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25 World of Warcraft Players Tell Their Best Stories

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World of Warcraft lives up to its name in that it is a vast world of its own. There’s so much more to do than just grind your way up to the latest level cap.

You guys shared some fascinating stories involving everything from friendships to deaths to glitches. Here are the best ones, in your own words.

Expansion Launch Day Pandemonium

My single favourite moment was when Burning Crusade was released.

My brother and I both had free time on launch night and were present at the sight of the portal with half of the rest of the server at the time when the server crashed and the update hit.

Then there was the ensuing chaos of running through Helfire peninsula with absolutely everybody else.

It was chaos yes, it caused the server to crash and disconnects to occur sure, there was some waiting for respawns, but it was fun. For the first time a massively multiplayer game felt massively multiplayer and it just felt awesome. There was tension, cooperation, actual, spontaneous, player to player interaction.

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We stormed through the content together quickly and as we started to get a lead on the average player level and started moving into the next zones it felt like we were exploring something new, (those zones were beautiful I recall), and not something trod by hundreds of thousands daily before us. We both managed to hit level cap very quickly while 90% of the server were still casually catching up.

Never had that again, Wrath of the Lich king was split over two massive zones that, coupled with “phasing” made everywhere feel desolate and quiet and I’d basically clocked out before the Desolation of Smaug and Pandaria.

A Close Call That Would’ve Cost 1,000 Gold

The time I lost a rare 1000 gold item and had to race across Azeroth in a desperate attempt to retrieve it.

At the time I didn’t have much money, maybe 10k gold to my name, and I wanted more. I happened across a valuable item drop on one of my alternate characters, an Alliance alt. I want to say it was a Sulfuron Ingot from Molten Core, which at that point in time was worth about 1000 gold on the Auction House; a lot of gold to me. Seeing how valuable it was, I wanted to transfer this item to my actual main character, my Undead Mage. This meant transferring the item cross-faction, and the only way to do that was to utilize the Neutral Auction House.

So I enlisted the help of a trusted friend. I traded him the item on our Alliance alts, then I logged into my main Undead character, and we both ventured to Booty Bay, one of three locations in Azeroth containing meutral auctioneer NPC’s. Sure, the mean streets of Booty Bay had a somewhat negative reputation among WoW players, because sometimes high level players would go there to get their jollies by attacking low level victims and NPC’s, but we figured we would be in and out quickly and smoothly. The plan was simple: my friend, playing a low level Alliance alt, would list the item on the Neutral AH for a tiny 1 copper buy price, and I would be there waiting to snatch it up as soon as it popped up on the auction list.

The moment arrived. We stood together, next to one of the neutral auctioneers. I watched as my friend interacted with the auctioneer. For a moment, it seemed like it would be an easy transaction. Then, suddenly, and to my horror, I saw a high level player run up and, in a flash, kill the poor auctioneer right in front of me. At that moment, I hear over the Ventrilo, “Alright, I put it in.”

Shit! My friend had listed the item, but a fraction of a second later, some jerk had run up and killed the auctioneer. I had no way of getting my item, and, worse, this valuable piece was now just sitting inside the neutral AH system for the grand price of 1 copper, a ridiculous bargain, freely available to anyone who happened to snoop around the auction house.

I scrambled. Briefly, I thought I’d be able to avoid disaster. After all, there were two other neutral auctioneers who stand in Booty Bay. But as I ran around the city, the realization came: the NPC-murdering ruffian had killed them all. Now there was no way to access the AH at all in Booty Bay for a time: I would have to reach another neutral AH location.

There was no time to think, I was panicking. I looked around and saw a boat arriving at the Booty Bay docks. Yes, of course! The boat to Ratchet! I could take it, then board a wolfrider and taxi my way down to Gadgetzan, which also housed neutral auctioneers. Then I remembered, as a Mage, I could teleport myself to Thunder Bluff. I couldn’t remember which city was closer to Gadgetzan, but I figured teleporting was faster. So I beamed myself over to the continent of Kalimdor, and boarded a flight down to Gadgetzan.

The flight felt like the longest ever. Every moment, I was aware, “Oh shit, oh shit, I’m going to lose this item. The first guy that checks the Neutral AH before I get there is going to nab it! Shit!” I was convinced I would arrive at Gadgetzan, check the auction system, and find my item gone.

Finally, my taxi landed in the Tanaris desert, and I mounted up, bolting through Gadgetzan to the low building that marks the entrance to the town’s subterranean neutral Auction House. I ran down the steps, my eyes darting, looking for anyone who had beaten me to the punch. At first, I saw no one. For the briefest moment, I was filled with hope, my heart thumping in my chest. I might get away with this!

Then, disaster: as I reached the landing at the bottom of the steps and the space in front of me came into full view, a Tauren player came sauntering out of the auction room. He waddled past me on his way out, and I was filled with horror. I knew there was no way I would get lucky, no way he hadn’t seen my 1 copper Sulfuron Ingot, there for the taking. I ran up to an auctioneer, clicking and typing madly, looking for my item. Then my heart sank and my worst fears were confirmed: the item was gone, snatched up, no doubt, by the Tauren I had seen. I was horrified. I couldn’t believe what had happened.

Unwilling to give up, though, I wheeled around, darting for the exit. I figured the lucky bastard would be stopping at a mailbox to retrieve his new item. I emerged from the Auction House and, sure enough, he was still in town, standing at the mailbox. I checked his name, and did the only thing I could: I messaged him in a desperate attempt to appeal to his kindness, hoping he would act as a good Samaritan and give me my item back. I had my doubts, obviously. I didn’t recognize the guy’s character name or his guild. And mind you, it wasn’t my character name on the auction, remember that my friend had actually put the item up for sale. This guy would have no reason to believe my story.

