Friday, August 22, 2014

WoW: Honors takes the 10 Years – 10 Questions survey

A couple of blogs I read regularly, including Boldly Nerd and Blessing of Kings , have posted a 10 year anniversary survey for World of Warcraft. It started on the blog ALT:ernative which I discovered through this challenge.

I decided I would take it as well.

I unsubscribed to WoW at the beginning of this year. I went to play Galactic Starfighter in SWTOR and then as that was waning, I moved on to Wildstar. I will be returning to WoW for Warlords and I’m currently perusing the Guild Recruitment forums looking for a good community. I hope I can find a place with cool, mature people that are friendly to my decidedly casual playtime and odd schedule.

Why did you start playing World of Warcraft?

My friend got a job at Blizzard Entertainment as a GM. One of the perks was two free subscriptions and he gave one to me. I had wanted to try WoW out on multiple occasions but I could never justify spending $15/month on a game. With the money barrier removed, I dove into WoW. This would have been early to mid-2005 during the time of the build up to Ahn'Qiraj.

This same friend lost his job shortly after Burning Crusade launched. I’m not sure who was more upset about it, him or me. Of course by that point I was thoroughly hooked on WoW and had no problem paying the sub.

What was the first character you ever rolled?

My friend and I rolled several toons together but the first were a set of humans. He rolled a warrior, and I rolled a Paladin named Volumus which was an amalgamation of the name of Vinas Solamnus, the founder of the Knights of Solamnia from the DragonLance campaign world. I was a huge fan of the DragonLance novels and characters.

Like many World of Warcraft players my love for Azeroth started in Warcraft 3. I knew I wanted to be a Paladin, but I often wonder how my WoW experience might have been different if we had switched classes.

Of course, when I rolled that first toon, I thought a tank was a military vehicle and Raid was something you used to kill Palmetto bugs.

Which factors determined your faction choice in game?

Paladins were Alliance only at the time I started which made my choice relatively easy. Even if they hadn’t been, I’m pretty sure I would have still gone Alliance. I tend to prefer the ‘good guy’ side, and my favorite units in Warcraft 3 were the dwarf mortar teams (“mortar combat!”), riflemen and gyrocopters (“they came from behind!”). Undercity completely freaked me out, and while I liked the Tauren, I didn’t want anything to do with the Forsaken.

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

There have been so many great moments over the years and it’s hard to pin down just one.
But the story that keeps coming back is the first time my guild killed Hydross the Unstable in Burning Crusade. Paladins weren’t accepted as full time raid tanks yet, and Hydross was one of those bosses that we weren’t supposed to be able to tank.

I was having some internet issues that night and I actually got disconnected. I still had vent so I’m communicating to the raid leader. My toon was still in game. So much of Paladin threat was reactive in those days. Somehow I maintained agro through the disconnect and got back in time to handle the transition. My guild was pretty impressed.

Back then, trash was a huge time sink and it had crazy respawn timers. We had cleared trash twice already that night, and we knew we weren't going to clear again. We wanted to make one more attempt but the respawn timer was very low. We ran in, and buffed up as much as we could.

Warriors would charge Hydross to start the fight because you needed to start it right where he was. If he moved too much, he would summon additional adds and you’d wipe. Paladins used invisibility potions to get around that problem.

I quaffed my Invisibility Potion and moved into position. The conversation on vent was something to the effect of:

Me: "Ok, 15 seconds on invisibility"
Raid Leader (an incrediblely talented Druid name Trelic): "Click that *bleep* off, we don't have 15 seconds on respawns!"

So I pulled and the trash didn’t respawn, but if we wiped that was it. The attempt was going well, but we were just barely ahead of the Enrage timer. We made a couple of nearly flawless transitions, and got him into single digits, but had less than a minute on the Enrage timer. Then our raid leader decided we would not try another transition. We blew everything we had and killed him milliseconds before enrage.

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

Once I was introduced to it, raiding quickly became my favorite part of the game. I love the feeling of getting a team together whether it was 40, 25, 20, 15, or 10 (I’ve raided with all those sizes) and taking on an impossible challenge. There is a comradery built as you struggle and wipe and learn together. Then the payoff comes when you finally down a difficult boss that has been kicking your butt. The cheers in vent bridge the miles and bring people together in a way no other type of video game experience can.

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

For me, it was Uther’s tomb. Every time I had a major change in game like changing guilds, or leaving the game, I would always go to Uther’s tomb to think about it.

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

I’m almost scared to know what my /played would be across all my toons. I’m sure it’s over 200 days played. When I was heavy into raiding I was easily doing at least 20-30 hours per week in game.
I played continuously from 2005 up to around 2011 when I left for SWTOR. I came back briefly after SWTOR went free to play. I wasn’t playing enough to justify a sub and then ended up back in SWTOR, and then Wildstar.

I hate to make any grand proclamations, but I hope this time I will stay in Azeroth for a while.

Admit it: do you read quest text or not?

I do, and I even hang around to listen in if the NPCs are having a conversation. I love the lore of the game. WoW’s leveling experience was great and I’ve always felt the storytelling was underrated.

Are there any regrets from your time in game?

I have many regrets from the way I treated people at various times in game. I left a lot of hurt feelings behind. I would make some different choices given those same circumstances again.

What effects has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?

I met some truly wonderful people through WoW. I am honored to count them among my friends. Only now, instead of names like Ofn, Boston, Blue and Dak, they are known to me as Rich, Scott, Kirk, and Michael.

I entered the Blizzard Short Story contests which rekindled a love for writing. Though I didn't ever game with them, through WoW podcasts I met people like Tami, Steve, Bre, Amber, Perry and together we ended up self publishing 3 volumes of original short stories.

I’ve continued to study and practice at writing and I hope to one day be good enough to publish a novel of my own.

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