Monday, January 10, 2011

World of Warcraft, Etc.

A few people have expressed interest in knowing more about my gaming habits. I haven't really talked much about it, save in passing, since I figured most people wouldn't care at all.

That, and I've already proven definitively that I am, in fact, a nerd. Why add more evidence?

But it is true that I play World of Warcraft, among other things. I have played for a very long time, actually. It came out when Nick and I were engaged (he got it at midnight the day of, back when you didn't have to wait in a line to do that), and I watched him play with interest for a few weeks before I asked him if I could try it.

It was my first MMOPRG (Massive Multi-player Online Role Playing Game [I think.]), though I have played video games since I was a kid. I remember the Nintendo fondly—Tetris and Super Mario and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. When SUPER Nintendo came out? Dude. It was so awesome. I remember rainy afternoons spent trying to beat my brother at Mario Kart and Street Fighter. I didn't win often. That first time he beat M. Bison was like winning some epic war.

Then came the RPGs—Secret of Mana and Chrono Trigger and Earthbound. That's where I really started to love video games. They were always fun, but a video game with a story? Heaven!

And then I met Cloud Strife.

Oh, Cloud, how you changed my life. *mwah*

Final Fantasy VII can I even explain it? The Sony Playstation. This game. It was kind of like when Apple introduced the iPod, I guess. Or maybe when TV started coming in color. Suffice to say, it was BIG, guys. If you don't know video games, at least know that. And if you do, you know what I'm talking about.

Like it or hate it, Final Fantasy VII was one of those games that changed the face of the industry. The graphics were insane for the time. The cut scenes! The story! It was Freaking Amazing.

I cried at that one part. WHO DID NOT AT LEAST TEAR UP AT THE ONE PART?!?!!

I was kind of a Final Fantasy fanatic after VII. I waited anxiously for the subsequent games. I hunted down the older ones. I played Tactics, both of them. Heck, I was a Squaresoft junkie. I even loved Saga Frontier! (Who remembers Saga Frontier? I will hug you if you do. One of my all time faves.) And since then I've always been on board for a little gaming, though I thoroughly SUCK at 1st person shooters. I'm pretty awesome at DDR though. Just saying.

Anyway...going a little off track here. I guess this just proves that I was kind of primed to like World of Warcraft (WoW). I'd even played Warcraft 1-3, but I had this terrible opinion of mmorpgs. Why? Because the Final Fantasy franchise decided to make XI online, and I couldn't afford a monthly subscription!

Talk about devastation.

But that day Nick let me play? Oh, I was hooked. I still couldn't afford it, what with paying for school and rent and all that, but he let me play his account and we talked about buying one for me when we got married. As luck would have it, my brother left on a mission shortly after we married and I stole his account, mwahaha.

So yeah, I've played WoW on and off for six years. Boy, have I learned A LOT about online gaming in six years. It's fun and fascinating and very much a "man's world" still. I still remember going to the midnight release of Burning Crusade and getting stared at. I was one of maybe 7-10 girls. Out of a few hundred at least. Things are changing, though. Seems like a lot more girls are trying it out and discovering how fun it is. Time sink, sure. BUT A FUN TIME SINK.

For the WoW players out there who want to judge my playing habits, I've been both horde and alliance, so I don't make fun of either (Except Blood Elves, because almost every noob/alliance deserter goes BE, and they're supposed to be an "endangered race." Snarf, they're usually half the Horde's population now...) I've played almost every class except paladin, because they bore me to tears (though they aren't half as bad as they used to be). I'm currently leveling a warrior. I have two druids, one on each faction, but don't play them now because the new healing changes SUCK.

Also, I'm pretty sure this new Archaeology thing is a huge inside joke, because it's the lamest profession ever created.

If you know what I'm talking about, high five.

Lately I've been thinking it'd be cool if I could play with some of my writer friends who play WoW. It's like my new fantasy to have y'all on RealID so we could at least talk cross server.

So...yeah. I guess you could say I'm kind of a gamer chick. Not like Hard Core, but I like me some video games. I think a lot of people still have this idea that gamers in general all live in their parents' basement and are super losers who don't contribute to society. Well, I'd like to refute that stereotype. WoW in particular has brought gaming to a more mainstream player, for better or worse. And while it's certainly its own kind of culture, it's not as crazy backwards as you'd think.

