In January 2005, my gaming life was changed forever. I took part of the European Final Beta and my first 26 levels as a Male Dwarf Hunter was wildly different than the following 6 years of raiding, grinding, guildleading, casual’ing, laughing and meeting new friends. World of Warcraft was my first real MMO RPG experience and I highly doubt I will find or play a game like I played World of Warcraft.
Below you’ll find a few screenshots, a video and some of the best memories I have of the game, that I spent close to a full year (24 hours a day) in.
Period: February 2005 – September 2005
Guild & Realm: Night Shift, Al’Akir
Character: Muldav, Troll Shaman
Immediately after the game was released in Europe, I was guildless for around the first 20 levels, where I explored mostly on my own and found everything new and fascinating! The sense of exploration and being almost lost in a new world was extraordinary. I stumbled upon a group of dedicated players, who were in the guild Night Shift, a guild compromising mostly of Lithuanian players. I made a good impression and joined in on the guild. I reached level 60 with the company and help that the guild provided and soon we entered Molten Core. We wiped horribly on the first Firelords we encountered and it was simply glorious! Through the summer and autumn we progressed and finally killed Ragnaros the Firelord. It was without equal and it was great fun. The guild encountered Razorgore the Untamed and this was when I wanted to play with my Real Life Friends who were all playing on the realm Sunstrider. I decided to make the switch and start a new character with them.
Period: September 2005 – February 2006
Guilds & Realm: Trials of Sunstrider, Eternal Flames, The Second Renaissance, Sunstrider
Character: Vashu, Undead Priest
I switched to Sunstrider to play with a group of my friends, leveling was a lengthy process back then, but thanks to a previous knowledge from Al’Akir and a stable group of friends it went twice as fast as the first time. We started out with our own little guild and moved across various guilds. In Eternal Flames and The Second Renaissance we had our first proper raids of 20 man and 40 man. I was the only one with a full Molten Core raid experience and quickly helped with tactics and what to do.
The group of friends and I weren’t quite happy with the leadership in the guilds we were in and decided to try get our own thing up and running. This led to the period of my WoW time that I have the fondest and saddest memories from. We talked to a lot of the people we had met in the guilds and gave them the offer to join us, many of them had seen what we could do and the way we wanted to lead raids.
Period: February 2006 – November 2006
Guilds & Realm: Endless Corporation, Sunstrider
Character: Vashu, Undead Priest
We founded Endless Corporation and quickly started recruiting new people from Orgrimmar and seeing if they had a good grasp of the game and the endgame. Many of the people that joined in this wave had nothing but blue and green gear, but they had dedication and enjoyed playing the game.
I still remember the quick kills in Zul’Gurub and the first run into Molten Core with around 30 people, where we surprisingly killed Lucifron and Magmadar. This started the quick rise of Endless Corporation, which more or less killed a new boss and cleared existing bosses every week. It took us 3 tries to kill Onyxia, which back then was something of a small Miracle:
The best part of Endless Corporation was definitely the spirit of comradery, we didn’t use a sign up system, people just showed up! We always had a constant lack of various classes, but we managed! It was extremely fullfilling. We ended up killing Ragnaros in style.
It was like having a full time job being the guild-master and class-leader of the priests in Endless Corporation. I was raid leading and managing the members, as well as dealing with mounting frustrations between the leaders (most of us were real life friends). After a fantastic period of progress in Blackwing Lair, the guild suffered a blow it would never truly recover from, half of the officers quit just after our 2nd Nefarian kill and joined the best Horde guild on the server at the time. Much blame and harsh tones were spent, but most energy and a truly amazing effort was done to keep the guild running and intact.
We luckily recovered and kept progressing for some time in Ahn’Qiraj. One of the most satisfying and fantastic kills I have ever been part of was our kill of Princess Huhuran. I think 1 person died during that attempt and everything just clicked perfectly. Along with this was our biggest and only world PvP encounter with Nightshade, a fearsome alliance guild on the server:
We emerged victorious, but then we encountered the Twin Emperors and the toll of holding the guild together was becoming too much. My good friend and I decided to seek an established guild that was further progressed. Fate would have it that we ended up going back to Al’Akir and actually going back to the same guild that I left in 2005.
