Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Mage, a Priest and a Rogue Walk Into an Inn...

I was once an avid WoW player. Since my subscription expired in June 2008 until now -- having moved to Japan and not yet acquired my own computer or home Internet connection -- I have been unable to continue playing the game. That's not to say that I have quit for good; I'm just taking a break.

When the alpha of WotLK came out, my brother was able to take part in it. It was great to be able to check out the Death Knight class first hand, and to go to Northrend and try some level 70 quests on his warrior. Since that time, the beta kicked in, and many people have been involved in ironing out the bugs in the next expansion. As circumstances have prevented me from playing for about two months, there is a lot that I have missed out on. I just hope that I will be back into the full swing of things before the expansion is released.

Raiding used to be a big part of my life. There was a time when all we knew was Azeroth -- before the words Draenei and Black Temple had any meaning. Cumbersome 40-man raiding was the norm for big guilds. What follows is a brief account of my own World of Warcraft story; a tale that I hope is not yet over, but will continue on into the cold climate of the northern continent of Azeroth and the epic story surrounding Arthas and his fusion with the Lich King.

It all began about six months after the original game went live...

My brother received the game for his birthday in April 2005. That day was both a good day and a day that marked the end of life as we both knew it. Sharing an account is not fun; let me tell you that. However, we didn't procure a second account for a few months after that, and so were restricted to sharing time between our own characters. Suffice to say, when character transfers finally rolled around, we took advantage of being able to transfer two of our original characters between accounts.

My brother originally rolled a night elf rogue. All I'll say is that it hasn't always been his main, but she still exists and is level 70. This story is about me and my WoW experience.

I rolled a Night Elf hunter as my initial race and class. It took me almost four months to level to 60 -- the level cap in those days. Total playtime: about 16 days! Yes, I was a real noob back then. I think I played more than my brother because I reached 60 before he did.

When we purchased a second account, my brother rolled a druid and I rolled a mage. I didn't play my mage terribly much at that stage, as my hunter was well on his way to 60. I joined a guild in my 30s and stayed with them until I was almost level 50. The guild I joined before my own end-game was one that I stayed with for a good period: Brethren of Vengeance. I started raiding in about August of 2005. Raiding what? Why, Molten Core and Onyxia's Lair, the first two 40-man raiding instances that Azeroth had to offer.

I became a dedicated raider, and slowly built gear up as we learned each Molten Core boss and killed Onyxia week after week. If memory serves me correctly, however, I missed just about every first boss kill due to unavoidable circumstances -- pity.

The end of the year ticked over and I had acquired about three pieces of Tier 1 gear and the quest items for the epic hunter bow: Rhok'delar, Longbow of the Ancient Keepers, which originally doubled as Lok'delar, Stave of the Ancient Keepers. The quest to acquire this coveted item, Stave of the Ancients, proved to be quite a challenge. I didn't finish it for many months -- I will outline just why further down. I also still have both the bow and the staff in my hunter's bank!

In January or February of 2006 I had to quit playing the game. I took about a two month break before coming back to find that my guild had disbanded. When I left, we had just ventured into the higher level raid instance, Blackwing Lair.

On coming back to the game afresh, I no longer felt like playing my hunter. Since that time -- April 2006 -- I have been playing my mage as my main toon. I got her to level 60 in short order, and since I didn't have a guild, started PvPing. Total time to get to 60: 12 days. I also spent a lot of time in Silithus, which is where I met the Guild Master of the guild I spent the longest time in: Unknown. This guild was my home for almost a year and is where I made a number of friends; some of whom I still stay in contact with on my server, Proudmoore.

To be continued...

Gaiwyn of Proudmoore

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