Vanilla: When I learned how to play and tried to be a guild leader.
I have a long and varied history with World of Warcraft, beginning on May 30th, 2005. When I first started playing, I made a troll hunter named Takishani on Dragonblight. I loved the game and convinced Khoa to play with me. But we gradually started to dislike that server for a variety of reasons, so I didn’t get far past level 44 before restarting on the Garona server a few months later.
I became the guild leader of a guild called the Saiko Sages, which I created in September 2005 after I started playing there. My characters were a tauren hunter named Tamanda, a troll elemental shaman named Junazee, an undead affliction warlock named Tulivia, and an orc fury warrior named Tiloisi. They were all at 60 by the time Burning Crusade was released. My only 60 for most of that time, however, and the one I considered my true “main”, was my tauren hunter, Tamanda. All of my friends knew me as Tammy back then.
I was part of a guild alliance called (uncreatively) Alliance of Guilds, who helped my little fledgling guild raid Molten Core. However, since the server was Central time zone, the raids started a half hour before I got off work, and thus I often missed the first few bosses. When I got home, the situation was almost always one of the following three:
- The raid never found enough people to start in the first place.
- The raid would form, but wipe so many times on the first boss that they gave up before I got home.
- The raid would find more than enough people, and not have enough spots left for me when I got home.
I rarely got into the raids at all, and it took me a good nine months to get my favorite piece of loot, my hunter’s Giantstalker’s Helmet. It was one of the only helmets I’d ever seen that actually looked nice on a Tauren female. I was dreading having to replace it when all of the loot got reset with the expansion.
I realized I am not a leader and never should have tried to be. The guild was growing too large for me. The guild’s original purpose was to have a group of people around I could be friends with and unlike most guilds, I could simply remove anyone who annoyed me. But with most people wanting to see more content, good people would leave my guild for a larger one, and hence the guild had to grow in order to survive. I found myself going against my original goal, trying to convince people to stay even when they annoyed me.
The server was also getting quite crowded, and there were a number of people I didn’t like there, so I handed the guild off to my first officer and took the offered free transfer to the newly created realm of Baelgun in January 2007.
The Burning Crusade: When I learned to heal and tried being an end-game raider.
This server move to Baelgun still did not satisfy me, and I was quickly approaching the point where I would have to replace my precious Molten Core loot. I wanted a fresh start. In June 2007, after playing for 2 years, I decided I no longer wanted to play my Horde characters.
I found myself getting back into the mental state of “Do I want to play that? Naah. Do I want to play this? Not really.” Even when one of those things was WoW. I decided that I was getting utterly bored with the characters I have, so my answer to this is simply to leave my server and start fresh on an RP server on Alliance side. Why? Because Draenei females are, in my opinion, the coolest player characters ever designed, and I’ve never really done the Alliance-side quests before. And I wanted to see if people on RP servers are any more intelligent than those on regular PvE servers.
I chose to reroll as a priest, because experience with all three group roles (tanking on my orc warrior, healing on my shaman, dps on everything else) taught me that most of all, I enjoy following a group around and making sure they don’t die. Tanking has too much responsibility, and I’ve been dps for so long that I feel quite uneasy with elite mobs attacking me in instances. DPS feels too solitary — it feels like I’m just running around attacking things that don’t (for the most part) fight back, while the rest of the group is doing their own thing. As a healer, I feel like an integral part of the group. It’s quite rewarding to me to let my group do what they want and have it be up to me to make sure they live through whatever crazy stunts they try to pull.
Also, healers are often the role that is most necessary when looking for groups, and I love instancing. I hated being a level 60 hunter and having to spend FOREVER sitting in Orgrimmar looking for a group because nobody ever needs DPS classes in groups. But as a healer, it’’s quite easy to get a group.
So then I created a draenei priest named Kalya on Silver Hand, an RP server (with the least amount of RP of all RP servers) in the same battlegroup as Blackrock, where some guys at work played on Horde side. I could theoretically fight them in PvP, but I never actually encountered them. The chances against it were astronomical.
After I reached 70 and progressed through some early raid content, I have found a good home with a guild called Afterlight, who raided 25-man instances, working their way through Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep: The Eye. We had some major setbacks over the holidays with people leaving the guild and the server for a variety of reasons and had about a month-long stretch where there was very little raiding whatsoever, but from what I hear, this is pretty normal for raiding guilds, and it settled down after a while. We ended up taking down Vashj and Kael’thas a week before the 2.4 patch removed the attunement requirement for Hyjal, and Afterlight progressed quite far through Hyjal and Black Temple. Khoa was tanking on his protection paladin, and the two of us farmed heroics for badges and ran twice-weekly raids through Zul’Aman for quite a while.
