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World of Warcraft: A Severe case of Nostalgia

My old World of Warcraft experiences primarily on the server EU-Bloodscalp. Occasional stories from EU-Neptulon and EU-Deathwing. Stories from classic/vanilla, TBC & WotLK.

Author: Lorgarn

https://northbreed.wordpress.com/

 

We're finally here, Redridge Mountains, located east of Elwynn Forest, northeast of Duskwood and south of the Burning Steppes. Its the first "contested" zone that we'll level in, although, horde players rarely visit Redridge besides the occasional pop-in to make some fuss. Like I explained in an earlier post, contested means that if you're playing on a PvP-server, you're not longer protected by zones being under Alliance control. In here PvP is fair-game and even though horde doesn't level here, its wise to be on the lookout. The zone itself is a pretty beautiful and sort of idyllic in a way, with flowing rivers, elms and elevations, still officially a part under Stormwind's protection yet still somewhat independent and self-maintained. The people of Redridge manage their own lives and business, they have their own little network and ecosystem in place. It's also a zone with many resources; it supplies Stormwind with lumber, crops and fish. Its people are happy and content, all in all its a much happier and contained situation which gives an amazing contrast to how Westfall is doing. They are pretty much complete opposites in that regard, which shows the player that it's not all chaos, destruction and misery.

 

 

Ordinarily, the first stop for a player venturing into Redridge for the first time would be Guard Parker. He stands watch at the 'Three Corners' in Redridge, the crossroads that runs west into Elwynn Forest, east to Lakeshire and south to Duskwood. He gives the player their first quest, leading them towards Lakeshire collecting a bouquet of flowers for his love-interest, Darcy. However, since I made a quick-stop into Lakeshire to grab the flightpath there when I was leveling in Elwynn Forest, I took a gryphon there instead of walking. So Dethorin wont be visiting Guard Parker just yet. No, we're out to hunt down Gnolls and Whelps pretty much immediately. Which again, like our previous adventures has shown us, can be a difficult task. This time around however it went pretty smoothly. Much thanks to the quest-reward from Westfall, [Edge of the People's Militia], a pretty decent two-handed sword which helped me cut-down my foes pretty easily without too much effort. As it often goes, time flew by, a couple of hours later I had gained a couple of levels and was well under way of finishing up in Redridge.

 

 

As I went to the Inn of Lakeshire to log-off for the evening I noticed another one of those sea of skeletons inside. Before I had a chance to react i was dead, there was an Orc rogue, around level 30 by the name of xRedditLordx-something or other. During my travels in both Elwynn and Westfall I had seen this name being mentioned and talked about several of times. Apparently he likes to stand there, hours upon hours, ganking unsuspecting low-level Alliance characters going in to log-off or completing quests. I personally didn't mind it, I cracked a little smile as I did the short corpse-run back to collect my corpse and log-off. I did notice though however how upset people were, and I remembered one of my personal traits. I've always been very calm and methodical, I rarely get upset when there is a slight conundrum or issue of sorts. The general chat was filled with people being apparently very angry at this Orc, ganking and killing them inside the Inn. I just shrugged at the very notion of being upset by something like this, but then I guess we're all different in that way. I know of a couple of people, some of them which I might mention sometime in a future post, to have extremely short temper. They can be very volatile and quick to anger, which can be fun and exciting in and of itself.

 

 

As I was there with my paladin, I couldn't help but to think back of the old times when I leveled my first paladin to 60. As I've mentioned many times before, I was Horde primarily, but I played so much back then that I basically had to create alts to have something to do in the game. I knew some friends playing Alliance on a PVP-RP server on occasion, it might've been 'The Venture Co' or something similar. I made my female human paladin there, which I remember naming Exclusive. It was a fun time, I played mostly alone, until a met a night-elf warrior also from Sweden, his name was Unno. We quickly became friends and he introduced me to his guild and some of his other friends. Suddenly I was on their ventrilo and we ran dungeons and battlegrounds together. I did this on my "off-time", when I didn't play on my Horde characters. For me to keep this up I had to play for many hours a day, when I came home from school till late at night. Rinse-repeat until I had a semester or summer-break from school, where I would stay inside and play +12 hours a day, everyday. Anyhow, back to Redridge.

