This past weekend I did something that I’ve not done in quite some time. I played WoW. Lots of WoW, in fact. Not only did I play WoW, but I craved playing when I was doing other things over the weekend. I was somewhat surprised by this strange desire, as it’s not something that I’d experienced for many months. I’m sure there are a number of reasons that I could list off that lead to my disenchantment with the game, but I’m not really here to talk about that. Rather, I wanted to share the unexpected enjoyment that I found from a fairly unexpected source.
The Scroll of Resurrection
I know that there have been a lot of opinions tossed about regarding this feature, but I wanted to share my experience with it, and tell you how this feature managed to revitalize the game for me. You see, on Thursday night I decided that I wanted the stupid spectral mount. I had an inactive account that I had created for the RAF promotion and that I suspected would be eligible – but I had recruited a friend to accept a scroll in the event that my “master plan” was faulty and wouldn’t work. Well, as it turns out, I was able to send a scroll to myself and I resurrected the account and signed up for a subscription so Beru could have her “ooohhhhh shiny”.
But then something clicked in my mind and I thought to myself “Self, what if you could make a level 1 character on this account and boost it to level 80″. I didn’t know if it was possible to do, but I figured “why not!”. I have a good number of friends who play only alliance, and it would be fun to be able to putz around with them when I had the time available without bemoaning the fact that I am HORDE4LIFE. I looked into it to see if you could boost a new level 1 character to level 80, and sure enough, right there on the “redeem your rewards” page it very clearly stated that you could create a new character and utilize the level boost on that toon.
And thus a level 1 worgen druid was born.
It took a day for everything to settle in, and for me to be able to see my shiny new druid on Blizzard’s system, but soon enough there she was – ready for a free boost to 80. When I selected her for the boost, I was asked which spec I would like to play and provided with four options, each with their own description of what role each option would fill. I had initially thought to make her Feral and offspec resto, but as I ran back into the bedroom (much like a 10 year old on Christmas morning) to ask Brade what he thought I should do, he convinced me that I’d probably have more fun with another moonkin – and reminded me that my melee classes almost always seem to die somewhere along the way. Plus moonkin and resto gear can largely be shared during the leveling process, which makes life much easier.
And So Another Druid Was Born
After I redeemed my level boost, I logged in; I was a little nervous at the fact that my character was still showing level 1 on the selection screen, but as soon as I logged in I was immediately ported to Stormwind and was magically level 80. My first thought was “oh god, what have I done, I don’t even know where anything is in Stormwind!” followed by “WHY is everything so different here!” (don’t worry, I got over it soon enough). But my second thought was one of excitement. I couldn’t wait to get started on my adventure, I was…excited to be playing WoW. A feeling that was so foreign to me that I almost forgot it could exist.
I quickly got my UI set up and ready to go, and then took the time to explore what I was provided with. I had:
- A full set of gear, that proved more than sufficient to quest in the starter zones and permitted me to obtain upgrades from quest rewards. Something that was oddly rewarding for me.
- 4 frostweave bags.
- 75 Gold.
- 1 stack of stamina/haste food. But no water, one of my first stops was to find something to drink!
- 1 stack of heavy frostweave bandages and the resulting 450 first aid skill required to use them.
- 1 Dalaran “celebration” gift for reaching level 80 that contained 5 mana pots, 5 health pots and 5 speed pots, along with the requisite fireworks.
It was pretty much everything I’d need to get started at level 80. Of course, after my exploration of my goodies, my very next stop was to go pick up dual specs so that I could heal my way to happiness – only to learn that my primary spec had already been pre-filled by Blizzard. I literally could have gone from logging in to questing once I’d put abilities on my action bars. I wasn’t expecting this, and was actually a little surprised by it. Of course, at my exclamation of “holy shit, I’m already spec’d!”, Brade says “well, how’d they do?”.
How did they do indeed! Let’s take a look, shall we?
Not too badly. There are a few things that had me scratching my head, like why did they stick points in gale winds for a level spec, but not owlkin frenzy. They also opted to start with points in heart of the wild, where I prefer natural shapeshifter first – but only because I tend to pop in and out of moonkin while leveling to heal myself – so that is really just personal preference. However, it is a spec that would have certainly gotten someone who didn’t have a max level balance druid out of the gate and killing things just fine. I actually kind of wish that I had chosen resto now, so that I could see how they would have specc’d me!
Anyhow, after I spec’d myself the way I wanted to be spec’d I tossed on my special gloves for my hands and hunkered down to get ready for business. But before I did that, I had to answer one very important question.
Where Should I Go?
I was really looking forward to the alliance experience and seeing where things differed in the quest chains. But I couldn’t decide if I wanted to do Hyjal or Vashj’ir. I knew that picking the right zone was going to be important to my follow through of this project, so I had to get it right. I started asking around to some of my alliance friends for their opinions, and ultimately ended up going to Vashj’ir. Largely because the music and scenery there is just so beautiful and tranquil, that is just felt right.
And it was.
By the end of Friday night I was 1/3 of the way through level 82 before I just couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. I woke up Saturday ready to go – I got a cup of tea, found some breakfast and hunkered back down at the computer. Starting my weekend morning at the computer is something that I haven’t done in many months. I started the morning running a LFR with Brade, and then swapped over to my SoR project. I was half way to 83 by the time we stopped and went out for dinner and to run errands. As soon as we got home I ran through my hand exercises, tossed on my magic gloves, and was going “83 or bust!” before bed. I made it, but only just.
Sunday came, and I tended to my household chores, made some delicious Bailey’s cupcakes and dinner, then sat down to raid (we killed heroic spine, which was also a wonderful feeling). But what was different this Sunday than the past ones is that while I was doing my chores and baking, I was thinking “man, I’m not going to have hardly any time to play when I get all finished with this!”. It’s been a very long time since I’d pined for WoW playtime, and a fairly long time since I sat down at the computer outside of a raid and looked forward to what I was doing. Who would have thought that it all would boil down to another druid and Vashj’ir? Certainly not me.
I had hoped to be level 84 by the end of Sunday, or at least close. But I just didn’t have the time, and probably won’t have the time to sit down and really push again until this weekend. However, I’m very much looking forward to continuing on my journey. I’m excited to see the alliance side of Twilight Highlands. I’m excited to go “shopping” for gear so that I can participate in the new instances. It’s such a refreshing feeling for me, and honestly a breath of fresh air that I desperately needed at this point in the game.
In all honesty, I’m really glad that Blizzard offered up this promotion. I’m really glad that I had a dormant account that I could utlize to take advantage of the promotion. And I’m really glad that I wanted the stupid spectral mount and was prompted to take advantage of the offer based on that drive. To be perfectly honest, at this point I think the “free” 80 has been so much more rewarding to me than the mount will ever prove to be. I would love to see Blizzard give a similar offer to current subscribers as well, call it a “loyalty perk” or whatever you want, but it absolutely helped me find some fun in the game again, and in the most unexpected of places. Which, in turn, means that I’m more likely to keep my subscription active as I continue to play.
I’m sure the newness of the situation will wear off at some point, but right now all I care about is the fact that I’m excited and incentivated to log in. For me, the scroll did more than resurect an old account, it resurrected my desire to play the game. And that is worth so much more to me than anything else, I really hope that others will get a similar opportunity at the experience.