So I message the guy, explaining that the 1 copper item worth 1000 gold did in fact belong to me, and that I was trying to transfer it to my main when the Booty Bay auctioneers were killed. He turned around, looked at my Undead Mage for a moment, and replied, “I’ll give it back if you can tell me which player I was in <old guild name>.”

A MIRACLE! Unbelievably, this guy recognized my character, and remembered me as an old guild mate of his, from a long-disbanded guild we both belonged to years earlier. He was playing on an alt, though, so I didn’t recognize him. In the end, he didn’t hold me to his challenge. He explained who he was, and kindly gave me my item back.

The whole thing was unreal. To this day, this turn of events stands as probably the craziest thing to happen to me in 10 years of playing WoW.

Trying To Game The Auction House

I remember my friend getting me the game sometime between the vanilla launch of Burning Crusades. I remember being overwhelmed at the size and connectedness of the world and the community. I remember thinking there were endless battles and adventures to be had...

And then my friend, a level 40 hunter, told me about the Auction House.

Long story kind-of-short, we spent the next three months, GRINDING, on leather. Every upgrade or useful skill I could get was tempered with the amount of leather I could get for it. At some point we also made “mining” accounts and went with those. And for a WHILE, Wool was more valuable than damn near any other resources or weapon in the game (something to do with a quest around X-roads).

Anyways, we inadvertently crashed the leather market on our small server (shouts out to Steamwheedle Cartel!) and pissed off a number of people in the process. We had filled the first few pages of the AH with reams and reams of leather, wool and various metals. If you wanted those, you had to buy from us. And you’d have to pay a fair amount for it.

At some point, over the course of two days, we watched the prices nosedive, and made the last three or four months seem completely pointless. Hours upon hours of seeking out stupid ass animals for their dumb leather, literally made pointless as our system we had spent so long developing became meaningless in front of our eyes.

A Server-Crashing PvP Fight

Best time I had was being the sole scepter holder of a PvP server during the Ahn’Qiraj event. We were able to do the 5 hour BWL run on our second full clear ever. Everywhere I was turned into a war zone at that point. Horde guilds would try to wipe us on world events to buy time until their top guild could do the BWL clear. Our team would be escorted to events by a dozen other raiding groups. I remember a chain of hippogryphs heading into moonglade that stretched as far a I could see in front and behind me.

Finally, we collected all of our resources and all the events were done. We went for an evening gate opening. We landed in Gadgetzan and rode through Un’Goro with several full raid groups. The horde was waiting with every person they could muster from level 30 to 60. They just needed to keep me from reaching a gong and ringing it with my scepter.


Frame rate was in the single digits. The continent crashed every 5 to 10 minutes. Resets would roll you and all trades back a couple minutes.

we fought through and I made a break for the gong and the gates opened. What was waiting on the other side was a fresh new hell. several raid boss level anubis guys came charging out and began one-shotting anything that wasn’t wearing plate. Mish-mashed groups from both sides began working together to take these giants out. Griefers were trying to gank tanks.

The decision was made for my raid group and we retreated into the raid dungeon that just unlocked. An anubis followed and was squashing every straggler in the chain. It was like the T Rex in Jurassic Park.

For our guild, it was months of work and the final event was a legendary end.

Trying To Outsmart the Enemy

I remember playing a game of Arathi Basin back during the Vanilla WoW days. I was in an organized PVP group and we were trying to help a guy wrestle Grand Marshal away from some old retired guy who had a death-grip on it on our server. We kept getting put up against other organized groups that were all better-geared than us and it was getting frustrating. We get into a game and see it was one of the best PVP guilds on our server cluster.

Finally the leader says, “Screw it, lets just ride our mounts in a circle around the map the whole game and see if they chase us.” So we ran counter-clockwise around the whole map, capping a point and immediately leaving it, running to the next, etc. By the time we complete our circle we realize that we’ve got 4/5 points capped and the enemy team has been camping the center point watching us and not moving. So we charged the point and overwhelmed them, and managed to set up a spawn camp in time to win by a complete shut-out. One of the few fond memories I have of that game.

The Naked Gnome

On launch I was a night elf, so we were all very far away from the rest of the Alliance. At one point people in the local chat were all very excited as someone had seen a naked gnome running about our starting zones. Lots of us would chase that gnome, it was the first character not of our species we saw.

An Epic Battle, Only Slightly Offset By A Glitch

One of my favorite WoW moments came when I got into a random raid to go kill all of the Alliance world leaders so we could get the achievement and the war bear mount that came with it.

I can’t remember which order we completed them in, but basically this large chaotic mess of Horde players steamrolled from one Alliance city to the next to take down the leaders. By the time we got to Stormwind, our group was massive. Dozens upon dozens of Horde players were in the Stormwind palace trying to kill King Wrynn, and there was a sizable garrison of Alliance players trying to stop up. The throne room was literally full to bursting, spells and attacks flying everywhere. And then all of a sudden, the game went out. Too much for the game to handle, and a lot of players got disconnected.

Thankfully the fight was still going on, but by the time I actually got control of my character, I was no longer in the throne room. I had fallen through the world, and was in some vast, hilly desert. Around me were random props and characters that had been in the throne room and had fallen through the world with me. I battled a few Stormwind guards and then watched a chaotic battle above me. I couldn’t see the throne room or anything, but every single character and King Wrynn were right there above me, appearing to stand on some invisible platform in the sky, fighting it out. Eventually the Horde killed Wrynn, and I got the achievement for it as well. Easily one of the most out-there experiences I’ve ever had in World of Warcraft.

Unlikely Friends

There’s a bit of a back story here. Feel free to skip the following and start at the next single line.

I was 16 or so at the time I started playing in 2006. I had an Undead Rogue on a friend’s account (of course I did) before I finally got my own. Rolled on Bleeding Hollow horde and joined a very small family guild. I can’t remember specifically when I started but I broke level 50 during the Naxx patch event. I was 60 a few weeks after it ended.

