Before we leap ahead into the Cataclysm of another expansion, I’d like to do my traditional pre-expansion look back on the joys of WoW past.

Most days, day in and day out, it’s kind of the same old thing, right? Especially when an expansion or content patch is this long in the tooth.

Ahhh… but there are those moments, and you know you’ve had them, where the everyday game is eclipsed by sudden pulse-pounding excitement, chills, thrills, surprises and “Holy crap, that was cool!” moments.

The one truth to those moments, is that once you’ve had that moment, you’ll never experience the magic in quite the same way again. The best we can hope for is to try and recapture the remembrance of that magical moment while playing a once and future alt the next time around.

I was talking with Cassie about this, and for her several once-in-a-gametime moments sprang immediately to mind. For this retrospective, it’s these special, magical, once in a lifetime moments of Cassie’s I’d like to visit.

The first one for Cassie, literally the first, was when she was playing her first ever character, her Rogue, in Elwynn Forest. She was questing, and exploring, moving through this unfamiliar, strange new online world. Her video game experience, while extensive, had to this date resided solely in platformers and console RPGs such as Spyro the Dragon and Kingdom Hearts. An expansive, persistant online world where she was free to roam and explore to her heart’s content was wildly new, when framed against such a background of “on the rails” linear storylines.

It was while she moved ever deeper into Elwynn Forest, clearing the way and feeling like a badass, stabby stabby, that she ran into that diabolical archfiend, Hogger, for the very first time.

The moment was exhiliarating, terrifying, and in the end, a brutal, bloody defeat. Hearing her cries of rage and frustrated bloodlust, I rushed to her desk to see what was the matter. That was when I had the dubious pleasure of explaining that, oh yeah, Silver Dragons around mob portraits, and mobs with unique and personal names, were generally BAD THINGS. Yeah, I know, thanks for the news flash, any more things I might like to add? Like daggers do damage and traveling without a mount sucks? “Umm, no dear. Love you!”

The next memorable moment came soon after, as Cassie traveled on foot walking along the road from Elwynn Forest to Westfall, and picking up quests along the way.

This moment also evoked cries of anger, and I again went rushing to see what had happened. There Cassie lay, her body broken and bloody upon the road of Westfall.

“But… I was on the road! They’re not supposed to eat me if I’m on the road!”

Oh yes, that was truly a memorable moment full of surprise, shock and dismay. Not even traveling upon the road will grant you safety in the deadly world of Warcraft. Plus, I have to say, in the coyotes’ defense, Cassie did look mighty tasty.

Yep, just leaving the castle of Stormwind some days is putting your life in your own hands. Or, to put it a different way like Martin Sheen expressed in Apocalypse Now, “Never get out of the boat.” 

Another moment for Cassie that she remembers with stark vividness is when she was questing on her own in Loch Modan. She has a policy, where she will never cause harm, or by her inaction allow others to cause harm to innocent little critters. Bunnies and squirrels of the lands, rejoice, for if I were to look as if I might target one, my ass, it doth be grass.

This softhearted kindness, however, does not extend to that most dreaded of ursines, “Ol’ Sooty.” Ol’ Sooty, the massive bear possessed of a strength and power dwarfing that of Hogger, at the time of this telling still a mighty Elite, normally resides up in her mountain lair, overlooking the small village down below.

But not on this day, oh no. No, this day, while Cassie strolled peacefully along, Ol’ Sooty apparently had heard about this most tasty of travelers, and descended from her mountain cave in order to path back and forth along the trail, where any questor scurrying hither and yon to and fro from Thelsamar may run across her.

Cassie, seeing a bear wandering out in the open, took aim and fired.

Ah yes. “Bear in the open, 30 meters, fire for effect.” “Hit.” “OH SHIT!!!”

You could hear the cries of anguish all the way to Mississippi, I swear. “A big damn bear just fell on me!”

Ever since, as she levels new alts, she makes a point of stopping by Loch Modan to “say hi” to Ol’ Sooty… from the barrel of a gun.

Not that she holds a grudge, or anything. Oh no…… far be it from ME to ever suggest such a base canard.

Last but not least of Cassie’s recollections, is the day she sought to level her Rogue’s lockpicking skill.

