I talk a lot about World of Warcraft, but I never really did explain how I got into the black tar heroin that is WoW.
The year following the release of WoW; I was given the car salesmen treatment pretty hard to get into the game. However, that year was really busy. I had a pile of school work. I had a girlfriend (became my wife), and I was setting things up for the greatest summer.
Once the summer hit, I did have nights where I wasn’t going out, so, I caved.
Honestly, my biggest memory of the early days was not wanting to have to spend the time doing the level of analysis people were already doing. I asked my friends what class I should play based on how I played other video games previously. I was told Warlock, and that is literally all I played the entirety of Vanilla (and eventually Burning Crusade. I didn’t play a different class till Cataclysm).
Why? Cause leveling fucking SUCKED.
Like my biggest memory of those early days is the process of leveling from like 52-60 (max level). The game was clearly rushed out the door, so there was a lack of quests from that range.
Well, that’s not entirely accurate, the issue was getting jumped. The quest zones were crawling with other players and it was almost impossible to get any quests done without dying. So, I found a zone that was unfinished in vanilla, and just killed the same big mobs over and over again to get to max level.
This is my primary memory of the early days.
Post max-level, I am going to be honest, I did not fare much better. One thing I learned about myself and this game early is the same thing that holds true to this day: I fucking hate PvE in this game.
A friend of mine decided to take me into a dungeon. Undead Stratholme for those playing the home game.
And damn I hated it. Just the whole experience. None of it seemed fun to me. It all seemed just like a big pain in the ass to get like a possible upgrade.
Truthfully, I didn’t even get some decent gear till battlegrounds came out. I remember my first real epic pieces were from max reputation with the original three battlegrounds.
And my experience went on like that. I dont really have a bunch of positive WoW experiences till the first expansion came out. Once you could get gear from doing battlegrounds that was equivalent to what you could get in dungeons/raids, I was in. Then I cared about the game.
So yeah, I have no major positive stories from that era….well except for this one thing.
In those days, everyone had….extra abilities. Shit they would never use. Shit that made the game clunky.
Warlocks especially had a lot of those. But one sticks out in my mind.
There was no practical application for this thing. If your target was still alive after a min, you fucked up. Even in vanilla. This was just a waste of mana.
BUT…it was one of those things that was rare…I had been playing for a while, and I hadn’t seen one.
One famous famous FAMOUS day. I was very bored. Just bombing around outside the Undercity, one of the big towns for horde. And I cant remember what compelled me to do this, but I wanted to see the Doomguard show up.
So, I spent…HOURS bombing around in the woods outside one of the main towns. Looked alot like this.
So, I would cast Curse of Doom. Wait a full minute for them to die. And see if I would get a doomguard. Nothing? Move on.
I am not sure why I did this for hours but I did. Eventually friends signed on for us to go do stuff. Jumping on our audio platform…just shooting the shit. Waiting for a few others…
Then all of a sudden…it happened.
One of those dogs died to the curse, and POOF. Doomguard. To gain control of it you have to use an ability called Enslave Demon. Which I did….just in time to.
I learned fast that thing hit like a fucking truck.
Now, Enslave Demon doesn’t last forever. 5 minutes the first time you do it, then less and less.
At this point, I am yelling in the ventrilio voice chat, “I HAVE A DOOMGUARD….WHAT DO I DO?”
….This is like a chicken and the egg thing. I cant remember who suggested it first, or if i just got jumped. But somewhere along the way, someone attacked me. And that fucking doomguard made short work of them. I mean…in vanilla. That fucking thing hit like a god damn truck. Could EASILY take out multiple players.
Then someone had the genius idea. Scarlet Monastery.
There was this dungeon near by that was fashioned out of this old church. It was the best dungeon for characters of a certain level (late 20s/early 30s if I recall) cause it had gear that would last almost to the end game, and the dungeon itself was easy. So it was crowded full of people.
I couldn’t take the doomguard inside the building cause it was too damn big…but i got to the road out front.
I am SLAUGHTERING everyone the whole way there with the doomguard. My guildmates came out to see the carnage. We are all screaming in the voice chat. “GO GO GO. Re-Enslave Now. Get that Rogue. Now that Mage..”
This went on and on.
It went on so long, that the enslaves no longer work and I had to run away from the doomguard to let the cooldown reset….who was fucking killing randoms while I waited.
I mean, tears running down my face from laughing so hard. It was real randomness. The actual feeling of anything can happen that people CLAIM they have now with Classic WoW…..well I got that for real.
I did manage to re-Enslave for a time, and wrecked more….eventually it stopped working….I cant remember if the doomguard died or it faded away. I want to say it faded away. It doesn’t just stick around forever.
God, after it was done, it was like coming down off a high. We were still laughing for a while. Hell it was the only thing we talked about for a while.
I tried once or twice to do it again, and I was successful. But I couldn’t….harness the magic of that night…
Looking back, I have nothing but negative shit to say about my time in vanilla. Be it the fact that you needed 40 friends with some fucking super nerd who probably voted for Trump now in charge just to get one piece of gear OR that leveling was a brutal multi-week experience OR that the shit would just have random lag and bug out. I really didn’t like the launch version of World of Warcraft.
But man, that night. That night. Was a night of champions.