Screenshot of my undead character dancing next to a bear
One of the few WoW screenshots I could find.

In the summer of 2010, my then-boyfriend Michael introduced me to World of Warcraft. I’ve never played an MMORPG before. It was completely new to me, but little did I know that it would define my life for the next six months. I loved every minute of it.

I had no idea what to do at first, but I chose the mage class because magic is cool. I then picked Forsaken for my race as we played on the Horde side. I was an undead mage, and it’s every bit as awesome as it sounds.

I started out questing with Mike and getting familiar with how WoW worked. Pretty soon, my best friend, who’s played before, joined in and we’d adventure together. It was a social thing for me, being able to play with people I love. After reaching the hard level cap at the time, we started raiding. I respecced to focus on outputting the highest DPS possible and joined a raiding guild.

Mike was a tank, while my friend and I were DPS (damage-per-second, essentially the hard hitters). We quickly rose into our guild’s ranks as core raiders. I only say that because it was very neat at the time. :P We had a weekly schedule to advance our guild’s ranking on the server. Eventually, we were able to defeat the latest expansion’s final boss (at the time, it was Wrath of the Lich King), and we all earned the Kingslayer title. Pretty soon, our guild was hitting up heroics.

Flying over Dalaran on my frosted dragon mount

Check out my title! And my mount that you could only get after running Icecrown Citadel Heroic.

But the greatest part of WoW was the friends I made. During downtime, I ran dungeons with my guildies. We’d talk on Ventrilo, which we primarily used to coordinate raids, but we’ve also made it a place to hang out. We’d help each other level up our alts, do daily mount quests together, and just get to know each other.

I learned that my guild leader had two PhDs. He even recommended an Economics book to Mike. He was also loaded. XD We saw two of our guildies form a relationship. They eventually met up in person, and they were very happy. We also saw some of us going through tough times. Though I didn’t tell them, I was one of those people. My dad had passed away that year, and looking back, I think I was using WoW to cope with it.

Sadly, I had to stop playing after six months. WoW consumed all of my free time, and it was starting to affect my school performance. I also realized that I needed to grieve over my dad in a healthier manner. It was hard to leave my guild and the friends I’ve made, but as my guild leader used to say, “Real life before WoW.”

I only wish that I could catch up with them all. I wonder how they’re all doing. One of my guildies was 13 back then. He’d be hitting college now. You better not be getting into trouble, Triabourne. Is my fellow mage Hed still around kicking PvP butt? He wasn’t part of our guild, but we had a real kinship when he’d raid with us. XD

And the last time I checked the guild online, our leader stepped down. I’d love to speak to him again. Hope you’re doing well, Lilt.

And to everyone else in Shudder: It’s been five years, but I still think of you all from time to time. I’m sorry I left so suddenly. I don’t know if I’ll hear from any of you again, but I hope you all accomplish everything you dream of. Real life before WoW indeed, and I hope yours have been wonderful. With all my heart, Raiscake signing off.

Timeless Thoughts is a monthly linkup hosted by Tara and Georgie, documenting things of the past. Check out their linkup if you’d like to reminisce on something that you miss. :)

Comments

  1. Awwww! Raisa, this such a moving game post! I’m so sorry you were having a rough time then, especially with the passing of your dad, but I’m glad WoW gave you some support for a while . . . even if it did turn to be a bit unhealthy, but at least it helped you cope during that period. And gaming does have its benefits — especially when you’re around like-minded people who help you gaming-wise and with other aspects of your life. Thank you for showing that. This post has so much feels and I can totally relate to it with my HP fandom days.

    Thank you for participating, Raisa!
    Tara recently posted…Sokcho Trip ReflectionsMy Profile

    1. Sure thing! You’ve been such an awesome participant in our linkup, the least I can do is return the favor. <3 I'll be submitting whenever I think of something! XD

  2. I played WoW during the Lich King expansion too! I was really excited when I got the Kingslayer title XD I was on it for about a year and a half before I stopped. I was a healer, so I had a Blood Elf Priest and a Night Elf Druid. (I later transferred my Blood Elf into a Human, so I’d have my characters on the same server.)