And it's really fun, kind of like pretending to be another person. Hmm, that doesn't sound anything like writing...

You should try it.


  1. I loved Saga Frontier =) Did you ever play the sequel Romancing Saga?

    How about the Suikoden games? I & II are great.

    Nerd are the bestest people!

  2. I did play the second Saga! But I did miss Suikoden. There's this gap in my playing—it's called college. I moved out and didn't have the cash to buy games myself. Boo. I'd play here and there when I went home.

  3. Oh Cloud... I love you so much! I almost peed my pants when we played Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 and both Cloud AND Squall were in it. It was a super nerdy squee moment.
    But we stay away from WoW. Just because i know it will suck me in and never let me go. And i just don't have the time for that any more.

  4. Sarah, yeah I don't have the time I used to either! It's sad. I haven't done much raiding and such because of that. I had babies and stuff to take care of:)

    And I forgot Kingdom Hearts! Those were fun. I loved all the cameos from different games. Let's not forget Link, sigh.

  5. :( never played WoW. (or Final Fantasy... don't smack me)

    I still have my old NES system, with some of the cartridges, and if I can ever find an adapter to replace the one my doggie chewed to pieces, I'll probably plug it in and play some Tetris (which is the awesomest "simple" puzzle game ever).

    I can remember when the Mario Games were held under lock and key in armored vaults at the store because they were crazy valuable.

    And shame on you stealing your brother's acct while he was on his mission. Bad sister! (Good gamer, though ;-P )

  6. I loooooooove video games too. I have quite different habits than yours though. To me, polygon nirvana is attainable by being the closest I can to John Rambo. In recent memories, Assassin' Creed 2 & Brotherhood were the games that made me feel the most like a sadistic and demented killer.

    I'm also looking forward to Fight Night Champion very bad, being a boxer myself, I have been impressed with the trailers. Also, theres a story mode!!!!!!!!

  7. I've been playing WoW since release as well. Sure, there have been quite a few times where I cancelled my account, but something always brings me back.

    Luckily, I found a badass girlfriend who encourages me to WoW it up with her. I never thought I would find a girl who got me deeper into video games, but it's great.

    I do have to be careful though, as it can be the ultimate distraction from my writing. I can easily lose an afternoon to it without noticing. Lately, I have been trying to use it as a reward for hitting my writing goals.

  8. I love Cloud. Period.

    I don't play video games much anymore, mostly because I am too poor to buy any consoles, but I WANT TO PLAY FINAL FANTASY XIII SO BAD! The graphics are ridiculous. My brother is playing it now, I'll have to go over there some day and hijack his game.
    I was never that into games as much as reading or drawing, but when I was younger, I would sneak into my brother's room and play his games when he wasn't home. I used to like to watch him play Final Fantasy too (vii, viii, & ix) because he would throttle me if I lost the game on him. Lol. My personal favorite though was Samurai Warriors.

  9. I'm Real ID lame. Can you add me? Because apparently, I have your wrong email or something!

    Heather L Hansen [at] gmail [dot] com

    I was playing my shaman last night. I forgot how much I WUV her! I hit 50. Woo Hoo! 35 more to go.

    I should perhaps try to level out my 80, but meh. Blood elf and all that. ;)

  10. Out of curiosity, what did you think of the movie Advent Children?

  11. Woot! Orc warrior checkin' in. Gamer girls rule :)

  12. Josin, ha! The vaults in Toy R Us. I remember those vividly. They were expensive back then!

    Ben, hehe, so basically Halo was your Final Fantasy VII. I remember how big that was, too.

    Tony, it certainly can be distracting! I use it as reward too:)

    Cookies, XIII looks so pretty! I am bummed that XIV is online again. I finally played FF XI, and it was basically awful.

    Heather, I think we need to be on at the same time! Let me know when that is and we'll work this out:)

    Jenilyn, I loved Advent Children! I haven't seen it in a long time, but I remember a lot of me drooling. Basically, it could have been a succession of Cloud and Sephiroth scenes with zero plot and I would have been happy. I'm probably not the best judge of its actual merit...I mostly just daydreamed about them redoing the game with those graphics.

    Andrea, Orc Warrior! So sexy:) I'm so converted to warrior lately.

