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  • Writer's picturewylset

A post from Thursday September 4, 2014


Memories, fading as we speak, yet still relevant.






Memories Of Firsts


Sitting down today, I thought I’d blog a bit more about the beginnings of an Altoholic. No, I’m not some Gold Farmer that’s chained to his desk trying to level and sell toons (if they even do that anymore?) I’m just a guy who loves the art of Levelling in World of Warcraft… and had the time to spend on it.


My First Max Level Toon.


About 2 months before Burning Crusade was launched, I had my first max level toon. Nifeweaver, my rogue, dinged 60 after a few day’s push. I’d not really focused on one toon, instead working on all 10 toons as I went. It’s hard to remember all the details after all these years, but I do remember having 6 toons in the 40’s at one time. The surprise I’d get when talking to someone in game about how many toons each of us had, that really never went away. Even today I’ll still get a ‘holy shit’ out of someone I talk to about my alts.


I also remember the first night I went into Silithus after Nife hit 60. The quests there were tough, and the aggro you’d get from riding around there was insane. I’d bounce from one mob to another while trying to navigate through my quest goals. One goal was on my mind: gathering enough gold to buy my very first epic mount. Yes, it was quite different back then. You bought your first riding mount skill at Level 40, and it went 60% faster than your toon could run. The next level of riding, 100%, was achievable at Level 60. The one major catch, of course, was that it cost 100 gold for the mount. Again, back then it was reversed. The training cost was minor. The mount cost was a fortune in Vanilla.


Nowadays, in Mists of Pandaria, 100 gold is only a matter of minutes to farm, if you’re at level 90. Do a few quests and vendor the stuff you picked up from looting during those quests, and it’s easy. During Vanilla, however, I spent that first night in Silithus, I slogged my way through and accumulated 40 gold for about 5 hours work. A pittance compared to MoP, but it was incredible. I’d -maybe- collected 50 gold total in levelling all my toons at that point. Still 10 gold shy I headed back to Silithus the next night and was able to get enough to purchase my epic mount. The fun part of that was logging onto each of my alts and sending Nife their hard won gold. Leaving each toon with maybe 1 gold, that was tough, but I knew there’d be a fortune ahead, now that I had my level 60 AND an epic mount.


Kelletar


Sometime during those last months of Vanilla I came across a Level 40-something rogue in Westfall while on one of my lower toons. A measure of your skill back then was being able to solo The Deadmines, the first instance that Alliance characters could group up and test their mettle. You’d often see level 40ish toons advertising in General chat that they were willing to run a group through the Deadmines. I quickly sent a message to the rogue, and received an invite from this nice stranger, named Kelletar.


Kelletar ran us through the instance without much trouble, we actually had 3 other lowbie toons much like myself, who knew to just stay back, avoid drawing body aggro, and loot corpses while sucking up the free xp. Sometimes it was fun just to let someone else drive. Kelletar was very skilled and moved through the mobs with ease, gathering them up and knocking them down. He sapped where he needed to, waited for pats and knew the instance like the back of his hand. I’d solo’d The Deadmines on my own characters a few times by then, but never with the grace and confidence that this rogue had. It was impressive, to say the least.


After the run, he offered to run us through again, and some of us took him up on the offer. I knew I’d found a good guy, when Kelletar again advertised in General, just to fill up the party. He didn’t need the help, he just wanted to help others even if it meant taking that extra effort and getting more people into the party. The second run was a little more difficult, with an inexperienced hunter drawing aggro from Kelletar by running ahead, or starting the pull before Kelletar did. We paused for a moment while Kelletar patiently advised the hunter to let him pull the mobs, and stay well back. He was polite about it, and eventually the hunter got into the swing of it and the run went a lot smoother.


When the last boss died, we all thanked Kelletar, and people started dropping group. I stayed in group and chatted with him for a while. I told him that I found his runs very impressive, and that I too had a rogue around his level, but I had nowhere near the skill that he’d shown. Kelletar suggested I add him as a friend (I already had, perhaps a social faux pas, but wanted to keep this guy on my radar). He offered to help me learn to play my rogue better, and I was grateful for the advice. Pretty soon Kelletar and I were logging many hours together, running through quest areas, zipping through instances, and having a blast. We quickly became comfortable with each other’s play styles and personalities, and I looked forward to seeing him log in so we could continue on from where we left off.


T.W.C.


