I play this game called World of Warcraft.
I was gotten into it by my sister, who begged me and begged me to play after one of my brothers got her into it. I warned her that I would get really badly addicted to it.
And I did.
Mind you, this was back in the days of what they call Vanilla WoW, where the level cap was still 60 and the quest chains were long, boring grinds of killing dozens and dozens of things.
I think what captured me was my first experiences with the world. I have high hopes for the expansion coming out, because I’m hoping it reworks the old content into something new and exciting again.
Here are some of the things I found exciting or creepy when I first started playing.
I rolled a troll rogue as my very first character. The main reason being that rogues looked easy to play, and trolls get to ride raptors.
By the time I reached level 15ish and was running around this zone called the Barrens (think African savanna), my dad and younger brothers were all playing, too. So we offered each other tips, or good gear or weapons that we found, and basically learned to play the game.
Out in the Barrens, most of the monsters you meet (otherwise known as mobs) are fairly reasonable things, like lions, zebras, giraffes, raptors and tallstriders.
So I was questing out around this one oasis, and spotted a big cave. I went inside, and almost got slaughtered by the elite raptors standing just inside. I send a chat message to one of my brothers who was on at the time. “What is the Wailing Caverns?”
“Oh, don’t go in there. That’s a dungeon.”
Now you tell me.
So as I played, I gradually began to collect quests for the Wailing Caverns. I tried to sneak in a couple of times, but the monsters got me every time. You just needed a group to survive, it seemed.
Finally, one Sunday morning, my Dad, brothers and me got together and went inside the Wailing Caverns.
It’s interesting in there. Like a jungle inside a cave. And there was weird stuff.
See these slime things? Once you get their health down, they split off into another slime, and you have to kill it again. Which royally creeped me out. I hadn’t seen any other monsters remotely like that before.
Then there’s these humans in there who turn into giant snakes in the middle of combat.
I stood on a pile of dead snakes and slimes, looking at them and going, “What in the heck are these things?”
And my Dad said, “Welcome to the Wailing Caverns!”
We didn’t make it all the way through. We spent five hours, got lost, then called it a day. It’s really a horribly-designed dungeon. But it was one of my formative Warcraft experiences, because it creeped me out and intrigued me at the same time.
Another of those formative experiences happened round about the same time. I got sick of the hot, yellow Barrens, and hopped a zeppelin to some place called Tirisfal Glades. That sounded nice and cool.
Turns out it’s where the undead start out. It was dark and gloomy and foresty, and everything is undead. You have zombie humans and zombie gnolls and zombie dogs and zombie bats. Zombie zombie zombie.
I played quite a few quests in Tirisfal Glades, but after a while it got depressing. The quests were so sad and morbid. “Oh, please go kill my zombie son and husband so we can bury them!”
“Oh, my hands are so cold as the Plague takes me over! Can you get me stuff to make mittens?”
Yeah. After a while I couldn’t take it anymore, so I wandered off into the zone next door, a slightly brighter place called Silverpine Forest.
Silverpine was very pretty. Except for these broken lampposts.
As you got into the real zombie-centers, it got creepier and creepier. No NPCs. No quests. No towns. Just creepy pine forest and wolves and zombies.
I went back to the Barrens to warm up.
But I remembered it. You see, positive or negative, the undead zones had elicited an emotional response in me. I didn’t care much for the undead, but now I felt sorry for them.
Later on I moved to the Alliance, but I still have a deep affection for the Horde, because it was my first Warcraft experience. If I had started Alliance, I don’t think I would have liked it nearly as much.