Five years ago today

It was December 26th, 2004, and as usual, Valinar had gotten a ton of video games for Christmas. One of the games he'd gotten was World of Warcraft.

I'd heard of WoW. I was familiar with the Warcraft franchise, having been with Valinar and one of our good friends at the midnight release of Warcraft III (I chose the orc cover but ultimately liked playing the undead best; I never had gotten around to Frozen Throne, though), and I'd never known Blizzard to make a bad game, but still… MMORPGs were not my thing. The only one I'd tried was Asheron's Call, and I simply wasn't sold on the idea of a game where you had to put in hours just to maintain your status, or build pots, or whatever.

So on the 25th, Val installed WoW, rolled up a paladin named Vaelen, and played for a few hours. I was distracted by the many books and DVDs I'd gotten, so I wasn't really watching, but he said it seemed like it had a lot of potential, and that I could roll up a character on his account if I wanted to try it out.

On the morning of the 26th, I was up an hour or two before Val, as usual (you'll note that I'm writing this post around 8:00AM, and Val is still quite asleep). I logged into his account and rolled, if memory serves, a dwarven hunter with blonde braids named Agnessa. I was trying to emulate my favorite Diablo II character — I'd played a bowazon with multi-shot for most of the time I'd spent playing the game, and thought a hunter was clearly the way to go.

I spent about fifteen minutes playing — with the naked vanilla interface and no pet — before I went back to the bedroom, woke Val up, and said "Okay, I think I love this. We have to get me my own copy."

The day after Christmas, 2004, was not exactly an easy time to find a copy of WoW. We called every software store in range of our house, including Target and Best Buy, and did not find a copy until we got to Renton — a 30-minute drive away — and their relatively-new Fry's. They said they had "tons" of copies, and we drove down, picked up my copy, and brought it home.

This time when I installed it, I decided I'd try out a priest. I rolled Agness v1.0, who was destined to be a shadow priest. It took me three months or so (I have a journal entry noting her creation on 3/18/05) to roll up Ovistine. By then I'd gotten interested enough in healing that I really wanted a priest to heal with, and dwarf priests were very much in demand, so I thought back to the whirling braids of my original hunter and rolled Ovistine Lighthammer, who set out on her first adventure with her mom's old mace, looking to fight evil. Or troggs. Whichever.

By October, I'd met some of the RPers I still know today. My guild leader actually sought Ovistine out after seeing her on the boards and discovering she was an female dwarf priest seeking dungeons and RP who was, somehow, not yet a member of The Boomstick Gang. :D

Things have changed here and there over the years. When Burning Crusade came out, I ended up with a shiny new main, thanks to the fact that I loved playing the shaman class. When Lich King came out, Val and I finally managed to be in the same raid at the same time for the first time, which was a vast, vast improvement from vanilla, when I raided Thursday and Friday with one group and he raided Friday and Saturday with a different group. And there'll be more changes in Cataclysm. I can't predict all of them, but I can say that in one form or another, Ovistine Lighthammer is gonna be getting the lion's share of my playtime. It's times like this I wish I'd registered instead of, but oh well. Dwarves gotta eat, too.

Happy Winter Veil to everyone; I know I'm going to be spending the day happily entrenched in my nostalgia. Maybe I'll go send Ovistine to Stratholme for old times' sake. :)

Dec 26th, 2009
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