Yes, what you see here is a typical screenshot Cynthia and I see when we play an online game together, a massive one that players from different parts of the world gathered online. Looks complicated but it is like driving. After a while, it is second nature.
It’s been 5 years since World of Warcraft was launched. Nov 23 was the date. Wow! Think about the subscription fees I have paid. US$12.99 per month to be exact. I have been their faithful subscriber since Feb 2005, when the game finally arrived in Singapore.
I am not disillusioned. I know what is real, what is not. There was a period of time when concerning family and friends tried their best to keep me in check, against game addiction. I suppose if one spends too much time on something, not able to find time to do something else with someone else, collective wisdom would say: that’s no good. And if one spends too much time on something that majority of people do not understand, collective wisdom would say: that’s even worse. How about if one spends too much time on something that majority of people understand (or think they do), what would collective wisdom say? Here are my thoughts.
- Most of us have a letter of employment that says we are paid from 9 to 5. But yet some of us pour in more hours for no tangible outcome.
- Most of us are convinced that we build useful skills as our career progresses. But how useful are these skills as time goes by?
- Most of us have our eyes on promotion, having a new title. But what does the title really mean outside your office?
- Some of us claim that never mind the long hours because we have fun at work. How much of those juicy war stories really mean anything to someone who is not of your work domain?
What I am trying to say is that, you too are in your own world. Everybody does. We all have our passion and obsession, in different forms.
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In celebrating the 5th anniversary of this one great game, fans are recounting and sharing their World of Warcraft moments online. Hence, this post.
All Levels Begin With Number 1 (Before Death Knights Ruined It All)
The very first moment logging into the game was magical. I was an elf. My buddy Mark was too an elf. Every moment in the game was new, and breathtaking. How many of us in reality can look through the routines and find something fresh, and exciting? Like every moment is a moment of discovery? That mysterious forest; those spiders that killed me again and again. Ah, good old level-lowbie.
Our Town Is Attacked Again (And Then Honor System Came And Vanquished It All)
In the good old days, opposing fractions often raged war against each other’s towns. The first time I participated one was exhilarating. Opposing fractions would form a long line facing each other, stayed out of each other’s attack range (much like the movies of the ancient wars), waiting for the number to gather. Reinforcement flew in as news traveled fast. Lots of taunting and luring to start the battle. At a critical moment, someone would rally a group and march into the enemy line. And then, the battle began involving easily more than 50 players.
As the attack progressed, it often broke into smaller battles amongst small groups (has anyone played the ‘egg and flour’ war in say birthday parties?). I once thought that I was safe hiding behind a tree resting. In the next moment, I saw 5 or 10 of them in front of me out of nowhere. Uh oh.
The side effect of these unintended episodes was that not only did players take down other players, but they also took down the guards, the pheasants inside the town, basically halted all kinds of questing for those who wished to stay out of conflict. So, the creator of the game has decided to take the battle out and into designated areas. I miss those large scale town raiding. Or as a matter of fact, being raided was just as fun.
General Drakkisath (In The Good Old UBRS)
The first time tackling the dungeon in a group of 15 online players was, as I remember, nerve-wrecking. Raid leader’s commands were streaming through the chat window in the form of text. Everyone followed order, for every maneuver inside the dungeon. Flawless execution like an orchestra that all musicians play a different instrument, but the same song. The quality of leadership and the bravery of the group was inspiring. Although in much later, I too led groups to tackle different dungeons, although as time goes by there are newer and more complicated dungeons, I still hold dear to my first memory of the dungeon UBRS.
No, we didn’t kite General Drakkisath during my first encounter. That strategy was derived much later, I think.
It Is Level 1 To 60, Or 70 Once Again (For The Horde!)
By the time Cynthia joined me, it was 2007. First expansion of the game was out and she was attracted to the beauty of the new race blood elf, curious about what got me so into the game (I remember we had a bet or something). To someone who has 8 level 60 characters back then, it is all the way from the beginning again.
Interestingly, Cynthia is my antidote to game addiction. Because of character progression, there is little point in getting ahead of each other. We complete quests together, visit dungeons together, and play the game together till today. If she doesn’t play, I don’t play. Simple as that.
Self-Actualization (For Now Before Expansion #3 Arrives)
2009 is an interesting year. The game has evolved in a way that it is now much easier to attain “self-actualization”, even for the casual players. Cynthia and I are now able to work towards improving our characters beyond the level cap tackling dungeons in heroic mode side-by-side with the serious players (or raiders). We are exalted in major factions riding dragons (see picture above) and collecting exotic pets, collecting in-game titles. We have a good pile of gold coins stashed up somewhere. In short, all that we have ever wanted – given the real life constraints we have – we have. These days, we rarely play, maybe a couple of times a week.
And when expansion #3 arrives, it will be all the way from level 1 once again …
Oh yes, happy birthday WoW.
External Link: World of Warcraft Anniversary Site