She had read that just up the road and over the hill from Lakeshire was a wonderful spot for young Rogues to pick lockboxes that respawned quite speedily.

Nobody, however, thought to warn her that she should watch for PACKS of HUGE FREAKING ORCS hiding behind the trees looking for tasty Rogues to eat.

In her own words, she was “brutally assaulted”. I asked her, “What, by the orcs?”

No, by all the people that, when Cassie complained to friends about being ganked and dying, told her “Oh yeah, they always do that.”

Not. Helpful.

In conclusion, I’d like to add two moments for myself.

First, is the incredible tension being on foot, without a mount, brings when leveling without a flying mount in Hellfire Peninsula. Whenever that ground shakes, my head whips around. “Fel Reaver? Where? Oh shit, RUN!”

Which is a laughable idea, considering those bastards move like the wind. A foul wind. Nothing says “Another poor sucker’s getting eaten” quite like watching from a distance as a Fel Reaver pauses, and then breaks into Formula Mach One mode across the plains in hot pursuit.

My second personal moment, and to show that not all of them have to be “Surprise, you’ve been jumped by an overpowered Elite”, is the entire Wrathgate chain.

That moment when the cinematic first unfolds for you, taking you out of the game and immersing you unexpectedly into the story was just a wonderful thing.

I understand that’s going away in the new expansion. That makes me sad, in a way, but the truth is… once you’ve experienced any of these moments, you can never quite recapture that same magic.

You will never think you’re safe on the road once you’ve been eaten, you’ll have learned about aggro ranges.

You will never idly tag a mob with a Silver Dragon portrait, or the title of Elite, or having it’s own, unique name again in pure innocense. You may do it by accident, but if you do, you won’t be shocked and horrified, because you’ll know what just happened, even as it’s happening to you. Again. Damnit.

Each moment in the game that you learn something new is a good experience, growing, getting better, gaining knowledge and, hopefully, wisdom. And that’s a good thing.

But it does raise the bar for what it will take for us to feel that next magical moment. That new surprise.

Here’s looking back at many long years full of such moments, and hoping that in the years to come, the biggest Cataclysm will be the destruction of our expectations, and a whole new range of magical moments to experience.

40 Responses to “Teachable Moments”
  1. Solitha says:

    Hahahahahaha!

    Yes, I remember the “PACKS of HUGE FREAKING ORCS hiding behind the trees”. I also remember swimming across the river of Elwynn’s southern border to see what was on the other side, at about level 10?

    To this day, with 3 capped toons and a wide range of 70+, feel some vestige of alarm when I enter these areas. “DANGER WILL ROBINSON! Oh wait, I can one-shot these guys now, I forgot.”

  2. Sukugaru says:

    I remember these, including those detestable orcs waiting to ambush me as I went to level up lockpicking.

    But what I remember most in my noobish days a few years ago is falling off the Thandol Span.

    “OK, self,” said I, “I’m IN BETWEEN two major landmasses with no obvious way back up. Now what? Where do I swim? Will fatigue kill me if I swim too far?”

    After an extremely frustrating fifteen minutes or so of being lost and confused, I gave up and hearthed back to Ironforge.

  3. Rowtan says:

    hehe .. regardless of where I am now, if the ground shakes I immediately start panicking, wondering where the giant mechanical monster is! Been squished soooo many times by that guy.

    Most recent memorable moment for me was getting a spirit beast for my hunter … a guildee had spotted him and was “marking the spot” as I flew from a completely different area, praying he wouldn’t disappear and someone else wouldn’t tame or kill him. I did eventually tame him, but I think I was borderline for a heart attack by the time I had him.

  4. Eryius says:

    Along the same line of the Fel Reaver: the Goold old moment of being eaten alive by a giant Dinosaur in Un’Goro :) “Ah… I already wondered why those trails were here…” :)

    And the sound of a Murloc village aggroing you all at once, while you truly, never, ever came THAT close to them… Really, I didn’t… ;) The sound still makes me cringe :) (cause yeah, I sometimes, still do not come THAT close to them :) )

  5. jinkx says:

    O’l Soothy… i can totally agree with Cassie there :-) i also tend to bring him a visit on every toon i level :-)
    And as for the most magical moment?
    Many levels (and years ago) the first dungeon i ever did with a group of players who also knew nothing about wow. had to be deadmines ofcourse :-)
    That was by far the most epic experience i had in the game. Going in to deadmines and fighting ourselves trough the gobling room and the ship. Tanking? whats that? healing? oh yeah i have bandages right here. That, right there hooked me :-)
    Now they make DM a heroic. I cried when i heard that. I was just so happy….