 

 

Leveling a paladin in WoW classic/vanilla was always a pretty slow experience. Not only had it pretty avarage, sometimes sub-par damage output, it was also pretty easy and straight-forward. You had your 5 minutes buffs, either Blessing of Might for attackpower or Blessing of Wisdom for increased mana regeneration. You had your 'Seal' of choice, a 30 second long buff that either empowered or altereted your auto-attack and judgement in some way. Lastly you had your judgement, which released the seal upon your target with different effects depending on which seal you had activated at the time. So the rotation was pretty simple, essentially you only had your auto-attack to rely on. You didn't have a 'Mortal Strike', a 'Sinister Strike' or a 'Stormstrike'. Your entire rotation is based around your auto-attack, which is to most of the other classes, less of an importance or focus. For some reason I always liked this with paladins, I could focus on keeping myself and my party alive instead. I love the ability to be a damage-dealing supportclass, someone who can save a dire situation with heals, protection bubbles, stuns, etc. The paladin was a great class with fantastic buffs and supportabilities, quite strong in one-versus-one combat too. I've always found leveling a paladin to be quite soothing, almost meditation-like, slow, calm yet exciting combat. I could grind with my paladin for ages it felt like, which is something I realized again here in Redridge. As I was finishing up most of my quests, I was level 16 and I didn't really have anymore quests to complete. I wasn't comfortable in joining a group for Deadmines yet either, I wanted to be at least level 18 for that. So I went to the most crowded Gnoll-camp and I started hacking away till I was level 18. 

Now, we're done with Redridge for now and in my next post I'm going to talk about how I managed to land a spot as a healer for Deadmines - As retribution. Thank you for reading, as always, YOU are awesome.

https://northbreed.wordpress.com/

World of Warcraft - Its 2004, Korean & European Closed Beta

Posted by Lorgarn Friday July 10 2015 at 6:15AM
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Today I wanted to talk about something that happened a pretty long time ago, so we're leaving good ol' Dethorin and his journey in Redridge Mountains for now. I want to talk to you about the start of my journey in World of Warcraft, the very first moments of this incredible string of events in my life. Spanning over several years myself and my older brother spent much of our young teens and early adulthood in the virtual world of Azeroth. We've done and seen so many crazy things, we've shared so many awesome and wierd experiences. We can talk about them for hours upon hours, laughing and reminiscing over a time long gone. Today life is different, we don't play games as much as we used to and we've both grown somewhat bitter and jaded of where the gaming-industry is going. However, I digress as we're here today to talk about my very first moments in World of Warcraft.


It actually started with the Korean Closed Beta, which transpired sometime mid-2004 if I'm not mistaken. I had gotten help from a friend with creating a Korean CBT(Closed Beta Test) account, which was a mess to create and hope for invite-access. Fortunately Blizzard were on a massive PR-campaign, obviously, prepping for release so the CBT back then were more like an OBT(Open Beta Test) if anything. My memory is a bit blurry on the details, which isn't surprising since its roughly 11 years ago now, but I believe my first character was actually a Dwarven hunter. I remember being so impressed and excited of the Dwarven hunter in one of the first cinematics for WoW, I just had to try one out. Naturally, I wanted a bear as a pet too, just like the dwarf in the cinematic. It wasn't long though however before I went and created my next character, a Tauren shaman. I had always loved Taurens, they were one of my favorite units to play with in Warcraft III. Even though there were only a few of them, a subset of units available for when you're playing as the Orcs, I still had a lot of fun with them. The Tauren cheiftain inspired me a lot in particular, he was a Hero-unit of great strength and power, tons of fun to play. Anyhow, as with the Dwarf I also got very inspired by the Tauren shaman in the cinematic, so I created one of those too. As the client was in Korean I didn't spend to much time leveling any of the characters up, it was mostly just to get a feel of them, learning some of the ropes and experiencing this amazing game.

 

 

Fast-forward a little bit, I got myself a key to the European CBT via a pre-order bonus which I got from pre-ordering the final game which at this point I just knew I had to play. Now I immediately created another Tauren shaman, intent on reaching further than just a couple of levels I head out in the wilderness of Mulgore. A fantastic zone, which was for many years considered the most beautiful in the game by many players. Lush, green, long and hilly plains as far as the eye could see, filled with wonders, things to see and dangers to overcome. There I was, roughly 15 years old at the time, completely new to the world of MMORPG's, its very deep and immersive online experiences. I will never forget the feeling, you felt so small and the world felt so big, so endless. There was always something new to see, behind every corner there was something new and amazing that had you stop for a moment to just take it all in. It wasn't till I was somewhere around level 6 or 7 before a friend of mine wanted to meet up. He was an Orc, somewhere in Durotar and we decided to meet somewhere roughly in the middle - The Barrens. Oh boy, what a journey it was, we're not supposed to leave our first zones untill we're around level 10. Many a corpse-runs later, we had finally found eachother somewhere just north of Camp Taurajo. I remember the sheer happiness, with navigating the world, co-ordinating our approach and corpse-running trying to meet in a world we've never seen of been before. It took us a fair bit of time and it was so worth the time and effort what went into making this a reality. There we were, it was at this point I realized what a fantastic game an MMORPG can be. We lived a few kilometres away from eachother, mobilephones barely was a thing back then, at least not for young teenagers like ourselves. We had MSN back then to communicate, but now things had changed, we could play a game together while communicating and just hanging out. The concept was new, different, a bit "unknown" and frightening, but we embraced it fully. It wasn't long till we had convinced the rest of our close friends to partake in this seemingly endless journey of fun, action and pure adventure. We prepared for the upcoming launch of World of Warcraft, we were ready.

