Okay, so I wasn’t truly a Tauren chieftain, but I was a Tauren. It sounded better in the title, so there’s that.
I haven’t had much experience with the still ginormous World of Warcraft. Back in 2009, I mucked around with the Trial version till level 10 or so, but that was it. I think I tried an Orc and a Night Elf, my two favorite races.
Fast forward to 2016. Blizzard has put out a tasty promotion, whereby if you level a character to 20 in WoW you get a snazzy Paladin skin in Hearthstone. They have been cross-promoting their games for awhile, so this was not new. But playing WoW was more or less new to me. Several expansions have been released since I last touched the game, so it was in essence, entirely different from my previous foray.
Playing by myself would have been daunting, so I enlisted the aid of my girlfriend, who had a lot of prior WoW experience. Tauren is one of my favorite creatures in the Warcraft-verse, so I chose Tauren. Little did I know the Tauren starting zone is a tedious slog, or at least, more of a slog than the other areas. I chose a male warrior while she chose a female druid. Soon we were gathering claws, furs, horns, boxes and other standard quest nonsense for various NPC’s while roaming fields and hills. Fortunately, she knew where to go 99% of the time, so that made traveling around easy. The auto-run key also helped.
While the beginning combat and quests are overall uninteresting, seeing the world of Warcraft in 3D was pretty cool. I have countless hours sunk into Warcraft 1, 2 and 3, so it was very nostalgic and awesome to see Orc Burrows and Barracks as I flew over them on a mount or run by them in towns. Whenever I lost track of my girlfriend in town, she would jump up and down with her character or pounce around in cat form. Always made me smile and then off we’d go.
I have never felt like a game was trying to waste my time more than WoW. In fairness, I suspect this is most if not all MMO’s at some point or other in the leveling process. But seriously, I had to wait 30 minutes to pick up some sacks of grain in a corner of the map because everyone was trying to do it at once. Not fun Blizzard, not fun at all. I know I may be choosing to waste time by playing your game, but don’t make me waste time against my will.
Leveling is pretty slow until you hit level 15, and suddenly you can do dungeons. Since we were on free accounts, we couldn’t play together in a group, though we did try to get someone to invite us to one. Even without playing together, the instances were still quite fun. As a tank, I found queue’s rather quickly and it was the first time I consistently had fun playing WoW. Running around in the front while four other party members followed me around healing and doing damage was pretty rad. The quests were interesting as well, going through a variety of castles, caves, and shipyards. Suddenly the game felt like..well a game, and less fur farming simulator 2000. I thought to myself “I could get into this if only I didn’t have 50 other games to play still.”
We both hit level 20 around the same time and obtained our Paladin skins for Hearthstone. Hooray!
I never did do the mount quest that shows up at level 20, because I was eager to get my 30GB+ back in HD space that WoW was taking up. I do need it for recording videos. Sorry WoW, you are permanently relegated to my trashcan. I’d play you if I had less to play.
Notable Events To Level 20:
- A bunch of jerk Humans invading an Orc settlement and killing all the quest givers. Eventually, a bunch of high-level Horde blokes showed up and killed them all. It was fun to watch while I waited for the NPC’s to respawn.
- The Tauren area of the map is pretty brown and dusty, so going into the lush forest area’s with pools of water and all kinds of colored flowers was such a contrast. The game is so beautiful underwater I would often just dive in and swim around for fun.
- Exploring some of the bigger cities was quite impressive, with the vast architecture and the sheer number of players and NPC’s wandering around. I can begin to see the appeal of MMO’s in areas such as these.