It happens about this time prior to each expansion. People get nostalgic, reflect upon all the things they did and enjoyed over the previous expansion, or even the whole life of WoW.
Some people stretch their reflections back as far as vanilla beta, others only one or two expansions back.
Stories of the good (and bad) old days, the great instances, events and periods in class dynamics.
Occasionally people, like Larisa, feel a little left out of the discussion. They feel they missed the exclusive parties, the invite to the standing room only events is the best they have ever achieved, no reserved seating for them.
Me, I get a little nostalgic for those things I have been “privileged” enough to experience since I joined in vanilla, but it is often the “If only…” things that I think of at this time.
I don’t feel like Larisa, in that I aren’t a part of an exclusive club, I was present in vanilla and if not for circumstances, I guess I could have been a member of that exclusive club.
The things I have missed (or delayed) have been due to choices made. First and foremost of those choices was to put my work, wife and child (and other family for that matter) ahead of WoW reducing me to one night per week, so I have no regrets, RL is always, always > WoW.
Bloody hell, that is one of a long preamble, which will continue just a little longer.
It isn’t other’s nostalgia that has spurred this post, rather a recent achievement, gained late, yet still gained, that brought this to mind. I finally completed “What a long strange trip it’s been”, got my protodrake and that feeling of “what now”.
TreeHuggerDave tells me that completing the “trip” was something that undermined his desire to continuing to play, due to “what next”.
I tried ram racing 3 years ago. It’s much more simple than the quantity of guides would suggest and it’s kinda fun.
I hadn’t gone to India at WoLK launch. Rather than catching the plane while others installed their shiny new WoW DVDs, I had stayed behind and joined the crush in Northrend.
Of course, in reality the real crush of India is way better than the virtual crush of WoW.
I hadn’t guided newbs in our guild
Back in Vanilla I never got a toon to level cap. First hurdle was my limited time. Second hurdle was, as a leader in our reasonable sized guild (about 500), it unofficially fell to me to help people through the mid level instances, introduce then to the guild and the game.
It wasn’t until Burning Crusade, encumbered only with a handful if friends, that I hit level cap.
but then.. the experience of playing with same level people (that could spend 7x the time) was great as well… no regrets
I leveled to cap in Vanilla
That feeling of hitting cap, 60 at the time, “back when it was hard” a grind would have been a feeling that eclipsed the feeling of flying (literally) to 70.
I raided in Vanilla
I knew a lot about the raids, through reading and eavesdropping on my raiding guild mates, but I never got to experience the nightmarish achievement of living through the raids.
I’ve done them now, along the way from 70 to 80, and I found they were amazing, even challenging (admittedly with smaller groups). If only I could have experienced them in the day you needed 40 people in the hope that one outlasted the boss.
I hadn’t started on a deserted US server.
When I 1st logged on, I joined my mates on Dalaran, Horde side. It was great being online with my mates, but I was way behind them, so rarely played with them.
Meanwhile the server, being primarily occupied by Americans, was deserted during my play time. Often when people recall the 1st time the realized they were playing an MMO, it was the 1st interaction with complete strangers, I recall my 1st experience was passing another player on a lonely road… about a month after I started playing!
Then there was that Friday night (prime time right?), in Arathi Highlands, when I did the /who…
I hadn’t been the 6th
Part of the issue when I started playing was that I was the 6th mate to join WoW. That I joined later than the others was less of an issue than parties are limited to 5 players.
So my first 50 odd levels were solo… well me an my pet Worg. Luckily I chose to play a hunter as my 1st character, so I wasn’t completely alone.
We had 10
3 servers later there were just 5 of us, ripping through Aman’Thul’s Outland. Refugees from another Oceanic server and an imploded guild, we struggled through the 5 man content as a well-oiled team.
As we approached the time to enter Kara a few more mates joined us. We could field 7-8 players each week. However, due to our aversion to guilds (and the drama they breed… we were guild implosion refugees afterall), we never had a regular 10 man group.
Every week was spent training the pugs, ending at the Post-Curator black hole. We knew we were competent. If we ever pushed into someone elses raid, we would be the top at whatever our role was. I guess this was a product of always being 2-3 people short, even if we had warm bodies in our raids.
Ran all my dailies
When you only play one night a week (which I did until recently), and that night is dedicated to raiding, it’s hard to do even one daily, let alone a days worth, or several days in a row.
Netherwing and Skyguard dailies were just completely out of the question. Daily Mechanar runs for badges completely out of the question.
So many things in WoW “rely” on daily play. There may have been welfare epics, but if you don’t have the time to earn them, they might as well not exist.
I might have been able to do as much dps as a player in “full epics”, but a quick inspection of my character suggested to the casual observer that I didn’t care.
I dare say I spent more time “playing WoW” than most of them, but my actual ingame time was probably at best 1/5 of theirs.
I joined a raiding guild
Maybe if I had joined a raiding guild, even if 6 months ago, I would now have Ulduar clears and a Kingslayer title… maybe.
Of course there is also a good chance that I would I’ve missed out on all the other sights, sounds and achievements from the rest of the game, denied to me for the previous 4 years.
I PvPed from Vanilla
Oh PvP, how do I love you, let me count the ways…
Yet, it wasn’t until mid TBC that I ran my 1st Alterac Valley and loved it. Yet I still wasn’t PvPing at that point. The other BGs scared me, death scared me.
Of course limited time forced choices, but still, I had 3 level 50 odd toons in Vanilla. None that reached the giddying hieghts of raiding, or the pressures of grinding raid mates.
If only I had spent my time in BGs rather than (ultimately) wasted leveling.
I watched the opening of the gates of AQ, rather than being stranded on a different continent.
At least I got to participate in some of the lead up events. Too low level to make any impact. Completely at the mercy of the epically geared level 60’s around me.
When the gates opened I was elsewhere watching the servers crash around me. I regret not seeing the gates open before the crash.
I got involved in the Zombie invasion
The days of the zombie invasion coincided with my packing and preparation for India, as well as some insane 12 hour +/6+ days at work. If I logged on during the excitement it was only for 30 minutes or so at a time. I had to live the event through other people’s eyes. I know many hated it, I enjoyed what I saw. If only I played it enough to hate it.
I ran Ulduar, at least once
Squidly took my attention away from Gnomeaggedon when Ulduar and ToC was released. I’m not losing sleep about ToC, but the little bit of Ulduar I have seen makes me wish for more.
If only I didn’t play “If only…” I couldn’t have done what I have done.
I think I am very, very lucky. I have managed to get an ongoing entree of WoW. I may not have savored any one dish till it’s very last morsel, but I have been able to tantalize my pallet with a huge variety of the tastes and textures that WoW has had on offer.
For those of you that have missed one, two or even 3 releases of WoW (assuming you are just beginning your WoW adventures now), don’t sweat the nostalgia. Like old movies, you can still experience most of them, but the exciting times, your exciting times, are yet to come.
If only I could meet all of you ingame!
Of course, one such opportunity is fast approaching, one of those “If only…” opportunities to not miss if you are a blog reader.
“BBB’s” Raid from the Heart
is coming up, a date is set for October 16th. THAT’S NEXT WEEKEND!!!. Come along, see, speak to, and get screenshots with your WoW blogging Heroes and Heroines.
… and of course donate to a worth cause!
- Heart and Stroke Foundation (Canada)
- British Heart Foundation (UK based organization)
- National Heart Foundation of Australia
Remember to have your Polymorph Druid Macros set up!
/s Polymorphing BigBearButt into LittleWoolyButt… Hunters start your sheepstations!
Gnomer and Out!
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