It's been a very long time since I started playing this game. I found some of my random thoughts from way back when, and as I'm anti-deletionist I want to record them somewhere.
The Beginning ∞
I don't know if I initially pirated Diablo 2, but I ended up buying the battle chest at some point. This was long after the game had lost all relevance in the gaming world. Come to think of it, Blizzard charges a whole hell of a lot for its crappy ancient games.
Strangely, I learned that a member of a band I liked played WoW and that's what had me thinking about it.
There was a certificate for a 14-day trial in the Diablo 2 battle chest I ended up buying. Back then there weren't digital downloads. At the time World of Warcraft 2 (BC) had come out fairly recently.
There are several things I always research before considering an online game. PvP and various rules about conduct and naming:
These were acceptable to me, although I've had mixed feelings about the enforcement of the naming policy. Things have changed over the years, and especially after moving to a non-RP server the enforcement of naming is shot to shit.
At that time, I had recently upgraded my computer and I thought that I might be able to try some of the more recent games. Blizzard had a knack for building games that could play on old hardware. I knew my video card wasn't up to snuff - at the time I had never even seen anything graphics accelerated on my own computer - but I thought I might be able to squeak by.
I started as a Warlock, and I rather enjoyed it. I completely misunderstood how gear worked, and I ended up with Spirit + Stamina gear, so that I could survive fights more easily and recover outside of combat faster.
The mechanics of spirit have since changed so this isn't the case now. I didn't know about int effecting spell power and I didn't think about doing high damage to end fights faster rather than stacking stamina to survive longer fights.
I was intimidated at the prospect of PvP, and so I did a
/pvp to turn it off. I experienced quite a lot of stress at PvP because it would end up turning itself on for stupid reasons. Reasons like running past guards, getting whacked by one, lightning shield "attacking" it and you getting flagged. Nice.
My first server was an RP server. Unfortunately it was fairly low population which really influenced a lot of my early gameplay experience.
I really fucking hated all the walking around. That's changed now, but it left a bad impression that I haven't recovered from. I did a really serious amount of work and ended up getting my Succubus at the minimum possible level, capping my gold and generally being competent.
It was odd to me that opposing factions couldn't communicate. Even emotes didn't work the way they should have.
Quests required outright cheating, because they were vague. I read all quest text and was still really distressed at all the wandering around hoping to bump into things. This has been entirely fixed now, but again it left a terrible impression.
The Shaman ∞
Later on, I rolled a Shaman and really fell in love with it. I found friends, because back then it was possible and now the Dungeon Finder tool has mostly-obliterated that.
I was doing quite a lot of research on guilds. I ended up going healer when getting picked up by a raiding guild, and did some rather hardcore raiding. I would do things like have a half-sleep and wake up at 1am to raid.
I was a damned good healer.
At this point I really had a handle on AddOns and was playing with all kinds of combinations.
At some point in there, I ended up switching guilds so that I could sleep properly again. The raiding continued.
The decline ∞
I played lots and lots, but I was frustrated at so many poor game mechanics. The lack of variety at the end game gave me a sense of apathy about the whole experience.
At one point there was a whole-game nerf.
- Removing many wandering elites
- Remove many patrols
- Move mobs apart
- Reduce aggro radius
and I can't remember what other crap..
This ruined the game so much for me that I just gave up.
Wrath of the Lich King ∞
I ended up going back after a time when Wrath of the Lich King came out. I did some raiding, switched servers and rerolled a priest. I did some raiding but I ended up switching guilds.
I became an asskicking, perhaps even legendary, discipline priest. We're talking "holy shit" here. I had my tanks go Spartan: Helm, Cloak, Belt, Boots. I would heal heroics in blues.
I also made a mage alt back when it was possible to do real AoE kill-grinding. Man that was fun.
When Cataclysm came out, I chose to "freeze" my priest. I left it at 80 and rerolled. I also did the same with the Shaman I had at 80.
On the previous server, I still have the Warlock and Shaman at 70.
I rolled another priest. I did 1-85 in eight days.. and that's with a couple of levels of roaming around exploring (and getting horribly lost), and even a few levels of pure kill-grinding.
I levelled several alts just with the Dungeon Finder tool. Tanking all the way. Various changes have made it annoying to tank and so I'm a bit glad I got that out of my system when I could.
Now I'm a Shadow Priest, trying hard to give our mages a run for their money. I still have hybrid urges, and I regularly aid. In my early experimentation and before some really really serious mechanic changes, I actually managed to get top DPS and top heals. That was the end of World of Warcraft 3 (WotLK).
I've tried to heal again, but latency changes in the underlying networking engine have made my twitch healing impossible. Mechanics changes have made life hell, and mana regeneration is a lost cause. I'm expected to twitch-heal, select the right heal with the timing, mana usage and effect for every situation. With how many different heals? Every few seconds? You're fucking kidding me.
Discipline is completely and irreconcilably screwed. Especially compared to Holy and their retarded amount of superpowers. Discipline is some sort of leftover that hasn't had any love whatsoever.
I have plenty of 85 alts, maxed tradeskills and all that jazz. The game is still pretty uninteresting because it's too damned easy.
Maybe Firelands will change that.