When You Think of WoW, What Do You See?

You ever step back from something for a long time, and when you come back to it, most of your memories have softened a bit and you’re left with only a few vivid moments that stand out?

That’s happened with me and WoW. I’ve been away from the game since Legion ended, and coming back to it I’ve forgotten all of the normal day to day things that actually make up the game.

What I’m left with, I’m figuring anyway, are the things that made the most impact on me. The events or things in the game that I really connected with.

Since I can’t plan on this kind of thing happening again, I wanted to share them with you now, and maybe see if some of you have similar events that really burned themselves into your hearts.

Here are, in no particular order, the things I really think of when I bring WoW to mind;

Exploring the Darkmoon Fair for the very first time.

This is a two-parter. The very first time I heard of a place called the Darkmoon Faire, during Vanilla WoW. I was playing my first (and for the longest time only) character, a Night Elf Druid. The Darkmoon Faire was coming, a carnival that wasn’t in game all the time, so seeing it was a rare event. It was going to be in the Tauren starting zone of Mulgore, outside of Thunder Bluff, and I really, really wanted to go see it. But… Horde!

I can still feel the intensity as I stealthed my kitty druid butt into Mulgore just outside of Thunder Bluff to peek at the wonders of the Darkmoon Faire, feeling all illicit and naughty and at risk of being pounced on by Horde Guards (and immediately ganked thereafter by players as soon as the guards broke me out of stealth). Which did, in fact, happen. I didn’t have any idea what I’d find there, or what it was about, but I knew I wanted to see this magical special Darkmoon Faire place, and I had to work my feline butt off to make my way through all the Horde dominated zones to get there.

The second part is that moment when the Darkmoon Faire got it’s own special island, and stepping through the portal to see this mystical dark place with all the spooky (this IS a kid’s carnival, right?) trees, shadows and slightly dark-natured take on the carnival. Looking down from above where the portal brings you for the first time, seeing this huge dedicated area for the Faire was just amazing. There was a ton of awesome that followed, including the Darkmoon Rabbit, but that is the second ‘image’ that is in my mind when I think of WoW, standing there on the island looking down on my first glimpse of the Faire spread out before me.


If you played then, you know it, you hated it, and you love it just the same. I can still feel that pulse pounding OH SHIT NO RUN adrenaline rush while running around minding my own business questing through the incredible number of ‘collect 15 drops of x’ in Hellfire Peninsula, when all of a sudden the ground starts shaking under my paws and I spin around wildly because OH SHIT HERE COMES THE FEL REAVER OMG RUN RUN RUN pound pound pound CRAP! Graveyard run….

Karazhan. All of it.

Karazhan stands out in my memories of WoW like a freaking lighthouse illuminating everything around it with this ridiculous rosy glow. Apparently, I love Karazhan enough I’d like to make it my home and move right the heck in there. EVERYTHING about Karazhan stands out vividly in my memories, and I think maybe a large part of that was it was the first time there was an intense in-game event that my wife and I spent a lot of time doing together. We’ll always have Karazhan, raiding together side by side. The single biggest, shiniest moment etched in my memory is standing there in the Shade of Aran hall with a fresh group of random players hoping and praying everyone else could keep their itchy little fingers off the damn mouse so we wouldn’t blow up.  Do you know the song? I still know the song.

The Lich King, but like, not the Lich King raid fight.

I remember the Lich King as well, this one moment first time playing Wrath of the Lich King, when I’ve arrived at this cool wooded area at the feet of a huge stone tower of some kind with all these Viking type monstrous large dudes in furs everywhere with spears and I’m just out there questing and freaking Arthas just turns the hell up out of nowhere and I’m like “oh shit I’ve got to fight the Lich King right now minutes after setting foot on this continent OMG wtf bbq” and I attack Arthas and next thing I know I’m dead and hey guess what I didn’t have to attack Arthas it was supposed to be a cool scene I passively watch and oh that was kind of stupid let’s not do that again.

What a great moment. I loved it. And then, later on, that big moment before the gates when it shifts to cutscene and the Lich King is there and there is this huge fight and the Horde undead up on the cliff catapult blight on everyone down below and all seems lost and the dragons come from out of the Sun and just OMG epic.

The Original Game Trailer.

The original game trailer for World of Warcraft. The Night Elf holding a broken sword, then lifting her head, starting to run and shifting to cat form. The Dwarf with his rifle, giving a tiny head nod to his huge buddy bear. That’s the core of WoW for me even still, those two scenes from that video.


