Full disclosure: Battle for Azeroth code provided by Blizzard.
Not one week ago, I too like Butters proclaimed, “I don’t play World of Warcraft.” Little did I know how much that would change. You see, I’m a complete newb. Yes, this dude right here -- the man writing this article on a website literally called “MMORPG” -- had never played World of Warcraft.
So why am I suddenly playing it now? How did this even happen? It’s simple really. I wondered how hilarious it would be for me, a complete novice, to play arguably the king of MMOs with absolutely zero background nor knowledge of said game. In fact, everything I knew about World of Warcraft came from that one South Park episode, Make Love, Not Warcraft.
I have played the RTS Warcraft games, but this was years ago when I was a teenager. For all intents and purposes, I’m a complete novice. I pitched this idea to Bill, my editor here at MMORPG.com, and he found the idea equally hilarious. And so, here we are.
The goal of this endeavor is to chronicle my adventures, but also my hurdles, frustrations, really anything about the game from the perspective of a complete novice. These journals will go live every Friday here on MMORPG.com, so keep an eye out.
Additionally, I plan on streaming my gameplay too. I won’t stream every single time I play, but rest assured, you’ll be able to follow my (mis)adventures. Just follow me on Twitter (@ShankTheTank) for updates when I go live on my Twitch, Mixer, YouTube, and Periscope. For a playlist of my adventures so far, check out this playlist.
When I started just this past Monday evening, I was given advice by my veteran friends to try multiple classes from both factions in order to figure out what I liked. So I went ahead and created a Level 1 Blood Elf Paladin. Initially, I found the movement and skill casting to be rather intuitive, and I was surprised by how easy Blizzard made it for new players to actually hit the ground running.
However, it did take me about 5 minutes to figure out how to sell stuff to vendors before a helpful chap in chat said to just right click on the items I want to sell. This was a case of me overthinking this insanely intuitive feature. Of course, I should just right click, though I still think a tooltip here would be useful. If there is one and I’m just not looking for it properly, please do let me know.
Pretty much everything I did was either a fetch quest or kill quest. This is what I always imagined MMO quests to be. Boring. Repetitive. I was told by my friends, however, that the quests later on would become really good. These early quests were just World of Warcraft showing its age.
I was absolutely clueless to the story, had absolutely no idea who any of the characters are, what the geography is, where the various locations are, etc. To that end, I was advised to watch YouTuber Nobbel’s videos on the lore. Man, these are incredible. I cannot believe it’s taken me this long to get into this game. These stories are just amazing. Sylvanas is easily the most interesting character.
On Day 2, I continued to heed my friends’ advice by trying out various classes. Thus began my adventure as a Dwarf Hunter Class Trial, which starts you off at Level 110. This proved to be a revelation. Armed with the knowledge I learned from Nobbel’s videos, the game really opened up to me.
I’m just blown away by the size of cities I’ve seen (Stormwind and Boralus). I spent an hour and half on Wednesday night doing nothing but exploring Boralus. This is basically my playstyle in open world games (really, every game). I explore the crap out every single corner of the world, much to the frustration of my friends who would rather see me fast travel or do quests. But this is just how I play. I love exploring these worlds that developers poured their hearts into creating. And it looks like my hunger for exploration will be satiated in World of Warcraft.
I also looked at icy-veins.com to understand the optimal build for various classes. After reading up more, I decided to boost my Dwarf Hunter and use this as my main. I plan on creating a Horde Demon Hunter as well.
Another resource I’ve found useful is Wowpedia. What a beautiful treasure chest of information this is. This is probably a good time to request you readers for tips and advice. If anyone has a detailed political map of the game world, outlining all the cities, provinces, etc., please send it my way. I still have many questions, including how the ballz do I use Azerite, what is Azeroth armor, and what that medallion actually does and how I use it. Feel free to tweet me with hints, tips, and best practices. I’m always looking to learn more.
So then, my initial impressions are positive. These stories are incredible. The world-building is incredible. I’m kicking myself for not playing World of Warcraft sooner. One last plug, fellow MMORPG writer, Joseph Bradford, and I will be streaming WoW this Saturday on our weekly stream for the site. It starts at 8p ET so feel free to join! Thanks for reading, and I’m looking forward to seeing the tips and advice the community has to share.