Kelletar belonged to a guild named TWC, The White Company. Yes, it sounds racist, but the guild founder was a fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and espcially the book called ‘The White Company’. Kelletar offered to get me a guild invite, as my toon at the time was unguilded. I happily accepted, and found myself immersed in the first truly organized guild. These guys were raiding, hitting Molten Core on a weekly basis, and pushing into AQ-40. My highest toon at that time was in his 40’s, still a ways away from raiding, but it was a great place to learn more about the game.


I still remember the guild’s first ‘Get To Know The New Members’ night. Everyone online at the time was gathered into level appropriate groups, and run through an instance by one of the long-term members. My team leader that night was Junius, again a rogue that had helped Kelletar learn when he was first starting out. Junius spoke to us in Vent as he led us through that night, and I mentioned that I had a few more toons, and would they be able to get invited to the guild. His response was music to my ears: “Sure, bring any and all you’d like, we invite the player, not the toon”. After the run, I proceeded to log one toon after another and got them all invited to the guild. The ‘Welcomes’ that rang out in guild chat were overwhelming, especially when someone noted that Junius was doing one hell of a job recruiting, to get that many new players into the guild. Of course, that soon turned into laughter when Junius admitted that it was actually one player, not a full raid team invading from another guild. This was the first time I’d experienced (or forced the experience onto a guild) of mass inviting all my toons. It wasn’t the last, and always fun to do.


Molten Core, my first Raid.


I’ve raided on many, many toons. The most raiding I’ve done was during Burning Crusade, where I had all 10 toons (the max on a server at the time) going through Karazahn. It was an amazing experience, always being able to join a pug looking for…anything. I could tank, off-tank, melee dps, range dps, heal, CC, whatever they needed. I’d run with a dedicated toon on my guild’s run, then their alt run. After that I’d keep my eye on trade chat and join up with a group looking to fill their run. Eventually most of my toons were committed to running with specific groups, usually other guilds, who would be happy that the pug they needed to bring in was not only competent, but could bring whatever class/role that they were short on.


However, that was my heyday, not my introduction to raiding. At the time I didn’t understand the entire scope of it, but Kelletar started pushing me towards getting attuned for Molten Core. Basically my friend led me by the nose, going through the appropriate steps in getting attuned. To this day I still don’t remember much of the attunement, other than that first night when Kelletar advised the raid leader that I’d be ready to go.


The nervousness I felt about not wanting to let my guild down was quickly pushed aside when one of the healers, and Kelletar’s real life friend, Opus shot me a tell: “Don’t worry Nife, I’ve got your ass covered, just have fun and assist Junius with your Focus macro.” Kelletar had shown me the brilliance of that little macro, allowing me to quickly switch to the proper target each time. The biggest memory I had of that night was seeing 40 people in our raid, charging in after the tanks, and beating on the two enormous molten giants that guarded the entrance. I was too excited to take it all in, even to the point of paying no attention to my health as I ran in after the tanks and started stabbing for all my worth. I tried to remember to get behind them, not knowing the reason why, but knowing that was what I was supposed to do as a rogue.


I don’t remember which bosses we killed, if any, that night. I don’t remember getting any loot beyond trash drops. I do, however, remember the excitement that lasted well into the night, beyond the end of the run, knowing that this game was absolutely incredible, beyond what I’d already experienced while levelling my toons.


I didn’t raid that much during Vanilla, I was still focused on getting the rest of my toons to max level. I had 9 left to level, and Kelletar kept me advised on the upcoming expansion, The Burning Crusade. Back then, I didn’t pay much attention to the wealth of information that was available. I focused mainly on sites like Allakazam, and Thottbot, in order to figure out quests that I was stuck on. I rarely looked up things like loot tables, happy just to get whatever dropped. Compared to today, I was a total innocent, happy to react to things that happened rather than being proactive. It was certainly a time of innocence.


Wylset


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  • Writer's picturewylset

Updated: Nov 15, 2021

What the hell, let's restart the blog and at least retain some memories before they disappear.



Hello There, again.


I started this blog about 8 years ago, but, as blogs mostly go, they die on the vine. Perhaps I can get it going again. At the very least I’m hoping to retain some memories before they vanish in the mists of time.


There are two blogs that I follow regularly, WoW bloggers that have been at it for years now. Well written, and strike a good chord with players like myself. Please enjoy:





The next few posts are the intro to the old blog. Once I have them in place here, I’ll continue the journey from current day….


Hello There.

