As World of Warcraft has moved through new expansions, content has been added, removed, or altered to provide players with an ever-changing world to experience on their trek from level 1 to (now) level 110. Along the way, we create a lot of memories of our travels, whether it’s by taking screenshots, using social media or just simply keeping the memories in our heads.
Today’s Throwback Thursday column will be a look back at my earlier days of playing WoW, picking out moments that really stood out for me.
- I had never played an MMORPG before, so many of the concepts were very foreign to me, such as the ‘persistence’ of the game world. Logging out was like getting a night’s sleep — the world and the players would continue their activities without me.
- Using WASD and the mouse together took me some time to get used to. I’d previously played only mouse-only games, or keyboard-only games. Running with one hand and turning with the other seemed bonkers to me.
- My first character was a tauren hunter. It was suggested I try hunter because it seemed to be the easiest for a new player to learn. That might be true, but I’m still not all that great at being a hunter four years later.
- I didn’t know that mobs a certain number of levels below mine would stop granting XP. I was questing through Durotar, in the Southfury Watershed, when I started noticing that I wasn’t getting XP from killing anything. It makes sense now, but at the time it was confusing to me, and it was a while before I either figured out the reason, or someone told me.
- I was given a very quick tour of the major cities of Azeroth by someone in the guild (into which I was invited because I was a friend of existing members). He must have been a mage, as we were magically transported everywhere. He bounded around on his Tundra Mammoth, with me occupying one of the vendor seats. I’ll never forget the first view of Undercity — so much darkness and bright green goo, and just as confusing to navigate now as it was back then.
- For a long time, when I ran around, I would avoid running into other players. I didn’t realise that, on the whole, players and NPCs can walk/run through each other. I still occasionally feel awkward when I run/ride through a person.
- Sometime later, when I was exploring Darkshore (still on my hunter), I ran into a bit of trouble, and tried to find safety. I was in the northern reaches of the zone, and when I saw the Horde banners marking Shatterspear Vale, I naturally assumed that there was a Horde settlement there. A few minutes later, after managing to get up the slope past all the night elf sentinels, I was quite bewildered to find the settlement overrun by elves and giant trees. I felt very lost, a little tauren in the middle of Alliance-controlled lands (though I probably didn’t know that at the time).
- The first time I flew over Stormwind, I was gobsmacked by just how large it was (and rather nervous by the red text on the screen saying I’d entered Alliance territory). Even now, when I fly over it on an Alliance character, I get this feeling that the city was built to last.
- One last memory, though it came later when I was levelling up my troll druid. I was in the Halls of Lightning dungeon, healing, when we ran into trouble with General Bjarngrim. We ended up wiping, and when I ran back, I tried to get close enough to rez the tank. I died in the attempt, because I was just a shade too close to the boss. The warlock in the party chewed me out, saying that he’d SSed the tank. I had no clue what this meant — it was a WoW acronym I’d never encountered — and I felt bad for the rest of the dungeon.
Over four years later I’m still learning new things about the game, and always creating new memories. At least now I’m taking more screenshots and Twitter to record them.
- If you have some good (or bad) memories from your early days of WoW, why don’t you tell us about them via the forum or social media?