All Night Long

It's a subtle thing but after a life time of solo gaming it feels really good to know that everyone out there is sharing the same time of day and night.

I've been looking around to see if I can find a guild to learn with. It seems like I've gone and signed myself up to an Alliance heavy server (Saurfang) and the few Horde guilds seem to be focused on the mythical EndGame stuff. I guess I could just yell out in Thunder Bluff and see if anybody has any suggestions but I still feel a bit too noobie to do that.
Publish Post

Here's a pretty shot of the lanterns in the druid safezone: Moonglade

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Oops: Adventures in Keybinding

In order to make better screenshots I've been working out how to remap my keyboard. I may even have to figure out a macro.
Unfortunately in the resulting confusion I ended up standing around like a tool while a group of Venture Corp workers kicked a Hunter to death that I was trying to assist. It also took me so long to figure out that I can resurrect people now that the player had logged out.
Sorry about that.

Took this one of an NPC in Brill. I wonder if I can get players to pose for portraits.

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What's it all about, Gordo?

I decided to go back and get a picture of Gordo and it gave me an idea.Here he is in all his glory with a passing Warlock called Hozay for scale.

I've been kinda wondering what this blog was going to be all about. Particularly when time spent blogging is time not spent playing. The original impulse was a desire to document my own descent into the madness and to record what it's like for me now coming to the World of Warcraft for the first time.
I haven't found any other blogs that do this; most people decide to blog their WoW once they've gotten pretty high up and established.

And there are plenty of people making hints/tips/strategy guides and what-have-you. And bless 'em because they've saved me all manner of disasters already.

But I quite liked my screen-grab of Gordo and I thought I might have a crack at being a Warcraft photo-journalist.

So here's another... Gotta love Zeppelins!

Also I enjoyed this story about a long time player's emotional response to changing servers.

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The Tauren's capital city is Thunder Bluff.

This was, too me, one of the most authentic experiences of World of Warcraft that I have had so far. A truly immersive and reality blurring experience.

As far as the game is concerned I'm a kid from the sticks, right?
I've wandered around a bit. Grouped up with some people and immediately felt out of my depth but generally getting the hang of the basic mechanics.
I know there's a lot to learn and a lot to come by but I'm getting pretty comfortable in my own skin.

So I head off for Thunder Bluff, looking out for Flatland Prowlers on the way because I need to collect their claws and I kind of find it. But kind of not.
First thing I notice is that all my chat channel change. I'm suddenly online with the Regional Defense channel. Hope they don't need me because I don't know what good I'll be in an invasion.

Next thing that becomes clear is that this isn't just another collection of Wig-wams around a campfire. It seems to be a collection of mountains. I assume that Thunder Bluff is hidden amongst them and press on.

I travel all around the cliff face until a path heads upwards.
A structure! It must be the front gate.
But no; turns out to be a little platform. I check out the tent underneath but it's just scenery from what I can tell. I scratch my head and climb back up.
(disclaimer: If there is a 'scratching your head' gesture I do not yet know it.)

Then somebody else arrives. I wonder how uncool it will make me if I have to ask how to get in. Fuck it... I'd rather be uncool in the city than stand around here being hip all day.
But as I go to click on him an elevator drops down from above.
I hurry to get on board. And stand awkwardly next to this other more worldly Tauren.
I tried no to fidget as muzak played in my head.

And then BAM!

I'm in the Big Smoke. There are high level characters. I realized that I'd never even seen another player race before. People on mounts. People selling stuff. Lights, taxis, the works.

And I really felt it. Small town boy out of his depth in the big city. Delighted and excited but at the same time just overwhelmed enough to want to go about my business and head on back to the farm to re-group.


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Alternate Alternate Reality

I've created an Alt.

That's a second character to the uninitiated. She's an undead Mage with purple hair and bondage studs on her face.

Not that I was bored with my Tauren but I felt like I had a little bit of a handle on how the game works and I wanted to see what I could do with a fresh start. New class, new race, new location.

It's pretty awesome and it's helping me figure out things that will help me when I go back to the Druid. Like the little number on my spells goes red when I'm out of range. Handy!

Structurally the opening seems pretty similar but the environment is utterly different. Where Mulgore is plains and mountains here is a haunted forest full of zombies and bats.
In fact I was starting to think the Undead quests were a little more linear than the Tauren... not so many choices... just one thing after another.

Then I met Gordo.

He's a festering ghost ogre thing shambling through the forest. Suddenly I've got things to do running in all directions and I can see Zeppelins silhouetted in the distance. Massive.

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There Goes The Weekend

I'm loving it.

I can tell I am still a calf among Tauren, blinking and tottering on skittish noob0rn legs.

In particular I feel very awkward about all the etiquette and lore that I don't know. It is clear that the World part of WoW is big and rich and well developed. Everyone seems to know what is going on.

On the other hand the basic mechanics were simple enough and I was able to get stuck into some early quests with great satisfaction.

I killed some and, just when I thought it was all too easy, I got killed some.
For now I don't seem to be able to handle the attention of more than one attacker.

We cow people are pitted against a local tribe of pig people.
Oh the irony!
Can we not see that the meat races must band together against the carnivores?
We shouldn't be fighting... we should be expounding veganism.

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Into the Valley

When I got up in the morning the big patch was done.
And there were only 3 more small ones to go. Aiiieee!

I had almost given up hope (and was planning to head off to work) when I was finally able to get in. 

All of the spare time downloading, as well as the hand-wringing that went along the initial purchase, had given me plenty of time to research what character, race and class I would be.

I've chosen the Horde... because the Alliance seems like a bunch of prissy god-botherers to me. (bring it!)

I wanted to be a Druid because I read that it was a good multi-purpose class - violence, magic & healing - what more could a giant cow hippy need?

Which is to say that those two choices make me a Tauren. Who are like Native American Minotaurs. 

I didn't have much time to actually play but I did manage to complete my first Quest: killing a bunch of Plainstriders (wild ostrich turkey roadrunners) for the tribal pot.

It's a very weird feeling. I've been thinking about this for so long. And I realize how little I knew about how the WoW actually works or what it looks like.
This is going to be fun.

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It begins... Or does it?

The scene was set.
My wife would be out until after midnight. I pawed feverishly through the manual as I hurried home.

While I choked back some supper and made the minimum of polite small talk to our house guest I managed to start the install process without revealing my plans.

I knew I shouldn't be doing this. I didn't need another hobby. I really couldn't afford the time and I hadn't even finished Oblivion. What possible need could I have to enter this strange, forbidden world?

A hungry world.
Chewing slowly on my evening. Devouring patch after patch as it installed. Each more tantalizingly close to that moment when I would finally start to play.
Until finally the great Granddaddy of them all—2.6Gb—too much.

I am defeated in battle.
I will slink off to bed.

Already World of Warcraft is wasting too much of my time.
It may or may not be everything I hoped for... but it is certainly more.

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