I won’t lie, I was garbage. I was completely and utterly terrible at playing a Rogue. This was the case for a long time, months even. The family guild I was in wasn’t doing anything worthwhile so I decided to leave them and join another guild after doing UD Strath with one of the officers. I started getting into ZG/AQ20/Public MC groups, nothing amazing but you know it was tougher to gear up then.

Somehow we began to work with one of the top guilds on the server. If my memory serves correctly they were pretty deep into Naxx at this point. Our officers and their officers got to be pretty friendly so one in particular decided to come with us on one of our ZG runs.

He was a Rogue and he went by Vipersvnk.

It was a jerk move to be sure but after the raid he tore me apart. He called out every terrible thing I did and told me that I was probably one of the worst Rogues he’d ever seen. In fact I was one of the worst players he’d ever seen. He may have told me I should’ve quit the game, I don’t recall. I felt terrible.

Luckily, I’m stubborn and I wasn’t gonna let some asshole over the internet get me to quit this game I loved. So I asked him if he’d teach me or help me learn to be better. He was reluctant at first but he agreed.

Fast forward a month or two, we had just finished ZG again where both Viper and I were present. At this point he was practically an officer in our guild so he pulled me into his Vent Channel and I’ll never forget what he told me.

“Lucinth, I was wrong and I want to tell you I’m sorry. You’re not a terrible Rogue and in fact you have the potential to be one of the best. I’m impressed at all of the progress you’ve made in the last few months and I’m honored that I was the one bring this out of you.”

After that I would go as far to say he was one of my closest friends. We lost him for a time during BC and when he came back I quit the game. I know he played as recently as August of last year and I hope that one day I’ll be able to show him just how far I’ve come since that day.

I am the owner of the Amani War Bear. I got to raid Sunwell when it was still current content. I got to be one of the best geared Paladins on the server. I got to be in a cutting edge raiding guild. I was the raid leader for my little group of idiots. I got to see and kill Mythic Garrosh (after 6.0 but before WoD). I’ve completed CM Gold in both Mists and Warlords. I have every class at 90+ and I have the ability to play every single one of them in every single spec at a level enough to push content.

And it’s all because of you. I miss you buddy and if you’re out there somewhere I hope you’ll get in contact with me. My battletag is Clvr#1627.

When That One Ability Makes The Win

Best moment for me was our first Lich King 25-man server first heroic kill. We had been attempting to take him down for months until one fateful attempt.

We had somewhat perfected all 3-5 (can’t remember the exact number) phases of the encounter and at this point just needed that final bit of push to down him. What actually happened on our kill attempt was just beautiful.

We had hit the enrage timer. After working so hard to get to the final phase, it turns out we weren’t doing enough damage to down him before the hard time limit. It’s at this point most raids will get utterly wiped out by the boss going berserk and attacking like a crazed madman with the sole purpose of crushing your hard work and effort into a pile of nothingness.

However this was different. Through a lot of improvised actions, the tanks and healers quickly came up with a plan to extend the fight as much as possible. In addition to the pressure bearing down from the enraged madman once known as “The Lich King”, we still had to deal with all the other mechanics still in play. Despite our best efforts however, one by one, we started falling to the Lich King’s blade.

Despite the utter chaos of what could be called a one-sided killing spree, somehow we had managed to buy enough time during the enrage for the Lich King to use his “shadow world” ability (can’t remember the precise name of this move). Usually when this happens, the Lich King would CC the entire raid in place and while ticking away at their health, move them to an alternate dimension for a short side-encounter. Somehow, a lone death knight (with aid from our healers and support), managed to survive the drain and enter the shadow world.

At this point, we all thought that all hope was lost. There was only one lone death knight and he could not deal any damage to the Lich King (as he was in another dimension). Most of us watched helplessly as we saw the Lich King continue to channel his ability which kept the death knight in the other dimension.

However what happened next was nothing short of beautiful. A shaman, rose from the grave, using his reincarnation ability. He proceeded to finish the job the rest of us tried to do. He buffed himself and, while the rest of us cheered on over teamspeak, worked his way through DPSing the Lich King. When the Lich King finally released his ability, we watched helplessly as he struck down the Shaman using an ability. It was at this point it dawned to us... We had done it! We managed to take him down to the final 10% required to actually defeat him.

At the very end, seeing the server first achievement after going through that epic final encounter was definitely the greatest defining moment I had experienced as a WoW player.

Unexpected Teamwork

It was back in late BC I think, on my first character (Orc Hunter). I just hit level 30 but I didn’t have the money for a mount. I was doing random quests for Nesingwary in Stranglethorn Vale when I had my first real experiences of world PvP. I was heading back to Nesingwary to turn in my most recent batch of those damned pages when in the distance I saw an Dwarf Hunter chasing a Warlock across the wide open field near Nesingwary’s camp. Excited and eager to help my faction I rushed across the field and engaged the dwarf before he could kill my compatriot. As one could expect, our combined powers easily overwhelmed our enemy and he died. After the brief fight the Warlock thanked me for my intervention and like the cool guy I thought I was I glibly replied “No worries, I’ve got your back”. We parted ways and I went off to collect my next set of pages.

About 20 min later I needed to go back to Nesingwary’s camp. I was semi aware that the dwarf hunter we killed would likely still be in the area but I was confident that I could take him 1v1. I emerged from the jungle on to the open area a significant distance away from the camp and didn’t think much of my decision until I noticed the dwarf rushing at me with two newly recruited friends. With little hope of survival I sent my pet cat at him, dropped a trap and ran like hell. In blind terror I ran across the field parallel to the jungle, health steadily dropping all the while.

