29 January 2012

On My Beginnings in World of Warcraft

The decision to start playing World of Warcraft did not come overnight and it certainly wasn't an easy one. I had read about the game for quite some time and the material included several rather unfriendly voices. Since this would also be my first MMORPG, the whole idea of a subscription to a video game was alien to me as well.

However, when the time seemed right to actually buy the game and create an account, I was already well informed about the payment methods, the setting, the lore, the different classes, their abilities and tasks, the professions and so on. In total, I would say that I knew as much about the game as it was possible, without actually having played it. How wrong that turned out to be. I bought the physical copy of the game in the fateful summer of 2006 (somewhere between Patches 1.10 and 1.11), when the game was already about one and half years old.

After my previous experiences in the RTS games of the Warcraft universe, I was already convinced that I wanted to fight on the side of the Alliance and that my character should be "Elven" (The Lord of the Rings comes to mind again). At that time, the idea of creating a female character for a man honestly had not even occurred to me, so I chose a male Night Elf. To find the right class, however, turned out to be much harder. Generally, I find any kind of magic wielder the most compelling choice, so naturally I wanted to create a Mage. Unfortunately, I already knew that a Night Elf Mage would not be possible – in fact, it should take at least another 3 years until that choice would become available. Though, I did create a haughty female Blood Elf Mage during The Burning Crusade.

Questions over questions: should I create a Night Elf Druid or an Undead Mage? Would a Druid be similar to a Mage, even though their philosophy seemed to be quite different? Would that, at one point along the road, matter from a gameplay point of view? In the end my desire to play on the Alliance side and to play an Elf was stronger and I decided on creating a male Night Elf Druid on an English-speaking European PvE server. This character would be my main character almost until the very end. His accumulated experience signifies my entire gaming experience in World of Warcraft and it was on the day that I “changed mains” (Oh how I hate that notion!) that I knew that my time in Azeroth would sooner than later be coming to an end.

If someone is interested in why I eventually fell out of love with World of Warcraft, they should have a closer look at my ESSENTIAL READING page. Other authors have already – very eloquently – described the same problems I had, so there is no need to rehash the details right here, right now. Suffice to say that it had NOTHING (whatsoever) to do with burnout! If the game had not changed this drastically, I would still be playing.

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