Pushing thru the market square
so many mothers sighing
News had just come over,
we had five years left to cry inNews guy wept and told us
earth was really dying
Cried so much his face was wet
then I knew he was not lying
— “Five Years”, David Bowie
Everytime I think about WoW being around “three years” that Bowie song has popped into my head. Wierd, I know.
I’m not sure how long we have. By “we” I mean we inhabitants of the world of Azeroth.
We’ve had three years now. Just a little over three. My word, what a game. What a thrilling experience. I remember that far back, over three years now, my first character, Kinless, Night Elf Hunter, struggling to get his quests done there in Shadowglen. That cave with the spiders. Whew. Just bit by bit, careful now, one spider at a time, now the next, OH NO NOT TWO!, and running away and making a second approach, a third, and finally deep in the cave, grabbing the egg, and making a break for it. And then moving on to Dolanar, meeting that odd Satyr outside of there, taming my first pets, making a saber tooth my first permanent pet. And now he’s level 68, and nothing in Azeroth can stop him. If it’s out in the world, he can get it. Patterns, leathers, etc. Last night he journeyed into the demon infested southern reaches of Winterspring, walking past all the Hodiern demons, noting the columns decorated with graphics of the Ouroboros, thinking “What the hell is this place? Who’s culture am I in the middle of?” Seriously, this is architecture that is Elven in places (like the towers down in the frozen abyss you ride over) and then this strange tribal/demon place, and these columns sporting graphics of snakes circling around eating their tails. (I should have gotten a screenshot.) Oh, yeah, I found an instance portal to Mount Hyjal down there as well. It was blocked for me. Three years later and I’m still finding things I knew nothing about, and had never seen, and I enjoyed the heck out of finding it. My original reason to be down there? To tame a bear with the brown and blue/gray hide that will be my tanking pet, and graphically similar to the brown and blue/gray wolf Ironjaw I tamed in Terrokar Forest. The wolf is named Irony (furry yet irony isn’t irony?), so the bear got named Ironside. Three years later and I’m mucking about like a kid. Great!
And I remember Darkhand, my Rogue, also starting in Shadowglen. Doing the same quests, doing them more easily, learning engineering, joining a guild, hunting horde in Darkshore because he used to be on a PvP server. Hunting horde, and then being hunted, by level 60′s that could spot me from across the zone. HUGE Tauren Shamans that blew down on me like Armageddon Omigod! Sneaking into Nesingwary’s to do quest turn-ins, running from a mob of horde 10 levels below me, gunning for the new honor points, and who hadn’t forgotten to bring along a Tauren with them, a HUGE freaking Tauren, 10 levels higher than me, to assist in stripping me of honor points for them! Woo, good times. (Folks not on a PvP server really have nooooo idea. It can be frustrating when you’re there, but in hindsight, it was fun too.) Darkhand is now 51. Farming ore for my new Warrior. Stepping into Alterac Valley and seeing the meltdown of the Alliance there. What used to be 95% Alliance wins is now 100% Alliance losses. This Rogue’s got places to go still.
Blackhoof, ah, Blackhoof. Started out as Darkhoof. That’s because he was the successor to Darkhand. New character on a new PvP server, new faction, and now I’m the HUGE Freaking Tauren. I remember those first moments. Creating my new HORDE character. I decided to forgo the nose rings. I’m a free cow! I wear no symbol of any domestication. I was a Shaman. And I was in a guild from the moment we could afford the charter and create it. (The guild Darkhand was in had moved as a group, well, eight of us, to the new server.) I remember that first jaunt into the pigmen area. My rockbiter buff on my starter mace. Shooting lightning, throwing down Earthshocks, keeping us all healed, our little party of five. And as part of that guild, merging and merging, through raids on Alliance towns, worrying about killing NPCs because the dishonor absolutely sucked, and your whole raid got dishoner if one person disobeyed. Then Blackrock Mountain, and the four instances we’d run over and over, and the big 15-man raids into Upper Blackrock Spire, killing General Drakkisith! And the first steps into Molten Core, and getting Molten Core down to a night’s labor of love. And the flow of purples such a raid would generate. The veritable wootage of it all. Then entering the Outlands with two characters at the same time, doing the quests in parallel, but seeing them done as a Shaman, and then as a Warrior too, and now Blackhoof has gotten the two pieces of T4 that the guild has access to at the moment, carrying the Nazrethim Mindblade, the Mazthoril Honor Shield, and some other vendor purchased epic gear. And Msaker, once Oddity, now with epic tanking and dps gear. And Northrend nowhere in sight even.
And all my alts.
What an absolute wild ride these last three years have been. Really, with Northrend not even on the radar screen yet, we’ve easily got two more years in Azeroth. (And all those crying newsmen from earlier? Yep, they’re back too.) And beyond that. Really, beyond that?