  13. Hey, I like my paladin. So far. Eh. Maybe it's just cuz I HATED HATED AND LOATHED my rogue so much that anything would be better in comparison.

    I like the gaming world. Maybe I just like the nerd world in general because there's usually a HUGE absence of girls. Dunno what I have against girls, but things tend to be far more peaceful when there arent large populations of them.

  14. Oh my... I've never played these games.

  15. I play! My main is a NE Druid. Resto/Balance. And yeah, the new healing changes are kicking me to the curb big time, but I'm trying to make it work. You should hear me. I'm always like "WHAT? WHAT?! I'M OUT OF MANA. I AM NEVER OUT OF MANA." No more overhealing for me!

    I actually kind of like Archeology, but I think that's because I am a definite pet/mount hoarder, so I had to keep going until I got the mount and the two companion pets.

    And yes, I definitely got some looks at the latest midnight release. People are literally like, "But... you don't look like a WoW player? I AM CONFUSED."

    ANYWAY. I'm on RealID, of course. I imagine you can figure it out based on my username and email address from my blog if you want to add me ;)

  16. Geez Natalie, I was beginning to think I was reading one of my own blog posts!

    RPG's, DDR, nostalgia for NES and SNES.... Although, I'll admit I am not into WoW (but totally understand the appeal). My favorite games were typically RPG's and strategy. Some of my all-time favorite games are Legend of Zelda (SNES), Sid Meier's Civilization (PC), Sim City (SNES), Mega Man 2 (NES)... I could go on and on when it comes to this stuff.

    So glad to see we have a lot of gaming interests in common! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

  17. I discovered a love of videogames much later in my life...Prince of Persia is my all-time love! Now they just need the darn PS3 to go down in price so I can actually buy it.

    YES! I am also horrid with First Person Shooters and good at DDR! More power to you for being a gaming-chick. Online RPGs are too addictive for me, I played a text-based MUD (multi-user dungeon) obsessively for yeeeears. Nothing but writers on the server, it was heaven!

  18. I've been playing WoW for 4 years now. My main/my baby is an 85 Night Elf Resto druid. I'm HATING the healing changes right now, they really hurt us. I don't mind the style as I've always utilized all my healing spells to begin with. But the fact that they heal for shit pisses me off and don't get me started on mana...even though I have a MP of over 100k raid buffed.

    I've played every class except a warrior. I've leveled almost all to max except rogue, lock and mage.

    I'm liking Archeology, it's a time waster sometimes but if I find that trinket or staff it will be well worth it. The mount it makes is going to be my money hog, I found the recipe in my first coptic jar I made...but 29k gold or so for mats...OUCH!!!!

    Anywho....proud WoW addict here. :D

  19. I love gaming, I just don't let myself do it very often. I get too wrapped up in the story and the things I need to do, like sleeping, take a backseat.

    I've heard they just made the LOTR game free. I can't go near that because my kids will starve, laundry will go undone, and my house would start to resemble those homes you see on "Hoarders: Buried Alive".

    Maybe I can talk my husband into taking the kids to visit his family for a week or two...

  20. I've been a gamer since the ZX Spectrum first came out and I've played more MMOs than I can count (I started on Ultima Online then the original Everquest and most of the MMORPGs since then).

    I tried WoW but weirdly, couldn't get into it (despite several return attempts).

    Thing is for me, MMos were one of the things I had to seriously cut back on when I started to write.

    You're right though, Natalie, they are a seriously fun time sink.

  21. I like Fallout 3. But I only play it at my brother's house. If it was here I wouldn't get much writing done.

  22. I've been a big Final Fantasy nerd for years! My brothers managed to scrounge up a copy of FFIII/VI on the SNES and Celes is still one of my favorite characters ever. I actually used her as my online alias for a long time. I'm also a big fan of IX, which has a special place in my heart, even though it's not as well liked.

    I'm sort of afraid of trying WoW, because I'm pretty sure I'd love it. And spend all my time on it. My husband actually doesn't play (though he does play D&D every other weekend) because he was against the monthly subscription, but he's thinking about it. If that happens, who knows, maybe I'll start playing too...

  23. Love, love video games. Addicted to nintendo and super nintendo growing up. I don't get to play much these days, but I do enjoy me some guitar hero.

  24. I think if you played Warcraft 1, you are hardcore. That game was before Blizzard got big (before I even got into PC games).