Apparently I was not looking where I was going and soon ran into a hill that I could not climb, so I turned around to face my attackers in a desperate last stand. With my back to the (literal) wall the camera closed in to give me a over the shoulder view of my oncoming doom. I had decided that since I was going to die I might as well die fighting.

Then it happened.

Flying in directly over my head on the majesty of a flaming undead horse, the Warlock I rescued earlier leaped from the crest of the hill and crashed into my attackers. Shocked and nearly dead, I stood dumbfounded as two more of my faction dramatically landed on either side of me. What had previously been a drawn out 3v1 hunt suddenly turned into a 3v4 open brawl. My faith restored I courageously activated Feign Death (to drop myself from being targeted, I swear!) and reentered the fight.

The surprise attack quickly defeated the opposing party and somehow I had survived the whole ordeal. I looked to the Warlock and his friends and thanked them profusely for saving my ass. Standing over the body of the dead dwarf that hunted him earlier the Warlock replied “No worries, I’ve got your back”, got back on his mount, and rode off into the distance (sunset?)

TLDR : Greatest world PvP moment was a bunch of lvl 30s running around rescuing each other in dramatic fashion.

Unexpected Teamwork, Part 2

Mine was during a random hour or so of questing through an area in Burning Crusade as a draenei paladin. I was clearing some camps of enemies when I accidentally aggravated three large mobs into attacking me. I figured I was screwed, and I fought a retreating battle through the enemy camp and into the woods, attempting break their follow distance to no avail. Just as I begin to drop those last, few hundred points of health, an entire party of other players on the same quest come charging out of the forest and helped save me. Together we rallied and wiped the considerable number of enemies and cleared the quest for turn in.

In the grand scheme of things, it was a small moment in a game-world brimming with adventures, and large story events, but it’s something that’s stuck with me for years as being the defining moment of just what makes an MMO exciting.

Sticking It To The Alliance

Just got done spanking alliance in Wintergrasp. I was flying back to Icecrown to continue my farming runs. I landed on the cliffs on my way to mine a titanium node. Alliance paladin was camping it. He had me out geared and took me by surprise. after a few minuets of fighting it became apparent I would not win. So I ran towards the ledge and jumped. I landed just over the edge on a small shelf just out of sight of the pally. he jumps and continues over the edge and plummets to his death. I tricked an alliance into killing himself.

Sticking It To The Alliance, Part 2

This happened way back in Vanilla-

On my server at the time, the Alliance outnumbered the Horde almost 2:1 (Perenolde in Vanilla in case anyone was curious) so when major in-game events happened, my raid group and I were sort of on the sidelines. Well, As the Gates of An’Qiraj were preparing to open, there was a massive quest to attain a scepter and ring the gong and such. In order to get the scepter, you had to kill several world-boss level Dragons. One of them popped up in Feralas as some of my buddies and I were meandering about. We went to go take a look at the huge bastard and, sure enough, there was a throng of Alliance prepping to murderfy one such dragon into a red mist.

They saw us and started taunting and /chicken’ing us because they knew we did not have the numbers for it. My buddies and I were over teamspeak, grumbling bitterly about the factional imbalance we faced on a regular basis- very woe-is-me stuff. Slowly, my disdain turned to giddy excitement. Slowly, I inched toward the dragon on my raptor, cackling over teamspeak. The Alliance caught on and started /no’ing me, /beg’ging me not to keep going forward. Indifferent to their plight, I darted up to the dragon, snagged up aggro and led it right into the not quite so prepared raid. It was a slaughter. Hunter pets went crazy and attacked the Dragon as soon as it did a sweep of it’s tail.

It was glorious and forever shall be one of my most cherished WoW memories: the one time I got to stick it to the Alliance.

Guild Power Struggles

Back in WotLK, my guild was server firsting a lot of stuff. 25 Yogg 0 helpers, 25 Algalon, Realm First Grand Crusader. The works. Except that 25 Hard Mode Lich King was still up for grabs. At this point, there was a power struggle for the guild between the old veterans and the people who came in the guild but were active. The newer people wanted the GM (Who was there from the very beginning) to step down. This lead to basically a split down the middle.

Even though the guild was split in half, both sides were still progressing further than the other guilds in the realm. I was in the old school veteran half and we were progressing just slightly over the half that broke off by a boss. Then we hit 25 hard mode Lich King. Both halves were basically stuck there for a few weeks. And one long night, we were able to down him. Realm First, baby! Oh man, that feeling. I’m not sure how we would have felt if the other half got him down first.

Guild Power Struggles, Part 2, The One With The Underwear

During the Burning Crusade expansion, a guild I was in (KOA), was experiencing raid hate, jealousy, and such. The guild was imploding. I contacted our guild leader and requested we raid the Undercity only wearing our undies and such (no gear or weapons), as well as bringing our favorite cosmetic pet. About 100 of us stormed the area with our sole intent to shock Horde players as we ran around in undies with cosmetic snakes, kittens, and such. We died a lot, and laughed even more. A sense of love befell the guild attendees. There was also a sense that this event was a final goodbye. A week or so later the guild was no more, but our friendships remained intact. A few of us kept in touch within the game, but most everybody just slowly faded away. I left WoW cold turkey at the beginning of 2009 shortly after the Lich King expansion. I miss the Wow universe and the people I met tremendously. I really, really miss it all.

The Bug That Spread A Plague

That bugged DoT from that one Zul’Gurub instance where if someone had it during the run and teleported back to a city (basically Ironforge) it would spread to other players when they died. The whole city was wiped out in that epidemic.

A Sneaky Way To Avoid The Horde Enemy

When me and my friend friend first started in BC we were NElves and we went and hid in the bushes in front of the gate to the Barrens and when Horde came through we would ambush them. We killed so many. They then formed a posse and came after us so we were running for our lives and ran across a bridge and saw a low level guy picking flowers on the side of the road on the other side and we kept running without warning him. So the Horde posse chasing us beat him to death distracting them while we made our getaway laughing the whole time.

