With total disregard for the final scraps of dignity that might have remained associated with me in your mind, this will be a post about World of Warcraft.
Actually, no, it’s worse than merely that–to be fair, I’m going to post about just my experiences with the game. Apologies to anyone who doesn’t have an interest in the game specifically or the allure of MMORPGs in general. Perhaps you could instead visit one of the fine links provided at the side of your screen?
I started my main character (pictured at right) the day of public release, November 23, 2004, and I’ve maintained a monthly subscription since then. I’m a very casual player (at least as regards the mean MMORPG player), and I didn’t reach the cap at Level 60 until June 4, 2006. In those 19 months of real time, I logged 16 days, 7 hours, 14 minutes, and 6 seconds¹ playing Po. I’ve subsequently logged another five full days pursuing end-game content.
I play on Durotan, a “Player versus Environment” server, and I’ve yet to do anything Player versus Player related (including Battlegrounds or Arena combat). Amicus Fidelis, the small group of folks I play with, are a very friendly and helpful lot. While we don’t have the player base to mount 40-person raids, we are active members of Azeroth’s League of Adventurers, an umbrella organization that I’ve accompanied to instances as far as Molten Core and Onyxia’s Lair.
I really enjoy playing a druid, especially the flexibility afforded by shapeshifting. I usually contribute healing to team play, but I’m equally happy to serve as a tank in bear form or provide supplementary damage as a big cat. I’m not the best in any of these roles, but just as in tabletop gaming, I’m happiest when picking up the slack where needed.
One welcome aspect of WoW (absent in most other games) is the ability to customize the user interface–and thus gaming experince itself–through the use of small third-party code. This control has prevented a lot of frustration on my part and has contributed greatly in maintaining my interest. In keeping with my top five that failed so brilliantly with the Firefox post, here’s my five favourtite WoW Addons, post 2.0:
1. ItemRack: gear switching tool, triggered automatically by events (such as (dis)mounting, shapeshifting, or stance shifting). Its importance for druids cannot be overstated.
2. Bongos: simple but powerful toolbar mod that brings much needed organization and customization to the standard use interface.
3. EngBags: unified interface for your bags, including automatic and very specific equipment sorting.
4. CTMod/CTRaid: diverse collection of tools to enrich your experience. If you play WoW, you are very likely already using it.
5. Titan Panel: efficient display of additional though relevant information. Another obvious but necessary choice.
OK… I promise that’s all the WoW I’ll write about for a long while, though I would enjoy hearing your preferred WoW AddOns or reading your experiences in MMOs in general, if you’ve the time.
1. No, I didn’t keep careful records; the game server tracks time played for every character.