Something happened though, as time went on, and I'm not sure I can explain why this happened. I started to play WoW more and more, when I had played all day with my friends and they logged out for the night. I logged in to another character and kept on playing by myself. I didn't want to stop, I didn't want to leave this world, I had set goals which was somewhat easily attainable and I had the ability to complete them on my own. I knew where I was going, it was an easy thing to understand and grasp. It was an escape from reality, which at the time wasn't something I was very fond of. In whole my life I've never really had any true goals, I never knew what I wanted to be or what I wanted to do. Looking ahead was difficult to me, the reality was uncertain, unclear and I didn't know where to take it. It felt like I had little control, it just went along for the ride. Now, I didn't fail in school, I did what I was supposed to but nothing more. However, I spent more and more time online in WoW than I did doing other stuff like I used to. I still remember to this day the first time I declined an invite to hang out with my friends, just because I wanted to play WoW instead. I was on my Tauren warrior, this was later when WoW had been released, I was leveling in Stranglethorn Vale and I was standing in Booty Bay collecting quests. I didn't think of it much back then, I mean, I just wanted to play some WoW instead of going out that night. However, seeing as I remember this night, this particular event, it stands out pretty significantly from all of the other events that happened that early on. Its most likely because it was a turning point in my life, I no longer needed my friends to have fun. They were still there, we still hung out during school, but not as much afterwards anymore. Sure, it happened on occasions like it always had but not as often as it used to. Today, turning down something because you just don't feel like it, doesn't really catch anyones attention unless it happens all of the time and at that point they just stop calling. At that time though, your friends were for a lot of people everything, it was their whole persona, a big part of their "existance" in a way. We sort of got defined by the people we hung out with, whether we liked it or not. Turning down a night with the boys? That just didn't happen unless you were very sick, grounded or had tons of homework to do. Doing it because you just wanted to play a game instead? Now that at the time was weird, pretty weird indeed. I remember having to think, "What should I say, how should I phrase this so that they understand?", I don't remember exactly what I said but I'm going to assume that it was close to the truth. I wanted to play World of Warcraft.

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Thanks again for reading this far, as always, YOU are awesome. 

https://northbreed.wordpress.com/

World of Warcraft [Classic/Vanilla] – The Journey of Dethorin, Part #3 – Westfall

Posted by Lorgarn Friday July 3 2015 at 3:45PM
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So, it is time to wrap up our little adventure in Westfall and start to move towards Redridge Mountains, the first ‘contested’ zone we’ll come across. What this means, if you’re playing on a PvP-server like we are, that PvP is automatically turned on. Zones such as Elwynn Forest or Westfall are “controlled” by the Alliance. There Alliance players are protected from PvP, unless they decide to attack a Horde player or simply activating PvP by executing the command /pvp in chat. Now, back to Westfall, as I mentioned in my previous post I had reached Sentinel Hill. So that’s where we start today!

Sentinel Hill is the outpost of People’s Militia located in the middle of Westfall, its “The” questhub in the zone. Lorewise it’s the “last stand” of the people of Westfall, trying desperately to withstand the onslaught from the Defias Brotherhood that is harassing them and the land. This is where you’ll get some of the higher-level quests in Westfall, leading you around the zone. Also, eventually leading you down to confront the leader of the Defias Brotherhood, Edwin VanCleef in his lair, Deadmines. Which is an old goldmine, representing the largest and most expansive production-center for goldmining in human lands. Its an extensive network of tunnels that spirals under large parts of Westfall, down into the northern parts of Stranglethorn Vale and even up as far as into Stormwind via secret tunnels. It was abandoned during the First War and got quickly overrun by new inhabitants as soon as the humans left it to be. In our timeline where the players arrive at Westfall the Deadmines is the go-to stronghold and place of operations of the Defias Brotherhood, as far as we know, anyhow. Somewhere around level 18 and above the Alliance player is encouraged to find a group and venture down in the mines in an attempt to root out the brotherhood. However, we’re not there yet, at this point in my leveling career I’m only level 14. I suspect that I’ll talk more about Deadmines and the actual experience of venturing down there as a five-man group in vanilla/classic more in a future post.

