Tuesday, February 9, 2010

How'd you get started?

I posted this on my guild's forum's a couple months back, but it's still one of those fun things to think about.

Way back in the day my partner got pulled into WoW by virtue of living in a house where all his roommates played. It was a good way for them to bond and do something together that they all enjoyed. At the time we lived a few cities apart and really only had weekends together. But Sundays were football days (still are). So while I was sitting on the couch from 11 to 5:30 watching whatever CBS and FOX were collectively offering that day, he'd be sitting next to me WoWing away on his laptop.

Of course, during commercial breaks I'd lean over and watch what he was doing. I had no interest in playing myself--not because it didn't look fun, but because I swore up and down that I would never pay a monthly fee to play a game I already owned. I could understand paying a monthly fee for a persistent game, but then I believed I shouldn't have to pay $40 for the initial retail offering. Principle. You know. (Yeah, I was young and stupid.)

He kept trying to get me into the game. "Just try it. You'll like it," he said. I, of course, recognized this tactic from my D.A.R.E. days back in 3rd grade and stood my ground against addictive substances. "No," I'd say. But I'd still watch until the commercials were over and I could once again hide in the relative safety of manly athletic activity.

But he never relented in his assault and one day I finally cracked and gave in, secure in the knowledge that if I tried it and turned it away I would be safe from further pressure. This all occurred immediately upon the end of the afternoon game when my defenses were at their lowest. (That's what I told myself, anyway.)

So I took over his laptop and played around the character creation screen until I was set up with a brand new, shiny Tauren Hunter. Several hours later (with barely enough of a break to eat dinner) I still retained control of his laptop and had reached level 12. My D.A.R.E. officer would be disappointed.

I already realized I was going to continue to play this game. The only retail store still open at that hour was Walmart and so that's where I ended up. I used the self-checkout stand so that no one could see my shame, but I still felt every eye in the store watching me. Judging. I had principles, dammit. I wasn't supposed to play this game. And here I was, reneging.

There were many people I knew playing the game that I never wanted to have to worry about playing with and they all played Horde, so I had to abandon the Tauren (unarguably my favorite race) and find something Alliance side. My partner played a Hunter, so to keep things different I decided to forgo that as well. I ended up with a Human Warrior, Maarken.

Over the next couple weeks, I became very unenamored with that Warrior. I still didn't understand much about the game and I had a very "Final Fantasy" view of how a warrior should work: I should be able to take the hits all day long an keep rolling. Anyone who's played a warrior at low levels is laughing at that statement. Blizz's idea of low-level survivability difference between a warrior and, say, a mage is that a warrior can take 7 hits before dying instead of 5 and they'll only find themselves in unmanageable situations every 45 steps instead of every 20. (Despite this, I still think the first 15 levels are the most fun on any toon...now that I know what to expect.)

Add to this that I didn't really understand or enjoy the Rage mechanic and...yeah. Maarken was laid to rest in Westfall, somewhere around level 15.

20 minutes after that, Saniel awoke from the Emerald Dream to begin his defense of Azeroth. He's been going on ever since.

So what about you, readers? How did you get started? What was your first toon and if it wasn't your current main, when did that switch happen?

Incidentally, a few of you may have glanced at my character roster and noticed that Maarken isn't quite as dead as I left him. Apparently the Lich King saw more in him than I did...


  1. See now I have a way to start my WoW blog ty. But I'll write here since I'm avoiding work.

    I played Dark Age of Camelot way back in the day. I played with the big foot boys and Azucar. I had applied for the beta in WoW and forgotten all about it. I got in phase one of closed beta probably because I was a girl gamer with a seriously kick ass gaming computer (for the time).

    They had closed down the Horde for the start of beta so that wasn't an option and the one class I really wanted to try was a hunter. Hunters were not yet available, nor were druids so I decided to fall back on what I always played, a healer. I rolled a night elf priest. I was very excited to see that I could sleep things and do damage (lolsmite) and heal. Then I got in a group and it all changed and I learned my very first beta phrase. Taunt was NYI, not yet implemented.

    So back to the drawing board I went. I rolled a rogue. I enjoyed her a great deal. I got her to level cap (yay level 30) but lost her to the lockdown for phase two testing.