  25. I played Final Fantasy up to the point where everybody became androgynous (Final Fantasy Six). Halo's good, but it's not very story oriented. Half-Life 2 was more like it. Gordon Freeman has been elected last year, greatest character of all-time, a nose in front of Mario. The vote was conducted by the fans on Gamespot. I guess the underdog archetype plays for it. But what a homicidal underdog scientist he was.

  26. I definitely play WoW. I've been playing since before BC. Hubby got me into MMORPGs when he let me create a character on Everquest. I didn't play that for long, though, before we moved to WoW.

    I never knew how much of a gamer I was until I started playing with Hubby when we were dating. In college, I was all about Mario Party. I'm also excited about what Kinect will bring to the RPG gaming world!

  27. One of the things I love most about the games is the graphics. *adores shiny pictures* I'm not much of a gamer, but I do have a soft spot for Zelda games. I love riding around (or running for my life) past all the beautiful scenery. :D

  28. Have never played a MMORPG, though I used to play Icewind Dale back when you could connect to just one other person and each control half a party. I played with my mom - I lived abroad so she'd get up at the crack of dawn and I'd take a mid-day break (I was in college - one could do those things) and we'd play.

    It was awesome.

    Also - not gonna lie. Cloud Strife is kinda hot. Please, quick, someone else say they think the cartoon is hot too so I don't feel so squicky!

  29. Girl gamers unite!

    I've been feeling old and weird today. This is the 19th anniversary of me beating Final Fantasy II (IVj). It's also the date I first beat Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy 3 (VIj), and Chrono Trigger. That's right. I could only beat them for the first time on January 10th.

    I don't get to play many games anymore 'cause of the whole writing thing, but I did beat Dragon Quest IX not long ago.

  30. My husband decided to marry me when I finally played FFVII in college so I knew what he was talking about. It's pretty much the only video game besides Atari I've ever played. Incidentally he says he played Saga Frontier, so you aren't alone.

  31. I was already loving your blog, but now I'm really hooked.

    WoW is the first game I really got into. My husband got me into it just as Wrath was released. My main is a NE balance druid.

    It really is an amazingly fun time sink.

  32. I love Cloud! I have a stuffed figure of him sitting on my bookshelf. Sadly I have never actually played VII. But I've seen Advent's Children several times and played Kingdom Hearts as well.

    Never got into WoW, that whole subscription thingy doesn't work for me. No money -_-'

  33. Anonymeet, did I not make it clear that I think Cloud is hot? He is. And so is Squall. Man, I love Squall.

    I have like a whole post on my cartoon crushes, actually. So there is no need for you to feel squicky.

  34. There's definitely something fun going on out there, as I know from my own exploits as Professor Dubio Rubio Bubio, my syba-moose arch-mage from the massively popular new MMORP, Madcap Furree Canadian Wildlife With Kick-ass Firearms.

    My one gripe is that, in feeding back into the fantasy worlds of literature, some of these games are bundled with tons of tropey baggage. Levels, mana, skills etc. In the main, I'm fine with all that as a universal currency to help you negotiate the various fantasye worldes, but on a wider note, I'm concerned by the post-1977 "DnDing" of the fantasy genre literaturewise.

    * dismounts from hobby horse *

  35. Ahhhhhhhh. My main's a belf.

    Never played Alliance much, but I'm doing the worgen thing now and enjoying it.

  36. Natalie, I love you! LOL.

    I've played WOW from the beginning - I had no idea there were so many other girls out there who were WOW fanatics too! I have an 85 dwarf rogue who's my fave, but I've leveled almost every other class but warrior. I may have to give it a try now!

    I also love anything Bioware - I can't tell you how many times I've played through KOTOR, Mass Effect, etc. And I think one of my all time faves has to be The Longest Journey. Talk about a storyline!

  37. I leveled a NE Druid to 80 before I really knew what WoW was about. Now I kind of wish I would've just leveled a DK, but I'm sticking with my Druid for now. She's 83 and climbing!
    Though my most favorite thing in WoW is herb gathering. I know. Kind of lame. But I'm like a magpie and I can't resist looking for those shiny yellow dots on my mini map. It's like treasure hunting.
    Plus, my husband is trying to level his alchemy and inscription so I'm gathering all the herbs he needs for that.
    I love that my husband and I play together. Though it is a little weird when he plays his toon that's named after me.
    I could talk about this all day. Natalie, do you ever wonder what the percentage is of writer's who also play WoW? I bet it's higher than we think.