Lessons In Drinking And Playing

So back in old school vanilla WoW, you had to pay an escalating cost to respec. The more you did it, the more it cost (usually doubling) each time.

Money was hard to get - like seriously. It was a lot of money to get 100 gold together for something.

So my friendly neighborhood hunter logged in. He would play sober, drunk, whatever. He loved WoW PvP and got up to Lt. General.

I’d been ganked a few times that night in Tauren Mill, so he showed up and pretty much massacred everybody. He was also drunk as a skunk. So he keeps playing and I log out.

Next day I log in and he comes in about an hour later.

Me: HI!

Him: Oh god, what the hell happened last night, why am I in Tarren Mill?

Me: You saved me from gankers last night! It was awesome!

Him: Okay, I don’t remember any of that.

Him: My bars are messed up.

A little time rolls by and ...

Him: Oh my f*cking God, I respecced Beastmaster.

(The five of us on burst out laughing - Beastmaster was the worst spec in vanilla)

Him: It’s not even a good Beastmaster spec either! You CAN TELL A DRUNK PLACED THESE POINTS!

(And later to add insult to injury...)

Him: Oh sh*t, I don’t have enough to respec.

At that point in time, he was up to roughly 250 gold to respec. So he had to grind old dungeons for THREE WEEKS in his Drunken Beastmaster Spec.

Being A (Playful) Jerk To Your Friends

My favorite time hands-down was when I got my Warlock Felsteed mount. This was back in vanilla where amassing the gold to buy a normal mount took eons, and I was rooming with a bunch of college friends who all played WoW.

A friend of mine (let’s call him Zane) was stuck in the money grind for that mount. I had just finished the class quest and seized my Felsteed. First order of business? Greeting cards. :)

I proceeded to ride to various scenic locations and screenshot myself waving from my fiery demon horse, and started emailing these to him daily. “Greetings from Stromgarde!” “Wish you were here at Shadowfang Keep!” “Enjoy the lovely weather at Undercity!”

Hearing him curse me from the other room after each email is truly a precious memory.


New Years Eve Party one year in the canyon between Dun Morogh and Lock Modan, our entire guild got dressed up in whatever crazy gear they a Rogue I dressed all in Solstice Gear, looking more like a mage...etc. We all brought fireworks, kegs, part platters etc. Dancing showing off mounts, general frivolity. It had nothing really to do with the game but it was a really cool experience. Everyone got on guild chat and most of us were drunk at home anyway...good times.

Deciding Not To Give Up

Blood tank. Cataclysm. Firelands. It’s our last pull for the night. Boss is down to 7 percent. Bam, down go the healers. “Gah.. wipe it up, guys.” Don’t give up. I still have cooldowns. 6 percent - the DPS are gone. “Okay, wipe it up.” Other tank’s gone, but we’re at 5%. Guild lead: “C’mon, Kirre, just wipe so we can release.” Barely hear him. Focusing on timing everything just right. 4%. “...Kirre?” 3%. “...No way. No freaking way.” 2%. “Brb, rolling a DK.” 1%. The whole guild is chanting my name. And then... it happens. GUILD ACHIEVEMENT: FIRELANDS. I die IMMEDIATELY after. I’d BEEN dead two seconds before, but that’s what Purgatory is for. We won. After so many hours of trying, we won. My mind was exhausted. My whole body felt completely numb.

Enjoying The World

The first time I realized the sheer scope and size of the world. Which occurred as follows:

I was still around level 15-20, I don’t recall exactly. I was walking my happy human warlock ass across the bridge that connected the Wetlands and Arathi Highlands. I realized you could actually walk into the massive struts that were holding the bridge up, like a watchpost, or storage building. I was killing the mobs in my way, walking around, slowly realizing that they were getting stronger the further in I got.

This was around the point I realized that as a cloth user it was going to take FOREVER to get out of there, or I was going to get my squishy ass plastered by the mobs respawning behind me. I looked down the hallway and realized there was an open window, but there were 3-4 big orcs between myself and supposed salvation. I summoned my minion. I made him run into the group and then just took off running. I jumped out the window. I fell a few seconds and then hit the water... the water that I had only hoped was there.

Still one of my all time favorite gaming memories.

Growing Pains

My favorite WoW moment was playing the game at launch with my then-girlfriend. She took over my account after seeing me play it for five minutes, forcing me to go out and buy my own copy. She played a warrior, and for 25 levels she plowed her way through enemy after enemy. But things soon started getting tough.

“Have you been training?” I asked, slicing things up on my rogue.

“Yeah, of course.”

“All three disciplines?”

“Wait, three?”

It’s changed so much now, but at launch players had a long list of skills to learn every two levels, separated into three discpline—Arms, Fury and Protection were hers. But she’d not been scrolling down the list, and had only been training in Arms.

I laughed and laughed. Then at level 45 someone told me my rogue was supposed to have poison skills—from a level 20 quest.

Learning a new MMO is great fun, even when we’re stupid about it.

