As WoW‘s 10th anniversary looms over us all, the ALT:ernative Chat blog is running a “10 Years: 10 Questions” project that I thought might be kind of fun to participate in. She’s posted 10 questions for anyone who plays WoW to answer, so I strongly encourage all of you to participate if you’d like! Check the above linkydink for the deets.
And now, for more information about me than you probably care to know, my answers to the 10 Questions:
1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?
I started playing Warcraft so that my boyfriend would agree to buy, and wear, brown shoes with his brown business slacks.
He always wore black ones, and it bugged me. He’d started playing World of Warcraft and was getting pretty caught up in it, and I didn’t have much interest in the game myself. But he’d been wanting me to play with him, so I saw an opportunity and made a proposal. He agreed that if I played WoW with him for a whole week, he’d try out brown shoes.
It’s now 8 years later, and he’s got brown shoes, and I’ve got a crazy WoW habit. :)
2. What was the first ever character you rolled?
My first character was a Human Warlock, I named her Parysatis, and I leveled as Demonology because I liked the idea of controlling a variety of demon pets. At the time, I usually played caster archetypes in every game I could – a Wizard in Neverwinter Nights, an Elementalist in the Rifts table-top RPG, a Lasombra in Vampire: the Masquerade, etc. Warlock seemed a natural fit with that background, especially since the class colour is purple, and purple is my favourite colour.
I adored her immensely for all of BC, playing Demonology in all the content I could get into (which at the time was Heroic 5-mans, Karazhan, Zul’Aman, and some Gruul/Matheridon raids) despite its underperformance in the DPS department. I found the spec just so fascinating – I loved pulling out my Felhound and tanking Pandemonius and Nexus-Prince Shaffar in Heroic Mana-Tombs or Zereketh the Unbound in Heroic Arcatraz, I loved using my Succubus and a combination of Fear/Mortal Coil to keep 3 targets CCed in Heroic Magister’s Terrace so my CC-less DPS friends could tag along, and I loved having a Voidwalker tank for solo type content or in an emergency if our group’s tank died.
Unfortunately, most of this utility got pretty watered-down in later expansions and since that is where my strengths lie, I pretty much abandoned Parysatis for my healer toons instead. I still make sure to level ol’ Pary to max level every expansion, and dabble on her now and again, but the spark, the love, it just isn’t there.
3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?
My boyfriend was playing Alliance because his work friends, who he played with at the very start of his WoW journey, were Alliance. So I too played Alliance. I’m not sure I would have stuck with Horde, as friendly-looking characters are important to me (even my evil soul-draining demon-commanding corruption-spewing Warlock is a cutiepie) and I don’t think many Horde races are friendly-looking. (I did play a Horde Paladin for a while in Wrath, and still have one Horde toon, a Hunter whom I haven’t touched since the end of Wrath – not because she’s Horde necessarily, but because she doesn’t have a healing spec :P)
4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?
This is a hard question to answer. I’ve had a lot of memorable moments – some noobish ones, some I-did-something-super-awesome ones, lots of I-love-you-guys moments.
If it had to be just one moment, I think that rules out my usual answer of “the night I tried to clear all 16 BC Heroics in a 24-hour period, and spent weeks devising a plan”, so … hmm. Maybe the time I led my rag-tag group of casuals and misfits to its kill of Heroic Anub’Arak in 10-player Trial of the Grand Crusader back in Wrath. We were the third-most progressed raiding group on our server by getting that kill, which was pretty awesome. We’d had one of those epic wipe-on-13k-health attempts earlier that day, then spent 32 further attempts before we actually got the kill, but man, victory was sweet!
We’d been together since mid-BC, only raiding one day a week and always did well, but we never did complete a Bear Run in ZA or even kill normal Yogg-Saron in Ulduar (though we did do the easier hard-modes). In ToC I guess because the raid was so short we decided to try our hand at Heroics and we got pretty serious about it pretty quickly. After that, we went on to defeat all Heroic content except Lich King in ICC – a disagreement in how we should spend our weekly 4 hours of raid time led to us dissolving without getting much progress on Heroic LK. By then, I’d been bitten by the progression bug and I was really keen to push harder in Cataclysm, but the rest of my raid group didn’t agree, so I made the heart-wrenching decision to transfer servers to join a progression guild where I could pursue my own in-game goals without having to impose them upon my friends.
Still, I miss those folks a lot.
5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?
