Tuesday, August 12, 2014

10 Years :: 10 Questions

In honor of WoW's 10th anniversary this year, I'm deviating from the usual pet talk. Instead, here are my answers for Alternative Chat's "10 Years :: 10 Questions" project. Some retrospection never hurt! Things may get personal so feel free to skip over this if it seems uninteresting or sappiness makes you squeemish. :P

It's pretty long, but if you're brave enough, click the cut to read on!

1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?
WoW was my very first MMO. My family was very strict about video/computer games, so my environment was pretty devoid of gaming while growing up. I knew about a few games and even watched friends play things like Counter Strike and Mario Cart whenever I visited their houses. My knowledge was very limited and MMOs were an entirely new concept for me.

Upon entering college, I met my then good friend (and now other half). He changed EVERYTHING. He introduced me to Warcraft, Starcraft, etc. Eventually he let on that he was obsessed with an MMO called World of Warcraft, and I was pretty intrigued.

Initially, I only just watched him play WoW; the graphics amazed me and were those really other people he was playing with? It blew my mind. Seeing how interested I was, he introduced me to a new character he had made on random server. Horde, undead male warrior named Fluffykins or something like that.

I ended up directing Fluffykins on his adventure. Go talk to that guy, smack that creature, etc. And then something caught my eye. It was a Silverleaf, and when he hovered the cursor over it an icon popped up indicating that something could be done to this object. But what?

I insisted that Fluffykins interact with this plant but to my dismay, my then friend informed me that you needed to learn how to pick herbs from a trainer. You couldn't just go around grabbing everything in sight, c'mon. There were rules to follow when it came to herbalism damnit.

Unfortunately for me, my then friend really had no interest in conquering every herb in Azeroth and quickly lost interest in playing Fluffykins. At that point I had resolved to take it upon myself and play. Yes. For the sake of becoming a herablist, maxing out the profession and collecting every plant that I could. I still laugh inwardly whenever I recall that THIS was the reason I started playing WoW haha.

2. What was the first ever character you rolled?
If you count the situation mentioned above, then it would have to have been the undead male warrior, Fluffykins. Of course that technically wasn't my character; it was on someone else's account, played by someone else. I directed how that character was played, but in the end it was never truly *mine*.

The first character on MY account was the current character that I still play as my main. Quintessence, night elf female druid.

3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?
Friends. That's it. I was such a noob when it came to games and gaming that I didn't have much of a clue about anything. My other half was playing Alliance? Ok, I'll go join him and his friends. I'll admit that it did help that the Alliance races had night elves and I really loved the way they looked.

4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?
There are far too many memories for me to pick the most memorable. I've had many special moments that I hope I never forget.

Some that stick out the most (hopefully in chronological order):
Seeing a dwarf in Ironforge with a Sprite Darter Hatchling and thinking to myself, 'WHAT IS THAT HOW DO I GET IT?!' Back then there wasn't a Pet Journal to direct you or give you hints on how to find a pet. I had to search through pages of comments on Thottbot to find out about the long quest chain for the hatchling. I immediately did it and a few days later my egg hatched. :)

My first real raid in vanilla WoW. I eventually joined my friend's raiding guild and although I was really shy and hesitant about raiding, they needed a healer and I was available. It was nerve-wracking and even though the guild had all of the strats down and were experienced, I was still terrified that I would mess up royally. But it turned out ok and I learned a lot. I ended up raiding with them consistently.

The epic "Navy SEAL" event my guild had in Azshara. There's a pretty long backstory for this, so bear with me. I had finally leveled up to 60 (max level at the time) and felt brave enough to wander around Stranglethorn Vale on my own. I was on a PVP server, so normally I would avoid traveling alone but that day I really wanted to find some plants to pick (lol). Naturally I became the target for world PVP, and although I attempted to escape many times, two horde characters decided to follow me around.

I eventually had to call in the help of my friend who had introduced me to the game. He played a ret paladin (blasphemous at the time, I know) and came to my rescue. Once he arrived it took a few unsuccessful battles to get our synergy going, but we managed to overpower our two opponents multiple times.

Eventually one horde chose to not resurrect. It was odd since the graveyard was so close. Then the oddest thing happened that's never occurred ever again in my years of playing. The horde that didn't rez whispered my friend, but not in an angry fashion. He apparently had an alliance character on another account and had logged on to talk to my friend. They exchanged some 'good games' and discussed DPS, and before you knew it the horde player was asking the two of us if we wanted to go to a horde RP wedding in Azshara.

It was strange that he was inviting us, being the opposing faction. We were wary. Not to mention it wasn't even HIS wedding or his friend's. It was actually his rival guild's RP event, and he was inviting us to crash it. Was it a trap? Some set up where we would get swarmed and killed over and over again? Maybe it was due to the adrenaline from the world PVP, maybe we were just curious, but we accepted the invitation and called for our guild to join us.

My friend and I crept down to Azshara, trying to remain as inconspicuous as possible. We slipped silently into the water near the beach where the RP wedding was being held, and had our warlock guildmate come down first to give us water breathing and summon the rest of our guild. There were about 30 of us and everyone was in vent, excitedly waiting to crash a horde event which consisted of almost an entire raid as well.