I’ve been reading blogs for a few years now, mostly to do with World of Warcraft. There’s been some very good ones out there, and those ones I’ll go to each time hoping to see an update, even if it’s just some random ramblings. One that I followed quite frequently, and enjoy tremendously are ones you should stop by and check out:



You get to know people through blogs, or at least their projected persona. For the most part, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the people behind the blogs. Those are the ones I keep coming back to time and time again.


Hopefully, I’ll inject some of these Wanderings with enough entertainment to have you come back, and, if you have any interest in the man behind the curtain, perhaps some insight into that as well.


Most great stories start at the beginning, unless you’re Quentin Tarantino…the man can start anywhere in a story and have me right from wherever it is. I’m a fan of following with what works. Re-inventing the wheel isn’t my specialty, as you’ll see.


The Beginnings…


I’ve been a gamer for most of my life. I got my first computer when I was 13, a Christmas present from my parents. The old Commodore Vic-20. I’d been playing around with my friends’ computers for a few years, but this one was different. It was mine! I remember unwrapping the box and being blown away that my technologically impaired parents had actually bought me an real computer!


Later the next year I entered High School, and met up with a man who’s been an incredible influence on my life. He was my English teacher then, and became a close friend I’ve valued through the years up to the present day. One incredible gift he gave me, was that he brought this ‘new’ game to our school. Dungeons and Dragons. Yepper, good ol’ D&D. Fantasy. Killing stuff. Figuring out puzzles. Hanging out with friends for hours. Rolling Dice (primitive RNG). Character Sheets. Stats. Weapons. Equipment. Armor.


How little did I know that in about 20 years, there’d be the embodiment of that genre wrapped into a computer game that millions of people would play.


Eventually I stumbled into the world of online gaming, with the discovery of text-based MUDs. Multi-User Dungeons. Meet people online, go adventuring with them, create characters, all based on that same fantasy type D&D genre. Muds were good to me, spent many an hour getting to know each of the classes, the fights, the paths all around the virtual world. I played extensively on one called “Prophecy: The Mud”, which was a world based on the Belgariad and Mallorean series of books by David Eddings. I’d been reading and re-reading those 2 series since they were released, and it was fantastic to boogie around in that world. This was my origins of becoming an altoholic. Level 91 was the max at the time, and I’d created, levelled and equipped about 40 toons by the time the new revolution came about…


World of Warcraft. WoW!


A friend of mine started talking about this new MMO coming out. He was very excited, planned to line up outside the store to get the release copy as soon as it was available. I’d played some of the Warcraft RTS games, and liked the genre (of course, Civilization type strategy with Orcs? I’m in!). However, the subscription fee was new to me, and I was already spending tons of time on an excellent MUD, where it was free to play. I kept on with Prophecy: The MUD for another 6 months, all the while hearing about how amazing WoW was from that friend.


Eventually, one of my Prophecy online friends started a WoW account, and sent me a trial 10 day subscription. She said ‘it’s incredible, come play’. The free offer made sense to me, to check it out. So, I created the account, and logged in, creating a Night Elf Druid. One of my favourite characters from D&D was an Elf Druid, shapechanging and all, so I figured this would be a fun way to start. I named him after that D&D character, Gerrymander and waited for the load screen to complete…


Holy crap Batman, it’s alive, it’s aliiiiive…..


What an incredible experience. Over 8 years ago, and I still remember what it was like the first few moments. The game that I’d already been playing for years now had a 3 dimensional representation in front of me. The world was rich in colour and graphics. (Please note, I’m Canadian…not only do we say ‘aboot’, but we use ‘u’ in words, just to complicate matters). My MUD friend was sitting there waiting for me, and we spent the next few minutes getting me up to speed on the controls. I was eager to dive right in, and the quest givers were ready to get me going. Unfortunately my friend couldn’t stay long online, so I was left to my own devices. After a bit of questing and getting my bag figured out (man, picking up everything in sight was going to be tough, especially with that starter bag only), I retired for the night, pretty sure that this game was going to take most of my attention.

I logged in the next day, and seeing a screen with only one toon on it, I took the obvious step…


I made an alt.


I don’t even remember which class it was, because after that first druid, I went ahead and populated my server with 10 toons. I knew I’d be playing them all. The experiences of mudding told me I’d be happily moving from class to class and loving every minute of it. I wasn’t wrong.


I didn’t even get through my full 10 day trial before I was at the store, buying my copy of Vanilla WoW, and launching myself into what has been an awesome 8 and a half year journey.


…as well as 50 toons levelled to 85 and beyond…


Wylset


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