    I always loved how you could make good friends in online games, and those are some of my fondest memories. I’ve made friends in every MMO and MOBA I’ve played, though sadly, I usually lost touch when I left the game. I added many friends from a MOBA I played 2 years ago on Steam, so a few of them followed my husband and I into another MOBA earlier this year. Then we randomly ran into two others that we had lost contact with and were able to play together again! Small world after all :)

    I’m glad you had such a good time on WoW and that it helped during a tough time. I hope you’ll run into your guild members again some day! You never know if they’ll show up in another game you’re playing :D
    Cat recently posted…Thoughts on Hawaii – revisitedMy Profile

    1. That’s so great that you ran into some of them! I do have some of my guildies added as friends on Battle.net, and I started playing Hearthstone recently. I’ll have to be on the lookout for when they get online. :D

    1. Yeah, the monthly subscription was too much for my poor student budget at the time. :’D I went questing by myself on some days, usually when I did dailies. I never did get some of the mounts I was after. :’)

  3. :’) Its great that you were able to make friends through the game and that it could be there in a time that you needed a distraction. I really admire your strength to know when you also needed a break from it as well and try to have the time to face your loss, that is never easy. *hugs*

    I have never played it. I know so many people that do and are very involved in their guilds. I think I never played it because when it first came out I had very slow internet (I think I was still on dial-up) and it just wasn’t possible.
    Kya recently posted…I wrote a bookMy Profile

    1. Ahaha to be honest, I only managed to break away because I got Dragon Age: Origins. XD That is another hole that I haven’t gotten out of hahaha!

      I don’t know how WoW is now. I much prefer single-player RPGs nowadays! Less stressful because you don’t have to deal with other people. :’D

  4. I personally haven’t had too much experience with WoW but I have known tons of friends and family who were in love with this game. Gaming tends to form relationships beyond one’s imagination and I’m glad that you’ve met some friends who helped you through some tough times. It takes a lot of courage and strength to be able to see through what you’re holding up inside and your coping mechanisms. You came out a much stronger person. It definitely makes me reminisce about the younger days!

    1. Thank you, Tess! I appreciate that. <3 I come from a family of gamers so it's always been an activity of bonding for me. Even now, most friends I've made are through gaming!

  5. As a huge fan of MMORPG’s I loved reading this. So sweet and sad at the same time, it struck a chord in me. <3 I've never played WoW, but I've been playing Guild Wars 2 for about two years now, and before that I played Lord of the Rings Online. I still miss my adventures in LotRO and the people I met there, and I know I'll miss my GW2 life when it's over.

    MMO's can be tricky. It's great how you can make so many new friends and have such an amazing time exploring and conquering a magical new world, but these games can also be addictive in a negative way and make you lose focus on the real world. They really can be like having a second life separated from your real one. It's good that you had such a great time and made friends, but it's also good that you recognized that you needed to step away. It shows insight and maturity.
    Karin recently posted…First snow 2015My Profile

    1. Having a second life is so true! I used to make plans around my raiding schedule. My friends who didn’t play WoW didn’t understand, but they knew it was important to me haha. I’m tempted to go back sometimes, but I don’t think I’m able to balance it with my real life still.

  6. Wow! WoW was my go-to game a few years ago. I remembered having a Blood Elf (typical of me) DK and rogue. I commend you for pulling it through with being a mage because I never liked the weak physical attributes and had trouble fighting from a distance. It’s awesome that your DPS was up in the charts ;). Did you play on the actual server or private server?

    It’s pretty neat how people IRL behind the characters can be some big shots (hellooo Dr.^2)!

    There are some good in gaming. Always good to have people who will support you the whole way through. IRL is what counts the most!

    1. Actual server! :D I was on US-Kalecgos, or as we liked to call it, Kelloggs. XD

      MMOs area definitely what you make of it! You couldn’t always avoid the jerks but for the most part, it was good.

  7. And people still want to say that cyber-friendships aren’t real.

    I’ve always wanted to play WoW. Bit late in the game for that now XD;; I’m super excited for the Warcraft movie, though! My favorite actor is in it, and the best part is that he is a HUUUUGE WoW fan so this is like striking gold for him.
    Holland recently posted…Review: ipsy–August & September 2015.My Profile

  8. This post!!! I also played WoW for awhile with my boyfriend, also named Michael! (That’s where we met!) I have so many great memories with my guild and all the raiding we did! He and I actually ran a guild!

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