ALT: ernative Chat’s “10 Years :: 10 Questions” Project

WoW is officially almost ten years old and Alternative Chat has put together an interesting project that involves WoW players (current and former) answering a ten question survey. I figured it’d be a fun thing to do (and I would encourage anyone who reads this to give it a go), so here are my answers:

1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?

The answer to this question is sort of embarrassing. The short answer is that it struck me as something any self-respecting nerd ought to try, at least once. I only stuck around for the free trial back when I first tried it, at some point during the Burning Crusade; I had a blast playing it despite having spent the first few levels whacking mobs with my mage’s staff (because why else would your character have a weapon?), but I couldn’t quite bring myself to pay the sub.

Fast forward a couple of years to Patch 3.3 in Wrath of the Lich King, where I casually mentioned it to my best friend as something I’d like to try again. He got incredibly excited about it, and not two weeks later I was having LAN parties with him and a few of my other high-school friends. Sadly, only him and me really stuck with it.

2. What was the first ever character you rolled?

The first character I ever rolled was a human mage named Karwyn, during the aforementioned trial. I had originally wanted to roll a healer but, like the sensible person I am, I figured it would be too much responsibility for a total newbie like me, and I should hold off on it until I understood the game better. I’ve always liked the mage archetype (because books!), so that’s what I went with instead.

3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?

When I came back with my friends, we decided to try both factions. My best friend and I both rolled tauren druids Horde-side and a human mage and priest duo Alliance-side (me the mage, him the priest). Ultimately, we discovered we liked our Alliance classes better and so we stuck with that faction. Plus, Stormwind is clearly the better city (I always get lost in Orgrimmar).

4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?

Such a hard question!

I think the most memorable moment was my first actual progression raid, which was an ICC 10-man run. I’d originally joined the guild with the intention of participating in their weekend 25-man (usually at least part PuG), but one of the healers for their main 10-man was a kid who couldn’t always make it so they were looking for a replacement. I wound being asked to join the raid about an hour before it happened. I was so incredibly nervous. I hadn’t had time to research the fights so I had to ask for explanations and my voice kept shaking and I kept fumbling my English. I think I must’ve apologised at least ten or twenty times for messing up something or another. It was awful, but strangely exhilarating.

I suppose there’s also the time I healed all the gold Challenge Modes over two days in order to get my title, but I’m not sure thirty-six hours can really count as a moment (three was probably already stretching it). 

5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?

I think healing is, by and large, what I enjoy most in this game. The role has always appealed to me, but I was scared to try it until my friend convinced me to level a priest as a pocket healer for his druid tank. I had some discouraging experiences while I was LFD-ing my way to eighty and trying to figure out how to keep people from being dead (most notably, there was an endless string of wipes through Auchenai Crypts that culminated with one of the DPS’ers whispering to my friend that it was okay, it was the noob healer’s fault we were wiping). I think it speaks to how much I like the role that I stuck with it despite stuff like that, to the point where six out of my seven max-level alts have healing specs (which I am now using to try and get Proven Healer with all the healers).

6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?

I love Elwynn. Most of my alts are human at least partially because it’s my favourite starting zone, and I quite like idly flying around it while chatting with my friends or listening to podcasts. I don’t know why I like it so much; maybe because it was the first area I got to explore, or because I really like the music. Possibly, I just really like forests.

7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?

Calidyn, my main, has 140 days played. My alts probably amount to about half that, added together. It definitely wasn’t continuous, though, since I took a year long break during Cata. It wasn’t the expansion’s fault; I wound up in the middle of some guild drama that I had no clue how to handle so I *poofed*. Definitely not my proudest moment.

8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?

Sometimes. I enjoy the lore of Warcraft quite a bit, but find questing to be pretty unpleasant since it requires I pew pew stuff (which I’m not very good at), so I tend to rush through it unless I know ahead of time the quest is an interesting. Every once in a while, I tell myself I’ll really start reading quest text now, but that lasts all of two quests usually.

9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?

The aforementioned *poofing* is a big one. I cancelled my sub and kept telling myself I was going to log in and tell my GM I was quitting before it lapsed; then proceeded to procrastinate this until it did. Definitely not the most mature approach. The other one is not having pursued somewhat more serious raiding until MoP for fear of being terrible at it. (Not that I’m at the pinnacle of progression now, but my first guild, with which I stuck to the end of Cata, was about as casual as you could get, and it drove me a little insane.)

10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?

I’m painfully shy in real life and struggle a lot with social anxiety. This started out being the case in WoW, as well, (with me not saying much more than ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ in dungeon runs) but my impatience and the fact that it’s a fairly structured environment with very concrete goals eventually made me start speaking up in group content in order to get things get done.  While I still have a long way to go, this has somewhat reflected in my real life and I’m significantly more confident when talking to strangers. 

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