This is a part one of (however many it takes) series recounting my adventures in World of Warcraft, why I stopped playing, where I felt they went wrong, and how to add more excitment at end-game content.
Beggin' yer pardon, but we interrupt your usually scheduled technical blog for a post about World of Warcraft. We now take you to our correspondent, Taonas, Shatiah, Altereus, Akadava, Laebonn, Lefay, Lorzar and our newest correspondent, Zunjun.
Each of those was one of my characters.
I started, originally, in 2009 as an Undead Priest on a PvP server. I had just graduated, was unemployed and back living with my parents. I'd made a new (also recently unemployed) friend who suggested we play together; so we did.
We got to mid-40's questing around Stranglethorn when said friend got a job and lo, our playtime was cut. We had some laughs, though. As it was a PvP server we ganked an Alliance character a couple of times. As punishment, he got his guild to help out and a bunch of level 80's descended on us.
I was playing a Priest, only, I didn't know I could heal. I also -- thinking back -- didn't pick a talent tree and as such didn't spend my talent points. It was a refreshingly naive time. I was also vendoring all the cloth and leather I had. It also made perfect sense for a Priest to pick skinning and enchanting.
That character has since and still is to this day parked in Grom'gol Base Camp.
It wasn't until a few days later that I discovered some other friends of mine were playing on a different server, on a different faction, so I hastily joined up.
My new characters name was Taonas. A Night Elf Druid.
One of my friends took the time to educate me on picking professions properly, on picking talent trees, and ensuring I was self-sufficient whilst knowing I could rely on the guild for help. I became friends with the guild master (Trixie) and another person in the guild (Karen).
The levelling experience was great and brings back a lot of memories thinking about it now.
I remember questing outside Auberdine when someone correctly guessed the origins of my characters name and told me it was their favourite episode of Stargate SG-1 as well.
I remember picking Insect Swarm as a talent and not really noticing the decreased hit chance it was meant to have.
I remember discovering the Dungeon Finder around the level 30 mark and instantly, questing fell down the drain. I was all about the dungeons now. It was in a dungeon I was mocked for not casting in Boomkin form.
I remember when, finally, Blizzard reduced the cost of dual talent specialisation from 1,000 gold to 100 gold. I quickly picked Restoration and never looked back at my poor old Balance spec (aside from a brief fling during Mists of Pandaria, but I never really liked the then new changes to the class).
I remember being really proud of healing dungeons and being really happy when I could do Heroic Dungeons. I once healed The Violet Hold on heroic without the use of HealBot which I had grown far too dependant on (not a big thing when I think back on it, but then it was very much a case of "I AM A GOD!".
I remember being incredibly frustrated with Blizzard when they released Cataclysm. It was my first experience of a new expansion and I didn't fully understand why, when I was still doing Wrath heroics that they took them away from me when I turned level 81.
It was during Cataclysm that my knowledge and skills dramatically improved.
To be continued...