 

 

After my first visit in Sentinel Hill I was out and about, hunting down members of the Defias for their bandanas and the regular kill-quest. There are no real “hotspots” where they hang out besides a cave, which when I ran there was completely filled with other players. Catching a mob there is at this point highly unlikely, so I started running between a couple of the smaller camps of Defias, which they have spread around the middle parts of Westfall. It was there where I got invited by this Human Rogue, Vxxy, who obviously had these quests too. Something I hadn’t done in an MMORPG for the longest time, actually joining forces with a random player and just playing, having fun together. We didn’t talk that much besides the formal “Hello”, we both knew why we grouped; increased efficiency in both dps and the likelyhood of finding and tagging mobs to kill. However, as time goes on, more often than not you sort of start to feel eachother out a little bit. A few questions here, a few answers there, a few quests completed. All of a sudden, you sort of have had some time to talk and feel at least somewhat closer and connected to this player. Its actually more than just a random “player” running around, there is actually someone behind the controls of the character. A couple of hours later, I found myself in Moonbrook, southern parts of Westfall which house the entrance to Deadmines. Another small little town controlled by the Defias, as a mean to access their main-base in the tunnels below. There we have a few quests to kill more, higher level Defias, and we’re still grouped me and Vxxy. At this point we invited a few more people to speed up the process, we killed Defias left and right, it was actually pretty fun and almost a bit hectic. We even died at one point, with each of us taking on just a tad bit to many mobs on ourselves.

 

 

Its interesting because in a lot of MMO’s these days, its so common to see tools and features that helps in removing “tedious” from your game. Things that used to encourage people reaching out for assistance, creating these small little stories of adventure and fun, maybe even creating bonds and becoming friends in the process. I’ve leveled many characters in another MMO called Guild Wars 2 (GW2). Obviously very different from WoW classic/vanilla and even retail, in pretty much every way possible. That is besides the point though, during my time in GW2 I didn’t group with random people even once. I only grouped on ocassions with my friends, because there isn’t any point in grouping with another player. In GW2 there is no tagging, as long as you attack a mob you’ll get credit for its kill. Which sounds fine and dandy, actually, it sounds amazing and it works fantastic! But… you pretty much never have to interract with another player, if you don’t want to. You’re at a difficult quest? Just wait for another player to start killing it, jump in to kill it and both go your merry way. You’re at a event or a boss? Wait for a small gathering of players to form, complete the event or kill the boss, watch everyone go their merry way without saying a word to eachother. Players are lazy, we’re not going to go out of our way attempting to contact some random player who might not even speak english or even be interested to reply, especially if we don’t need to. This means that player-interraction, even interraction that seems  at the surface very pointless, most likely wont happen. Those few ocassions that when you find that one player and you two just click immediately; they even more is likely never to happen. Its unfortunate when a genre that used to have player-interraction as a primary focus has completely gone the other direction in very many cases. Since the genre is so populated, millions and millions of players are playing MMO’s these days, developers have started to cater to the masses. As they should, they’re a business afterall and they obviously want to cater to their largest demographic. Which plays sporadically, which doesn’t want many setbacks or challenges, they want quick to access and to complete content. Which is what WoW today has become, take a great game and franchise, strip away most of everything that made it more of a RPG and an amazing game in general.

 

 

This is where Dethorin’s journey in Westfall is coming to an end, at least for now. As I said earlier, we’re most likely returning to adventure through Deadmines as soon as I’ve gotten a little higher in level. Westfall is an amazing zone with difficult and very, very time-consuming quests, which can be a real pain to complete. The emotional reward and feeling of accomplishment is there, as prominent as ever before. At this point I’m at just about as many hours played as I’ve got levels on my character. Which makes me remember the first time I played from 1 to 60, when WoW first released back in 2004. I now remember why it took me several of months to reach 60, and for a more casual friend of mine, over a year of casual play to reach 60. I remember it made the journey truly mean something, even though it was at times painful. I was so proud as I turned in my last quest, only to hear the sound of leveling and seeing my characters level say: 60. Anyhow, I’m off on a tangent again, I digress. In the next post, as I mentioned earlier in this post, we will be adventuring through Redridge Mountains. Another iconic zone with I’m sure holds many memories for people, especially myself. Join me in going there next, thank you so much for reading this far.

As always, YOU are awesome. See you in the next post.

https://northbreed.wordpress.com/

World of Warcraft: [Classic/Vanilla] – The Journey of Dethorin, Part #2 – Westfall

Posted by Lorgarn Monday June 29 2015 at 10:48AM
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In my last post I talked about my experience with killing the iconic and legendary Hogger, level 11 Elite Gnoll mass-murderer of epic proportions. Today I’m going to talk about my experience in going to another iconic zones in this game, Westfall. Just west of Elwynn Forest, infested with Defias Brotherhood bandit camps, Gnoll camps, sabotaged and very dangerous harvest watchers. A pretty dark, sorrowful and depressing zone in terms of its lore, which is actually quite interesting when it comes down to it. It was once a zone of rich agricultural importance populated by humans which fell to its dimise as it got captured for control by their own people. It marks in history as one of, if not the only, formerly Alliance controlled zone that didn’t get lost because of the Horde, Undead scourge or any raging demon clans. The humans of Westall got fed up with how things were going after the Second War and decided to take things into their own hands. With majority of the Alliance army being at distant lands fighting the Horde and the Undead scourge, little could be done in terms of retaking control of Westfall. In this state of despair Edwin VanCleef came in with the Defias Brotherhood and without much effort seized control of large parts of Westall. Now, mostly abandoned besides the occasional farmer in need, this is the part of the timeline where you the player comes in.

