets here. I will be back for WoD though, because that sounds way too awesome to miss!
Anyway, Happy Anniversary WoW! (Even though I’m disappointing that you didn’t send me a pet!)