One of my best friends got me WoW as a Christmas gift in 2005. I’ve known “Que” for over 30 years. We met in 7th grade choir…yes, I am that old. I love her dearly although we are very different personalities and handle situations differently and think about things in a different way. Yet we have common interests and that’s what’s bonded us together. Plus she’s just an all around great person, even if she has a hard time seeing that.
The reason I qualified her as “one of” my best friends is because I’ve noticed that I have two different types of friends, the ones I call my “emotional” friends and the ones I call my “intelligent” friends, which is not to say that my emotional friends aren’t intelligent and my intelligent friends aren’t emotional, but it’s more the way they process information. I think maybe better terms would be feelings vs. logic, or to take it in the geeky direction, maybe Bones vs Spock. I am more Spock-like. My friend is a Bones. The funny thing is, she loves Spock and wishes to be more like him and I’ve always liked the good doctor better. But I guess that’s the way of the world, we always want what’s on the other side of that fence.
I wasn’t able to start playing it for a couple months after receiving the gift because I needed to upgrade my computer to be able to play it and then I had trouble with the install discs so I needed to wait for replacements from Blizzard. So, on February 11, 2006, I was ready to venture forth into Azeroth for the first time.
I’m one of those people who actually read the manual before playing to get an idea of the world, so I knew I wanted to start a rogue because my favorite D&D character was a rogue. I wanted to make her a gnome because my D&D character was a Halfling and that was the closest I could get. But I didn’t know anything about servers or how to get connected or any of that, so I called my friend to ask which server she was on so we could play together. She had no clue, so she asked her husband, and we eventually figured it out.
While we were on the phone, I start creating “Dandylion”. She ended up being a Night Elf because my friend wanted to make a character at the same time so we could do the starting area together and she loved the Night Elf starting area. I loved that my rogue could have purple hair, so I was fine changing my original character idea.
I went through the beginning cut scene and then I was in Aladrassil and all I could see was the ground. I couldn’t figure out how to move, let alone how to change the camera angle. I was totally lost. My friend was blithely running around and chatting in my ear about things I couldn’t see and it took me about 3 or 4 minutes of her babbling before I could get a word in edgewise to tell her that I couldn’t see what she was talking about. She finally talked me through using the mouse to change the camera angles and I referenced the user manual for the different keys to use to move and hit things with. We did the beginning quests and I started getting the hang of things and then she had to go, so I was on my own.
Now I’m a fairly experienced gamer, so I was able to figure out a lot of stuff by trying things. In the next few weeks, I had created a few different characters to experience different starting areas and classes to see what I liked. I had a gnome mage (with pink pony tails and big green eyes), named Calyx (I ended up dumping her later to make another alt), I made my dwarven hunter, Ishkabibbel, and I made a human warrior named Terrah, and if I recall correctly, I had a Tauren Shaman, named Maxine, but she ended up getting dumped at some point, too. (Alliance didn’t have the shaman class available in those days)
So, as you can see, I like trying the different areas and classes to experience different aspects of the game and see what works for me. I ended up playing the hunter the most, so she became my “main”, although I really had no idea what that meant at the time. This was during the “war effort” to gather items, which I now know was prior to the opening of AQ, so I kept seeing these quests to gather items that I never saw in the game (because they were for much higher level items than I was getting). I didn’t understand this was a world event or what it meant.
I’m basically an introvert, so I mainly just played by myself unless my friend or her husband was on or someone asked me to do something with them. I joined a guild because I was invited, with no idea what a guild even was. I never spoke in that guild, never did anything with any of the members, there was really no point for me to even be in there, but I didn’t know any better.
I didn’t know you could auto run until someone in a random Deadmines group asked me why I was so quiet and I explained that I couldn’t move and type at the same time. I never sought out a group, but would join if asked. I liked the game, but was still very much a newb, even though I didn’t even know what that word was or meant.
One day, I was in my mid-20’s questing on the hunter in Darkshire and Que was with me on her hunter. We had the Embalmer quest and were getting our asses kicked, so she asked for someone in her guild to help us. And that one thing changed my game forever.
Now she is extremely extroverted and not shy at all, which is probably one of the reasons why we get along so well. I was the party leader, so she had me invite “Pan”, a warrior in her guild, and Pan asked me to invite “Del”, who was a druid. They were about 10 levels higher than us, so we knocked out that quest quickly. We asked them if they needed any help and they said no, so that was that, or so I thought.