  6. Emma says:

    mine would be:-
    the day i really realised that “there are other people playing this game at the same time as me and some of them are really cool”, while questing in Loch Mordan. That led to me joinning my first guild.

    Every single time with every single alt that goes through hellfire and I get ganked by a fel reaver because I forgot to watch for a minute, and the resultant return to hellfire at 80 and the beating up a fel reaver in revenge.

    The very first time i did wraithgate. I do it on every alt (there have been 4 so far soon to be 5), its still epic but it never quite gets that same feeling as the very first time I watched the video at the end of the most enjoyable quest line i’ve ever done.

  7. Sarabian says:

    For me it was my first toon ever, my hunter. I went into Wailing Caverns for the first time and had no clue what was what in this brand new game. We cleared our way to the portal and zoned in, then started clearing down the ramp. I was thinking, “Hey, this is pretty cool!” when I saw an emote roll across the chat pane.

    “Deviate Raptor shrieks for help”

    Cool, more dinos are coming. *bang* *bang* *bang*

    “Deviate Raptor shrieks for help”

    Hmm, seems we were a bit too close to that really big pack of them, cause HOLY CRAP there are 20 of them on us…………………ooh, tasty dirt in here.

    Later, at level 60, I challenged a friend of mine – a shaman – to aggro all of the raptors are survive. He barely did it.

  8. Naturalregis says:

    I think everyone has a Fel Reaver experience with BC. Kind of a, “What’s that rumbling?” followed by, “Oh damn, that’s huge! What is it!” and finished with, “Well, first coprse run in Outland!”

    I also remember fondly being the first people in my guild to do Blood Furnace. Particularly the first, huge (and gorgeous) staircase after the first pack of trash. Oh, those pesky stealthed stair-rogues.

    And to top it all off, part of the (Horde) Wrathgate chain of events. In particular, the first phase of retaking of Undercity. Thrall calling upon the elements to help retake the city is pure, unalduterated badassery.

  9. kritten says:

    This is my first video game since Moon Patrol and Galaga, although I used to be a frequent table top gamer.

    A few of my “magical moments” actually happened before I was even playing WOW. I watched my boyfriend play his pally for a few months, and two things he did hooked my interest enough that I made up my own character and eventually got my own account. The first one was when he was near Menethil Harbor killing those croc things and if he hit them really hard right before death, sometimes they’d do this dramatic death back flip. It would send me into giggle fits. The second thing was in STV. He loved buffing people, or healing someone (especially when they were almost dead from a miscalculation), and then would hide so they couldn’t see him. It was fun to watch their alt, looookkkkkiiinng around but not spotting him heh.

    I guess my first “teachable moment” in game was at N.Abbey and the bandits. Back then, I *think* they were hostile (they seem yellow now). Bit of a sock to wander into an area and all of a sudden everything wants to stabby stabby me. Collecting the grapes in the vineyard was nervewracking. Paddrick and his 2 helpers were an epic battle, fought several times. To finally finish that section gave my baby warrior a real feeling of accomplishment as I learned to sneak around the edges of the camp try not to grab more mobs than I can handle. Every bandit’s hand raised against me. It was scary but fun.

    The Fel Reaver taught me to play with my sound on when in that zone–that mechanical roar gave me that little bit more warning. He still squished me many a time. The first time when a group of us at 70 killed him to get the mold for that instance key–priceless. Same with the Ungoro dinos—gorgeous, but I am but a handy snack for them.

    Most of my magical moments are pretty mundane. I love to stop and look up at the sky, or enjoy the sunset, or marvel at the details in the instances, especially the bc ones. They still make me go, “cool!” now a days. I especially like Nagrand.

  10. Steevee says:

    For me it was the first time I stepped into Ironforge. Looking around and seeing hundreds of other real people playing the same game with me at the same time. It was truly an “Oh… my… god…” moment for me. It looked like total chaos until you focused in on a single toon and watched what they were doing and where they were going. It was like a real city.

