Year in Review

1. What did you do in the World of Warcraft in 2009 that you’d never done before?

Everything. I started playing the game in September 2008, so just about everything I’ve done in the year and three months I’ve played this game have been done in this year. I’ve leveled to 80, geared out, tanked a heroic, a 10man raid, 25man raid, solo-tanked multi-tank bosses, tanked hardmodes, gotten raiding achievements, pets, mounts, mountains of money, debtors, collectors, vanity gear, a full bank, a full guild bank, joined a guild, left a guild, transfered servers, transfered back, left some behind, met some new, hated with a passion, hesitated to admit to liking, read a blog, wrote a blog, used rawr, read forums, learned my class, learned another class, learned more after that, geared an alt, full-cleared 10man raids in the same week with more than 1 character, paid for a character recustomization, paid for a name change, took sceenshots, recorded a movie, been rude, been kind, been generous, and had some fun.

2. What was your favorite new place that you visited?

If I had to pick just one, I’d say the inside of the Argent Coliseum. It’s just so epic. Being a combatant in an arena surrounded by cheering allies and even your faction leaders in attendance, not to mention the dejected stares of demoraloized failure of your foes and the anger of their faction leaders… I’ve never had such a feeling of importance and of being counted on in a lore sense. Now that I’ve got you all slack-jawed in disbelief, I’ll stop lying. My favorite place is probably the storm peaks. I love high places. I love Paladin-skydiving (ie falling from really high places and using Divine Protection before I hit the ground). I love the new mountain graphics Blizzard put in Wrath, they are light-years ahead of the rolling-hill design of Vanilla and BC. Howling Fjord would probably be a close second, again, because of the mountains, and because of all the green. Considering all the evil that permeates that zone, it’s the healthiest looking place in Northrend as even the Basin looks a little overgrown. Ulduar was beautiful, and I always like visiting Nagrand.

3. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

A Tauren Paladin. Ever since I saw how ugly humans were, how alliance the Draenai were, and how unreasonable Blizzard was in making the Tauren stamina racial almost a necessity for tanking (thanks for nerfing it btw, jerks) and making it so Orcs and Undead (altough happily and gainfully employed by the argent crusade) could not be Paladins, a Tauren Paladin has been my primary race/class combination desire. I love my female blood elf Paladin. She’s very lovely and I love playing dress-up. I love the irony of this frail little swimsuit model getting the shit kicked out of her by giant yetis, giant stone monsters, creepy Japanese tenticle-rape monsters, having dragons breathe fire on her, have worms spit fire and acid on her, and 5000 sword-and-shield villains hacking futilly away at her as she effortlessly blocks, dodges, and parries her way to 0 damage; but she’s never gonna be a huge brick wall of a meat shield with giant plate shoulders with spikes on them, horns, and a bad attitude just waiting for a raid boss to make his day.

4. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I suppose, the guild-ranks of the world would say that Tribute to Insanity 10player was the biggest achievement for me, and it’d be hard to disagree with that. But, I think my biggest achievement this year has been finding a place to belong. As many problems as my guild has, all those days where individual player skill and guild coordination can’t carry us to success even in 25man regular, as many disagreements I have with people about guild policy and raid strategy, as many times as I make poor decisions with regard to politeness, courtesy, and compassion for others, and as much as I wish I could see what it was like to be in a Juggernaut or an Edge or an Ensidia, this is my little place in the world of warcraft. Maybe I’m better than everyone there, maybe I could go much much higher and farther, maybe I could devote my every waking moment to the pursuit of perfection at this game; but for better or worse, my loyalty and comfort zone keeps me where I am. For whatever reason, there are people here who I would miss, people who I enjoy seeing and talking to every time I get the chance, even if it’s just small talk and inside jokes. That we have something as convenient as a built-in social setting and structure for interaction has the ability to let people create connections that are every bit as real and strong with people hundreds of miles away as those one may share with their real life friends. And, as often as I try to fight it, occasionally I can’t help but remember that there are real people behind those pixels.

5. What was your biggest failure?

My biggest failure in the game would probably be taking so long to mature as a player. I spent so much time easing into raiding, I didn’t jump in head first. It took me a very long time to reconcile class research outside of game, reading forums, using consumables, gearing philosophies, understanding class and game mechanics, and just plain moving out of fire. But, even putting that aside, my biggest failure is always the everyday lack of Christ-like behavior I display. Whether through selfishness or ignoring the truth of the humanity behind every character I see in game, the title I wear to remind myself to be a better, more compassionate person, “the Noble,” is one I fail to live up to on a daily basis.

6. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Patch 3.2. I started raiding late, and didn’t even hit 80 until the end of February, I was in a guild that struggled to field even 60% of a 25man team so gear was perpetually out of my reach in raids, and my skill wasn’t there to get me into a different guild with more opportunities for advancement. Patch 3.2 allowed Conquest badges to drop from heroics. There was finally a way for me to overcome my late start and close the gap so that I could be ready for current content. I had stopped playing WoW for 30 days to prove to myself that I could quit any time that I wanted, but reading all the news for the upcoming patch got me so excited that I couldn’t wait to come back to Azeroth.

7. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Run circles in Orgrimmar and Dalaran with no purpose other than to kill time. I think that pretty much speaks for itself.

8. What was your favorite WoW blog or podcast?

I don’t listen to podcasts and I didn’t start reading blogs until October of this year (two months ago). All the blogs I check on a daily (mostly) basis, can be seen on the side of the homepage, but Wrathy, Honors, and Rhidach were the most interesting and informative for me.

9. Tell us a valuable WoW lesson you learned in 2009.

I didn’t learn it, but, as always, I am constantly reminded of it the more time goes by; “The future is when you will wish you had done what you aren’t doing now.”

One Response to “Year in Review”

  1. […] see them. I won’t get into too many gruesome specifics, but suffice to say, when I said I had found a home I wasn’t lying, but most people believe that well-adjusted adults leave home at some point. […]

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