Thursday, April 1, 2010

Something in the Air

When I first began playing World of Warcraft, I had to do it on dial-up. It was not so bad at the time. The original Naxxramas had just been released so most players were busy trying to gear up for it in level-60 raids.

There were plenty of alts running around the old world still, they really had no place else to be unless they were raiding on their mains, so I was not lonely while leveling up my first toon. I was even able to run Dead Mines a couple of times before moving on from Westfall.

As I played more often and in ever growing stretches of time, I eventually found myself playing long into the evenings. At the same time, there was a lot of excitement over the Burning Crusade that was about to drop, and realm populations were on the rise from an influx of new players as well as old players coming back.

I was still on dial-up and had not seen any problems yet. From time to time I experienced a slow-down and some nasty lag, but it was something I was able to work around. But now, all of a sudden, my loading screen was taking a long time letting me into the game.

Then I experienced my first disconnect. I had waited a minute or so for my loading screen to let me through then I caught a glimpse of Stormwind but I could not move. My character just stood there for a while then I was dumped back into the character screen.

The problem escalated until I realised that the population in Stormwind was now a problem. I was eventually able to log in long enough to get out and park myself in Goldshire but I could not enter the city without a disconnect. If I did get into the city, I had to put up with disconnects throughout the zone. Eventually I made a new home with the elves. Far fewer people there. No disconnects.

We finally agreed to pick up cable internet and will never go back by choice. Life was bliss in World of Warcraft again! Except that it was not. Now that things were sort of working properly I could see that I had other issues. I could not raid properly. I had to have all of my video settings down to minimals just to move around. It was mostly OK in close quarters like in most of the Karazhan encounters and in Gruul's, but in the open spaces of Serpent Shrine Cavern, things did not go well at all.

I replaced my video card but I had few options since it turns out my motherboard was obsolete. Which meant my CPU was also a handicap.

I had to drop from raiding until I could overhaul my computer. Oh the sadness. Yes, I was essentially replaced and still being somewhat new to raiding, I was not prepared to see new people in my slot when I was finally able to raid again. From then on I was just kind of miserable. I had the latest and (not quite best on the market) CPU, Ram, Video, and motherboard and now had little joy in raiding. Every time I got in I felt like I was just in the way. I began to complain a lot.

Eventually the guild leaders left, then the guild was disbanded. I joined another guild and got some raid time and they seemed to like me well enough, but they soon merged with another guild and no longer needed me. I went solo for months. I took my first hiatus a couple of weeks before Lich King dropped and found myself simply unable to get back into the game.

My character sits at about 77 1/2 levels. Cataclysm is on the horizon. Back to the old world! If I map out Northrend I'll get my first "big" achievement, my second title, and one more of many tabards. Just a half a level and I can be flying again. Then it is just two more levels to "the end".

Then I can just play around until the expansion comes in. Maybe do some arena stuff and get some new pets.

I don't know. Something seems to be in the air. I really would like to finish this expansion out before the next one drops. I'll be going into Cataclysm with no epics. Maybe not even any blues. But it will be Azeroth and it will be fun again.

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