It’s now been exactly one week since I started up my World of Warcraft account, and so far, so good. I managed to hit level 22 this past weekend, Sunday morning in fact, which was quicker than I had anticipated. I hadn’t set any goals or expectations with regards to my play time in WoW, aside from just trying to enjoy it as much as possible. I told myself I wasn’t going to take it seriously, I wasn’t going to become a slave to the “level as fast as you can” monster, I wasn’t going to play every free moment I got. Turns out, I’ve been hooked, and this weekend saw me logging in whenever I could, not because I felt I had to, but because I genuinely wanted to. It certainly helps that I’ve got a couple friends, both WoW veterans, in-game who have joined up with me now and then for some questing. I joined up with Kuarlos Saturday evening and together we took care of a few group quests on Bloodmyst Isle. In the picture above you can see us taking on the level 20 undead elite dragon Razormaw. Actually, what you see is Kuarlos taking on the dragon while I stand back and drool over how cool Razormaw looks and take some screenshots. Yep, that’s me, the perfect group mate. Granted, that screenshot was taken right at the beginning of the fight, but still, I haven’t even engaged the target. I’m literally just standing there. I did manage to throw Kuarlos a heal or two later on, and I also jabbed the dragon in the belly with my staff, but ultimately Kuarlos deserves credit for the kill. I guess it was fairly obvious too, because afterwards I apologized for not really doing anything because I was busy taking screenshots, to which Kuarlos replied, “yeah, I figured as much”.
Such is life when you group up with a blogger I suppose. In the past I had always expressed a preference to the ‘realistic’ look of EverQuest II over the stylized WoW graphics, however, I’ve really become a fan of WoW’s look. I don’t know if it comes out in the screenshots so much, but everything in the game looks downright cool. Testament to that is the fact that I’m almost constantly hitting the screenshot button. The picture to the left is of Kuarlos and I taking on Sironas at the end of the “Ending Their World” quest. This is the final encounter in the quest which has you fighting your way up a mountainside while protecting an NPC who is laying explosives down along the way to detonate the Vector Coil.
The “Ending Their World” quest is another of those quests that do a great job of making you feel like a hero, like you’re accomplishing big things in the world. Case in point, after speaking with Exarch Admetius to turn the completed quest in, he tells me that I have saved “the whole of Bloodmyst and Azuremyst, securing the Draenei way of life on Azeroth!” After his little speech, I turned around and left the building only to be greeted by a procession of soldiers and other onlookers, all cheering my name. Yes, it was totally cheesy, but I ate it up, and thought it was pretty cool. I almost forgot to take a screenshot of it.
With the Azuremyst Isles saved, it was time to move on to Kalimdor and a quick boat ride took me into Auberdine. I grabbed a few quests there but most of them were a little below my level, but I did come across one which took me into Ashenvale Forest. I was quite excited about this because this was my first foray into contested territory. I was on high alert while running through the zone, keeping my eye out for any Horde scum, but alas, this was not my day for PvP as not a soul was to be found. I love the look of the zone though, especially the little “pieces of flare” sprinkled throughout, like the statues in the screenshot above. That’s me in my Ghost Wolf form which gives me a 40% run speed boost, which makes trekking around the zones so much easier. I’m looking forward to my next few levels in Ashenvale and I’m really hoping I run into some Horde soon.
It’s certainly been a fun first week in WoW, and I think the key to my enjoyment has all been about attitude. With no pressure to level up, or get this or that phat lootz, all that’s left is for me to just enjoy the experience. Of course, the first twenty or so levels of any MMO are usually the “easy part”, so I won’t get too ahead of myself at this point.