    Proof that the 10 Day Trial marketing plan works. I ran out and bought the game that night.

  11. Nonprophet says:

    When I first hit 70 I had to go back to ungoro and unmercifully slaughter every devilsaur in the zone. Payback is a bitch.

  12. Tesh says:

    “I understand that’s going away in the new expansion. That makes me sad, in a way, but the truth is… once you’ve experienced any of these moments, you can never quite recapture that same magic.”

    Veterans might not be able to relive the magic, but it makes me a bit sad that newbies won’t be able to live it the first time, just because they are late to the party.

    …and I’ll echo Eryius: accidentally pulling a whole friggin’ village of Murlocs was a startling moment in my early days.

    Oh, and I remember being struck early on with the oddity that when looking for Kodo skin for a Kodo Skin Bag, you need to kill approximately 15 Kodos, since only one in 15 has skin.

    …yeah, early WoW didn’t leave a good impression on me in a lot of ways.

  13. Mangel says:

    I don’t know if it taught me anything about the mechanics, exactly, but the first time I went to a major city, it was Ironforge while Brewfest was going on. I didn’t know what the heck any of this stuff going on around me meant, but must have spent an hour just staring at the spectacle of so many real people working in (what looked like) coordination to slay internet dragons(um dark iron dwarves).  That really hit home, a completely open world where teamwork actually mattered.  I’ve not played an FPS since, and Brewfest still brings that sense of wonder I first felt back then.

  14. Drew says:

    For me, it was the time I was playing my first toon – a priest with engineering – with my sis-in-law and (now) brother-in-law. They (older hands at the game) had rolled alts (a warrior and mage) to play with me. We were leveling in Redridge and decided to take on whatshisname and his whelp in the keep, despite the fact that both of them were cherry red for our levels. What ensued was about 15 minutes of pure shenanigans – I think we “wiped” twice before we got them down – respawns were definitely a problem. The feeling of accomplishment I and I believe they got out of it was pure epicness. I don’t think I’ve had such a rush in the game since then until just recently when my group downed Sindragosa for the first time. :)

    Duskwood is still the most sinister-feeling place in the game for me. I don’t know that any other zone quite manages to accomplish that sort of atmosphere. Maybe the Netherstorm?

  15. Vinore says:

    I never did get smothered by Hogger, and Fel Reaver only got me once in my year and a half of play. I have more of a knack for just getting stuck somewhere. Behind trees on cliffs, the lava in Blackrock Mountain while trying to get to BRD… but the one I remember most was the first day I played.

    My first toon was a night elf druid, so of course, I’m wandering around Teldrassil, figuring out what everything is. I got stuck behind a tree in the process, of course, but that’s neither here nor there.

    I had to go to Oracle Glade for one quest or another, ended up finding that huge waterfall off the side of Teldrassil in the North and thought to myself, “I wonder what’s down there?”

    So as I’m edging closer and closer to the rocks to get a good view of what was down below, I slipped and fell. And I fell. And my fall abruptly came to a halt on a rock somewhere halfway down, and I died. I was somehow reminded of the saying, “It’s not the fall that hurts, it’s that stop at the end.”

    I did my corpse run, tried to fall from the same spot… and as I fell, I noticed I was too far out, the “Resurrect now?” button popped up and promptly disappeared again before I could click it, and I was stuck in the sea below as a spirit with no clue what to do next. With no way back up anywhere nearby, I just decided to swim around to Rut’Theran Village. However, while swimming, I got distracted and just decided to see how far West I could swim, when I would hit an invisible wall. There wasn’t one, and instead I discovered fatigue… a spirit can get fatigue and double die!

    The story ends well, as I just accepted resurrection sickness from the spirit healer and went about my merry business… but I’ll never go anywhere near that waterfall again.

  16. branson says:

    For me it was my first instance run shortly after the game first came out. I had played Dark Age of Camelot and the “dungeons” in that game were shared by all players…so you had to wait for respawns and stuff and it generally sucked. I got into a group for Deadmines with my mage…and it was epic. We wiped a TON but I had a smile on my face the whole time. When you bust down that last door and you see the big pirate ship for the first time…it is certainly a “holy crap” moment. I mean come on…its straight out of the goonies!!!

