This blog is one that I am writing because I want to participate in the 10 Years: 10 Questions project.  Obviously, that means that I should have a ten part series when I am finished.  Ideally, I’d like to finish before the deadline, September 1, 2014, but I will continue the writing even it miss the cut off.

Each of the 10 questions asks players of World of Warcraft to look back at their experiences during the 10 years that World of Warcraft has been in existence.  Players are free to give any answer that they feel is appropriate for the questions.  I’ve barely begun working on this set of questions, and already, it has made me really think about what this game has meant to me and what I’ve done in it.

Question 4: What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?

Without a doubt, the most memorable moment in World of Warcraft was when my guild, Heroes of Lordaeron, went on a tour of all the places that were going to change after the Cataclysm expansion was released. I wanted to go with because I thought it would be something fun to do with my friends.

To my surprise, visiting places in World of Warcraft, together as a guild, actually was an emotional experience for me. Somewhere along the way, I realized that I was truly going to miss some of the places and characters that would be different – or gone – after the expansion.

My first though upon this realization was something like “Oh no! I’ve gotten attached to a video game world! My second thought was “When did that happen? How did that happen?”

I wasn’t the only one who got emotional as the night went on.  My friends and I were saying “goodbye” to the Azeroth that we knew, loved, and spent so much time in.  We knew changes were coming in Cataclysm, and had figured out what many of them would be.  Even so, it was hard.  Looking back, I suspect that subconsciously many of us realized that the guild we had formed together wouldn’t last.  The world was about to change.

We started out by gathering in front of Stormwind and traveling on from there.  The night ended after saying goodbye to King Magni Bronzebeard.  I remember that we had a plan for that.  Everyone would go into the throne room and line up in front of King Magni.  We all kneeled down for a moment.  Then we all stood up and gave Magni a /salute.

One by one, we each took turns walking up to King Magni to say goodbye to him.  I needed someone to teach me how to type an emote into the chat correctly and got completely flustered for a moment trying to make sure I did it right, knowing my friends were waiting and watching.  Eventually, I managed to type /hug.  I think all of us gave Magni a /hug that night.

A lot of us got really emotional during our little ceremony.  It felt like a funeral!  How was it even possible that all of us felt like crying about a video game character that was about to turn into a giant diamond?  It’s an NPC!  I had no idea how to cope with feeling an emotion this strong, this visceral, about a video game.  (Ok, a strong, visceral, emotion that wasn’t rage, that is.  That one I was used to!)

This experience made me realize that World of Warcraft was very important to me.  It made it clear that these friendships, made with people I’d never met in person, were as strong and as real as those I’d made with friends I’d known for years and hung out with outside in “the real world”.

Looking back, I think we were not only saying goodbye to the Azeroth as we knew it, but also to this sacred moment of connectedness that we shared.  Things changed after that night, and after Cataclysm.  But that moment was powerful and memorable.

The screenshots that you see in this blog were taken that night, November 22, 2010.  I’m the little gnome DK who started the night with a pumpkin on her head.  The first screenshot shows our guild gathering up for the “goodbye tour”.  The bear that is trying to eat my pumpkin head is Fridge, pet of Hansbrix the Hunter, who is my husband’s character.

Oops!  I fell through a wall!  How did that happen?

Sentinel Hill

I can’t remember where this grave was located.

The bridge at Lakeshire

Thousand Needles

Blackrock Depths

Badlands Crypt of Conan

This guy reminded me of The Skeleton King in Diablo.

On the Stonewrought Dam

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