Once the majority of us were in Azshara, patiently sitting just underneath the water, my friend initiated the charge. We ran out of the murky waters and literally stormed the beach (like Navy SEALs, hence the name). Frostnovas, polymorphs, fears, hurricanes. We caught the horde party off guard and threw all that we had at them. It was an epic world battle of massive proportions.

We claimed victory but the horde regrouped and attempt to pushed back. It was mostly futile, though, since they were disorganized and their numbers spread out. They tried to complete their RP event elsewhere, but we ended up discovering where and crashed that as well. Towards the end the only cries in vent were, "Get the bride!" It was one of the rare moments where I actually enjoyed PVP.

Flying for the first time in Burning Crusade. At the time, gold didn't flow as plentifully as it does now. I was among one of the first in my guild to purchase the training Outlands flying.

Finally looting the Firefly pet after farming for about 3-4 days. I adored the series Firefly and the movie Serenity, so the pet had a particularly special place in my collection. It was one of the very few pets that had flavor text, "Still flying..." d'awww. :')

What should have been a wipe on Supremus, except a good friend and guildmate saved the day. Holy paladin, last man standing in the guild raid. We were sure he was dead but shield and Hammer of Wrath. BAM! It was an amazing way to finish the encounter.

Our guild's druid bear tank went AFK during the Mother Shahraz encounter because at the time all he had to do was help soak the hits with another tank. In the end we needed his battle rez, though, so it was a hectic fight until he came back to resurrect a healer lol.

Flying in Storm Peaks, Northrend for the first time after reaching max level in WotLK. The scenery was epic and breathtaking. There weren't many other players around either, so it was as if the massive snowy mountains were all mine to claim and explore.

Raiding in Ulduar with my guild, my fellow healers and guildmates passing our guild's first Val'anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings to me. Forever thankful and grateful. *bows*

"I am the lucid dream."

Adding every single pet in my bank into the spellbook/Pet Journal. So. Much. Free. Bag. Space!
There are plenty more moments that I want to mention, but I'll stop here since the list is already quite long and I'm actually getting exhausted because of the length lol.

5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?
I'm fond of a few aspects of this game -- all things pets (naturally), raiding with my friends, collecting miscellaneous things, and dressing up my characters in fun outfits. I wasn't always fond of raiding, as I mentioned previously, and it actually took quite some coaxing from my friend and guildies. But the other things I've loved for as long as they've been features in the game. Prior to pet battles, I just adored having many little companions following me around. My bank is always filled to the brim with random "junk" that I can't seem to let go of, and I think all of my max level characters have at least one transmog.

6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?
If this refers to an actual location where I go to the most, then no. I generally gravitate to any place that gives rested bonus and AFK there. For the view I normally enjoy an area with open skies (having spectacular clouds/colors/stars also helps), or somewhere high up where I can survey the sprawling landscape beneath me.

7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?
Total time played (on my main character) - 516 days, 22 hours, 25 minutes, 9 seconds. And yes, I've kept an active subscription the entire duration of my WoW history. I don't think I've NOT logged in for any extended period of time.

8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?
I used to when I first started playing, but I quickly grew out of it. Now I reserve reading quest text for moments/situations that I'm drawn to. If I notice something/someone interesting, I'll get curious and read the quest. Or if I know that a pet reward is at the end of a chain, I'll definitely read it to learn where and why this pet will be joining my collection.

Most of the time I do not read quest text though.

9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?
I'm sure there are many, such as destroying certain objects that can no longer be obtained. Or not collecting something while it was still around and now it's no longer available. I can't really pinpoint a specific regret, though.

10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?
I admit that during my college years, I ended up putting projects and schoolwork more on the back burner and made WoW and raiding more of a priority. There were times when my real life schedule depended on whether or not we were raiding on any given night. Come 6:30 PM I HAD to be online. No excuses. It was that important to me.

I'll also admit that I've lost sleep over in-game anxieties. New pets in particular. If there's a new pet, I generally need to collect it ASAP. Sometimes RNG can be really cruel and although I know I shouldn't take it so seriously, it takes a mental, emotional and even physical toll on me. I've pushed myself many, many times for pets, foregoing sleep and breaks.

All of this makes it sound as though WoW has only had a negative impact on my life, but I don't think that's the case at all. Without WoW, I wouldn't have gotten into writing/blogging and even volunteering as the content manager and admin for a fansite. Writing is something I'll likely pursue in one way or another for the rest of my life.

I've made many friends that have transcended from just in-game acquaintances to real life friends. My other half and I even visited them for lan parties and went to two weddings. If it weren't for this game, I would have never met them. I'm generally very introverted and awkward in person, so WoW really helped me open up and extend my circle of friends.

It might be hard for an outsider to understand (my family for example), but WoW has definitely left a long-lasting impression on me, both good and bad. At times it's been an outlet and a place of refuge during my many moments of distress. There are other times when it was more of a distraction while I procrastinated. It's had a mixed bag of effects on my life, but I wouldn't give up any of it for anything.

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Perks N Peeves by Quintessence is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.