Of Parts in Bigger Pictures
At this point you may have noticed that I'm visiting http://www.alternative-blog.net/#sthash.8DBtQJ0w.dpbs quite often. Currently, there is an event or something going on. Anyway, there're ten questions to answere for the 10th anniversary of World of Wacraft and since I had answeres in my mind when I read them, I thought it wouldn't hurt to take part.
1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?
Simple. My girlfriend had a copy of Warcraft 3 when she moved in. I liked RTSs, so it didn't take long until it was installed on my computer. To be honest, even today I'm still somewhere in the orc campaign. But the story (so far) got me hooked and I thought, it would be cool to run around in Azeroth, discover it, see the story develop and interact with that world as part of the world. Plus, it was part of my image of an university-student. I started studying in Fall 2009 and started playing WoW in Spring 2010.
2. What was the first ever character you rolled?
The same character who tries to get his T16-gloves from the Celestials for half a year now. So my first ever created character is still my main and I do not regret it. It was a hard way leveling a fire mage to level 80 back in 2010, but it was also very funny. Dying has always been part of my toon which makes me very wipe tolerant. Maybe that is even part of why I do not perceive my character as heroic. I only had a starter edition, so my choice was limited to Vanilla races. I already was on Alliance (see below) and I knew I wanted to be a mage. RP aspects played a large roll in all of that. draenei weren't available, so gnomes were the only arcanophile Alliance race, the only race a dedicated RPer would choose. Moments later I had to find a name and several more hours later, Brunold woke up in Anvilmar. Gnomes don't do that anymore, they're in front of Gnomer now. Isn't that just astonishing?
3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?
I don't recall the details anymore. Maybe my girlfriend missed playing gnomes (which didn't matter anymore, when her draenei priest hit level 80). Definitely there were many factors, we told a lot about what each factio represents, what kind of people choose which faction. The Horde was presented to me as the outcasts, mostly mistreated people comparable to american natives. The Alliance then were the intruders. They definitely were progressive, while the Horde was bound to nature. Today I would say both factions are much more complex, maybe more complex than you can point out in a few conversations. Orcs are intruders on Azeroth but they have to fight prejudices because the Alliance doesn't grasp how Thrall's different from the old Horde. Night elves are very close to nature, while orcs again and again are trying to break free from that.
People sometimes point out that Sylvanas isn't really part of the Horde. But like orcs they're cut off from their former lives. High elves then don't care that much about how the Horde treats nature. They are embracing the Arcane although they know what happened the last time an elven culture did that on Azeroth.
But five years ago I knew only pieces of all that. I don't know why I chose Alliance, I just know my reasons against it: They were the Good Guys, they represented the American Way of life and warefare (at least to me and at that certain time), they were mostly human and the more traditional fantasy races.
4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?
There are many, I guess. There are two conditions for a moment to be memorable: I) It has to be in the past and II) it has to be present in my mind. A moment should be more memorable the more it lies in the past while it's present in mind. Therefore I'll concentrate on my first moments in World of Warcraft.
One very memorable moment was my first Molten Core-visit with my then-current guild. I didn't just happened to have hit level 60 recently then, but it was also a very hot day and I lived in a top floor flat so I was as near to a Molten Core as I could possibly get, while I was raiding MC. How much in the past? At that point I had played WoW for maybe six months.
To me, my first visit in Stratholme was very memorable. I went with my girlfriend and we had just recently made death knights, so the setting was very appropriate. Also, Stratholme was Stratholme. I knew that place from Warcraft III, where I had created it. Everything that was thrown against us now, had been my fault in another life. Plus, my guild master cleared the instance for us. He was a well-geared level 80 warrior and it was a quite impressive – and satisfying – experience to have the Wrath shred to pieces in this manner.
There were many, many memorable moments and a lot oft them, most of them included other players. Single player moments include being killed at level 20 in Grim Batol before there was a Grim Batol, sneaking into Uldum before I could afford the expansion – and some stuff I only talk about in private.
5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?
Do I have a favourite aspect? Some people would say, I like the lore the most. I don't know, I like, what other people's brains produce in that regard. I also think, it's the glue you use to hold differnet parts of the game together (as it is the case with RP elements).
Maybe my favourite aspect is that the game is set in Azeroth and then yes, that has always been the case – in both senses.
6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?
Ironforge is such a wonderful place to call home. My visits during Mists had admittedly been few but I do visit Ironforge. It's where everything started, it's what gnomes had called home for a very long time, it's in a mountain and has a very good forge. And it's hot and full of lava and fire – did I mention that I play a gnome fire mage?
Dalaran then is the home town of the Arcane. During Cata I stayed there and since everyone else was gone, it felt like I kind of owned that town. At least we, the mages, owned that town because we weren't dependent on hearthstones.
And somehow I spend a lot of time in Blackrock Depths. Uldaman was an instance I visited a lot before the Cataclysm but it hasn't been the same since. Which also goes for Gnomer and Stratholme.
There's a lot that I liked and don't like anymore.
7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?
On my main I have /played 207 days and 22 hours, which is far less than I expected and partly so because I have spent much time afk since my daughter was born. My twinks are on 35 days downwards of play time.
It wasn't continuous. Ignoring some financial issues for the moment, I had one major break from January this year to May. There were several things going on, a lot of people stopped playing the game over the years. Then I tried out some single player games which are on a whole other level than any MMORPG right now. In short, I'm not happy with WoW in its current state.
So what lured me back into the game? I took part in the closed beta of Elder Scrolls Online and either they didn't plan on being a rival to WoW or vastly underestimated Blizzard's ability to get better. On Twitter then, and in the blogosphere I met a bunch of like-minded people, people who were invested into the game. Mostly, I'm back because I stopped thinking I'm in the minority of the Warcraft community. So I'm in for the change that has yet to occur.
8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?
Take a guess.
9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?
No. Yes. Maybe. I surely made some mistakes. But that's our destiny as human beings, isn't it?
10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?
Found new friends, got social skills and the knowledge of how it is to lead a bunch of very resistant people. ^^ And either you stop playing or you get very good scheduling skills, experience in setting limits to yourself.
And if you're interested in the broader perspective, here's a collection of other responses: http://www.alternative-blog.net/2014/08/10-years-10-questions-blown-away.html (actually it's THE collection ^^)