Monday, August 18, 2014

#10Years10Questions: Part 2

#10Years10Questions is brought to you by the wonderful @AlternativeChat. Head on over to her blog and answer the questions yourself! If you missed it and are interested, check out Part One.

What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?
Without a doubt, it was killing Arthas with a guild group while the fight was still current. 

See, I was mostly a solo player throughout Vanilla and the Burning Crusade, absolutely clueless and completely satisfied. I did think dungeons were the coolest thing, and I had no issues spending hours in General or Trade assembling a group. Raiding, though, didn't really exist in my universe.

My raid history prior to Wrath of the Lich King:
  • Two or three invites to Molten Core during Vanilla. I don't think I ever participated in a boss kill, but my warlock did get a tier BoE.
  • One invite to Magtheridon's layer during the Burning Crusade. I was targeting one of the summoners around the ring as the raid leader explained the strategy and mistakenly hit my interrupt key. This started the encounter and I was removed from the group amid a couple of choice words before I could see if the raid wiped or recovered (they probably wiped). 
  • A few invites to Karazhan runs; that's the experience that really whet my appetite for raiding.

I never had the luxury of being in a group that cleared Karazhan, but I joined several pugs and even ran with the guild group on a few occasions. My raiding memories from Vanilla are mostly gah what the hell is going on! but with Kara, I thought the place was absolutely bizarre...and I at least understood more about boss mechanics, thanks to BC Heroic dungeons. I wanted to survive long enough to see the rest of it, and surmised that there were probably other mystifying places like this in-game that I've never seen. 

That guild fell apart near the end of the Burning Crusade, but I knew what I wanted to do: raid. By that time, I'd finished college and was working days. I had other responsibilities that I wouldn't abandon in order to free up evenings for raiding. That left a rather unpopular time slot: weekend mornings. Searching that keyword in the forums often yielded months-old posts, but not many hits overall---mostly people looking for that experience.

But perseverance paid off; if it hadn't, I'm not sure I'd be playing the game today. I found a good fit on a different server roughly halfway through the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. In short order, we were in Ice Crown Citadel slowly chipping our way towards Arthas. 

The Lich King fell on a Saturday morning a week or two before the Cataclysm pre-patch. We'd been working on him for several weeks; we had the strategy down, it was just a matter of all ten of us executing perfectly. And on that attempt, puddles didn't enlarge, no one died to Enraged Spirits or Val'kyr. The Lich King "wiped" the raid at 10% health, and of course we knew what that meant. The raid was resurrected and we finished him. Arthas' dying moments began to play across the screen in the closing cinematic.

Thankfully my vent was push-to-talk, because that's when I started bawling. Absolute, unrestrained weeping.

I suppose there were a lot of things going on in my mind right then. To do something fun, something challenging, something that took work and a significant level of concentration alongside a group of others all aligned to the same goal was exhilarating---and still relatively new to me when it came to gaming. I've "beat" games before, but it meant so much more to me to do it as part of a team. I discovered the invaluable nature of the second "M" in MMO.

That's me. Off the right shoulder of the blood elf, circa 2009. And the hovering tree still heals in the raid today.

What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case? More broadly, I focus almost exclusively on PvE content. I enjoy questing and lore (at least the first time through), achievements, collectible items, pet battles---from what I can tell, I'm going to totally get into garrisons in Warlords of Draenor. I'll dabble in PvP from time to time, but I've consistently come across the worst of player attitudes there and as a result stay away most of the time. Warlords should be interesting given that I'll be leveling on one of the most populated RP-PVP servers out there. 

Out of PvE activities, raiding is my favorite as you probably guessed from my response to the first question. 

6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?
Yeah, Molten Friggin' Core in search of the other half of those damned bindings! Dalaran would probably be a candidate; if my characters' hearthstones are set to somewhere other than the Shrine or their farm, it's Dalaran. I've always liked the compact layout of the city and the fact that you're literally floating up among the clouds. It gives a totally different feel to the atmosphere. 

Another area I return to on occasion is "inside" the rock pillar in Orgimmar that can only be accessed by "wall jumping" or whatever the term is where you cause your character to break through a wall barrier and run under/behind the world. You can get inside this pillar and fly up it; your character can't be seen from the outside, and near the top there's little hovel carved out with a little memorial placed by Blizzard. Kind of a neat reminder about all of the things that go into this game that players never see or think about.

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