This blog is part of a ten part series I am doing because I want to participate in the 10 Years: 10 Questions project.

There are ten questions that World of Warcraft players can answer.  Each one asks them to really think about their experiences in the 10 years since World of Warcraft began.  Players can use this experience to share their memories, thoughts, and even rants about WoW.

Question 3: Which factors determined your faction choice in game?

Oddly enough, I don’t feel like I really had to make an actual decision about which faction to play.  My brother, who was the person who got me into World of Warcraft, told me that he was playing Alliance.  He explained to me that I needed to roll an Alliance character too, or we would not be able to play the game together.  I don’t think he ever mentioned so much as the name of the other faction (which I later learned was Horde).

So, that was it, then.  I wanted to play the game with my brother, so I was going to roll an Alliance character. Done!  At the time, it never occurred to me to check out the Horde side, or to find out anything about it.  I basically let my brother choose which faction I would be.   As I mentioned in a previous blog in this series, I rolled a female Night Elf Hunter, and started playing.

I also noted in a previous blog that my brother quit playing WoW before we had the opportunity to play together. He strongly disliked the changes to WoW that were coming in The Burning Crusade expansion, and described it as “ruining” World of Warcraft. So, there I was, with a newly rolled Alliance character, all by myself.

I could have simply quit playing the game right then.  Once my brother quits something – he never returns to it. But, there was something about WoW that I was enjoying.  I liked the setting, I was starting to understand the game mechanics a bit, and it was so nice to be back in a virtual world again.  At the time, I was of the impression that the previous online game I had been playing, Meridian 59, had gone offline for good.  Why not stick around in WoW and see how things go?

In a previous blog, I briefly mentioned that I had a co-worker who was able to give me a code for a free trial.  I borrowed his WoW CD, installed the game, and used the code.  Once in a while, we would make jokes about WoW while we were at work – that no one else in the building could understand.  He was playing Alliance characters (but we were not on the same server).  I only knew two people who played WoW (or, used to play) and both were in the Alliance faction.

I ended up buying “Vanilla” WoW after my free trial ran out.  I distinctly remember the day when my co-worker told me that, oh, by the way, WoW has got an expansion coming out in a few weeks.  I was going to have to buy it if I wanted to keep playing (and access the new, cool, content).

This threw me off a little. I’d just bought the game. My brother never told me that the expansion was coming up this fast! There was no way I could afford to keep spending this kind of money on WoW.

My co-worker reassured me that this was the first time Blizzard put out a WoW expansion, and that there probably wouldn’t be another one anytime soon, or maybe not at all. I could have quit playing then, but something about the game made me want to stay for a little bit longer.

Looking back, I think I may have received The Burning Crusade as a gift.  I immediately rolled a female Draenei Shaman and named her Zoeie.  The name has significance to me.  It was the name I used on my first (and only) character in Meridian 59, and it was the name of the last character I played in Dungeons & Dragons.

The Meridian 59 character was… I guess a Warrior type character.  The D&D character was a Kensai (we were playing a version that my friends modified the hell out of).  I’ve no idea why I thought the newest incarnation of Zoeie should be a Shaman, of all things.

The screenshot you see at the top of this blog is the oldest one I have of Zoeie.  It was taken on October 14, 2007. She’s dancing at the very first Brewfest I’d ever attended (and is in the Exodar location for the fest.)  The top line of the chat box in that screenshot says “Welcome to patch 2.2.3.”

This time, I planned ahead and made sure to roll Zoeie on the server that my co-worker was on (Lightbringer).  The idea was that maybe we could play WoW together sometime, but that never ended up happening.

Our jobs had swing schedules, so we weren’t always online at the same time.  His characters were way higher than mine were, so I couldn’t go do the stuff he was working on in game.  Sometimes, we used the whisper part of the chat to complain about work – knowing that no one would be able to overhear us and tattletale to the boss.

For a long time, Zoeie was my main character in World of Warcraft.  I’ve always been a very casual player – never raided, didn’t play every night, never quite got her to the highest level (whatever it was at the time).

If I remember correctly, players had to choose a faction and stick with it back in The Burning Crusade (and in “Vanilla”).  You couldn’t have Alliance characters, and Horde characters, on the same server.  (If I’m wrong about that, blame it on my brother for not explaining better, and on me for never inquiring further about it).

I started as an Alliance player, and there I stayed for years.  Today, I have both Horde and Alliance characters, and I switch between factions often.

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