Later, they asked Que if we wanted to go to BFD the next day at 7pm…That’s when I learned about server time and what BFD was. We set a date and at 7pm server (which is 5pm my time), we met up in Astranaar. My friend was late logging on, so Pan, Del & I started chatting and I learned a bit about them. I got the idea they were a couple, although it wasn’t stated at the time, it was just the impression I got from the conversations I had going on with them. Del chatted the most in party chat, but Pan also carried on a whispered conversation with me too. I got the impression he was more comfortable with one-on-one conversations and she was more extroverted.
They also invited another warrior from their guild, “Pig”, who was pretty quiet. Finally my friend logged on and we went to BRD and we all had a great time. This is one of my favorite WoW memories. None of us had been there before, so it was all new and we ran around and got lost and wiped a few times. I had no idea how even how to swim under water, so that was new to me. I still didn’t understand the concept of tank, healer, dps, but somehow it all worked. We ended up in the room with the braziers and we cleared it out and then we were like “now what”? I remember putting my mouse over the brazier and seeing the cog, so I said “Wonder what this does” and clicked it…well actually, I clicked all 4 of them. Of course, we got swarmed and wiped, but we were laughing doing it. “Wonder what this does” became a catch phrase for us for a long time. After we downed the final boss, I ended up joining their guild and that’s when my true love of WoW started…(to be continued)
I think this history is important to my understanding how I got to where I am now, but it also goes along with my theory of WoW being a microcosm of the real world. To use myself for an example, I am introverted, but sociable. I don’t actively seek out interaction, but I am friendly if approached. I enjoy learning about people and how they got to where they are in life and what motivates them. I love to try and learn new things and experience different aspects of a given situation. I have what my friends have called FMS, which stands for Fear of Missing Something. If an opportunity presents itself, I am going to grab it. I won’t put myself forward or aggressively pursue something, but I will point myself in a direction and make myself available.
For example, back in the pre/early internet days, I wanted to work in the computer industry making games. I was looking for a new job and the newspaper was my main job hunting source. Anytime there was an entertainment related job that I was remotely qualified for, I’d send them a resume. My degree was in Information Systems, but my experience was in Accounting and office work, so I’d apply for anything where that might fit in. Eventually, I had an interview with PDI (pre-Shrek) that I totally failed at because I had no idea what they were about, but it was a learning experience for me because after I went to their offices, I knew wanted a job at a company like that, but I also analyzed what I did wrong on that interview. A few months later, I got a call from Industrial Light & Magic, and I KNEW who they were.
The call came on the day of the re-release of Episode IV – A New Hope. I had had a horrible day at my current job and was upset because I wasn’t able to get a ticket for that night to see it and I had really wanted to go. I had to go check on my mom’s cats because she was out of town and I decided to spend the night there because I was too tired to go home, so I called my phone to get my messages and there it was – “This is Susan from Industrial Light & Magic. We’re in receipt of your resume and would like to talk to you about a job opening.” Right then & there, I decided I was going to get the job no matter what it took. I went to the library & got a book on interviewing. I bought new interview clothes. I studied up on their past filmology. I was so prepared and I nailed it and ended up getting the job (because of my enthusiasm).
So, I didn’t actually get a job working with computer games, but it was close enough for me. I wasn’t calling these companies day and night asking for an interview. I had mailed a few resumes for different jobs to LucasArts, LucasFilm, and ILM, but didn’t really do any follow up. So I put myself in their path, hoping we’d bump into each other, and once we did, I took the bull by the horns, but I didn’t send the bull in first without an invitation, if that makes sense. It wasn’t the kind of company I had originally planned to work for nor the type of work I had wanted to pursue, but it was close enough for me.
This post was originally going to be about Que’s personality and how it translates into the game and somehow it got hijacked by me. I don’t know, these things write themselves once I get started. My joining BBC (Que, Pan, Del, & Pig’s guild) was that opportunity I grabbed, even though I didn’t realize I had put myself in that path. It may not have been what I had planned, but at this point in the game, I really didn’t know enough about it to plan anything. I just knew I had a good time with these people and I wanted to play with them some more. Little did I know how far it would go or how involved I would get.