Against All Odds

One of my favourite WoW memories was back in Burning Crusade when I was playing a Resto Shaman, The Isle of Quel’Danas had just unlocked and I had joined a group to try and tackle the freshly opened Magister’s Terrace. This place was really tough for just normal mode, comparable to a lot of heroic dungeons (and this was back when heroic dungeons were actually damn hard), and the group I was in didn’t have the best of gear (we were a mix of dungeon and Karazhan epics). Me and this group had been working our way through, wiping on a number of the bosses, learning the tactics, and just enjoying the new content. The part I am proud of though is when we reached Kael’Thas. In phase 2 of this fight Kael’Thas casts Gravity Lapse and my group start freaking out, they couldn’t cope with having to swim and fight! They also couldn’t understand touching the floor was bad, and the big balls of lighting are bad! Needless to say, they all started dropping 1 by 1...and then it was up to me. Using kickass swimming skills, a full array of totems and some incredibly low dps, I was able to solo the boss from a pretty decent percent to death! My hands were shaking and my heart was pumping, and I couldn’t believe when his last hp dropped. After many cheers from party chat and after rezzing everyone, we looted the boss to discover that the brand new phoenix hatchling minipet had dropped! (mini-pets also being pretty damn rare back then). My group then proceeded to unanimously agree that I deserved the pet for my heroic deed in taking down the boss. I was touched at my party members, proud of the feat I had just achieved, and walked outta there with my very own phoenix hatchling following behind me :)

Against All Odds, Part 2

I don’t play WoW anymore, I went of it a while ago but since Pandaria suddenly appeared on my Battle.Net account I’ve been hesitating to go back and give the new Extensions a spin =P

Anyway, while a small story, this is one that will stick with me. Basically it was my second or third attempt at dungeoning (got immediatly kicked on my first one). I was a low level tank and still learning the ropes which meant that more experienced players didn’t always have the patience.

We were doing this underground dungeon (don’t ask for the name) with 2 experienced players and 3 noobs. And after we cleared the first boss, half of the party bailed (the experienced half) leaving me and two other noobs wondering why they didn’t want to clear the other bosses. We still had a Tank (me), a Healer and a DPS so we figured we could do it and ended up clearing the whole dungeon (though we had to take it a bit slow). All while chatting away and sharing one of those moments that you only get with strangers playing a MMO. It was very fun and a very good starting experience.

All in all nothing fancy but I guess its always little moments like that you remember. Nothing legendary but just the fun ones =)

Illustration by Sam Woolley

To contact the author of this post, write to [email protected] or find her on Twitter at @tinaamini.


Is there a story to Classic?

From my experience the story is more of a bunch of personal stories about the zones and its inhabitants. The neat part about it though, is it slowly builds up zone after zone and ties-in with a greater story arc (the AQ storyline is probably the best example of this).

In SW, for example, all the areas surrounding it are in turmoil and plagued by gangs or worse. The game does a good job of telling you the story through multiple peoples eyes and how they and their region are affected by this, leaving you to decide how you want to interpret it.

There is a good chunk of stories that branch off in relation to the corruption of leadership in SW.

You start off a dummy, not knowing anything. Everything you learn is through reading quests and the NPC’s.

In BC onward, that changes. We instantly are told who’s bad/good and the storyline begins to center around the key players, up to the point where you’re center stage or VIP to all the major events.

My only issue is I’m no longer just an adventurer who became a hero for slaying a monster. I’m now forced into (the illusion of) a lead role for the Horde/Alliance when in reality my character only wants to kill stuff for lewt. Screw the Horde and the Alliance. Power to the Forsaken.

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Shadowlands Launch Cinematic: “Beyond the Veil”
Shadowlands Afterlives: Revendreth
Shadowlands Afterlives: Ardenweald
Shadowlands Afterlives: Maldraxxus
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Visions of N'Zoth - Intro Cinematic
Battle for Azeroth — Embers of War
Battle for Azeroth Cinematic Trailer
Azeroth Armory: Doomhammer
Azeroth Armory: Warglaives of Azzinoth
Azeroth Armory: Ashbringer
Azeroth Armory: Cosplay Edition
Azeroth Choppers - Episode 1
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Azeroth Choppers - Episode 3
Azeroth Choppers - Episode 4
Azeroth Choppers - Episode 5
Azeroth Choppers - Episode 6
Azeroth Choppers - Episode 7
Azeroth Choppers - Episode 8
The Burdens of Shaohao Prelude: The Vision
The Burdens of Shaohao Part 1: Doubt
The Burdens of Shaohao Part 2: Despair
The Burdens of Shaohao Part 3: Fear
The Burdens of Shaohao Part 4: Anger
The Burdens of Shaohao Part 5: The Sundering
A Thousand Years of War: Part 1
A Thousand Years of War: Part 2
A Thousand Years of War: Part 3
The Tomb of Sargeras: Part 1
The Tomb of Sargeras: Part 2
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The Queue: The story of vanilla WoW
Welcome back to The Queue,'s daily Q&A column where the team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky be your host today.

I initially wrote an entirely different Queue for today, and then I came across Tim's question:
The two expansions have fleshed out stories that I understand to some extent, especially WotLK. This has led me to ask myself, what is the story of vanilla WoW?
That is an amazing question, and has lead me down a path to an answer I did not expect. While my answer took a good three hours to write last night, it was probably the most fun I've had writing in quite a while. So thanks, Tim.

My full answer is after the break.

I'll start off by saying that while I'm going to attempt to answer what the story of vanilla WoW is, it's really a question best left to The Man himself, Chris Metzen. In fact, I'll try something: Chris, if you're reading this, we'd all love to hear your answer -- drop me your email via the tip line and we'll get in touch. Perhaps we can do an interview about this and post it for everyone.

Okay, probably a snowball's chance in hell of him actually responding, but what kind of editor would I be if I didn't try?

I think the story of vanilla WoW is three fold.

One - Passing the Torch to a New Generation

The heroes of yesteryear are passing the torch to a new generation, and represent a significant part of the story in vanilla WoW. This new generation of heroes are not represented by an NPC in the game, but by the players themselves. As a player you develop your reputation from simple tasks of clearing out wolves in the relatively peaceful Elwynn Forest to taking down Ragnaros and defeating the old god C'Thun. This sets the stage for future stories where the heroes, the protagonists of the story, are more developed -- namely the overall story arcs of the Sunwell, Illidan, and Kil'jaeden from the ancient war in Burning Crusade, and the battle with Arthas in Wrath. I'll note here that Arthas has a definitive presence in vanilla WoW even now out in the Plague Lands, and even more so prior to Naxx's removal; but the real story with Arthas ends in patch 3.3 (we think).

