World of Warcraft Classic is allowing tonnes of dedicated and longtime fans to relive the early days of their favourite game. For someone like me who never had any experience with World of Warcraft, it’s a different sort of time capsule. It’s strange to be a total newbie to one of the biggest games in history, but there’s also joy to be had in not knowing what to do or where to go next.
I know almost nothing about World of Warcraft. I know the Alliance and the Horde, I know that Tempest Keep was merely a setback, I know Jaina’s done some questionable things recently, and I know “you no take candle.” My knowledge of Warcraft is secondhand. I picked up fragments from things like Hearthstone and that one time I saw the World of Warcraft movie with my girlfriend. WoW Classic is totally alien to me. Ever since my curiosity got the better of me and I started playing two days ago, I’ve bumbled about as a fresh-faced priestess and found myself happily overwhelmed by the game’s scale and design.
MMOs aren’t new to me. I’m an avid Final Fantasy XIV player. I played Star Wars Galaxies, Guild Wars 2, The Old Republic, Lord of the Rings Online, and more. When I dropped into Azeroth, I had some fundamentals to work on: learning the levelling process, how to get new spells, walking the path to the infamous town village of Goldshire. All of it has been a fascinating peek at a world I’ve never known. There have been surprises – I have never in my life seen a Tauren before, so that was a shock – but they’ve been a lot of fun. And while it feels strange as a games journalist to admit my lack of Warcraft knowledge, I’m content to wander from quest to quest and observe the game’s bustling community.
Last night, I found a green quality bow while slaying a murloc on a quest. Not the highest-quality weapon and also not anything I could use as Priestess. I could have sold it and made a little more money for buying new spells, but instead, I asked in General chat if anyone wanted it. Someone messaged me asking to see the item. I linked it in chat. He passed.
“I hope it goes to a worthy hunter,” the stranger said.
My reply came quickly: “I figure why sell it if I can help someone out.”
“That the spirit of Classic,” they offered in turn. I’m not making this up; that’s just how nice this stranger was.
I’m level 10 right now, and although I don’t plan to power level, I’ll eventually get to 60 even if I only play one or two nights a week here or there. It’ll be a long, relaxing journey. I’m not going to raid in a hardcore fashion; I won’t have multiple characters; and I’m not going to role play, even though I found a weary traveller on the road last night and struck up a quick chat. Instead, I’ll amble through Classic and finally get a chance to see what the fuss was about all those years ago.