Period: November 2006 – May 2008
Guilds & Realm: Requiem, Al’Akir
Main Character: Vashu, Undead Priest
We joined the result of a massive guild merge, Requiem, which was Fists of Retribution and Night Shift, and the keen reader might notice that I had already been in that guild. We joined a guild that had just 2 weeks before, killed C’thun and were progressing in Naxxramas. The rush of joining a well oiled machine and seeing new content instantly was extremely gratifying.
Burning Crusade was released the 17th January 2007 and completely changed the game. At the time I was priest class leader in Requiem, but quickly lost the position as I was simply not able to do what was needed for the guild, so I became another member and kept playing. It was a fantastic time.
The smaller raid sizes meant that the group was much more focused and I had the best raiding period of my WoW time in this expansion! There are so many kill pictures and videos I could link to, but I’ll keep it brief.
Kael’Thas was such a tough nut to crack. A month of dedicated days of wipes and frustrations. Fighting for 20 minutes across 5 phases only to die and start all over was an incredibly frustrating process and that only made the kill that much sweeter.
Meanwhile I also made great friends, many of which I have visited several times in real life. I have been to England, Holland and parts of Denmark to meet up with them from both near and far. It is one of the best experiences I have had and it has been so much fun!
Killing Illidan, was what many considered the endgame at the time and it was such a fantastic fight. Everyone was dedicated and the morale was exceptionally high. Going through the Black Temple and the bosses was a blast and the challenge was fantastic.
Then Sunwell Plateau came and the hardest part of World of Warcraft was introduced. We threw ourselves at the challenge and the cracks appeared in the guild. The leadership changed and the requirements became too much. I decided the time as a hardcore raider had come to an end and a new period of my WoW career would begin, even though I never really let go of Requiem and came back once in a while to talk to them and generally hang out, since the guys and girls there, were amazingly good company (and still is).
Period: May 2008 – April 2009
Guilds & Realm: Pride of Denmark, Whisky Tango Foxtrot, Order of the Blackrose, Tyralyon
Main Character: Fyndhorn, Night Elf Druid
I leveled my first serious Alliance character since the Final beta with my girlfriend at the time. We rapidly progressed through the levels, beating any leveling speed I had managed before. I jumped around in a lot of guilds and met a lot of great people. Especially the Order of the Blackrose was a great time, where we raided. I started playing a bit with my real life friends again, but it was never the same as back in the Endless Corporation.
My interested for WoW started fading as the interest for single player games or other multiplayer games increased. It was after a longer period of inactivity I decided to take a break from WoW. I was finishing my education at the time and was also starting to interact a lot more with girls and friends than before (outside the game). I had also gotten a full time job, which took a lot of my time.
I ultimately decided to stop as well because the game had become nothing more than just getting more achievement points.
Period: August 2009 – September 2009
Guilds & Realm: Without any real relation to any guild, just back and talking to people
Main Character: Various characters
I came back for 1 month to see how things were going, but I quickly lost the interest again. I decided to stop again.
Period: January 2010 – April 2010
Guilds & Realm: Playing for fun, just cruising about
Main Character: Various characters
In 2010, I decided take a 3 month stretch and I caught up with friends again. I think I got excited about Cataclysm and Deathwing, since lore was always my main interest in the game. I went back on break and decided to wait until Cataclysm.
Period: December 2010 – September 2011
Guilds & Realm: Casual, Al’Akir
Main Character: Vashir, Troll Rogue
Cataclysm, the destruction of the world I hold so dear. New content for all levels and a huge amount of lore updates for the game. I was hooked again. I started a completely new character, a troll Rogue and started seeing all the zones again. It was fantastic.
I joined a small guild of dedicated guys. It was great and we started killing bosses left and right, though it wasn’t very intriguing. Even when Ragnaros 2.0 was introduced, I couldn’t keep the interest to keep raiding and decided to just fall away from the game.
Since August 2011, I have done so many things and changed my life in so many ways (as you can read in the blog). Even with the announcement of Mists of Pandaria, I couldn’t even get interested. I think I’ll never return to World of Warcraft again and only time will tell if I’ll join their new production called Titan.
World of Warcraft in Vanilla and Burning Crusade was so amazing, it’s hard to put into words. The people were there and the content was great. It will always be in my memory as the best gaming experience of my life, because I’m finding it harder to get excited about games like that again.
The best thing is that I still have contact to the fantastic people I met in the game and I hope to keep those friendships intact for as long as I can.