Two - The Nation-State Reconstruction

Another story of vanilla WoW is about the consequences of the reconstruction of Azeroth from the third war. Approximately 4 years have gone by since Arthas and his scourage forever changed the face of the planet. We've seen old allies fall into strained relationships, and have seen new friends spring up from the most conflicting of groups. These varying relationships have led to nation-state interaction that propels the heroes (the players) into epic battles between factions like the Horde and the Alliance, and between the Dark Iron Dwarves and Bronzebeard's forces.

And while the aftermath of the third war and the subsequent reconstruction provides a great bed upon which to weave epic tales, the actual reconstruction and the eternal human spirit play a central role as well. Azeroth was devastated after Arthas. Land which was once green and fertile became gray and dead; creatures of the world found themselves corrupted by the evil force of the Lich King, and entire civilizations found themselves turned upside down with an attack directly on their capital (Lordaeron and Silvermoon)*.

In this way the compelling story of the successful yet difficult reconstruction is one that is able to connect with WoW's audience directly in their sense of nationalism (belonging to a nation), and of dealing with our world which was directly changed after the terrorists attacks of 9-11. No matter where you're from or what your particular political and social philosophy is, the 9-11 attacks somehow changed the way of life of your country. For Americans in particular, and indeed for any peoples which had to go through terrorism, there is a strong sense of having to deal constructively with these difficult situations. We must rebuild, we must make sure this doesn't happen again, we must never forget. Such are universal slogans in the fight against evil. Azeroth must rebuild, enemy and ally alike. Azeroth must make sure the Lich King is never able to wrought his kind of destruction again. Azeroth must not forget what he did, lest the Lich King is able to snake his way back into power over the peoples of the entire world.

This story and the feelings it presents reverberate deep within the primary audience which plays WoW now -- the 20 to 30 year olds who were young adults when the attacks and subsequent global terroristic outbreaks entered into our global consciousness. In many ways Azeroth represents a return to normalcy and strength. Concepts that, while we might not identify directly with it ourselves, we can at least identify with it on a nationalistic level.

And here too we reach the finality of such a reconstruction -- the ultimate triumph of good over evil. The Third War was evil. We outside the game will triumph over evil, just as our characters do in the game. At a very basic level this story is perhaps the most compelling out of all stories from all expansions -- and as detailed above, fits into the psyche of people so well today that it's uncanny.

Three - New and Emerging Threats

The Lich King, the Horde, the old gods -- all of those are old threats. The ancient war dealt with the great sundering and Queen Azshara, the first war dealt with initial conflict between the Horde and the Alliance as the Horde entered through the Dark Portal from Draenor. The second war saw continued conflict between the Horde and the Alliance. And finally in the third war we saw the Lich King assert his presence in the land. They are all very astounding tales of dramatic movement on both the individual level and national level, however they all represent relatively old threats.

In vanilla WoW, new threats emerge. While many of these new threats are the reemergence of old creatures like Ragnaros or C'Thun, they feel like the modern time is the right time for them to rise from the depths and become victorious over the people of Azeroth.

"Too soon, you have awakened me too soon, Executus!"

Even though Ragnaros is planning on taking over Azeroth, starting with making life from stone in Blackrock Mountain, he knows he's not yet made the necessary preparations. As new heroes of the land we have to go and stop this elemental lord of the age of the Titans, to stop this new threat from returning us to the evil that we saw during the Lich King.

This story can be repeated, more or less, for the events of AQ and ZG. Stop old gods (not the old gods, well, not always) from coming back into the evil-power-vacuum left by the Lich King.


The story of vanilla WoW is not as clear cut as BC or WotLK. It does however still provide amazing plots and adventures that hearken back to the very nature of an MMORPG; you face a world in which you have to fight against evil, struggling to win a battle that can never be won. The forces of the Lich King might be banished to fester in the cold north, but in his place other denizens of the underworld creep up and try to take his place. In an MMORPG, you are left forever defending your freedom and way of life against forces which attempt to end it.

In many ways vanilla WoW is the most compelling story of all the iterations of WoW, because it's the story of Humanity's spirit and relentless will to live.

I must insist that all comments are kept civil. The piece is here not to debate the merits of American hegemony or the democrats vs. republicans, but the story of vanilla WoW and its connections with all of us.

*I'd be amiss if I didn't note that I debated adding a fourth major story arc -- that of environmentalism. The night elves, tauren, and orcs have very strong and compelling story lines dealing with protecting or in someway acting as the agent of the earth. And while this story line is a major part of WoW for some, it's not for all. For instance Putress representing the undead for awhile seemed pretty hellbent on poisoning everything, including the land. And while the dwarves revere the land, they also like to dig a ton of it up. And the gnomes are particularly bad with their oil dropping out in the Borean Tundra. So while the story of environmentalism is there, it's not a major part of WoW yet, and it doesn't follow an overall path yet either (those stories about being pro-earth and anti-earth are not really connected). An example of a story having an environmentalism arc would be Lord of the Rings (the book version, not the movies) or Dune; and WoW doesn't have it to that extent yet.

Have questions about the World of Warcraft? The crew is here with The Queue, our daily Q&A column! Leave your questions in the comments and we'll do our best to answer 'em!

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Stories wow classic

The game’s story going into WoW Classic: What your hero needs to know

If you’re interested in WoW Classic you may be wondering what the game was about in those days. Who were the heroes, who were the villains, what was going on? And we’re here to help.

First, before anything else, watch this.

