Though I’m slightly behind the times here, I figured I might as well add my answers into the 10 Years, 10 Questions project. I’ve been posting plenty about WoW lately, and maybe I’ll even meet a few interesting players this way.
1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?
After having lots of fun playing a free MMO with my ex, we both let friends convince us to try WoW out. I bought the battle chest, my current partner upgraded it for me as a Christmas gift, and I was hooked.
2. What was the first ever character you rolled?
A Forsaken priestess named Llyse on Ravenholdt-US. Unfortunately, she’s spending her undeath eternally trapped at level one on my first trial account. The first character I got out of the starting area was an Orc warrior, and my first to level cap was a Blood Elf hunter.
3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?
All the cool kids (a.k.a. my friends) played Horde. There was never any question.
4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?
When my RP partner’s character asked mine for his hand in marriage. Not kidding, no shame, and yes, they were both blood elf men at the time. I told everyone, even random others on the server, and I wore my Gold Eternium Band into battlegrounds until some Tauren yelled at me.
5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?
While I have a huge soft spot in my heart for RP of all kinds, I play mainly for the PvP. You can RP anywhere (and the WoW community isn’t always accepting of diversity, beyond elves such as the lovely gentlemen above). But random battlegrounds are my number one way to de-stress, and nothing beats managing to fall into the rhythm of teamwork with a group of players you’ve never even met before.
6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?
It’s no longer accessible without the use of glitches, but the hidden zone Quel’thalas is my absolute favorite place. Everything there can be found elsewhere in the game, but somehow, the lack of NPCs and the view of the sea make it such a peaceful place to watch the sunrise.
7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?
My current account became active on December 3, 2008, not long after Wrath of the Lich King released. Other than a couple month-long breaks every year, I “quit” at the end of 2010 (and promptly came back in April).
8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?
Rarely. I like the lore, but I hate questing so much that I’m usually trying to get through it as quickly as possible. I did read most of the quest text in Northrend, and I enjoyed it.
9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?
(Potentially triggering content ahead)
I regret starting the game with someone who was abusive, and who sometimes hurt me for making mistakes in WoW. For a long time, I’d have panic attacks going into unfamiliar instances. To this day I still avoid questing and 5 man content when possible. I hate that the bad memories overshadow the good, especially when it comes to the guild and friends we shared.
We still had fun together. My ex no longer plays, and has been out of my life for a long time, but I hope with all my heart that like me, he has gotten help and moved on.
10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?
World of Warcraft gave me a place to have fun and make friends at a time when I feared for my safety every day and wasn’t allowed to seek relief elsewhere. It also helped connect me with the friend-turned-lover (see 1 and 4) who got me out of that dangerous place.
These days, the game helps me manage my PTSD. Battlegrounds and raids provide a controlled environment where I can expose myself to tense situations, make mistakes, set goals, and learn at my own pace without fear of consequences. RP helps too; playing a character who has been through trauma can be incredibly therapeutic in processing my own.
Maybe most importantly, WoW has taught me that I can’t look at someone’s avatar or in-game actions and assume I know what they’ve been through or where they’re headed. A little kindness and understanding can go a long way. We’re all in this together, and we’re all human, too.
…or orcs, or elves, or sentient panda bears, or. Well. You get the idea.