  17. NerdyB says:

    On of my most vivid memories of WoW was probably on my second or third day of playing the game. I was doing a quest out in the Eastvale Logging camp, at the time I had rolled a human priest. I remember seeing a bear running straight at me, and panicking until I realized it had a blue name plate. When it got closer to the logging camp, poof there was a night elf. I must not have read the class descriptions because I had no idea that anyone could shape shift in the game. I think that priest is still logged out at the Eastvale Logging Camp.

  18. Waltur says:

    I have to say every time i go into a new instance or raid, a new zone boss what ever is a new magical moment. But as for WTf moments. Yeah….

    The first time outside the starting zone when you find skull numbered mobs. Not knowing any better and getting 2 shotted, yeah thats where I learned to pay closer attention to my mobs.

  19. Nighwhisp says:

    That increadabally OP demon that walks around burning steppes “Franklyn the Friendly” He is there with his stupid yellow name plate just daring you to attack. DON’T DO IT! He will not die! yes you are twenty levels higher than he, he will kill you! Just mine your thorium ore and leave him alone.

  20. Nitedragon says:

    Mine is the first dungeon I ran into. I was new to WoW, had an undead mage. Picked up the quests for ragefire, so I decided to run in there and do the quests. My only thought was, “How the hell am I supposed to do this?”

  21. Mannyac says:

    I remember the first time I had a character get really drunk. And imagine my surprise when mob bosses had lowered threat levels in response to my liquid courage…

  22. Dothraki says:

    WoW is the only MMO that I have played. My first toon was a human warrior and I remember running down the road to Eastvale Logging camp and being amazed at the awesomeness of Elwynn Forest. It just seemed so real. As a warrior I quickly got used to dying ALOT. This was right before BC expansion and warriors did not have a huge arsenal of offensive moves.

    One experience that sticks out for me was my repeated deaths at the hands of Mor’Ladim. That rat bastard probably killed me 5 times before I realized that he was a lev 30 elite walking around looking like the lev 25 mobs in the area. When my guild started in Kara, I would always go over to where Mor’Ladim was just to kill him. I probably did that every week for 6-9 months. Now regardless of what toon I level/play, if I’m in the area I will ride over just to kill him. And I’ll continue to do that until I stop playing. In fact I just decided that every toon I have regardless of alliance or horde will have their final act in the game be killing Mor’Ladim. Once he is dead I’ll logout right there…. just in case I start up again. This way my first act in the game will be to kill him.

  23. Shane says:

    One of the most epic times that had me hooked was being in Darkshore and running around doing quests. The feel of the place the items I was picking up the ore… I was sooo noobish I didn’t have a clue what i was doing and it was EPIC!!!

    Next would be my level 40 pally and being told that I get a free mount… woohooo! and having to do this epic quest line to get it (my friend was telling me), went to my trainer and Bwanng! Mount, being so excited I went outside of the cathedral and… it took me a while to figure out how to summon my mount but it was EPIC!!!

    Next would be killing Ragnaros on my horde priest… and then riding through Terrokar forest out of Hellfire peninsular, it was magical, it was WOW, and I still ride through there trying to find that spark I had the first time. Of course BC had a few firsts and awesome EPIC moments like the day I found out about EPIC FLIGHT FORM and Mindflames epic flight form video, I was sooo disappointed I didn’t have twin cannons… :( but seeing Anzu for the first time EPIC!!!

    SOooo many EPIC sparks…

  24. Shane says:

    The FEl Reaver in Hellfire though… how can it sneak up on people??!! Even after an entire expansion of watching out for him, I went into Hellfire on my Death Knight, and I was killing mobs, then I was dead… I was thinking “WTH>??!! how did I die??” thats when I saw the feet of the Fel Reaver moving off into the distance… He has killed me sooo many times and I have to say its EPIC each time, I still dont know how a thing that big can sneak up on people

  25. Elynea says:

    Never played an MMO before playing WoW…

    I rolled a night elf priest, figuring to become a grand healer. :) I used to run with a friend on his rogue, doing all the questing together. I think our first WTF moment came while questing in the Oracle Glade area of Teldrassil…I hear many recollections here about whole villages of murlocs, but the harpies near Oracle Glade were just…just…**cringe**. It went rather like this:

