Thursday, November 26, 2009

Daily Blogg: Birthdays at Blizz

Happy Birthday Warcraft (15) and WoW (5)

Its genuinely hard for me to admit to this but I have been part of the Warcraft universe in some way or another for almost 12 of its frankly staggering 15 year run.
We have had our ups and downs, expansions have required computer upgrades and installing processes's that rival anything the Spanish inquisition ever came up with but each and every time i feel tired or bored of that universe something new comes out and draws me back in.

Then in November 2004 World of Warcraft hit the USA and people around the world began to beg steal and borrow from there American cousins for a sweet sweet taste of the Warcraft worlds answer to Everquest.
It was a truly incredible experience and although I only got a few short weeks playing on those first few fabled realms on my falsified log in details before my computer decided enough was enough and went to silicone hell to play with the demonic toasters.

it took a full year for me to make my way back to Azeroth, but thanks to the EU launch i was finally able to tailor my account without being forced to search through the US Yellow pages to find a suitable identity. And after a rather painful install process (and first few patches and bug fixes downloaded) "Lensolas" (im a Tolkien fan sue me) the Night elf Hunter took his first few tentative steps into the world of warcraft. It took 4 and a half months to level him up to 60 and every single moment was a blast, Black wing lair, the Molten core and finally the Dragon Onyxia fell to the slings and arrows of this pointy eared purple DPS machine.
Alternate characters sprung froth from his success in the form of My human rogue "Baaldrik" and my dwarfen warrior "Irnbrood" who after much struggling and wasted time also capped out at 60 in some shiny new tier gear.

Then it all went to hell. I had recently joined a pretty hardcore raiding guild and joined there forum community in order to better offer my services as a DPS and Tank to the raiding teams. I joined using a variation of my Log in name and my familiar password so that i wouldn't forget it.
Within only 3 weeks of joining the Rebellion guild official forums i knew something was wrong. I attempted to log into my account to find that i no longer had access. After a significantly panicked phone call with account services and a rapid email check and confirmation i got a new password and was able to log back in.

Every thing i had ever owned, ever gold earned, every epic bartered for, crafted, quested and battled the minions of the underworld for were gone, and i wasn't alone. The entire guild had been hit, the forum had been cracked and our passwords and account details derived from our log in details. The guild was devastated in a way we simply couldn't recover from. At this time Blizz policy concerning hacked accounts was not quite as developed as it is now and we were tolld in no short order that due to the fact that the entire guild had been hit (many of us with temp bans now due to being used as spam bots and gold farmers) the odds of us retrieving our gear from the GM staff and unbanning our accounts was decidedly unlikely. Now with all credit to the staff we did get a good amount of our gear back and even some of our bank possessions back along with the vast majority of our gold but for me (and about 90% of the guild) it was game over time. We let our accounts shut down and withdrew from the game in general.

It was August/September of 2006 before i was convinced to return via a very old friends request and a free trial ticket for a new account. We rerolled on the Alonsus (PVE) server as a Human Paladin known as "Aries" (the chap who previously had the name gifted it to me by deleting an old toon! how freaking cool was that) and in only 3 short months i had leveled him to 60 and was gearing mysellf up for the soon to be released expansion known as the Burning Crusade.
January 2007 came and went with blistering speed and TBC opened up a whole new world for us to play in and thanks to the guidance of the frankly astounding "Resistance" Guild i capped out at 70 as a fully fledged and geared Holy Paladin as one of the guilds main raid healers.
But things happen and people change and after a few months of farming Karazan many of us were getting a little bored, and I had really started only logging in for raid nights due to work commitments knowing fully that simply healing through this same old content had reached its zenith.

Frustrated and annoyed with lack of progress (but still unwilling to give up on the game) i rerolled and switched server yet again. The Surafang server had just been opened and the idea of running AQ with a fresh server appealed somewhat and thus "Malace" the undead Mage came into existence. It was really only a matter of time before i transfered my Paladin over and after a quick name and race change (to a Bloodelf named "Maladin") he capped up to level 80 and thats up pretty much up to date.

its been a hell of a ride and its far from over, so heres to you Blizz happy birthday and many happy returns.

see you in the game.
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