 

 

Before we take our first step in Westfall I want to quickly touch on my experience going back to Stormwind for the first time since over a decade ago. (At least in this fashion, I’ve been there more recently but not on a classic/vanilla server.) You get a quest to travel there as a messenger for delivery, I don’t remember the exact details but that’s besides the point. Now, as I approached the large gates of Stormwind I couldn’t help but feel a bit sad. You know when you have one of those moments where you think back on past events that mean much to you and how they’ll never be experienced again, at least not in the same fashion. I got struck by the feels of nostalgia, even though I was in fact a Horde player primarily, Stormwind still means a lot to me. As I entered through the open gates and took my first steps on the bridge leading over the moat that lies before the city, I got greeted by the ever so pompous and mighty intro to the classic theme of Stormwind. It took me slightly by surprise and I had to stop to just sit back in my chair and just take it all in for a moment or two before I continued onwards. I collected myself and started to run inside, only to be met by again, a very surprising number of players. Running about just as they were over ten years ago, collecting this, delivering that, buying gear and equipment from the Auction House. Which I immediately ran inside of to search through, mostly to see what kind of activity we were talking of here. At this point I wasn’t surprised anymore, judging by the amount of people on this server the Auction House would be filled with items. As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I thought playing on a private server would be a very desolate and lonely experience. I imagined myself running around in a completely empty Stranglethorn Vale, or perhaps The Barrens, only having the mobs and the NPCs to keep me company. I’m glad I took the leap of trying this out, because I was dead wrong. This is pretty much as legit you’re going to get; because Blizzard doesn’t seem to keen on developing and hosting their own progression servers, at least not anytime soon.

 

 

Anyhow, enough of that nonsense, let’s go to Westfall, shall we?!

I had done every quest I’d gotten in Elwynn Forest, which isn’t really enough to take you to a high enough of a level for whats intended for Westall. I was level 11 and the quests in Westfall are for level 12 characters, at a minimum. You’ll meet many mobs that are up to level 14 and sometimes higher, which isn’t ideal for an level 11 decked in whites with a green pair of pants. Nonetheless, courageous as he is this stout paladin, Dethorin obviously marches onwards. You’ll remember the first few quests you accept in Westfall, ‘Westfall Stew’ and ‘Poor Old Blanchy’. You get these quests from a farmer-couple standing on the road beside their broken-down wagon, next to their overrun farm. Immediately, if you read the questlog that is, you’re introduced to the idea of this land being in chaos and its habitants in peril. Families having to leave their homes, their livelyhoods, because the armies of Stormwind have to much on their plate and can’t control the uprising of the Defias Brotherhood. You’ll see clues of this throughout the zone, ruins of homes, devastated families in desperate need for assistance. This overall depressing, yet beautiful storyline, is very much so empowered by the brilliant world-design. As you explore Westfall you’ll be continuously reminded of the fact that this zone used to be blooming with life, populated by both nature and humans. Its very apparent that something bad truly happened and your purpose there as a player is to thin out the herds of dangerous wildlife, bandits, gnolls and sabotaged mechanical workers. In an attempt to help the Alliance re-take control over Westfall and perhaps once again restore it to its former beauty.

 

 

Anyhow, as I was level 11, I couldn’t venture too far into Westfall or I’d risk getting killed. So I decided to hang around the first farm a little bit, farming(pun not intended) the creatures there in hopes of reaching level 12, which I did in not too long of a time. At this point I started venturing in deeper, collecting forgotten family heirlooms, beating foes with my mighty white quality two-handed hammer, you know, the usual. In this time I was again reminded of the patience required for playing this version of WoW, as always you can’t rush things and must have a plan of attack, otherwise it’ll go sour pretty quick. Fast-forward a few hours I had reached Sentinel Hill, the only Alliance-controlled outpost in this entire zone and the big quest-hub of Westall. This is where I met a fellow that I ended up grouping up and questing with for a few hours. Something I haven’t done in an MMO for ages it feels like. I’ll talk more about that in the next post, where we’ll wrap up our little Westfall adventure, at least for now.

