The Godmother asked for people to answer 10 questions about warcraft and their time in it for the 10 year anniversary and who am I to refuse a request from one of my favorite bloggers. You can see her post here and you can read my responses to follow. I encourage you all to take a part in it because not only is Godmother a good blogger and a good person this would really be an interesting collection of data and it would be fun to see it as complete as possible. If you have a blog, make a post, if you don't mail her or post it as a reply on her site. Come on, it will be fun.
With no further ado, my answers to Godmothers 10 Years :: 10 Questions
1) Why did you start playing Warcraft?
Why is an interesting question, why does anyone do anything really? I started to play because I like gaming, I like the genre, always have, and for years friends had been bugging me to play. I started about the middle of BC even though my friends had been bugging me to play for a very long time. I had even owned the game for quite some time before I started playing. One night I came home from the bar in what we will call a very inebriated state and started to play and it became a habit of something to do when I got home from the bar and was not ready for bed. I would log on and play for a little bit. Oddly enough, I did so with none of my friends because, lets face it, it was a miracle I could even figure out how to log in when I came home from the bar, nevertheless find people.
2) What was the first character you ever rolled?
Would you believe me if I said I do not remember? I was playing after a night at the bar after all. But the first character I ever rolled that I actually played was a hunter. I immediately fell in love with the class and have been a hunter ever since.
3) What factors determined your faction choice in game?
One factor and one factor only. PvP. My friends, the ones that had been trying to get me to play were on both sides so it was not like I leaned toward one friend over another. But no matter which side they were on they all said the same thing. If you want to PvP roll horde, if you don't want to fight other players and just want to play the game roll alliance.
Didn't need any more convincing, I am not into PvP, I like to play at my own pace and do my own thing so alliance it was. Funny how over the years it has become more and more pronounced that if you PvP you roll horde and if you don't you roll alliance. But hey, it is why I rolled alliance and I am sure it why many people rolled the faction they are on. I have seen more people faction transfer from alliance to horde just because they wanted to win at PvP than I can even begin to count.
4) What has been your most memorable moment in warcraft and why?
Holy crap I can not even come close to answering this question. There were so many things I loved doing, so many minor accomplishments that where huge to me when they happened but are no big deal now looking back on them. But if I were forced to choose I know exactly which one I would choose.
[What a Long, Strange Trip Its Been] without a doubt if I had to choose one would be my most memorable moment. Not only do I love the song and had to sing it when I got the meta achievement mount but the entire process of getting it was something I really enjoyed. You needed a long term investment in getting this achievement and I have always loved things like that because they required dedication.
It needed you to go around the world and do many things, it needed you to play on a regular basis, it had some hard to do things and some easy to do things. It had stuff you could do solo and stuff you needed a group for. It had PvE and PvP aspects. It even had the most dreadfully conceived achievement required for it in the history of all achievements with school of hard knocks which actually required you to play against the style of winning the battleground which I found was odd.
I think the fact it took so long, required so much, and needed you to use every and all tools in your toolkit as far as ability to play and time investment made mounting up on that drake when I got the achievement the single most exciting moment in the game. Some might say heroic garrosh or other heroic kills should rank higher but they are not even close. Those are group achievements, it was not just me, it was not my dedication that managed to get them, but with a long strange trip it was all on me even if it need some help from a group from time to time and that makes it my most memorable moment. Mounting that drake for the first time and riding around on it.
5) What is your favorite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?
Leveling. And yes it has always been my favorite aspect of the game. I do not like it as much as I used to because I feel it moves by way to fast to fully enjoy it but leveling offers something that no other aspect of the game offers, progression. Full on personal progression. You see yourself moving forward, getting new abilities, getting new gear, continuously getting stronger. It seems as if you are always moving forward and I like that feeling. While I like to raid you need a group for that, you need the luck of the drops, you need skill players to be with you, so while that is progression, it is not progression in my control to do it because I need others and need luck to ever see any progression so it does not hold as much of an over all joy for me.
There is a reason when I am feeling blah with the game I go to a character to level and that is because it is the most pure and true form of gaming in the game. It lets you grow and build and move forward based on your own ability and the game needs more personal progression in the game in my opinion. Even in an MMO you should not always be held back by needing other people to do the things you want to do and you absolutely should never be held back by luck being the deciding factor on if you get gear or not. RNG is fine for pet drops, mount drops, things like that, but gear should be designed in a system of "do this and earn than". I dread the RNG system of gearing and it is the number one problem with the game in my opinion.
6) Do you have an area in the game you always return too?
Not really. I go where I need to go to do things. If that is in stormwind then that is where I will be, if that is the vale then that is where I will be, if that is shattrath than that is where I will be, if that is dalaran then that is where I will be. However, if I had to choose my favorite place and the place I would always make my home, if it had portals everywhere, it would be dalaran. It has great music, a easy to navigate design, everything at your fingertips and for some reason is the most comfortable city in the game, a place that really does feel like home.
