This blog is part of the series I am writing because I want to participate in the 10 Years: 10 Questions project. World of Warcraft players are asked 10 questions about their memories of, and opinions about, World of Warcraft.  The game has been around for 10 years now, and it seems fitting to reflect upon it with 10 questions.

I’ve done some blogging about WoW before I decided to answer these ten questions.  However, this is the first time I’ve tried to do a series of posts about WoW where the emphasis was on the writing instead of the screenshots.  That’s new!  I’m unsure if I will continue this style after I finish the ten questions.  Right now, it’s a fun challenge.

Question 5: What is your favorite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?

Without a doubt, my favorite aspect of World of Warcraft (WoW) is exploration.  There’s a lot of stuff to see on Azeroth!  I’ve always been impressed by the sheer amount of detail that has been put into the environments in the game.

The screenshot I selected for this blog sums it up in one image.  It shows Zoeie, my Draenei Shaman, out at night exploring an area that was somewhere near where the Taurens lived.  Off she goes!  The screenshot was taken on July 13, 2009.  Zoeie was my main for a very long time.

In Azeroth, as in “real life”, I enjoy taking the time to look around and explore the world.  I’m not one for what I call “mandatory fun”.  By that I mean I’d rather take my time, following whatever path interests me at the moment, than doing what one is “supposed” to do.

For example, I’m not big on amusement parks where the situation is formulaic.  Go in.  Stand in line.  Ride a roller coaster (or other ride).  Repeat!  It would be more fun for me to sit on a bench and “people watch” for a while, or to take photos of the bright colors that are on the rides.

I like walking around when I’m on vacation and seeing what there is to see.  The idea of standing in line, repeatedly, in the sun does not appeal to me.  I’m not interested in the “thrill seeking” aspect of riding a roller coaster.  However, I am aware that amusement parks are the types of things that many other people enjoy – and I have no problem with that.  Everybody has their own idea of “fun”.

In Azeroth, I also tend to avoid “mandatory fun”.  Sure, I will do some questing when I feel like it.  But, I’m not particularly concerned about if I complete an entire quest chain, or how long it takes me to do so.  I’ve been known to drop some quests that I had not finished because I found some new ones that I’d like to try that day.  If my adventure takes me back to wherever I picked up the quests I dropped, I might give them another try.  If not, that’s fine.

The majority of my time spent in WoW is in exploration.  What’s over there?  Is there anything inside that cave? How many floors does this building have?  Will the non-player characters (NPC’s) have something interesting to say?  I have followed the pug that runs around Stormwind for no other reason than to find out where he goes.

I have given myself the opportunity to seek out some of the locations that Skolnick mentioned in his amazing and inspiring Warcraft Less Traveled podcast just to see if the things he mentioned are still in the game long after a particular episode was posted.  The ability to “chose your own adventure” in WoW is extremely appealing to me.

That being said, playing the game the way I do, with an emphasis on random exploration, is not an effective way to gain experience points.  None of my characters are at maximum level.  I’m not super concerned about if they get there or not.

Sometime after I started playing WoW, my husband joined the game.  He and I spent a lot of time exploring Azeroth together. His idea of fun matches mine, both in Azeroth and in the “real world”.

Neither of us will ever be hard core WoW players or raiders, or the players with the best possible gear.  We don’t really care about those aspects of the game.  For us, it’s more about seeing what’s on the other side of the mountain, discovering how far out you can swim before hitting an invisible wall, and finding the small, “less traveled” places in the game.

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