WoW! Thoughts! — On 10 Years :: 10 Questions

Thoughts on spending 10 years in Azeroth and the answers to some questions.

For the last few weeks, the ALT: Ernative Chat blog has been running a fun project to celebrate World of Warcraft’s impending 10 year anniversary by asking everyone to answer 10 questions about their time in WoW, and then compiling the answers for a series of podcasts. Following is my contribution to 10 Years :: 10 Questions:

1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?

Because my friends were playing it. I don’t remember who had it first, but I remember hanging out in my friend’s basement watching him play Warcraft II, and then somehow my family got a copy of Warcraft II. I can’t say I was good at it (I’m not much for RTS’s) but I remember trying to follow the story as best I could by watching my brother and everyone else play through the later stages. I skipped Warcraft III but Warcraft II set the foundation for my interest in WoW.

I was a huge fan of Diablo II, and remember reading about Blizzard’s announcement of World of Warcraft on a Diablo II fansite.  The only thing that stopped me from jumping in at launch was my stronger fascination with Star Wars Galaxies.  When the New Game Experience destroyed SWG, I drifted over to check out WoW, and began my adventures in Azeroth.

2. What was the first ever character you rolled?

Gragtharr, a tauren hunter. He’s still my main.

3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?

When World of Warcraft was announced I saw the images of a Tauren fighting a Dwarf and I instantly wanted to roll a Tauren. Since I didn’t play Warcraft III, I missed their introduction into the lore and I knew nothing about them, other than they were massive and imposing and I was going to play one. I also didn’t know about Thrall had rebuilt the Horde as a less evil and more heroic organization, so while I was initially disappointed to play the ‘bad guys’, I soon overcame that and invested in the faction, and now I’m all in. FOR THE HORDE!

4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?

I think it was when I finally decided to try raiding, by which I mean LFR. I downloaded Recount and started tracking my stats. I found myself fighting the Spirit Kings in Mogushan Vaults. After the fight I checked the charts and I came in 2nd. Now, 2nd in LFR DPS is not a major accomplishment, but as someone who avoided group fights because I never wanted to be the one to cause a wipe this made me infinitely proud because I knew that I could do this and that I didn’t have to worry about embarassing myself.

I’ve grinded out my legendary cloak and my violet proto-drake and my loremaster title, but that was probably my proudest accomplishment because I didn’t expect it to happen, and I wasn’t actively trying to do it.  Most of my goals have been attainable through repetition of a middling task (like grinding out thousands of Nesingwary Lackeys for Cenarion Expedition rep), but this was the first that was performance-based.  I know there are people who are way more accomplished in raids than me, but this is my first step to approaching them.  I recently participated in my first flex raid, and that I did so can be traced back to that Mogushan Vaults LFR run.

5. What is your favorite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?

I think my favorite aspect of the game is that there are so many aspects to the game. I remember a long time ago I got bored with questing and started grinding out fishing. I was maybe level 50 at the time. I fished up to Journeyman and was bored out of my mind and hated it. I was impressed, though, because the game offered enough activities that when one task wore itself out, there was always something else to try. I’ve been careful since then not to rush into content. I got my first ever kill of Garrosh (LFR or otherwise) just the other week since I knew there would be no rush when 5.4 launched to blow through that content. I still haven’t touched pet battles since the Mists of Pandaria beta because I know at some point when everything else is played out I can level a character that way and enjoy myself.

I loved playing through Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms because there were so many ways to level your alt and different zones to see. Different professions and different characters make the game completely different. I only recently obtained a max level alliance character (boosted, of course), and it is so weird to think that some people only know the game through Stormwind and the Alliance experience, whereas I think of World of Warcraft and immediately think of Orgrimmar. There are so many ways to relate to the game and so many things to do within it that it is astoudning to think that no one else experiences the game the same way. It is amazing and it is one of Blizzard’s greatest accomplishments.

6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?

Mulgore, and not just because Thunder Bluff is there. I love the plains, and the moon at night shining down upon them. Mulgore is such a tranquil zone. It is where I first set foot in Azeroth, and it was the first place I went when I resubbed after my last break. If we ever had the opportunity to retire from questing and set up housing, I would live in Mulgore.

7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?

63 days 1 hour 16 minutes 16 seconds on my main. Another month or so for my alts.

I played a few months during vanilla, got to level 26 and then quit because the Barrens and Stonetalon Mountains wore me out.  I felt like I had a timeshare at Taurajo. I returned during Burning Crusade and made it into Outland and level 61 when real life intervened and I cancelled my sub because I simply stopped logging in for three months.  Then I came back for Cataclysm, because the thought of Thousand Needles flooding and the Barrens being splintered (and Taurajo’s destruction!!!) piqued my curiosity. I have yet to leave.

8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?

I try to. Sometimes I get a little harried, but I love the lore, and it always frustrates me to read a blog post about an awesome questline that I somehow managed to play through and don’t remember.  I love the quests.

9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?

Aside from when I realized I should have been wearing faction tabards to earn reputation while grinding out the Ravenlord Mount instead of getting the mount and THEN deciding to rerun dungeons just for reputation? I suppose it might be that I don’t group enough. I’ve spent the bulk of my time solo, avoiding PUG’s and guilds for the most part. I boosted an alliance character, since I somehow only meet Alliance players in real life, and I have been finding a whole different way to enjoy the game other than just playing alone amongst a group of strangers. It will be interesting to see how this affects my experience in Warlords.

10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?

Writing WoW! Thoughts! got me into PAX East two years ago, and I got to meet David Brevik when he was promoting Marvel Heroes. (Really, PAX East was crazy and I hope I get to go to another show again in the future.)

In a less gaming influenced way, I moved from New Jersey to Georgia last year, and WoW helped me process that transition. I wrote a column lamenting Theramore’s impending loss (before it was revealed an NPC could restore the city to its former glory) that was very much me coping with the fact that I was going to leave the home I had known. My world has literally changed, but Azeroth has been a constant for me over this time. It has helped over these last two years in ways I will never know.

So those are my ten years of ten answers.  Thanks to @AlternativeChat for arranging this whole project.  Good luck reviewing all those submissions!

 WoW! Blurbs!

11-13-14.  We hoped it would be ready for Blizzcon.  We were wrong.  I’ll have more about the cinematic next week (spoiler:  ITS AWESOME!!!).

Lords of War looks awesome too.  For everyone complaining that the cinematic featured no Alliance characters, here’s Maraad and Varian introducing our villains for the next expansion.  And I think those are gnomes on the table dressed as miniatures.

Blizzard is looking into memorializing Robin Williams in game.  He should be an orc from a village called Mork.  Naaru Naaru?

Blizzard announced the contents of the Warlords of Draenor collectors edition.  I want those Behind the Scenes disks to see the moment when Blizzard realized “this is going to take over a year to push out…”

Blizzard is raising the subscription price in the UK due to a weak pound sterling.  What’s worse is that they may not even get Warlords of Draenor, because it launches for them on 13-11-14, which either doesn’t exist or is a strange way of saying January 11th.  Silly British.

Nick Zielenkievicz
Nick Zielenkievicz
Nick Zielenkievicz

Senior Producer

Host of WoW! Talk! and The Tauren & The Goblin. Sometimes known as the Video Games Public Defender. Wants to play more Destiny and Marvel Heroes but WoW is all-consuming. Decent F2P Hearthstone player. Sad that he lost the Wii that had Wrecking Crew on it. Would be happy if the only game ever made was M.U.L.E. Gragtharr on Skywall-US. Garresque on Ravencrest-US.

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