Not the final raid fight chasing Deathwing through the skies in an airship. That comes after I think about it. No, just the image of Deathwing that Blizzard gave us in the cinematic, soaring through the skies peacefully before unleashing a crazy gout of hellfire that broken continents, and then that whole biker quest chain culminating in your punching Deathwing right in the face on top of a burnt off flattened cliff.

I have to wonder if the things that stand out to me say more about me than they do about the game.

With so much of the vast world to experience, each in our own way, what is your strongest memory of it? Just when you sneak up and surprise your memories of WoW, what comes bursting out of the recollection closet first?

I genuinely would love to know, because I’m tempted to play a low level character all the way through instead of continuing right on into the new expansion, and try and relive ALL of these moments (that still exist, anyway) all over again.

8 thoughts on “When You Think of WoW, What Do You See?

  1. The wars in hillsbrad between South shore and tarren mill. Stranglethorn vale and the ganking. The endless Barrens. Grinding for gold in thousand needles off of crocolisks to get 40g from vendor trash. Onyxia remastered. Zul farrak, dead mines, gnomeregan. Never hitting cap in vanilla. First time flying and being slower than ground mounts. Isle of quel danas. Maybe my memories are a bit too crisp still


    • Maybe they are sir, but still, those are good memories to have. Mentioning Onyxia reminds me that one of the things I should really do after all this time has passed is take a new character through each and every zone, one at a time, and do every single quest. Some zones I’ve never done after the big revamp, and I think I’ve never really systematically done them all since vanilla.


  2. The music in the starting zones always brings back memories of that first time playing – especially the night elf area.

    The many friendships I have formed over the years and even better the people I’ve gotten to meet in real life at get togethers or Blizzcon.

    The satisfaction of finally saving that 5000 gold to buy flying.

    The awe of raiding for the first time ever in Kara.

    Hunting rare hunter pets to tame.

    Killing Hogger!

    So many more – it’s been such a huge part of my life.

    Will your son be journeying with you on this new adventure back into Azeroth? Good to see you’re alive – always enjoyed your blog.


    • Killing Hogger… that brings back serious memories.

      Even more, though. You mention finding rare pets for your hunter, and I remember the work I put into finding the spirit jar to summon and successfully tame my ghost cat pet! A pet I still have by the way, all these years later. I also still have the painting I got from Petopia of the ghost saber, which while years ago I think she had done specifically because I told her I thought there’d be a market for it, and I knew I’d buy one… and when she offered it, I did! God, that seems like so many, many years ago in that first fresh bloom of blogging youth. I’ll have to take a shakycam pic of it to share on twitter.

      So far the Cub says he refuses to play an expansion that has no big bad… but I guarantee as soon as he finds out we can solo new karazhan, his butt is gonna be back in it with us, if only for that month.


  3. Yep, the Fel Reaver was easily the best part of the Hellfire zone. RUN! (Wasn’t there a bug that made the Reaver “skate” across the zone for a while?)

    My wife and I still talk about the Son of Arugal, a Silver that used to patrol the Silverpine Forest. But with him you didn’t get the big warning noise. You’re just gathering Bear Livers or whatever (How do all these Bears not have Livers?) and “Surprise!” you’re getting owned by a giant wolf on two legs (because we didn’t know they were called Worgen, then)

    Our first Hallow’s End. Putting out Fires, tossing rotten eggs at Southshore, flinging Pumpkin Heads at everyone…. good times. “Cry for Mercy, None Will Come!”

    And last, the kind player we met in our first couple of weeks in the game. We were in Silverpine Forest so we were, what, level 10 or 12? Had no idea why some enemies had Silver or Gold frames around their portraits. Someone around level 20 or so (still not sure why he was there) saw us getting beat on and jumped in to help. He played with us most of the night, and offered to Enchant some gear for us before he left. Then he saw were were wearing mostly Whites and said. “Oh, your gear is gay. Here, go buy some stuff in town.” and gave us 5 gold each. (Doesn’t sound like a lot now, but a small fortune for young newbs.)

    We added him to our Friend’s lists but never played with him again. He was always a few zones ahead of us. But we still remember him fondly.


    • My friend Manny and I started playing at the same time, and we had the same situation happen to us. Super low level first characters and whatever level we were, Deadmines was a bit over our level, and this guy out of nowhere in the zone offered to run us through. He was like unto a God to us, and we friended him after and every once in a while he’d run us through something. I remember he was level 50 something when we met him and leveling took so long back then that he was in this other plane of power far removed from us lowly plebes. And since he was always higher level, we never could catch up to join him in helping with HIS challenges.


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