It has been a very long time since I played World of Warcraft. Part of the reason has to do with the amount of hours I spend working. The result was I had a limited amount of time that I could devote to playing video games. The other reason is that ever since the beta of Diablo III came out I’ve been spending my time in Sanctuary instead of Azeroth.

There are so many things about Diablo III that make me want to log in, play, and go for “just one more level”. At the same time, I also missed playing WoW. Perhaps all I needed was a compelling enough reason to get back into it. That reason appeared in the form of the TrialMan Challenge.

The other day, I got an interesting email from the Chaos Portal podcast. It contained a quest: The TrialMan Challenge. The basic idea was to roll a character class and/or race that you don’t normally play and treat it as though it is the only character you have for 10 days. The purpose was to view WoW as a N00b once again, and get a fresh perspective on it. You also have to adhere to all of the limitations that a person who was playing the Starter Edition would have.

First, I had to figure out what race to play. I already had a Night Elf, Draenei, Human, Dwarf, and Gnome on the Alliance side. I had a Tauren and a Foresaken on the Horde side. I also had a Pandaren who hasn’t gotten out of the starting zone yet, and is currently on neither side (but is going to go Horde).

After thinking it over, I decided on an Orc. You can’t get any closer to “Classic WoW” than by playing either an Orc or a Human (and I already had a Human). Playing a Horde character would help bring balance to my collection of characters. I decided to make my new little Orc male, because almost all of my characters are female (the exception being the Pandaran).

What about class? There were three classes that I hadn’t played yet: Druid, Mage, and Paladin. When I started creating my Orc, I learned that they cannot be a Druid or a Paladin. So, the choice was easy.

Next, he needed a good name. Originally, I though I would spend some time playing around with a Klingon to English translator, and see if I could find anything that sounded good. Then, I realized that a player who was brand new to WoW might find it easier to just have the game randomly generate a name for them. Eventually, I found one I liked, and Nazuga the Orc Mage was born!

Orgrimmar looked a lot different than I remembered it. This is a screenshot from the opening cinematic.

Ready to start! The first quest is… to go talk to that other Orc over there.

I clicked on the screen ahead of Nazuga, but he didn’t move. So, I clicked again. Oh, right… you have to use the arrow keys to move your character around in WoW. I forgot!

Nazuga spent most of his time today getting quests from Gornek, “He Who Never Gets Up”.

Off to slaughter some boars. I used to find these type of quests to be boring, but this time, it was fun!

It became obvious that I had no idea what I was doing as a Mage.

Fortunately, it didn’t take very long to get better at it.

While I was working on the boar quest, I got my first /whisper from someone I didn’t know. Whoever it was sent me a guild invite at the same time. The rules of the TrialMan Challenge state that you cannot /whisper a player unless he or she /whispers you first. This allowed me to respond with a /whisper. I said I was doing the TrialMan Challenge, and wasn’t allowed to join guilds yet. I bet that confused him!

I took this screenshot because I liked the look of this circle of stones.

Ding! Level 2! This happened about 25 minutes or so after I logged into WoW.

Nazuga got some Mottled Bracers as a quest reward. I opened up his bag, and starred at the upper right hand corner of the screen, fully expecting his character sheet to appear so I could equip it. Why didn’t that pop up? It’s supposed to be right there! Oh… wait. That’s where it pops up in Diablo III.

It took me a moment to remember that in WoW you have to open the bag and then click a separate button to get character sheet to open up. Right. (I made this same mistake every time I tried to equip something on Day 1).

The new Mottled Bracers looked pretty cool!

I found the Mage trainer!

Oh, you’re the other mage, the new one, the one with the big arms.

Not sure if the NPC is hitting on Nazuga, or if she was just expecting a puny Orc.

Time to go kill some humans. I’d gotten better at this whole Mage thing by then.

Killing the giant scorpions went faster than I expected.

Ding! Level 3! This happened about 35 minutes after I logged in.

At first, I though the Venom Imbued Robe looked awesome…

…until I realized that if you put a black robe with green accents on an Orc with green skin, it produces the “hospital gown” optical illusion. (Gonna have to get a better looking robe as soon as possible).

Freezing the Training Dummies had an unexpected result. Aim at one, and freeze all three at once.

PandaCat wants nothing to do with Nazuga.  (Gato is the Spanish word for cat.)

Nazuga hit Level 4 while fighting a giant scorpion named Sarkoth.

Progress: Level 4
Location: Valley of Trials (Orc starting zone)
Deaths: zero
Time Spent Playing: About 2 hours

I am concerned that I might be leveling too fast and may hit level 20 before the 10 days challenge ends. If so, then I guess I get to figure out how to play without gaining any xp (experience points).

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