 

 

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Thanks again for reading this far, whomever you are. As always, you’re awesome. See you in the next post hopefully!

 

https://northbreed.wordpress.com/

World of Warcraft: [Classic/Vanilla] – The Journey of Dethorin, Part #1

Posted by Lorgarn Sunday June 28 2015 at 10:11AM
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It took a little while but I slowly started to get into the groove of things with leveling my human paladin, Dethorin. The most “difficult” thing to get used to was the now very apparent difference in the overall pace of the game. In WoW Vanilla, you can’t be impatient and rush things, that’ll get you killed more often than not. Nowadays, in WoW Live, things are happening at an incredible speed. Sitting down to drink/eat to regen hp/mana? Pfft! No way, there is no time for that. Frankly, it isn’t even needed either, during the course of all of the expansions Blizzard got really good at finding “unnecessary” downtime in gameplay and removed them accordingly. Which has had an incredible impact on the game, and made it almost unrecognizable from its former, original state, at least on a technical and gameplay standpoint. The world is still there, it’s still Azeroth, although even that has changed somewhat with the happenings of Cataclysm, WoW’s third expansion.

I’ve now completed a bunch of quests in Goldshire and I’m soon ready for my first quick-stop in one of the capital cities of the Alliance, Stormwind. Before we go there however, I’d like to lightly touch on a few of the first quests you get here in Goldshire. As we all know and remember, the Kobolds are running rampant in Elwynn Forest and our first quest leads us to the ‘Fargodeep Mine’. We’re going there to simply explore the cave and report back our findings to good ol’ Marshal Dughan. Now, as I first went there I and started fighting my way inside the cave I noticed the flood of skeletons there. Remains of players, scattered all over the floor in this cavern. Not only that, there were people everywhere and mobs seemed to spawn incredibly fast. As soon as I entered the room I got a mob on my ass, which I started to beat down. Before it was dead I got another mob on me and my life started to go down very fast. Fortunately the player-mass that was inside this cave came to my rescue and killed both of the mobs in a zerg-like fashion. I had enough time to heal myself back up with two Holy Light’s, raised my two-handed hammer and back to business!

 

 

So I did that, collected a few Kobold candles, (Yes, I did steal them!) collected a few more quests and completed a few others. Eventually I found myself running towards where I knew I could pick up a very special quest from a particular ‘Wanted Poster’. Now I’m sure you know which quest I’m talking of; you guessed it, the totally iconic ‘Wanted: Hogger [11]’. Now, roughly at level 7-8 at this point, so soloing that beast is obviously not an option. I had collected another quest linked to the same area, ‘Riverpaw Gnoll Bounty’, where they want you to kill and loot Gnolls for their armband, eight of them. So I started to run towards the area of interest for these two quests, a place I’m sure you all are familiar with. There are small camps with a fire, some tents, barrels and various ‘stuff’ between the trees spread across this area. Oh, and one more thing, there are Gnolls inside each of these camps. Not only one, but several, up to four of them in fact I believe I saw, in a single one camp. They’re around level eight and they beat you down, hard. Seeing another of those floods of skeletons(remains of dead players); I quickly realized, I better join a group for this one. So I ran up to a group of people, a paladin and a warrior beating on a pair of Gnolls, I started helping them while asking for an invite in chat. They invited me and on we go, time to slaughter some beasts.

 

 

Roughly ten minutes later I had managed to pickup a flippin’ two armbands for my quest, and I needed eight. Not only did they not drop on every mob, perhaps once every two or three mobs at an average. You also had to “fight” for them between you and your party members. One dropped, one picked it up, not quite how my last adventure was leveling up in WoW’s most recent expansion, Warlords of Draenor. Anyhow, dial forward the clock roughly 20-25 minutes I had nearly finished my quest. What I did manage to do in this time though, was killing Hogger. It required a full group of us and truth be told, it wasn’t as challenging as I remembered it. Perhaps because we were a full group, perhaps because we probably were a lot more prepared and should I say “skilled”, if that term even applies here. In any case, it took us a few moments, I healed the person with aggro once or twice and then it was over. It felt like a personal little achievement, I got the opportunity to once again kill the Hogger in his original form! I quickly ran out of there feeling very relieved, almost blessed in a way and last but not least, I felt grateful.

