Almost 5 Years – A World Of Warcraft’s 5th Anniversary Inspired Post

A typical WoW screenshot in action

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Most of us are convinced that we build useful skills as our career progresses.  But how useful are these skills as time goes by?
  3. Most of us have our eyes on promotion, having a new title.  But what does the title really mean outside your office?
  4. 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.

*     *     *     *     *

That dragon, earned it with blood and tears.

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

13 thoughts on “Almost 5 Years – A World Of Warcraft’s 5th Anniversary Inspired Post”

  1. 1. How can you survive the first levels as elf? Is elf a bit too weak?
    2. I serious like your bullet points on “what other think you are doing and what you think you are doing”… very very very true and very inspiring… I strongly believe that if you do the right thing, the money will come

    1. 1. Hehehe, elves in the World of Warcraft are not that weak. The night elves are pretty agile, can dodge better. And the evil twin – blood elves – are pretty magical! That slightly lack of strength is made up by other attributes in the game as the game progresses 🙂

      2. I too hope that money will come too when you do the right thing. We may not be outrageously rich, but sufficient to have a comfortable life. That’s what I am aiming for anyway.

      1. My thoughts on the 4 bullet points

        >> 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.

        – agree more than 100%

        >> Most of us are convinced that we build useful skills as our career progresses. But how useful are these skills as time goes by?

        – I was being “de-skilled” as time goes by. Interesting though my skills acquired 2 jobs earlier from the current one were the most useful

        >> Most of us have our eyes on promotion, having a new title. But what does the title really mean outside your office?

        – It does not really matter

        >> 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?

        – You need to get your hand on F1 2009. My friend, F1 is difficult… even to keep the car on racing line

        1. AY – Talking about “de-skilled”, that is definitely my case too. Or maybe a decade later, after a few job switches, you and I will look back to today and think that what we have now is more useful than what we will have. Hehehe.

          Man, I want F1 on PC! I think it is coming soon. Is it because you are pressing the KERS button in the wrong place?! Ha ha ha. Oh, we have to review the recording again and see how F1 drivers do it with brake and throttle and gear shift! I reckon if we learn that we shall be able play the game well … all 60 laps with no crush!

          1. You have to wait for F1 2010, which will be on PC platform… Interesting features are:

            Online racing
            Full weather effects
            An “arcade” and “sim” version
            Track surface model that will simulate rubber build up, marbles, stones, water etc
            Running off the drying line in the wet will give you less grip and cool your tyres
            Wind and sand effects
            It will be possible to spray champagne after a race victory

  2. What a very, very, very interesting game ! (And did I mention it’s interesting?). I like playing this game because of the following reasons:

    – I enjoy the graphic, the images, and the action
    – My characters build usefull skills as their levels progress
    – With accumulation of achievements, my characters gain titles. Alexei is a Crusader and an Explorer. He has quite a number of titles to display
    – Since I enjoy playing the game so much, I don’t mind putting in hours to play. The juicy war stories can only be understood by those who play as well, we understand each other’s language.

    Hmm.. do the bullet points tally with your thoughts?

    1. Shyue Chou – And all credits go to Blizzard, that gives us a game that we can’t walk away, years after years.

      Look at the bright side, WoW saves me a lot of money that I would have spent on other PC games. I suspect quite a few others who are into WoW are like me too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.