I (and my WoW playing friends) have noticed very quickly that I am not your usual style of gamer. Most people try to level their characters up as quickly as possible, using guilds and dungeon raids to gain experience and ignoring all but the central character development quests. They seem to rush through the world, barely stopping to notice the beauty of their surroundings or enjoy the gentle humour of the storyline. Of course, by this time, most of my WoW friends have played several characters to high level and "seen it all before", and I am bringing fresh eyes to the game; but even so, inside one month of playing, I have discovered three things none of them knew before! (You can fish while sitting down; you can't use emotes, such as "sniff" while sitting; and sometimes your pet does not show up on the login screen...)
I'm playing a Worgen (werewolf) Hunter, which means I get to tame wild animals to fight by my side - well, more in front of me, keeping the enemy at bay while I shoot from a distance! - and there is also a system for all players, of any class, where you can obtain little companion pets which will fight each other but not join in regular combat. The whole battlepets system is remarkably similar to Pokemon. Although WoW is not allowed to use the phrase "Gotta catch em all!" that is certainly my goal, and extends to the larger hunter pets too, except that sadly you can't own more than 25 of those. I already have 11. Because of the sheer variety of creatures in WoW, I am having fun catching and matching up big and little pets of each type. So far I have paired two "nightsaber" tigers, two dinosaurs, two owls, and two cheetahs (not pictured).
|Wollins and Hooty McWhoot |
(staying carefully away from the big whirlwind...)
|A night-elf NPC apparently kneeling to look at my cub! |
Not sure if this is real interaction or coincidental placement.
The matching Nightsaber Cub is a special battlepet you get by buying WoW trading cards, which I don't, so I got him off ebay. Once I manage to gain a high enough reputation with the Night Elves, which could take a while, I'll be able to get a third matching cat to ride on, so then I'll have triplicats! Shadow Whisker is a lazy little thing. Whenever I stop for more than a moment, he goes to sleep and then doesn't catch up with me for a while; and he has the cutest little snore! To get the cub in-world I had to buy the card on ebay, redeem a special code, then travel a looong way in-world to visit a trading goblin, and on the way I got a few more hunter pets - a white wolf, a cheetah and my raptor!
|Reaperclaw and his Mini-me|
He also got me a little gold dragon which I have named Fledge (my character is Fledhyris). She is very special, she twirls and dances around in a trailing ribbon of light so that it is very hard to take pictures, and sometimes breathes out a fireball. One of her special battlepet abilities is to call down sunshine for an area effect of mass healing (this also helps the opposition so one has to be careful).
|Fledge and I watching another maelstrom |
(there are a lot of them, it's the storyline)
|Fledge battling a rat!|
|Riding a dragon on the carousel|
|Stage-crashing a performance by the Tauren Chieftains|
You can also see a little boy standing near me; this week was Orphan Week where you undertake special quests to look after an orphaned child, showing them the sights and generally giving them a good time. I thought my orphan would love to see a rock concert but he doesn't look too impressed, does he; perhaps he finds the band scary and just wants to go home? After all, the Horde probably killed his parents... (Not a real child, I should add; he is an NPC, a computer generated non-player character. WoW is strictly a 12+ game.)
I should mention that my friends favour the Horde - Nadir himself had no Alliance characters until now - but I was stuck because I really wanted to play a Worgen and they're Allies, despite their fearsome appearance (I think they were trying to even things up for players who like being monsters). Nadir made a new Worgen (Nadyr) just to help me out if needed, because his Guild play on a different server; just to demonstrate the difference in gameplay (but also of course because he's so much more practised) he is now level 87 while I'm level 25, in the same amount of time. It stops levelling at 90. I've a way to go yet!
I could have joined Nadir's server but there was little point when I wasn't going to be in the same faction or Guild. I also didn't realise at the time that some of my friends DO have Allies and I could have joined their server. Oh well. Another friend has made a Worgen warrior on my server which he is levelling at the same rate as me, so eventually the three of us could visit a dungeon together, because you can't really fight in those alone successfully until you're too high a level for there to be much point. I don't fancy the thought of raiding with total strangers, which is the alternative option.
Finally, I will leave you with a funny image I took of another player who has got hold of some kind of illuminated helm; you can't see her face at all and she's lighting up the entire area around her! Remind anyone of facelights in SL?! You can just see the eyestalks of my pet in the bottom right corner.
|Zhevra - a zebra unicorn!!!|