Sunday, August 10, 2014

#10Years10Questions: Part 1

#10Years10Questions is an effort started by the lovely @AlternativeChat. She's asking you to talk about your Warcraft history, whether currently subscribed or a one-time player. Head over to her blog and share your history!

Why did you start playing Warcraft?

It was sort of an odd series of events that lead me into Azeroth. It was May or June of 2005, and I was about to start my final year of college. A then-bandmate of mine picked up World of Warcraft and suggested I try it out. I'd seen and heard enough about the game to accept his offer to test-drive it. I do remember bits and pieces from that 45-minute-long play session, including the character that I chose, but I'll get into that in the next question.

Shortly after trying out the game, I found myself in a local game shop with my step-brother. He was looking for something new to play, and a couple of recently released MMOs were garnering positive reviews. He turned to me with a game box in each hand and asked, "Guild Wars, or World of Warcraft?"

"Definitely Warcraft," I said. There was some back and forth about having to pay a subscription, since Guild Wars didn't require one of its players. "It'll be better," I said, "because you're paying extra for it every month."  I think there was a "just trust me" in there, too (I had no idea what I was doing). In the end, he trusted me. 

One of the first characters I played for any length of time, circa November 2005. I lost access to the shared account this rogue was on shortly after this was snapped. As you can also see, this is before I discovered addons. Look at those bags!

By the end of that summer, the long-term relationship I was in had dissolved. And no, I know what you're thinking: the breakup had nothing to do with World of Warcraft. In fact, I hadn't played since the first time I'd tried it at my friend's house earlier that summer. I ended up moving to a nearby city to share a flat with my step-brother and two others. To my surprise, they were all playing Warcraft. 

By fall, I was sharing an account with the two other roommates, a couple who had an account together. It was my senior year of college, meaning I had quite a bit of free time while the owners of the account both worked day jobs. Thus, the game was mine during the daytime hours. However, they were planning to move into a place of their own by the end of the year, meaning my days of account-sharing were numbered.

It was time to take things into my own hands. In January of 2006, I went back to that local game shop and purchased my own copy of World of Warcraft. I've had an active subscription ever since.

What was the first ever character you rolled?

The first character I rolled would technically be the one that I used to check out the game for the first time at my friend's house in 2005. In retrospect, I cannot fathom what pushed me to make the choice that I did. Probably naivety, for the most part: simply not knowing about what the choices meant. It was clear that there were two sides in this game, but other than one faction looking distinctly uglier and meaner than the other, I had no clue what all when into the history of their interactions. 

For whatever reason, I settled on a dwarf. For class, I went with hunter; again, I cannot remember why I went this route. If I had to guess, I chose hunter because of the promise of getting a pet. 

I remember being enamored with just how large the world seemed when I finally got inside and started the opening quests. Keep in mind this large world was confined to the dwarven starting area---I had absolutely no idea how large the world really was. I also had absolutely no idea how large the world would become

Strangely, to this day the hunter class is the only class I cannot get into no matter how I try. My most-famous hunter was level 76. Whether he's famous for being my highest-level hunter or because he's the highest-level character I've ever decide.

Meet Carlyja circa February 2006. This is the first character I rolled on my own account, started in January of 2006. I've learned how to hide the user interface by this time. I still play this character today.

Which factors determined your faction choice in game?
As a rule I tend to shy away from characters that seem too human when I play fantasy-adventure games. After all, I get to be a human every day! I also have a tendency to side with the underdogs, especially if there's a good vs. bad dichotomy taking place. It has nothing to do with being a bad person (I hope) or thinking myself a badass; rather, it's refreshing to not have to follow the "good guys" around everywhere. 

When it came to Warcraft, I went into it with no lore background. From the character creation screen it was clear to me there were two factions, but beyond that the factions had no meaning behind them. As I mentioned above, I rolled a dwarf that first time, and once I was sharing accounts, I spent my time between a human warlock and an orc rogue (the latter pictured above). 

Then, once I had my own account, I chose to make my human warlock undead by re-rolling a Forsaken warlock. The choice to create a Horde character stuck with me, and I soon learned there could be benefits to having multiple characters of the same faction on the same realm. While I absolutely loved everything about Stormwind City during Vanilla, it wasn't enough to hold my allegiance. Horde it was, and would be, forever. 

Still, I'm not a die-hard "For the" faction type of guy anymore. I used to be, but after really delving into Warcraft lore over the years, I see the situation in Azeroth as being very nuanced. I respect both factions and know there's good story no matter which side you're on. But with so many years and characters invested in the Horde, seeing me on an Alliance toon will continue to be a rare sight. 

Part Two later this week! In the mean time, head over to Alternative Chat's blog and answer these questions for yourself if you haven't already.

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