I had a level 70 paladin named Kareja who I worked on in my off time. She was Retribution DPS first because I found it fun to challenge people’s stereotypes by beating them in damage, and Holy healer the rest of the time to find groups for stuff, but both specs were quite well-geared. Thirdly, I had an elemental shaman named Kazzarae, and I don’t have much to say about her other than CRAZY DPS! Also, my shaman has a unique name, and I’m quite proud of that.
But in Summer 2008, I was working quite a lot of overtime, and it’s a challenge for me to have the energy to start raiding as soon as I get home, even when I don’t have overtime. I have to say I didn’t see a lot of Black Temple, and what I saw of Hyjal was a serious disappointment. I really expected Archimonde to be about ten times bigger than he was. I’ve seen trees in Ashenvale that are bigger than the so-called “World Tree” in Hyjal. So I took an extended break from raiding in favor of a new project.
The Soul Still Burns. A bunch of people from my place of employment who all play WoW rolled new Horde characters on the RP server Kirin Tor. I played the most out of anyone, and I have experience being a guild leader, so I took up the reins. Also, with the shift of raids down to 10-man in the next expansion, I saw this as an opportunity to keep a small guild while still being able to see raid content. And better yet, everyone in that new guild was actually someone I had met in real life and saw at work on a more or less daily basis.
I also leveled a troll rogue named Luluria and tauren druid named Halure to 70, but soon after, I went to Blizzcon ‘08, I met a lot of my guildmates from Afterlight. I realized that I really didn’t like Kirin Tor because its latency was high, everyone I met there was an idiot, and most of the people I knew from work had stopped playing on that server anyway. (It was probably time for me to leave anyway, since I was no longer working at that company.)
Wrath of the Lich King: When I decided I don’t really like being part of a guild at all, and started to learn how to tank.
I decided to come back to Silver Hand, this time as a night elf druid named Kassari. After playing Halure on Kirin Tor to 70, I realized that even though priests are the first class you think of when you think “healer”, druids are better in almost every way. I do still like the draenei better aesthetically, but the awesomeness of the new shadowmeld made me glad to be a night elf. Besides, I still had my priest, paladin and shaman to play when I felt like being a draenei.
While I appreciate my time spent in Afterlight for how many good friends I met on the server, I dislike the mechanics of 25-man raids in the respect that organization of so many people is your main concern, requiring several leaders and custom channels and stress. I also dislike the politics of guilds, and wonder why we can’t just play with our friends and raid with who we want to without having to convince them to join our guild with our point system or whatever. So I did not join Afterlight on my new druid, and ended up raiding with Khoa’s new protection paladin through Naxxramas with a PuG that met every weekend, and collected every piece of my druid’s tier 7.5 set.
In the meantime, I also leveled a draenei death knight to 80, and got my draenei hunter to 70-something and a human warlock to 67, largely thanks to the Refer-A-Friend system that let me get triple experience gain on my alts if I played them with my friend. But Khoa and I got really burned out by the time Ulduar was released, and took an extended break from WoW shortly after 3.1 was released.
We were intending to play Champions Online when it was released in July, to see if it could convince us to stop playing WoW, but when it was announced that the release date for CO was pushed back to September, we came back to WoW. This time we rerolled on Horde side of a new-ish RP server named Wyrmrest Accord. I played as an orc enhancement shaman named Kinysis, and Khoa made yet another protection paladin.
Around the time of Blizzcon ‘09, both of us really felt like we were burned out yet again, so Khoa took a break to concentrate on his studies, while I took a break to try out Champions Online, creating an awesome-looking blue dragon girl character, but I found the gameplay lacking. When patch 3.2’s new Dungeon Finder was released, I resubscribed to WoW and took advantage of the random groups I’d never see again to learn how to tank with a Night Elf warrior (named Kamaela) I had leveled on Silver Hand to around 38 before.
I got Kamaela to level 50 before taking another break in February 2010 to try out Star Trek Online, but found its lack of fun activities that don’t involve shooting Klingons to be boring after a month of doing so. When I heard through the blogosphere that a new guild called Single Abstract Noun was starting, formed out of the community that surrounds World of Warcraft bloggers and their fans, I couldn’t resist resubscribing to WoW so that I could join it.
I am currently (as of the last time this post was updated on March 12 2010) leveling a gnome protection warrior named Kaprika on the Argent Dawn server. Khoa will be joining me, as soon as he can decide what kind of character he wants to make this time around. I plan to stay on this server for quite some time, and when Cataclysm is released, I am planning to make a number of alts with the new combinations, including a dwarven shaman and mage, a human hunter, a worgen druid, and either a worgen or gnome priest.