While experiencing a terrible stomach illness that debilitated me, I found something that helped lift my spirits. It was WoW. I had a lot of experience playing the earlier Warcraft trilogies, going all the way back to 1995. I seen a friend playing it on his computer. This was while I lived in military dorms. He seemed to enjoy the game. He was a very early adopter of computer games, which I thought was cool, but how did he afford his 20 games and high-end computer back then? We were the same pay grade.
About 3 years later, I saved up some money and finally decided to buy my first computer. It was a Gateway Desktop with 16 GB of memory. I believe the processor was 1 GB or something. There was a dial-up modem and the whole package for about $1400. Within a couple months, I was playing Starcraft. The game was fantastic back then. I spent long hours on my off-duty time playing the game. That was the first time I felt “wired” on a video game or with anything.
A good game doesn’t let you sleep. Your mind races about trying to think of the possibilities to come. When chasing an enemy, you feel a strong sense of the “Thrill of the Hunt” effect. You feel more alive than you ever have before as you race to put together your perfect winning strategy.
Of course, I sucked and screwed around a lot on the game. I would have fun clicking on the characters repeatedly for their reactions. I would try to cover the entire map with Zerg mud. I would build as much ground and air defense as I had room on the map for. The game really catered to people who want to play more of a sandbox game.
Eventually, I found out that I can cheat in the game by typing special messages. “You require more minerals”, might have been one of the cheats, I forget exactly. You can look it up. I dominated with the cheat codes and it was fun for a while on a different level. Cheating was a way to get the excitement and frustration out of my system for the games as quickly as possible.
Out of all the Blizzard titles before WoW, It was Starcraft that I only paid money for. The other titles were illegally downloaded or copied on CD. When I got around to playing Warcraft 1, it was after playing Starcraft and the Warcraft 2 and 3 games. The first Warcraft is not fun to play if you compare it to the other ones.
After playing the games, I went through a long period of no Warcraft. In about 2005 or 2006 I started seeing ads for a new WoW game. I was intrigued. This was a weird time in my life where I was really into learning about natural herbal medicine. When I read in the new game descriptions about how I can gather herbs and make potions, i thought to myself that I am doing that already in Rice Lake, WI. The herbs images looked weird and had funny names. I resisted subscribing.
Let me say that I have strong will power. I would choose, instead, to watch YouTube video game play from time to time. So, I waited a good 4 years before playing. That until I made a terrible mistake by ingesting a chokecherry slurry in a bendable aluminum pan. My stomach took a turn for the worse at age 30 and so did my health. Dreading another cold Wisconsin winter again, I sold my house and moved to San Diego with a friend for the winter warmth.
While in San Diego, I started meeting WoW players. I thought them to be a peculiar bunch, but I was intrigued with the gaming and common interests. One guy took me under his wing and told me that I needed to buy WoW and he would be my personal guide. He also benefited from helping me by the double XP that we got from questing.
I was a Tauren Hunter and he was a Blood Elf Paladin. We enjoyed our time together, staying up all night playing in the same room together. He was a computer coder and even played WoW while on the job.
I played for 2 years at various places on my laptop. I would play at a library, coffee shop, church, in my bedroom, on other people’s Internet -wherever there was Wifi available. I would eat up their bandwidth. I can’t believe how many hours each day I spent playing the game. I probably averaged 8 hours per day easily.
I would look forward to the seasonal celebrations, particularly Hallows End or the Winter events. My favorite event was during Hallows End when Blizzard ran the Lick King promotion. We could all turn each other into zombies and there were huge infestations in the city. Even the neutral cities were fun because we could cause chaos if we wanted to.
I would comment a lot and complain on battlefields. I sold gold a little bit for play time. 10k for $15. One time, I sold gold and received bogus play time card numbers. After complaining to the GM, they gave me back my gold, with no problem.
During the time the level cap was 90, I had 8 toons maxed out. I knew all the classes, except Boomkin. I gave my toons weird names like, Wacky, Says, Parry, Pliny and whatever weird that wasn’t taken. One toon, Kissmybutt, might have been a questionable name but never got banned.
I played Warsong Gultch when the battlefield could take hours to finish. Even Alterac Valley could take hours because you had to kill the leader at the end to win. later Blizzard added in the resource collection part, to help end each game sooner.