As someone who plays my fair share of video games (maybe slightly more than my fair share), in recent years I’ve found myself enticed by the idea of opening myself up to new genres I haven’t dabbled in before. One of the genres most intriguing to me has been MMOs. The idea of living in a world full of other players and interacting with a community on such a scale is something I’ve always wanted to dig into, and what better place to start than with the king of MMOs itself: World of Warcraft.
The two main factors that always put me off trying WoW were both the idea of going completely blind into a game that has already been built up over more than a decade with several huge expansions, and the idea of going into it alone. So with WoW Classic just around the corner and my friend Daniel buying his first gaming PC, I convinced him to join me in a quest to where this beloved MMO started.
We started off making our characters. Both of us chose human characters, and as someone who enjoys winning my battles without much of a fight, I naturally gravitated towards the Rogue class immediately, while Dan chose a Warlock. Neither of us gave much thought towards our allegiances since we are both completely unfamiliar with the lore of the world and couldn’t be bothered to do our research, so the Alliance it is!
Starting off was pretty much what I expected. A small town with a few NPCs to hand out quests that involved a lot of mindless killing and a lot of back and forth. But I was fine with that; I had a rough idea of what I was in for and if I’m being honest, I enjoy the mindless killing. So we did our grinding and we started getting the hang of this line of mercenary work. It was a lot of fun, but we couldn’t figure out why we couldn’t equip the chainmail armour we had found among the corpses, so we asked around.
One of the things I was most looking forward to going into WoW Classic for the first time was the ability to stop and chat with other players. I spend too much time in games like Overwatch complaining about my teammates picking Hanzo again, so I was about ready for a change of pace. And sure enough, a level 27 Beastmaster Dwarf stopped and was kind enough to explain to us that as a Warlock and a Rogue, we could only use certain types of armour. A shame to be sure, but par for the course.
After getting to pet the Dwarf’s large cat, we said our thanks and moved along to the next quest. We were to head south to the town of Goldshire. I was well versed on the grindy nature of this particular MMO, so that particular element was no surprise to me, however, the one thing that did catch me off guard was the sheer amount of walking you have to do. I welcome the idea of not being able to fast travel, but a sprint button sure would be nice!
So after slaying a few more creatures on our trek, we made it to Goldshire, turned in our quest, found the Inn and got to kicking up our heels for a while.
It’s a new day and we’re back for some more World of Warcraft adventures! Our last play session left us in the town of Goldshire with some new quests to complete, all of which involved heading due south to Fargodeep Mine. Naturally, that’s exactly what we did (no exciting plot twist here I’m afraid).
We were on our merry way to the mine when all of a sudden, disaster struck! We got jumped by a large brown bear, twice the size of a man! (I may be exaggerating slightly, but it was big, ok?)
It was a tough customer, but between the two of us we managed to slay the grizzly, and it dropped us a high-level piece of armour. It was a nice bit of gear too, but we couldn’t decide between us who would get it. Thankfully the game comes with this particular predicament in mind and presented us with a ‘roll the dice’ mechanic. We rolled and, to my misfortune, Dan won.
After eventually making it to the mine we delved inside to find a whole bunch of the Kobold Miners we were looking for, so we got back on the grind. We were after candles and gold dust, but most of the creatures we killed refused to drop any. It was at this moment that we both got surrounded; it was as if they were coming out of the bloody walls there were so many of them! Unfortunately, we both succumbed to the evil hordes and were taken down. A kind passerby resurrected me, but soon I was toast once again.
We decided we couldn’t rely on the help of strangers, and released our spirits. We were initially burdened by existential dread; where would we go when we died? But we were left with little choice, so we took the plunge. We were then greeted by a large ghostly female figure in a graveyard, who told us we could resurrect ourselves if we ventured out and found our bodies again, or she could resurrect us herself at the cost of 25% durability damage on all our items. We chose the former and were eventually reunited with our bodies once again.
A good twenty minutes later we had completed our grindy quests and ventured back to Goldshire to turn them in for a reward. On the way back we fought off some woodland creatures, some of which dropped a material which was new to us: malachite. We rolled on each of them and ended up with one piece each.
Back to Goldshire and we did some general housekeeping. We both picked up some new quests, Dan decided to get trained in first aid from a local medic, I acquired some new rogue skills, acquired a cooking apprenticeship, and noticed someone in chat looking to buy some malachite (how convenient). “I have a malachite”, I said. “How much for it?” “I can give you 1 silver and 50 bronze” “Deal”. I told him to meet me at the inn where I would sell it to him. This was the sort of interactivity I looked forward to the most when I started playing WoW.