    Priest: I think those are the harpies we need. I’ll pull one over to us.
    Rogue: Ok, I’m ready.
    (/cast….)
    (Harpy screech)
    (pew, pew, pew)
    (Harpy calls for help!)
    (20 billion freaking harpies answer the call)

    Priest: Wow. We just discovered Darnassus. Graveyard looks cool.
    Rogue: *mutter*

    Every char I’ve made thereafter has had a revenge run on those harpies. I think my boomkin enjoyed it the most…right at (20 billion freaking harpies…), she smiles maniacally and…/cast Starfall…./cast Hurricane. muahahahahaha

    And the Fel Reaver? My Draenei mage, freshly 58 and in Hellfire doing her mage thing (at the time)…

    Mage: la-la-la-la-la (/cast Fireball…watch death and destruction)
    **Fel Reaver sneaks up, no ground shake, no roar, taps mage on shoulder**
    Mage: WTF?????????????????(dead)

    Coming back to kill him for that key mold was freaking awesome. :)

  26. Katie says:

    One of the most epic things for me was when I first met Stitches. I had just entered Duskwood and I see the town crier yelling about this abomination. I’m like WTF? Then I turn around and there is Stitches..and I am dead . He had actually made it from where he was summoned all the way to the town. I’ve made it a point to visit Duskwood to see if Stitches is around when I am in the area >_>.

    Another epic moment was some time later..it was just after BC came out and I had just gotten my first toon to 58. My guild put together a Zul’Gurub run and let me tag along even though I was barely big enough to enter the place. Wound up leaving with Furor’s Eyepatch as my first piece of epic gear. It was totally awesome :D

  27. Pawzy says:

    My very first toon, BE hunter, newly 58. I’m exploring HFP, learning what I can and cannot skin. I notice the ground shaking, thinking ‘What is that??’ Next thing I see on my combat log is “Hunter has been slain by Fel Reaver!” This was back in the day where you had to have lvl 70 for even the slower flying skill. I became extremely paranoid about my surroundings after that little flattening encounter.

    A few months after that, I had rerolled to alliance and made a warrior. After frantic leveling, I managed to make lvl 70 and start going on raids with a friend’s guild. Stepping into CoT Hyjal and Black Temple raids for the first time made my jaw drop and I kept crowing, “This is SO COOL!” on both trips. Granted, my hunter’s first trip into Kara was also a blast, but BT and Hyjal just seemed more epic to me. =)

    Every weekend, I pay a little visit to my “old buddy” in HFP, regardless of what lvl 80 I am playing that week. It feels good to be the cherry red creature of doom as I extract my revenge up on the fel reavers!! Mwaaahahahaha!!

  28. Bear Pelt says:

    Well I’ve got 2 incidents that stick out in my mind!

    #1: I was leveling my main (first character) through the Barrens with a guild mate. At the time I was clicking to move (habit brought over from a previous MMORPG) and just as I did this to advance to another spot, a level 70 Night Elf in epics on his nightsaber RAN in front of me. I clicked on him, and auto-attacked (PVP) realm. At first he didn’t realize, and neither did I because back then the laws of PVP were still largely unknown. He ran for a distance then stopped, turned back and proceeded to pulverize my face into the ground. Then did the same to my guild mate. I was shocked, frightened and quite traumatized. This sparked off my first lesson on PVP in WoW by the guild mate who I had gotten killed. From then on till I reached 80, I traveled to new zones in stealthed, stayed off the roads, and made sure to get to know my terrain well enough before attempting to level there so I could flee should I get targeted for PVP again. Of course this changed when I hit the level cap; I don’t go out looking to kill others, but am slowly shaking off the PVP phobia.

    #2: Having no other level 80 character, I decided to slowly level a paladin on another server; no gold, no heirlooms but equipped with the experience of leveling. All seemed well; I felt overpowered this time, knowing about CCs and defensive CDs. Still this assurance got the better of me. My little paladin has no qualms taking out rare mobs. Until he met with this red condor in Badlands. Oh dear. It was only AFTER it was engaged that I realized it was a boss-level mob. At that instance I panicked, and blew my CDs conveniently forgetting that I was playing a paladin and could do a bubblehearth. It was the most shameful splat I’ve ever experienced, salt further rubbed in by the emote: “Zaricotl seems much calmer now that it has eaten the remains of [me]”

    >_<

  29. Sionel says:

    Love this post!

