My adventures in the World of Warcraft all began on the day my boyfriend came home with the game in hand some time in August, 2006. A mutual friend of ours had been trying to get the two of us interested in the game for a while, but being console gamers, neither of were quick to really try PC Gaming. He decided to finally give it a try, and while my initial interest wasn’t as great as his, as soon as he made it to the character screen, I was permanently hovering behind his shoulder. I remember our shared delight in the quests, the flavor text, the mobs, the new abilities he was learning. I couldn’t wait for him to go to bed to try it out myself.
I made my first character on Sen’jin, a fiery-haired warrior named Ariedan. I didn’t really understand the concept of the game or classes, but I chose warrior since I’m an obsessed fantasy reader, and I’ve always favored warriors over magic-users. Plus, she had a sword. You don’t really get cooler than that, or at least that’s what I was thinking at the time. I slowly started playing in small bouts, usually ever other day. I didn’t get much accomplished, and found exploring the world considerably more interesting than the redundancy of questing. It’s safe to say I spent most of my adventures running back to the graveyard, but there was just something alluring about being a level eight in a level 30 zone. After trying my first Deadmines instance, I immediately fell in love with the dungeon aspect of the game. I ended up making some good friends from that run, found out a few days later that they had just created a new guild, and soon thereafter was a member of Cult of the Dead Cow. Many of my first fun memories of this game include us mooing in various other dungeon runs. On an aside, I recently found out that Cult of the Dead Cows still exists and is thriving. I find myself wondering how differently my gaming history would have turned out had I continued playing there with them.
A few weeks after beginning the game, I found out a few close friends of mine played World of Warcraft as well, and one of them played on the server Gurubashi. I rolled another warrior on there with the three of them, not actually thinking I would commit to that character. The friend whose main was on Gurubashi was actually a member of a relatively good raiding guild. He promised he would get me a friend invite to the guild if I leveled my warrior, which quickly became my motive. The character quickly out-leveled my “main,” and I eventually forgot about the other character on Sen’Jin. I leveled that character to 60, but was still the epitome of the “casual gamer;” I logged on for an hour or two daily, talked with friends, but didn’t do much more than dilly-dally about. I think once or twice we poked our heads into the likes of ZG and AQ20, but what we killed besides ourselves is questionable. We did manage the art of running around in circles, though, so there’s that.
When BC was released, I decided to take the raider route and joined up with a newly formed raiding guild as an off tank. I was an inexperienced raider and a horrible tank, and my guildies knew it. Eventually, it finally dawned on me how ignorant to the raiding world I was when I realized they only tolerated me because of my gender. After that, I was determined to succeed. I started reading up on my class, getting into theorycraft, and progressively turned into a good tank. I managed to make my way up the ranks and even main tank for some highly ranked progression guilds, and seeing content first definitely has provided me with many fun memories.
Towards the end of BC (April, to be precise), I got a new job that required me to work late evenings and overnight, so I had to go casual. I transferred to Doomhammer to play with my boyfriend, and we started up a reroll guild. Initially, it was because we wanted a guild that could conquer content without raiding much, which would fit both our schedules and our raiding interests. But the guild became our passion, and we poured all our energy into creating a guild that was a hybrid raiding-social guild; one that wished to raid well, but without losing sight of the friendships that make this game worth playing. We’ve had some good times and bad times, but we’ve weathered the storm and have been successful in our endeavors; Con Brio has been around for a year now, and it’s everything we wanted it to be.
The Player Behind the Pixels…