After cleaning up all our errands, we headed out on another quest to find a man at a bridge to the east. I didn’t pay much mind to the why, as long as I was getting paid it made no difference to me. So we found the man, advanced the quest, and continued further west to a logging camp where we found a level twelve NPC, five levels higher than ourselves, and for some godforsaken reason, Dan thought it would be an amazing idea to pick a fight with him.
I, however, cleaning up his mess, was about to meet my own demise when a benevolent player walked past and decided to heal me (multiple times) until I finally slew the NPC who was minding his own business until we started throwing down with him.
In the logging camp, there was also a tailor. He was offering training and so I decided to check if it was worth my while. I discovered that at level seventy-five tailoring, players can craft a kilt, so being the proud Scot that I am, I immediately made this priority one, asking in the chat if anyone knew where I could find a high-level tailor to craft one for me.
We were told to head to the city of Stormwind where we would likely find one, so that is exactly what we planned to do.
We started our third and final day amongst the stunning architecture of Stormwind. It was an impressive sight to behold, given that up until now we had made do with small towns and farms. My first order of business in the bustling town was to locate a tailor and acquire a kilt. Shouldn’t be too difficult, right?
Well in a town like Stormwind, it’s easy to get sidetracked, and almost immediately I was drawn in by a Guild Master I happened across. Here I learned how to make a guild, but it would cost me 10 silver and required 9 unique signatures to form it, so I thought I’d shelve that idea for now.
Next, we happened across a man offering us a free bottle of wine if we delivered an item to his sister’s winery. An easy task for a sweet reward; we accepted.
On our way to the winery we found the town bank, so we deposited some items in our safety deposit boxes and were surprised to see that not a single person was using the designated queueing system on the bank floor. The scoundrels!
We soon made it to the winery and claimed our rewards. Unfortunately the sister had obviously cheaped out and given us her weakest pinot noir, and their other selections were worth more than we could realistically afford with about 5 silver each to our names. No Badlands Bourbon for us.
Eventually we got around to the nearby clothiers and I searched for a kilt, but there were none to be found, so we picked up a quest to deliver some sewing items to a young clothier apprentice at another store in the Mage Quarter, and headed on our way.
There are two clothiers in the Mage Quarter; the first, Duncan’s Textiles, held no joy. The second was Larson Clothiers and they stocked no kilts either, but that was where the young apprentice was, so we turned in that quest.
I decided I would have to find another player who was versed in tailoring to craft a kilt for me, but I put that on hold as Dan had found another pub to get hammered in, so I made my way over there to meet him.
There was a skeleton in the doorway.
So we turned around went to check out some other attractions such as the wizard tower and a weapons shop called Stormwind Staves. We also happened across a mysterious building which housed wounded guardsmen and some kind of barricade in front of a large portal. We attempted our best Leeroy Jenkins impressions and ran for the portal, but it was unfortunately gated for level 15.
In our everlong quest for an inexpensive pint, we headed over to Old Town, another smaller district within the walls of Stormwind. We found a pub called the Pig and Whistle and ventured inside. The atmosphere was calm and quiet, but this pub didn’t even seem to serve drink! A bit disappointing, but we were tired of running around so we decided to take a seat for a minute anyway.
Before long, the tavern’s calm and quiet atmosphere was no more as a bar brawl broke out, seemingly from nowhere. We got involved and helped fight off the goons because we’re considerate citizens like that, and moved along.
I walked back to the Trade District (who knows what Dan ended up doing) and I began asking around for a tailor. It didn’t take me long to get a response from a female dwarf. She offered to provide the materials and craft my kilt for no more than 3 silver. Given the expense to her, I figured it was a good deal and decided to accept. We met in the town centre, conducted our business, and finally I had my kilt. (though it looks more like a skirt than a kilt. Where’s the tartan? Why is it so long? Come on Blizzard…)
A fitting end to our three-day quest, and a somewhat satisfying one. I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing World of Warcraft Classic. I haven’t played an MMO before now, but I’m glad this is the one I decided to play first. A large part of the appeal is the social aspect of the game. The trading and the people you meet along the way, whether they stop to help you or just to chat, provide a fantastic sense of community. You really feel like you’re living in the world that Blizzard crafted 15 years ago, and I think I’ll continue my adventures through Azeroth for some time.