    WoW has provided me with a ton of those ‘moments’ so far…and being a newbie, they’re still happening :P Some of the more amazingly memorable have included changing into a bear for the first time on my fledgling druid…when I got my first mount (also on said druid) and then taking off flying for the first time after I got to Outland! The Fel Reavers scare the life out of me when I’m ground-bound – they seem to come out of nowhere half the time.

    The Wrathgate and Battle for Undercity storylines both made me stop and stare. Also, the quest I go back to with every alt is the battle of the dragons in Dragonblight, when you ride one of the Wyrmrest Accord drakes to fight the Azure Dragonflight – it was how I originally got pulled into the game (a friend lent me his character to try for that one quest).

    I’ll echo your sentiments about hoping Cataclysm brings us more of those moments :) I’m sure it will – Blizzard are pretty good at their worldbuilding.

  30. Moonstalker says:

    To this day, I will stop and kill that pack of roaming hyenas in the Barrens. They always seemed to be running over me.

    Most memorable experience was as a young druid stealthing around Tarren Mill. Allies attacked the town and a horde guild responded. PVP mayhem at its best. It lasted 2 hours and just kept growing and growing. Very impressive for a level 20 something to witness for the first time.

    Now about those devilsaurs…

  31. phoebrosa says:

    I love everyone’s moments.

    My personal best comes from WAAYY back. The very first time we downed the final boss in Molten Core. There were 3 members standing – me (a resto druid), a palladin, and a mage. How the hell the mage lived?? who knows. In Vent everyone was Cheering.

    My most annoyingly embarassing moment: Trotting out of south shore heading west – thats right, through the gates into horde-ville. i died… When I complained to fellow guild mates “Didn’t you know that’s a horde area!”

  32. Athenrein says:

    Murlocs. I enjoy rampaging through lower level murloc villages and killing them all far more than I should.

    Devilsaurs. My boyfriend and I were questing and I go “oooo giant dinosaur” and he goes “It’s elite! Run!” and then I die. I was so proud when I went all bear on one and brought it down all by myself. I still have the screenshot.

    One of my other favorite things was getting the Venomhide Ravasaur mount. It was just so fun to feed my little hatchling every day.

    Also running into the areas in Hinterlands and Ashenvale with the elite dragonkin and the big portal altars. I’m just questing and exploring and all of a sudden holy crap elite dragonkin I gotta get out of here! It’s a good thing they don’t have huge aggro radii.

  33. Herr Drache says:

    Thanks for reminding me of so many awe~ and wonderful moments! A lot of them will never come back, simply because I now know a bit about the game mechanics. In the beginning, I didn’t know anything. Fall damage? Ooops, makes sense :) Let’s swim across this here river here, what can hap-CROC!!!
    And yes. Failreaver. See, I think he’s in an anti-grav/invis field. Here’s how he works:
    - Macro “Break Invis”, “Pounce” and “HONK” to one button
    - Smash player
    - Smash makes the ground shake.

    That’s the ONLY way I can explain it. And the invis shield would explain my problems trying to find the bastard when I need to forge the key on my alts… How DOES he do that hiding thing?!?!

  34. belegdel says:

    I vividly remember, during that first long-haul jog from Menethil to Ironforge as a lowbie Night Elf Druid, coming through the pass in or near Loch Modan. I wandered between the two granite hillsides and took stock of my location. Looked around, checked map, turned around to look behind me and *BAM*.

    What I thought were just granite hillsides were massive statues of dwarves. I was faced with what were clearly intentional monuments. Monuments commemorate history but they also send a message to the present and to the future. At that point it really hit me the care and attention that had gone into the planning of the world. That essentially random places were rich with remnants of history and pieces of lore. I realised that beyond just gameplay there were deep, deep seeds of vibrant fiction just bursting with imagination and above all *life* of the setting.

    It opened up the game world like nothing else and shone a light of wonder on every quest I had done, and was yet to do. I’ve been a lore junkie ever since.

    I still stop to look at those statues and I still feel that moment where the world came alive.

