Warcraft is old (and so am I)

I first played Warcraft: Orcs vs Humans back in 1995. I didn’t pay for it – someone copied it to a disc for me and gave it to me (copy protection was barely a thing back in the MS-DOS days). I played it over and over. I had never owned an NES, so I was purely a PC game player. My entire video gaming experience prior to this was Doom, which I had played at home as a huge time sink during my lost years immediately post-college. In 1994 my wife and I had moved into an apartment and I bought my own new PC. I played XCOM, Warcraft, and Star Wars:X-Wing for all of 1995 and 1996.

I was a brand new teacher at the time, and I spent many of my evening hours grading papers and writing lesson plans. In 1996 we had our first child, and free time for gaming was minimal. I needed games I could play in small doses when I had some time.

In 1997 I moved to Diablo. Then I picked up Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness. I played it as just another RTS game. I don’t think I paid any attention at all to any overarching plot or lore. I just viewed it as a more polished version of Warcraft: Orcs vs Humans. Still, I was a budding Blizzard fanboy at this point. When Starcraft came out in 1998 I got that (it may have been the first game I actually purchased legally) and played that to the exclusion of other games.

I never finished Warcraft II: Tide of Darkness, and I never even tried the Beyond the Dark Portal expansion. I also never played Warcraft III, mostly because copy protection was becoming a real thing at this point and to play a game I had to actually buy it with my own money. The budget was tight with an infant in the house, so I mostly played games I could borrow/copy from a friend.

I heard of Everquest, and it in 2000 sounded like the greatest thing ever. The stories I heard made it sound like something out of the future… playing with 3d avatars in an interactive world with other real people! Impossible! However, I knew that there was no time in my life for a game like this. I didn’t have the freedom to devote hours and hours to that, so I pushed thoughts of it aside.

In 2004, World of Warcraft was released. I heard people talk about it in reverence. I knew it was everything I had ever wanted in a game. And… I ignored it. We had recently bought a house, we had a 2nd child, and this was not going to happen. I bided my time.

At the end of 2005, I made a proposition to my wife. I said that I had reached the point in my teaching where the time requirements were manageable. Our oldest child was 8, our 2nd child was 3, and even though we had a 3rd now (1 yr old) we were pros at this baby-raising thing. I asked if I could get the game. She agreed, under the condition that we buy her a computer and she can play as well. I agreed. Then my two brothers and my sister-in-law got on board.

In March of 2006 we all started playing – a group of Night Elves starting in Teldrassil (warrior, rogue, druid, warlock, hunter). We had missed some iconic events – Molten Core and BWL raiding, the Gates of Ahn’Qiraj. Also, I didn’t hit level 60 for around 8 months. I had avoided joining a guild because I was suspicious of online strangers, and that limited my gearing opportunities. By the time I was level 60 and ready to try raiding, we were already looking forward to Burning Crusade.

Since 2006, WoW has been almost my entire gaming life. I don’t really play other games, because there is always more I could be doing in WoW. While the rest of my family has stopped playing (and stopped gaming entirely as they have grown older), I continue on. WoW is now 15 years old, and I have played for 13.5 of those years without a break or interruption. That’s crazy, when I think about it. I started with Warcraft: Orc vs Humans 24 years ago, which means I have been playing Blizzard games for almost half of my life.

I’m not as focused on games anymore. I ran each dungeon in the current expansion once just to see it. I have done each raid once in LFR just to see it. I won’t stay up late just to grind out more reputation. I don’t spend hours stalking the auction house to make gold. I don’t sit in long queues just to get a weekly mythic. I log in, do what I can in an hour, then log off. But WoW allows me to do that.

Thanks, Blizzard, for half a lifetime of fun.


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Classic WoW:
Dinaer - 11 Assassination Rogue
Cepheid - 13 Prot Warrior
Cartho - 11 Elemental Shaman

Retail WoW:
Dinaer - 120 Assassination Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Cartho - 120 Elemental Shaman (US - Quel-dorei)
Derence - 120 Prot/Ret Paladin (US - Sen'Jin)
Metius - 120 Shadow Priest (US - Sen'Jin)
Liebnitz - 120 Arcane Mage (US - Sen'Jin)
Darishin - 120 Resto/Balance Druid (US - Sen'Jin)
Fastad - 90 Subtlety Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
November 2019
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