 

 

I quickly ran to turn in my quests, which yielded me my first ‘uncommon’ or ‘green’ item, a pair of mail leggings: [Stormwind Guard Leggings], with a wooping +3 Strength bonus. Which naturally got me excited, but also, it got me thinking about items specifically. Items used to matter so much in WoW, having a full set of ‘epic‘ items meant that you were extremely dedicated, experienced and quite often a pretty good player. Leveling up in WoW was a tough experience, you mostly used ‘uncommon‘ items to equip your character, sometimes throw in a ‘rare‘ item in the mix, if you had the luck of picking one up from a dungeon. Its not exactly how it is in WoW nowadays, today you can run a dungeon via the LFG-tool when you’ve reached level 20. With this tool you can queue from the comfort of , you don’t need to visit any of the dungeons at all to play through them. While inside these dungeons you’ll not only get ‘rare‘ very often from each boss, even miniboss’es, but you also get rewarded with a loot-bag when each LFG-ran dungeon that gets completed. This bag when opened rewards the players with a guaranteed ‘rare‘ item. Now, with the speed and tempo of the gameplay in todays WoW, which I talked about in my first post, this means that you’ll equip your character in ‘rare‘ items extremely quick. This sounds fine and dandy, but it does one thing which I feel is very unfortunate and demoralizing in a way. It devalues each quality rating, it devalues what it means to have a character fully decked in ‘rare‘ or even more-so, ‘epic‘ items.

 

 

Suddenly it doesn’t mean anything anymore, you’re just expected to have these items and its expected because everyone else has them too. It went from being something that had value, it gave the player respect and well-earned recognition, to something that was just there. Something boring, something not important besides you needing to have it there if you want your character perform reasonably well. It doesn’t mean anything anymore, I feel.

It seems like I went on a bit of a tangent there and I’m sure we’ll speak more of this in a later post. For now though, Dethorin, or myself rather, looked at the clock and realized that 6-7 hours had gone by and I better go to bed. So I parked Dethorin in my favorite Goldshire Inn and logged out.

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Thank you for reading this far, whom ever you are, YOU are awesome. I hope to see you in the next post, in the meantime, take care.

 

https://northbreed.wordpress.com/

WoW: A truly Severe case of Nostalgia

Posted by Lorgarn Saturday June 27 2015 at 10:22AM
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So I just decided for the first time to check out World of Warcraft again. Now, before you roll your eyes, I did something different this time. I, for the first time ever, decided the check out a somewhat newly started private WoW Classic server.

That’s right, a privately hosted and maintained World of Warcraft server that’s running an old WoW Classic/Vanilla client. A client used sometime before WoW’s first expansion, The Burning Crusade. It’s not strictly legal business, so I won’t talk in details on how, where or more specifically, which server I played on. This little experiment was just me being bored and slightly curious.

So, where to begin? Ah, as an old WoW-Vet, you always hear people talk fondly of their memories, experiences and events that transpired back in the early days of Azeroth. How much of these thoughts and feelings comes with the old phrase of having “Rose-colored glasses”. A phrase that depicts the wearer looking back at something through, as the saying goes, rose-colored glasses. Which makes him view, whatever he’s looking at, in an optimistic and positive fashion. Often making things seem better than what it actually is, or in this case, was.

The people who are accusing the WoW-Vets starts to bring up multiple points as to what exactly the game was, its very many flaws which in turn means that it was a bad game. Referencing them with how things are today; apparently much better, but is “better” always the case of being more fun? Now, with the fact at hand, many things are indeed better. Especially the technical aspect of the game; with features such as the ‘Looking For Group/Raid”-tools, very little downtime, easy-to-access content and in general this all helps in making the game a very accessible game. These are just some of the points, I might go into this in more detail in the future. Now, at least from an outside perspective, these things doesn’t sound too bad at all.

However, with the recent uprising of extremely difficult and time-consuming games such as Dark Souls, Wings of Vi, I Wanna Be The Guy to mention but a few, it has shown us one thing: Easy and accessible games isn’t the only way to make a game, its one way, not the only way. You can make a difficult game, and more often than not, this helps with giving the player a big sense of accomplishment when he/she has finished a game or completed a difficult task. Which brings me back to my recent experience with World of Warcraft Classic, or more commonly referred as, “WoW Vanilla”.

 

 

World of Warcraft was in its early days a difficult and very time-consuming game. I always knew this, since I played it rigorously for several years starting with the days of its Closed Beta back in 2003/2004. However, I had forgotten how difficult it was, at least compared to its current state in ‘Warlords of Draenor’ and more recent expansions. Now when I say difficult, its not like Dark Souls-difficulty, its a different kind of difficult and I’ll get to that in a bit. First, let me quickly touch on my experience with World of Warcraft on its release day back in 2004, on November 23rd.