It’s been fifteen years since I saw that trailer and it still hits me right in the gut. It does an excellent job of setting up exactly what’s going on — four years after the destruction of Archimonde atop the slopes of Mount Hyjal thanks to the ragtag band of Orcs, Tauren, Night Elves and Humans who stood against him long enough to allow Malfurion Stormrage to blow up something — his default solution to any crisis involving the Legion, in this case the World Tree Nordrassil — the groups that once stood shoulder to shoulder have grown quarrelsome again.

The Horde

Under the leadership of their young Warchief Thrall, the Orcs have regained a sense of purpose. Their role in the victory atop Hyjal and the sacrifice of Grommash Hellscream has given them a new lease on life. Hellscream’s death in particular — striking down the Pit Fiend Mannoroth whose blood Hellscream was the first to drink in the pact between the Orcs and the Legion — has allowed them to regain their sense of pride, and they’ve settled in the harsh lands they’ve named Durotar on the edge of Kalimdor.

Joined with them are the Darkspear Trolls that they aided against a Naga Sea Witch on their trip from the Eastern Kingdoms; the Tauren, newly established in Mulgore, who allied with the Orcs after they were saved from a long slow extermination at the hooves of the marauding Centaur bands and their dishonorable hit and fade tactics; and the Forsaken, the undead residents of the Plaguelands, once the great Kingdom of Lordaeron that were betrayed and slaughtered by their own Prince as part of the plot that brought the Legion back to Azeroth.

This new Horde stands as a faction of those outcast from their homes or their former lives, banding together in the face of a hostile world.

The Alliance

At this point in the story, the Alliance is wholly different from the group that called itself that in Warcraft1 or 2.

Of the original Human kingdoms, only Stormwind remains — the others are either destroyed or have retreated from the world behind walls of stone or raw magical power, leaving the Humans of Stormwind as the sole representatives of their people. Joining with them are their old allies the Bronzebeard Dwarves of Khaz Modan who stood with them against the Horde invasion that drove them out of their home city and slaughtered their King years earlier. The Gnomes, dealing with their own people’s diaspora from Gnomeregan, join this Alliance as well, putting their considerable technological skills to work. To everyone’s surprise the newly discovered Night Elves from Kalimdor ally with the Humans of Theramore, an outpost led by Lady Jaina Proudmoore. This is in part due to the role of Grommash Hellscream in the death of their friend and patron, the Demigod Cenarius, and the continuing Orcish encroachment onto Night Elf lands.

We just can’t be friends

Over the past four years, events such as the Founding of Durotar and the attempt by Illidan Stormrage to use a powerful magical relic called the Eye of Sargeras to destroy the Lich King have caused these factions to eye one another with suspicion. While Lady Jaina and Warchief Thrall have attempted to negotiate some form of peace between them, the disappearance of King Varian Wrynn on his way to a summit with the Horde’s leadership has thrown Stormwind into chaos. The King’s young son, Anduin, is nominally viewed as the leader of the Alliance city, with his guardians Lord Bolvar Fordragon and Lady Katrana Prestor holding the reins of power in Varian’s stead. But this has done little to curb Stormwind’s woes, for neglect and outright rebellion from a group called the Defias Brotherhood have left Stormwind in disarray and the Alliance without one of its strongest members.

Meanwhile, the Horde has its own problems — between the machinations of Queen Sylvanas Windrunner of the Forsaken and the Tauren leader Magatha Grimtotem, there are undercurrents of rebellion and the Warlocks of the Burning Blade who dwell in Orgrimmar’s depths and infiltrate the Horde from within seek to make use of them to bring the Legion back to Azeroth. Thrall has to negotiate these currents, which goes against his forthright nature, and he entrusts his friends and allies Vol’jin of the Darkspear Trolls and Cairne Bloodhoof of the Tauren to aid him in this. While they are good friends and allies to him, neither of them are particularly gifted politically, and the Horde seethes with quarrels and rivalries for its internal enemies to exploit.

Seriously, we just can’t seem to get along

Then consider the anger of the Night Elves over the Orcish role in Cenarius’ death, the burning and harvesting of their forests, and the recent loss of Malfurion Stormrage. In Malfurion’s absence Archdruid Fandral Staghelm has risen to lead the Cenarion Circle — and argue against the leadership of High Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind — going so far as to create a new world tree, Teldrassil. This is an act Malfurion had expressly opposed and which has created the city of Darnassus, the first new city in countless thousands of years for the Night Elves.

Allied against Thrall’s Horde, the Night Elves are an uneasy partner with Jaina Proudmoore’s Theramore, a city that endured a Horde invasion during the period after the Legion’s fall and eyes the Horde warily from their island city.

Everyone is out to get us

As World of Warcraft opens, both the Alliance and Horde have divisions and conspiracies in their own ranks to deal with, and there are many threats to investigate.

The Dark Horde of the Blackrock Mountain, consisting of Orcs loyal to Rend Blackhand and those allies who flocked to their banner. The Dark Iron Dwarves who have seemingly kidnapped the princess of the Bronzebeard clan, and who mutter that the world will soon burn at the hands of the Firelord, Ragnaros. The machinations of the Black Dragons Onyxia and Nefarian, who work to turn the Alliance and Horde against each other. All immediate dangers that could rock the foundations of the world.

A host of other threats also seem to be marshalling their forces, from the strange insects known as the Silithid throughout Kalimdor to the undead forces of the Scourge, still serving the will of the Lich King, that rule both the Scholomance and Stratholme. The world of Azeroth may not be at war yet, but clearly, it’s only a matter of time.

This is the world you’ll be entering when you play WoW Classic — a world full of potential, both for good and for ill. A world about to return to its roots, one that needs heroes. And you’ll be those heroes, trying desperately to find Zhevra hooves or to unlock the mystery of why so many boars in Westfall don’t have internal organs.

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Filed Under: Alliance, Horde, Lore, The Story So Far, Vanilla Wow, WoW Classic

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