This hasn’t always been the case, but it’s been the case for so long that it’s hard for me to imagine having done anything else. Shortly after I got my Warlock to 70 and realised how much I enjoyed doing Heroic Dungeons, I started leveling another toon so I could do the Heroics more than once in a day. That toon was a Shaman, but I started as Enhancement because I thought the idea of enhancing my other allies’ capabilities was really cool. I wasn’t really into the melee playstyle, but I was sticking with it, begrudgingly.
Then I joined a Blackrock Depths pug, and just before Bael’Gar our healer left. “Dayani,” said the tank, “you wanna try healing this?” I didn’t have any gear for it, but I did have healing spells, so I was like, sure, why not, and I healed the rest of the dungeon run as Enhancement. It. Was. Awesome!
I haven’t really turned back since. Despite loving my Warlock in BC, I was a much better healer than I was a DPSer, and I had a boatload of utility as a Shaman that helped me do really well in the Heroic Dungeon content I loved so much. From my dungeon-pugging efforts I got invited to raid groups, then started leading my own, and that eventually escalated to the peak of my healing activity in Cataclysm, where I raided on all four healing classes through almost all of the content in the game, including Heroic Firelands and Dragon Soul. Oi.
Right now, in Mists, I’m doing a lot less than I was back then. There’s a couple reasons – one, the guild I’m in is a lot more demanding on my skillset and capability than any guild I’ve been with previously, so I’m “specialising” more in Shaman and don’t know my other healers as in-and-out as I know my Shaman. I have also found Mists to be pretty alt-unfriendly, and frankly pretty healer-unfriendly with the focus on solo content/daily quests/Heroic Scenario grinding for reputation and currency rewards. Plus, the healing game has been kind of shallow in this expansion, but I’m looking forward to decisions and choices being important again in Warlords! And finally, because I now run this blog, so time that I would have put into raiding on my healing alts has gone into keeping up with class changes and writing ponderous posts :)
6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?
Whatever the capital city is for the expansion is where you’ll usually find me. In BC, I hung out in the Scryer bank in Shattrath, practicing my precision-jumping by bouncing back and forth between the bank-line ropes. In Wrath, it was Dalaran – I would sit in Ghost Wolf form on the little grass patch with a statue on it in front of the Alliance bank, and people on my server knew if they wanted to find me to ask me to heal for them, that’s where I’d be. (I even had an entourage of wonderful people who would throw Baby Spice on me and cheer as I zipped around in circles on that grass pedestal XD)
In Cataclysm, it was the Dwarven District inn, and in Mists it’s been a pillar along the curved ramp leading up to the bank/reforger/gear upgrader area in Shrine. I’m not very creative or tuned in to the lore or aesthetics of the game, so I don’t have a place I feel is “home”.
I suppose I do have one little spot in Vale where I go whenever I want to test out an ability, it’s kind of a secluded little spot up a hill with a stone shrine and a beautiful red tree. It’s easy flying distance from Shrine and avoids filling my combat log up with “So-and-so creates a bolt of Windwool Cloth” while I do my little theorycrafting business.
7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?
Dayani (Resto Shaman): 360 days
Parysatis (Warlock): 150 days
Aiea (Resto Druid): 97 days
Marjaneh (Holy Paladin): 61 days
Peshka (Disc Priest): 52 days
Hamera (Mistweaver Monk): 34 days
Nishta (Frost DK, Tank dammit): 23 days
Nekhenya (Marksman Hunter): 21 days
Yzolte (Arcane Mage): 10 days
That’s a total of 808 days, or 2.2 continuous years. Actually, that’s not as bad as I expected. A lot of that time was logged in Wrath.
I took a two-week break from the game just before Cataclysm hit. I had intended to quit (I didn’t agree with a lot of the changes), but I’m really glad I didn’t – early Cataclysm was a lot of fun :)
8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?
Not even a little. I really don’t enjoy questing (because I have to be icky DPS to do it ><) and I just want to get through it as fast as I can so I can spec heals and never go back :P
9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?
Other than the difficulty of reaching the decision to pursue progression raiding with a more serious guild (a decision I had to make twice!), not really. I’m sure that spending so much time in WoW has led to me missing out on some things in real life, but in general I’m shy, I don’t drink, and I don’t keep up on pop culture so when I venture out into the real world I just feel awkward and out of place. WoW is like a lovely little sanctuary where my interests aren’t so strange, where nobody really looks at me askance when I spend hours dissecting and analyzing some tiny little minutiae of game mechanics, and where I can just relax and be myself for a while.
10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?
For someone like me who struggles with social anxiety and depression, WoW really has done a lot of good for me. I have made some incredible friends who I know will stick with me whether WoW lives or dies, and I don’t think I can express how grateful I am for that. <3