I will talk about this in more detail in an upcoming post, but this is the gist of it: I had a few low-level characters the first few days before I created what would end up being the stepping stone to one of the best moments in my life. A Tauren male warrior by the name of: Lorgarn. Now, warriors, much like many of the classes in the early days of WoW, they were somewhat difficult to level. We as warriors had few abilities and relied a lot on using auto-attack; which for obvious reasons wasn’t that amazing. Around level 10, the warrior had a rotation that looked sort of like this: Charge, Rend, Battle Shout (2min buff) and auto-attack. With the occasional Heroic Strike, when you had enough rage to use it. This was fine, most of the time, for fighting a single mob. Two mobs you could handle if you weren’t underleveled, but rarely without a little effort from your part. If you were lucky you managed to kill both mobs and remain above 30% health, also known as HP. Now you had to use a bandage, or eat some food, to regain your hp. The third option would be waiting for it to regen by itself, which could take about a minute or so. So if you wanted to level with efficiency, or as with much efficiency as possible, leveling your First Aid(bandage) profession together with having some food in your backpack was vital. Without it, leveling and questing would be a long and painful experience. Especially if you were fresh in a zone and usually slightly underleveled.

 

 

Now, back to my experience in WoW: Vanilla, again. I created a Human male paladin, his name: Dethorin, an old homage to me and one of my old friends’ little adventure in WoW, I’ll talk more about that in another post. The first thing I realized when logging in on my level one paladin was that this private server is, much to my surprise, full with people. There are people everywhere running about, killing mobs, some are dueling,  some are collecting and delivering quests. I actually took the first few minutes just standing there on that little bump of a hill, overlooking Northshire Abbey, to just take it all in. Absorbing all this, while trying to maintain the overflow of emotions that this brought me. I was really impressed by this, I thought private servers would be a desolate place. Empty of life, players and more importantly, soul. The soul of the game, that feeling we all had playing it for the first time. That feeling that made us play for eight or more hours straight, barely keeping up with life. Only to log back in first thing the next day. Now, obviously this time wasn’t the first time, I’m aware of this. However, I must say that some of those feelings made themselves known to me as soon as I saw the commotion outside Northshire Abbey. It was like time had stopped there at that cozy building, with the same guards and the same cute little picket fence. It was like I had teleported back in time roughly ten-something years ago. Everything was exactly the same, even though that it kind of makes sense with it being the same client and all, as back then. It still felt incredible, I couldn’t believe it, there it all was, just as I remembered it.

 

 

It didn’t take long before I started rushing to pick up my first quest, oh, the feeling, the sounds and dialog as you talk with the NPC and accept his quest. Everything feels amazing and at this point, just picking up the first quest haves me with a huge smile on my face being all giddy inside. I quickly bolt towards my first objective, I’ve done this what seems like a hundred times and I can’t help to feel very surprised by these emotions. I had no idea that it would be this surreal, it took me quite some time before I kind of got used to the idea of playing World of Warcraft, just as it was back then. I started doing my quests and I immediately realized, completing them took longer than I remembered. Standing there with my white-quality two-handed mace on my stout paladin, only having auto-attack buffed with Seal of Righteousness and Holy Light to my disposal. Taking down mobs took a little while, which I was sort ofexpecting. Not getting quest-loot from every mob however, was something I did not expect. Apparently I had forgot this little “mechanic” of quest-loot having a drop-chance rather than being a guaranteed thing, as long as you had the quest for it like they work today.

 

 

Fast-forward a couple of levels, I had left the wonderful Northshire Valley and its Abbey, to stumble upon Goldshire. Located just south, south-east of Stormwind, somewhat roughly in the mid-west of Elwynn Forest. Now, this cute little village is one of the staples of Alliance. Its a symbol of all that represents this faction, its a place of huge importance and it is held close to heart by many, both Alliance and Horde players alike. Its one of the first things new human players see as they venture outside the protected and somewhat tucked-away Northshire Valley, which is essentially the “tutorial zone” of the human race. Goldshire is in a way the representation of World of Warcraft’s massive world, let me quickly explain why I believe this.

Everyone remembers the first time they ventured outside Northshire Valley only to be struck by what seems like an endless world to experience and explore. At the center of it all; you guessed it, Goldshire. The one thing that stands out in the wild, brutal, beautiful and vast forest. Naturally, the new player runs there first thing and thus, his first experience begins, for real.

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I will continue the journey of Dethorin v2.0 in the next post.

I want to take a moment to explain the reasoning behind this blog. I’m not expecting anyone to read this, in all honesty. Its a very niche subject, I’ve never blogged before nor have I any experience in writing either. This is for myself more than anything else, its a learning experience as well as it is a way for me to express the feelings and emotions I get from revisiting this old childhood gem of mine.

Not only that, I’m planning on eventually telling my entire original story and experience from start to finish. I will talk of my first guild, Hrafnin Flygur on EU-Bloodscalp, how I ended up there and where I went next. Which happened to be the guild Northbreed which I co-created, in a series of so many random events I landed in this amazing guild that I consider to this day, turned out to be one of the best experiences in my life. Also, my somewhat short time in the guild Evil Eye will be likely be mentioned.

Thank you for reading, see you in the next post.

https://northbreed.wordpress.com/