One of my favorite places in the game was destroyed by deathwing. Don't ask me why but the dock in darkshore was some place I could really lose time at. I would sit there and fish, sometimes for hours, even if I was not fishing for anything in particular. I just liked being there and I can not explain why.
7) How long have you /played and has that been continuous?
I quit before wrath came out and started up again on a new account when wrath came out and have played continually from then. I think the last time I checked I was sitting at 224 days on my main and even if I do currently have 19 90s and so many characters that I can not create any more being I am maxed even if you added all the other 49 up they would not even come close to that 224 days I have on my main.
8) Admit it: Do you read quest text or not?
Yes and no. I normally like to read it the first time through but I rarely if ever read it thereafter. However, like now late in an expansion, I will pick one character that I will reread it on and do it all over again. Kind of like reading a book you liked a second time around. But at that, I only reread quest lines I liked and remember as being worth reading.
Since cataclysm I have become a huge fan of playing both sides and reading everything on each to get the full story. Even if I had horde before then it didn't really feel like a big difference until cataclysm and it was never more pronounced than it is in mists now. The story as being told from alliance side and horde side is hugely different and I expect no different next expansion. Horde get a much more fleshed out story and a lot more depth to it through their story lines while the alliance is always on the outside looking in and more like going along with the punches while having no idea why they are really doing things. It is a huge and increasingly pronounced error in the design of the game for only one faction to see the full story. And as I said, with the next expansion being horde-centric again there is no doubt the alliance will walk around doing things and having no clue why they are doing it while the horde will fully understand all thanks to bad writers and unbalanced story telling. Anyone that does not play both sides and read both sides is denying themselves a much wider world of knowledge.
9) Are there any regrets from your time in game?
Does giving away my first account when I quit count? If so than that would be it. Otherwise in my current account I might have some regrets but minor ones. Like passing on gear to help someone else gear up to help the raid team and then they get some gear and leave or things such as that. Minor regrets, nothing major.
10) What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?
You mean besides writing this blog? I am (was) a writer and love to write but had not done so in a while so it was fun to use the game as a spring board to get back to writing. Sure it is not the writing I am used to writing, it is more op-ed pieces and the such but anyone that likes to write will tell you the same thing when it comes to writing. Writers write. It does not matter what you write about either to someone that loves to write. I could spin out a story if I wanted to for my next post or talk about the game, doesn't make a difference, as long as I am writing and I happy.
There is also another added thing for me which is odd being I started playing while I was drunk. When I came back to playing and started new I had just quit drinking. No AA or anything like that, I just woke up one morning and said I am not drinking any more. I was tried of feeling like crap in the morning and not remembering half the things that happened the night before. I dropped my addiction to alcohol and traded it in for warcraft. Since I came back at the start of wrath I have not gotten drunk because I do not drink any more. When I want a personal high I pop on the game.
This also had a huge side effect being I was at the bar some times 7 days a week and would spend anywhere from 80-200 dollars a night at the bar. I have been able to save up money in amounts I never even though possible. Who would have thought I was wasting that much money at the bar. It really adds up. I occasionally use my new found cash on my new addiction by buying some of the trading card game items and have a few mounts and all the pets from the trading card game but over all I have saved a great deal of money playing warcraft instead of spending my nights at the bar. That sounds pretty much like a huge plus to me, not to mention I am sure my body is happy to not have all that booze running though its system.
Then there is my social life. While I knew my girlfriend before I started playing warcraft, we had met some years earlier, it was through playing warcraft together that we have become closer. While the fact might be true I don't often want to play with her, because she has a different play style, being with someone that has the same interests as you is a pretty cool thing. Even when we are not doing together things, we are still together doing them, if that makes sense.
Have there been negatives? Sure, and anyone that tells you otherwise is a flat out liar. I have often made excuses not to go somewhere because I would rather raid, I sure to save one weeks vacation of my four so I can schedule it around release dates, I do go out of my way at times to get things done because I want to. Not exactly sure if these are negatives, but I could most definitely see home some might consider them as such so I will call them negatives.
The only real negative I could think of is the fact that over those years I have put on about 20 pounds but I think that is as much a function of me getting older and being less active to begin with, not because of the game as I do not eat or drink (except for coffee and water) while on the computer. I also do not eat junk food and eat reasonable portions. I am just getting older and as such less active when outside of the game. So while it could be the game to blame, it also might not be.
There you go Godmother, hope it was enlightening. I guess I could do the podcast thing, if you could teach an old dog new tricks. But trust me, no one wants to hear me babble. :P