    I tried a paladin in phase two. By that time Azucar was in beta with me and he rolled a warrior so I rolled a paladin. Here's what a paladin could do in beta. Auto swing and heal. I got to level cap (yay level 50) but was bored stupid. I then began my personal game within the game, alt leveling.

    By the time beta closed I had the following characters at level cap.

    NE priest
    NE hunter
    NE rogue
    Human paladin
    Undead warlock
    Orc hunter

    Yes that's two hunters. I wanted to see the orc content.

  2. I have been playing wow since Oct 2005. My 1st character was a hunter (my beloved hunter. He is still one of favor character in the game). I travelled around the world of the Azeroth thru his eyes. I really did have a great time with him. I could be solo for almost quests (expect instances). I could grind material around Azeroth. I made the group wiped thanks to my lovely pet in MARA / Sunken temple / BRD / UBRS.
    However, many of the core players in my hunter’s old guild had transferred out to continue their vanilla WOW journal. At the time, I took a long break for my school. Before the storm came, my hunter raised again. I was playing other 3 toons, my druid, my rouge and my warrior as my little projects. When my brothers and friends joined force to defend Azeroth, I started to let my druid to take over. My brother got a prot pally. My 5 friends got hunter, shammy, feral druid, lock, and mage. Since no healer, I opted to let my druid be their designated healer (therefore, my brother formed a family guild named Lsevener, which were referring 7 of us). Since then, I am a healer ;)

  3. Clearly I'm not remembering all my details correctly. I just checked my account page and it turns out that I activated my subscription on 3/5/06, which was exactly one month after SuperBowl XL. I remember clearly watching the other half play while I was also watching football most afternoons. So maybe I tooled around on his account longer than I recall before getting my own. Now that I think about it, getting to level 15 or 20 (yay, Barrens!) back in the day would have taken more than a few hours, so that makes sense. Either way...holycrapI'vebeenplayingforalmost4years! Insane.

  4. I had played Diablo II before and not thought much of it. Years later I started on an Asian MMORPG (free to play) and decided I liked the whole play-online-with-many genre. Initially resisted WoW as the graphics were not very impressive to me, but also began to indulge into the lore over at WoWwiki.com. I was always curious as to how this game--with its outdated graphics--dominated the MMORPG market. A good good number of my colleagues play it as well to make things worse.

    I fell in love with the story. The multitude of characters. Their connecting stories. The depth. Warcraft had levels of lore that I had found lacking in every other RPG sought; and being an ex-D&D tabletop player, this is a huge plus factor.

    So I finally dove into WoW in August 2008. At first the mechanics proved challenging to get over, and I discovered the underlying hatred for the Night Elf starting zone despite rolling my favourite class--the Druid. Switched over to the Horde, and I've been with my Femtaur druid ever since.

  5. I've always been interested in gameplay/systems/whatever. So I keep on hearing about how WoW is the "best", and I thought you know, if I'm going to rag on it so much I should at least try it.

    So I got a copy for Xmas, and to be honestly I was hooked by the polish right for the get-go.

    Then my wife watched me play, wanted to try it on her own, and it went from there. Only difference is that she made it to level 3 before we went to get her own copy.

  6. @Bear Pelt

    I have another post for another time about how I almost quit the game in the mid-40 range (about the time it expected me to be running Sunken Temple) and only got back into it because I started reading the lore and became absolutely enamored with all the stories and how they crossed. So I definitely feel you on that one.

  7. I've never enjoyed playing any type of game unless it involved something physical. About 5 years ago or my husband and I were dating and he was insisted that I get cable internet so he could play an online game while he was visiting me. I watched him play and could not understand how anyone could sit still for hours and be entertained. Well, he convinced me to start a character on wow and I finally relented and that is how Dianne was born. I've always been a sci-fi/fantasy buff and this game was amazing. Having never played a role play game, never seen graphics like this, I felt like I had been transported to another time. A druid was a natural pick for me and I chose a hunter as well. (I wanted a pet). I still love all my characters and now I understand how you can sit still for hours ................

  8. so having read my comment, I realize that my brain is fried from leveling my new pally and I need sleep! lol