With a new expansion on the horizon, Jaedia asks us to look back to our earliest days of the current one, Wrath of the Lich King, and give our impressions, thoughts, and journeys from now till then. Other submissions can be found at Blog Azeroth.
A Different Start
Wrath of the Lich King was a different expansion for me. When the Burning Crusade came out, my husband and I were in the middle of a break from the game, but the siren call of new races and zones called us back. We both rolled new characters–we were horde when we left–and we came back to the fold as Alliance on a server. We took our time leveling at our own pace, and enjoying the allure of the old world before traveling to the Outlands.
I had just joined a small Karazhan raiding guild when a conversation with old friends had us re-rolling as Horde, and starting the process all over, this time from the other side. It was fun to see the quests from both factions, and to play both of the new playable races back to back; however, with friends waiting for us, we pushed a bit harder, and entered the raiding scene as soon as we could craft, grind reputation, and get keyed!
Our raiding guild fractured right before the new expansion. The GM had some health concerns, and she and her husband server transferred their main characters leaving the guild in chaos. I decided to move my character back into a leveling guild that I had enjoyed before, and when Wrath appeared, I was eagerly awaiting stepping straight into Northrend.
The First Days
Big changes were coming for my tanking paladin, Lyre. Before the expansion I had received a beta-key (my first ever!) and I had not only rolled and leveled a DK to max level, but also spent a lot of time fiddling around by myself and in dungeons with Lyre, trying to figure out the new mechanics, and re-learning how to gear. I must say, it was a heady time for me, and I spent a lot of time on beta forums and over at Maintankadin reading up and (rarely) contributing to the massive preparation underway by the community to be ready to be “real tanks.”
The hubby and I were sitting around, playing WoW when the expansion came out. While we had pre-ordered the game, we had decided not to grace our local gaming store at the midnight release. As the night wore on, however, people were coming on to guild chat as the game had its midnight release on the East Coast. On the spur of the moment, we grabbed our keys and went to the local gaming store–all in all, that was an experience by itself–seeing the divergent ages (if not sexes) gathered outside the store, chatting about their favorite character had me laughing, chatting, and rolling my eyes by varying degrees.
Within the hour we were booted up and heading to Northrend. We took a break for some sleep and duo’ed our way across the world (as is our habit for our mains) and I can’t tell you the joy I felt at having so many buttons to push–not only was I a tank, but I had multiple spells, I held threat easily, and I didn’t have the constant “hold on, need mana” while the hubby forged ahead shooting laser beams from the sky. Not to mention the new and interesting quests that we discovered….
I even managed to talk him into a few early level dungeons, and I was even happier to see that I was as comfortable inside an instance as I was in the field. Other players were happy for me, and the conversations about new abilities and how to handle the instances, to me, is the best part of WoW. If everything was new expansions and new encounters, the game would be a joy every day.
By the time I hit 80, I had already started work on crafting my heroic set. Guildies and friends gathered mats together, attempting to get a solid enough team to break in; however, we discovered that while messy, undergeared and not 100% sure how the fights worked, we could begin gearing directly from heroics quickly. I had also started getting offers from raiding guilds. I moved easily and seamlessly from leveling and heroics into Naxxramas, dragging my husband along.
It would be many months into the expansion, in the interminable wait before Ulduar came out, before I became bored with the daily grind of farming badges.
Cataclysm will be different for me. I am part of a solid raiding guild, and such, I feel some obligation to level my main raiding character at a reasonable pace so that the guild may progress. However, whether that main will continue to be Windsoar, or will change to another character…. I still have a few months (I hope!) to decide. Currently the GM is discussing opening class selection for all raiders in the guild, so that those with multiple max level alts can make a change if their heart so desires… how sweet, right?
I’m sure that the hubby and I will become a leveling duo again–and since I may get to become a tank again *glee* the changes of Aliera (once Lyre) and Rubicund conquering the new challenges together seems a firm possibility.
I am also patiently saving my baby druid for the Worgen. I haven’t decided how I feel about losing the ability to change shapes in combat; however, I am definitely hoping Worgen will have their own unique skins, as I have no desire to be a giant badger. Whether or not the hubby and I will duo our Worgen together or not is undecided, but either way, exploring the shattered world will be high on my priority list!