With the World of Warcraft 5 Year Anniversary now underway, it prompted me to reflect back upon when I first started exploring the World of Azeroth as a level 1 Hunter. It was sometime in February of 2006 when I emerged at the starting zone in Teldrassil… and well, the rest is history. Here I am 3 years and 9 months later, not only still actively playing the same character, but maintaining a website devoted to the game and my beloved class. I guess you could say I was a little drawn in at first and never really lost interest. 😉
My wife gave me WoW as a Christmas gift in 2005, but I waited a few months before installing it. I honestly wasn’t all that interested in it to tell you the truth. I put it on my Christmas list mainly because I had heard that it was a good game at the time for benchmarking PC performance. Up until that point, the only computer game I had been playing was Diablo II LOD. Although I enjoyed the hell out of it, I’d been playing it for 5 years or so, and was starting to take notice of some other games I’d seen reviews of online. One of them was WoW.
My initial impression of WoW was that it was too cartoony and lacked the mature vibe that I so craved about Diablo. WoW looked like it was geared more towards kids and teenagers, where as I was more interested in a game that had mature graphic content and story lines. At least that’s what I had thought.
I had tried a free trial of Warcraft III and it just didn’t excite me. I assumed WoW was going to be along the same lines. It wasn’t until Dave Chappelle’s reference to WoW in one of his stand up routines that I thought seriously about trying it out. I was a fan of his, and I figured if a guy with his personality and intelligence could get into it, well maybe it’s worth a look. How easily influenced I am.
Anyway, I mentioned to the wifey that WoW would be a cool gift choice for me if she needed extra ideas. So, being the sweet and giving spouse that she is, she bought me WoW, a 60 Day Game Card and a strategy guide. 😀
Most people would have probably headed straight to their computer by that evening at the very latest to install the glorious new software, but not me. I guess I had an inkling that even though I didn’t really see myself getting goofy over this game, I had a strange feeling that an unforeseen allure was going to draw me in. I f**king nailed that premonition.
For a few weeks my wife and I flipped through the strategy guide, looking at the different races and classes. She most likely saw herself not playing it, as it looked to have the sort of camera angle and game play that was not to her liking. Like myself, she wasn’t really a gamer per se, but she did have some fun with Diablo (all my doing). She liked that overhead type of game play, but felt that WoW’s camera angle might make her nauseous after playing it awhile. At any rate, we had fun looking through the guide and imaging what sort of races and classes we’d be.
I had a lot going on in my life at that point. I had been in a pretty noteworthy local band that had just imploded after three years of rising success. We were on an indefinite hiatus and I was actively working as a mediator trying to repair the damage and get the train rolling again. On top of that, my mom was coming off of cancer surgery, which didn’t prove to be all that successful. It was a very uncertain and troubling time, at which point I didn’t need yet another distraction.
Once I realized that the band situation was kaput, I knew I had a little more free time on my hands. I also welcomed a new diversion, as my mom’s ill health was gnawing at my emotions constantly. So, one weekend while the wife was out of town on business, I finally went ahead and installed “that game” she bought me for Christmas.
I remember thinking jeeze… this thing is taking frickin’ forever to install. I hope it’s worth it. I figured I’d probably not even get around to playing it that evening because it was taking so damn long. Eventually the installation was complete and I was able to log in for the very first time.
I sat at the character creation screen for quite some time. I had a lot of fun with that actually. I knew I wanted to be a Night Elf Hunter, but the character customization and naming took awhile. Garwulf was a result of my RP side I guess. Not that I’m into the whole role-playing thing, I just wanted a name that sounded cool as well as original.
After watching the cinematic intro trailer, then wandering around Teldrassil for a few minutes, all I could say was… whoa… It’s going to take me awhile to get the hang of things, but I’ll get it eventually…
Because this game is f**king incredible!!!
The one aspect that blew me away was when I first swam through one of the little ponds near the starting area. I was floored by not only the fluid motion, but also by the sound. As I’d said, I wasn’t really a gamer before, so perhaps I was really easy to please.
I remember thinking the biggest decision in moving forward was going to be whether to use the keyboard or the mouse to move my character. For me, it was a no-brainer. Mouse all the way. I’m also thinking this is because I’d never played FPS games before and hadn’t ever experienced that style of play. So essentially, I started keybinding from the get go.
After probably about an hour and a dozen deaths, one of which was a result of falling out of the tree house on my way to the class trainer, I finally dinged level 4. I then went to bed and thought, sheesh… it’s gonna take me forever to hit level 60, but it’ll be fun trying. 😀
After my wife came back home and had a glimpse at my most recent addiction, she demanded I give her the install discs so that she could join me in the fun. She quickly realized that the camera zoom was flexible and offered her nausea free game play. She too rolled a Hunter, but ending up going with a Dwarf.
We both continued with our quests on separate continents, until at one point I decided to make the trek over to Ironforge so that we could journey together. Pretty sweet huh. 🙂 I hopped a boat to Menethil with my trusty Moonstalker Runt by my side, then began the arduous hike through The Wetlands and on to Dun Morogh. Thank goodness for Aspect of the Cheetah. 😉
So here we are nearly four years later… My wife’s uninstalled the game once, I’ve wrestled with my inner WoW demons over the years, but ultimately we’re still enjoying it.
As for my wife, her time in Azeroth is pretty spotty. She doesn’t get on nearly as much as she used to, but when she does, she still has fun with it.
As for me, I think I’m finally starting to get the hang of things. 😉
I’ll tell you one thing that I do know… I made the correct choice at the character creation screen that first day. I’ve diddled with a few other classes that have intrigued me over the years, most recently a Death Knight, but none of them even come close to the joy that is the Hunter class. 😉
So, what’s your story?
How long have you been playing?
Did you start out a Hunter?
What was your first pet?
Do you remember your first instance run?
What’s your /played?
wait… don’t answer that last one. I know I’m sure as hell not telling. 😉