I’m playing a bit of catch-up in #Blaugust after being in Phoenix for a couple of  days, so here’s the rest of @AlternativeChat’s Ten Years Ten Questions survey.

5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?

I always have trouble picking favorites. PVE is where my heart is really at, because I love working as part of a team, but obviously that takes a lot of different forms. I think that’s been the case from the start, but what’s changed is my ability to do the kind of PVE I enjoy. Since almost all of my friends have left the game (and what few friends who remain are die-hard Horde players whom I can’t play with because faction) my ability to do the kind of content I like has been dramatically curtailed. And finding a new crew to do that kind of play with is pretty hard given how erratic my playschedule has become as a result of being a stay-at-home parent. I really want to do Challenge Modes (I’ve loved what limited chances I’ve had to do them) but I lack a team.

6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?

I wish I had more reason to go back to Grizzly Hills. I expect that I’ll be coming back to the Valley of Four Winds very frequently after WoD starts up, if just to help me automate Royal Satchel production. There are a lot of places in the game that I like the look/sound of, so again, it’s hard to pick a favorite place.

7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?

Time played on my priest main is 196 days and 6 hours.

Time played across all of my current remaining characters is 292 days and 10 hours. There have been some deletions of bank mules and profession toons I grew tired of, but probably not a notable amount of time.

I’m not sure what “continuous” means in this context; my sub has never dropped since I started playing, and while there have been periods where my priest was not really my main (we had three priests in a 10-man team at one point and it just wasn’t feasible for any of us to progress, so I switched to an enhancement shaman) she’s been a continuously-played character.

8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?

I totally read quest text. There’s a number of reasons: first, I love the story of Warcraft (warts and all) and quest text is the primary delivery method for that. Second, it’s pretty fun to try and extrapolate the quest objectives from reading the quest text as opposed to just reading the quest objective text. I imagine that’s a pretty challenging element of composing quest text.

9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?

I regret not doing the Benediction questchain when it was current content. I regret completely missing out on the Rhok’delar chain for hunters. I regret all of the raids I couldn’t do when they were current content, but I recognize that has everything to do with who I was playing with more than anything else.

10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?

I wouldn’t say that Warcraft has had a dramatic impact outside gaming (though “gaming” is a bit of a vague term here). I’ve made some new friends whom I’ve met outside of the game. I’d say Warcraft has had a dramatic impact on my gaming life, since my playtimes in other games have really shifted around, and WoW is the game I come back to when I’ve wrapped up a Final Fantasy or something else.

It’s nothing like the stories you hear about people meeting their spouses in-game; my wife isn’t really a gamer, and while I have a lot of friends who game, most of them have fallen out of love with WoW. However, because of geography, I wouldn’t have seen them outside the context of the game anyway.

Probably the biggest impact Warcraft has had on my life is how it’s driven me into blogging and becoming a part of BlizzPro. While BlizzPro, as a fansite, is really centered on gaming, it’s also done a lot to help me learn about my writing. It gets me closer to my dream of working at Blizzard, which while that too is obviously still gaming-related, it’s also employment-related. In a lot of ways, gaming is my life’s work.

Warcraft is not merely a game, or a pastime, or a hobby for me; it’s this titanic object that serves as a sharpening stone for my skills as a writer, as a designer, and as an analyst. It helps that it’s a fun game and that it’s something that I don’t need a crew to play. However, I should point out that Warcraft has not become a way of life for me: my day doesn’t center around what I’m trying to do in-game, and while it’s an object I use to hone my skills, I have other objects I can turn myself to, whether that’s other games or film or literature.

When it comes down it, my life would be pretty different if I’d chosen to stick with FFXI all those years ago, or if I’d followed my friends away from WoW when life events drew them all elsewhere. As it stands, though, I like the path I’m on, and it’s a path I plan to walk for a pretty long time. I hope that what I write here at PW:R and elsewhere continues to entertain and inform. ^_^



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