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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

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

Posted by Lorgarn Monday June 29 2015 at 11:48AM
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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 11:11AM
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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 11:22AM
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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/