    —–

    On the gameplay side, I recall when I first learned Growl and thought to myself “What use is that? They already attack me when I hit them anyway.”
    I was in the mid level 30′s before I was in a group that got into a tangle with a whole mess of pirates near Booty Bay. The other group members were being torn to shreds so I flipped to bear and, I swear, I’d hit that Growl icon before I really new why.

    Suddenly I understood the role of tank. Of healer, of DPS, of crowd control. I’d never read about it, never seen it explained but that one action just drew all of it into focus. I also then realised how peculiar the Druid was as a class.

    Of course, learning to be good at the various roles took a lot, lot longer.

    I also then understood (coming as I did from entirely solo computer RPG games) that WOW wasn’t just a solo game with multiplayer bolted on, but the other way around. It all made a hell of a lot more sense from that point on :)


    Belegdel

  35. Huufa says:

    Rolling a Blood Elf. The entire landscape and music was all new and unique. I never did settle down with the BE after level 25 but the experience was still memorable.

  36. Angie says:

    Aaah, that Fel Reaver, man…

    I was a bit late to the WoW game, I only started playing around this time last year, and I now have four level 80s, three healers and hunter. My hunter was my first, a female Tauren named Nicala. When she hit 60, I bought BC and when I first went through the Dark Portal… Wheeew. Crazy awesome, looking out over that alien landscape.

    Now, the graphics card in my laptop, you see, is an integrated, bottom-of-the-line, barely-enough type of graphics card. I can’t see to the ground when I look down from Krassus landing and I get about 2 fps when I try to do anything beside selling stuff on the AH.

    It was my first day out in Hellfire and I never saw it coming. The ground started shaking, and I had no idea what was going on. There was this sound like metal girders bending, shrieking, and then BAM, my pet’s health plummeted to nothing. I whirled around to see my crocolisk’s broken body, then slowly up to- BAM.

    I was in skype with some WoW friends at the time, and they couldn’t stop laughing at how I had cried out in surprise and horror. I was shaking and whimpering all the way back to my body.

  37. LFD says:

    Looking back I think the thing I rember most was when I walked into UC for the first time on my first toon. I started it on a trail and it was UC that made me go buy the game. The fact that that huge city could be completely underground (and so damn confusing) amazed me. Also when I got invited to my first guild. I rolled with them for a long time. It was cool to be able to get on and talk to the same people and although this isn’t really in game but when I discovered what vent was and was actually able to talk to people that I played with, that made a huge impression.

    The most excited i have ever been is when i downed my first raid boss ever in the early Wrath expansion days.

  38. Herr Drache says:

    LFD, you just reminded me of one little thing. Undercity. Elevator.

    - Who here has NOT died to that awful elite boss?
    - Who hasn’t thought “how, what, who, HOW?!?!?!” :) (And how the heck to I get back to that elevator. And which elevator?!)

  39. Orvillius@Coilfang says:

    Oh my, this post got me all choked up. I remember, at level 73, taking my pally tank back to hellfire and hunting down a fel reaver to get my revenge for all the times they had chased me across the plains. A little crowd gathered to watch, whispering me that it would never work, but after a LOOOONG fight vengeance was mine. Man that was a good day.

  40. caliokiegirl says:

    I like Kritten was the victim of over the shoulder love. My video game experience before WOW was the Atari 2600 that my sister and I got for Christmas. I had no clue what RPG was, but my fiance was overjoyed at my curiosity. My first WOW, wow moment was watching my fiance’s pally run through Stormwind gates, and seeing all the other players running around fighting spiders and wolves. It amazed the heck out of me that all these players were playing the same game at the same time, and in the same place. It still boogles my mind sometimes. At the point I was bitten. After careful research I rolled my first toon, of course, a druid, which led to my second amazing moment when I could shift to bear form for the first time. I loved it. It makes me feel better to know that the traumatic moments that I have had have been experienced by all of you as well. It really is a small WOW world, afterall. Just like Vir., and I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one that had that traumatic experience, I to fell over the waterfall by accident. It was the first time I had died, so I didn’t know about the spirit healer. I went round and round trying to get my body back. I even cried out for help to a game master a lot of help that was. Luckily, my evil fiance suddenly realized he should enlighten me, and told me to go back to the graveyard to rez. I think he was torturing me all along. I hope we have many more Wow WOW moments whatever Cata brings.

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