On April 13th, 2005 I created my first World of Warcraft (WoW) character. I played WoW every day until the end of December 2008 – unless of course I was out of town. I played every morning before work, and immediately upon my return home from the office – unless of course there was some pressing issue or social thing I had to deal with – reluctantly. What is WoW? A MMORPG of course. MMORPG is Massively Multi Online Role Playing Game. WoW is the undisputed leader in this field and has been for a few years now.
You create an avatar, a 3 dimensional character that lives in a virtual world that you can control almost every aspect of. It isn’t just hitting buttons to hack and slash opponents, it’s also dancing, chatting, emoting and more. Each character in WoW was as unique as the player that was playing it at home – except in the case of female night elves which were all the same (wow humor). WoW allowed you to choose between two different factions (think Russia vs US cold war). First there was the Alliance which consisted of Humans, Night Elves, Dwarfs, Gnomes and later the Dranei (the Dranei were introduced to WoW during it’s first expansion pack The Burning Crusade). And there was the Horde consisting of Orcs, Trolls, Tauren and Undead (Blood Elves were introduced to the Horde in the Xpac BC). So after choosing your race you pick a class: Mage, Hunter, Warrior, Druid, Shaman, Paladin, Rogue, Priest and Warlock; there were of course class restrictions, but that’s a long story.
If I remember correctly my first character was a female dwarf priest, tons of male characters were hitting on me almost immediately, I didn’t feel the need to tell them that I was a guy. Didn’t matter that much, I was looking for my rl (real life) friends and couldn’t find them. Turns out I was on the wrong server.
I then created a male gnome warrior named Lariq, he had green hair and mustache and was pretty hard to kill (OK, so I tried out lots of different classes and found this one to be so hard to kill – so I sucked in the beginning). Lariq was created on the same server as my rl friends, but I rarely saw them online when I was on. This server was a “Normal” server. When Lariq got to level 60 (the level cap at the time), I was getting bored, I wasn’t a hard core raider and didn’t have the uber gear that would allow me to go to many raids, nevertheless I was fortunate enough to be invited to UBRS and MC (Upper Black Rock Spire and Molten Core) when they were something worth going to.
I rolled (created) my next character on a different server one I picked randomly called Kirin Tor (KT) which just happened to be an RP realm – RP is Role Playing. RP realms have different rules than normal servers, but are rarely enforced unless players complain, so they are known as whining servers… but I didn’t know that at the time. I rolled Mancy, a gnome male rogue here. Rogues start out very slowly, but can make themselves stealthed which was a lot of fun. Mancy became my new Main (what WoW players refer to as their main character when they have multiples, you can have up to 10 characters on one server and up to 50 characters total). Mancy wasn’t much of a RPer but he did love to PVP (Player vs Player) and leveled almost exclusively that way, he did however manage to hook up with a few raiding guilds here and there that took him along as DPS (Damage Per Second). I was playing Mancy almost exclusively and decided to delete Lariq, which I promptly did.. I figured I would never play that character again so I sold all his stuff and gave away all his gold (currency in WoW). Soon enough Mancy reached 60 and I once again started to get bored with the lack of new things and eventually…
I rolled Noq, and undead mage on Thorium Brotherhood (TB) also an RP realm, I had found the RP realm folks to be much nicer in general than folks on Normal or PVP servers. Noq was pretty much a solo playing character who also loved to PVP. He was fortunate that he met some folks that made his playing more social and they hung out a lot together online (Grokus, Janka, Meltiece, Zurasha and a few others) back in the day we ruled WSG (Warsong Gulch a PVP battleground instance) and were the closest of friends, we had regular enemies from the Alliance that loved to play matches against us. Of course this was before WoW introduced cross server battlegrounds and made most of us dislike the BGs).
I soon rolled Ailmeant, a dwarf priest on a PVP server which is a very hard place to level and got him to about 55 before getting bored with him. When BC was released I transferred him to Kirin Tor where he quickly made friends with his leveling buddy Oroblarm, a dwarf Paladin and they were both soon 70 (the new leveling cap) and raiding. I soon paid the $10 fee and had Lariq undeleted and restored to the KT server and renamed him Bubo and leveled him quickly to 70.
WoW released the Burning Crusade expansion on January 16, 2007, and quickly broke records for how many units were sold. I rolled a BE (Blood Elf) Hunter on TB named Bubbo, BE’s tend to be a little effeminate (opinion) and quicly became the most rolled race in WoW. I played more gay on Bubbo than I do in rl, it was fun to be so campy and self-centered.
It was the early fall of 2008 and I had been playing for quite a while and was just tired, bored and found less and less desire to play the game. Then my Pa died in November right before the release of Wrath of the Litch King (WotLK) and I missed the first few days of the release and when I came back most of my friends had leveled ahead without me, so I was soloing content again, which wasn’t all that appealing at this stage of the game.
So I think I originally spent $40 on the game, and the monthly subscription rates were 14.99 for one month (46 months 689.54), 13.99 if you subscribed for 3months (41.97) (46 months 643.54) or 12.99 for a 6 month sign up (72.94) (46 months (597.54). I spent around $40 for BC and $40 for WotLK. I would play every work morning for about 2 hours, then when I would get home I would play until it was time to go to bed and on weekend I would play all day, from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. or later. This is typical for players of WoW in my opinion. I don’t think it is really that much different than TV, monthly cable bills are about $70 starting out and many that I know spend hours in front of their TV never noticing the time slip away – but as a WoW addict I probably shouldn’t judge.
Anyway, I hope it’s over now, I had a great deal of fun, met some people that I hope will always be in my life and generally didn’t mind the time I spent in Azeroth (the planet in WoW’s name). When and if another great game comes along that everyone is talking about I’d probably give it a shot, but I would hope that I wouldn’t be quite as engrossed in it as I was in WoW.