  38. I used to play WoW, then realized that it was becoming my life. So I replaced that obsession with working out, and both my husband and my body are thanking me. Plus, now I have to channel all that I-want-to-be-someone-else-for-a-while energy into my writing. :)

  39. Erin can be kind of a lurker, but I'm outing her right now: Erin LOVES WoW! Apparently she goes through phases of playing it, and she's IN one of those phases now.

    I liked a lot video and computer games as a kid, but I never had the gaming systems myself. My parents didn't think they were a good investment for me -- they bought me books instead (which I was happy with). So I depended on my two best guy friends for Sega Genesis and PlayStation and Game Cube and such. I did get Myst and Riven on my own (so fun!) and Warcraft III, but I think that was the end of my gaming days...

  40. My husband is a WoW junkie. He started playing it about six years ago too. I think he's played as every race at one point or another. His favorite though is playing female trolls. He thinks they're oddly attractive :rolls eyes:

    I tried playing once back in college. I was a human paladin the first time and then something with a Blood Elf (I don't remember what...) Didn't get far because it got too hard to hit all the buttons when I was supposed to :P And you're right--WoW is it's own culture but not entirely backwards.

    Hubby is also a HUGE Final Fantasy nut. He loves VII. He also plays Magic--not a video game but he strategizes on how to build perfect decks.

    Yep my hubby's definitely a geek--but that's OK because I'm one too, if even in a slightly different area. Hubby's trying to get me to start WoW again but I'm unsure...

  41. We girl nerds need to stick together. I loved WoW when I played it. Sadly, I no longer have the time or the money to play, but if I did, I would totally be up for playing with you.

    As yet, I haven't gotten to experience Final Fantasy, but I so want to play it. It's always looked cool. Besides, it's an RPG, and I LOVE RPGs.

    I think it's awesome that you're a gamer girl (even in the lightest sense). It's so hard to find girls who aren't scared off by video games or don't think they're dumb. I think they can be be great, and some of the stories are amazing.


    I've played WoW on and off since just after its vanilla release. :) I've had my moments of being hardcore, too. Right now my main is a human paladin I started up recently, and I'm enjoying her -- and the fact that I'm in an all-girls guild. My husband plays, too, and has been much more serious about MMOs over the years than I have. (He's played every major one since 2003, basically.) Nerdy family, we are!

    Can I also confess to having such a RealID fantasy?

    Gamer nerds rock!

  43. I actually adored Saga Frontier and would like to have a copy of it. My favorite Rpg is Xenogears hands down. Though my love for VII is great. (Although I will tell you I hate Aeris and did not cry when she died. I was mostly glad she was out of the way so Tifa could have him.)

    I love WoW. I play my troll with great love. But I play both sides even though I love screaming "FOR THE HORDE!!"

    You ever played Guild Wars?

  44. Paladin is the best class ever! Rawr!

    BTW, this is my first time commenting, but I love reading your blog. :)

  45. Husband adores WoW, card game and mmorpg. I tried the online game. I liked to smash things. That was about as far as I got. Sometimes, though, when he spends hours at the kitchen table with his decks of WoW cards "rebuilding a raid deck" I *do* want to kill him with a stick. Does that count as being a gamer?

    I play in his D&D group (half-elf barbarian--used to play a druid but they changed a bunch of stuff in the new version of bla-bla-bla).

  46. How do I???

    How can you....




    heh, I take so much crap for my Belf obsession from my raider buddies...

    And archaeology, WHAT THE CRAP is up with that? ARGH! ARGH! tink tink...dig, oh nope, walk three yards, wait on cooldown, tink tink... dig... GROWL!

  47. Gordon Freeman is definitely the man! Especially with a crowbar.

    Natalie, I bet you'd be better at FPS now than you think. All that wow mouse looking has been prepping you for your next frontier. But seriously, the thought (and attempt) of playing an FPS with a gamepad makes me sick. If you like Halo for xbox, gotta try something with mouse/keyboard.

    My PC game interest started when my dad worked at IBM and they had a free BBS where I could download little silly games.