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. 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.
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. 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.
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.