Today it’s all about me. It’s a glimpse into my past in World of Warcraft; a look at where it all began for me.
I don’t really know why I decided to write about this, only that I did and now here we are. So today I’m going to talk about my early days in WoW, the characters it all started on. I was a noob once, and I’m not afraid to admit it. I’ll even let you in on some of my early noobness just so you can have yourselves a good chuckle at my expense.
First Toon: Alliance
I honestly don’t have the foggiest idea what my first toon was. The first one that I actually rolled to see if this game would be worth playing? I have no idea what it was. I would assume that it was a caster of some kind since that’s normally what I play, but I really don’t know.
The first toon I actually leveled and that I do remember though was a Night Elf Hunter. His name was Talenis if I remember correctly, and I believe it was on the Sisters of Elune server though I could definitely be wrong on that since we played on a lot of different servers when we started out.
I was playing at the time with my wife and one of her friends who got us started playing in the first place. She was mainly a Horde player on Blackwing Lair, but she wanted to play around on Alliance a bit so we tried it out instead. I don’t remember a whole lot about those toons except that we got them up to level 20 and that we died at least a dozen times by drowning to death while doing some stupid quest to get something from a sunken ship. We kept getting into combat with the mobs that were down there and having to wait for the items to respawn after one of us was able to loot it and then we’d try to swim back up and die. Back then you only had 60 seconds, I believe, unless you were and Undead.
Talenis tamed a cat first because they could stealth and that was cool. I’m pretty sure I named it after one of the many endearing pet names I have for my wife, but I can’t recall for sure. I don’t think I ever tamed anything after that first cat though, mostly because I didn’t know that I could, how to do it, or what the benefit might be of doing so. I don’t even know what spec he was, honestly, or if I even spent any of his talent points…ever.
I remember doing a lot of melee combat with that hunter though, and Raptor Strike was one of my main buttons on my action bar because of that. I didn’t know I was supposed to kite things (or what kiting even meant), I just figured I was supposed to switch to melee once things got close to me since I had attacks that were used for melee.
After we got to level 20 our friend talked us into starting new toons over on her main server, and that was more or less the last I ever saw of Talenis.
Second Toon: Horde
The character that I started up on the Blackwing Lair server was a Troll Shaman named Zurajin. I’m pretty sure I was Enhancement, but I had no idea how I was supposed to play it so I was basically Elemental without the talent points to back it up. My wife was playing a Holy Paladin and her friend a Prot Warrior, so I was DPS of some kind and doing my best to kill things.
I don’t think any of us really had a clue what we were doing except for my wife since she’s sort of a natural when it comes to healing. Our friend didn’t really know how to tank and me pulling threat wasn’t just a common occurrence, it was a freaking guarantee. It happened so many times that I often got a “know your role” tongue lashing from my wife for not letting the tank do her job. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong though. Aren’t the DPS supposed to cast Lightning Bolt and Earth Shock before the tank has any Rage? It was my job to kill things fast, wasn’t it?
Eventually I learned that my role was to sit there and do nothing for a while when combat started, and then go finish them all off. That worked out pretty well, but it was incredibly boring. To ease up my boredom I’d just go ahead and heal the tank while I waited for my queue, but then I was stepping on my wife’s toes and taking her job away. And just to warn you now, taking my wife’s job away is a very, VERY bad idea. Don’t step on my wife’s toes; you’ll make her angry.
Life as a clueless Enhancemental Shaman was hard.
A Leave of Absence & a Return
I believe we got our group up to level 32 or 33 on Blackwing Lair when my work schedule really started taking off and overtime set in. I didn’t have much time to play at home and my long hours made my wife bored which meant that she and her friend started leveling their toons together and leaving me behind. They asked me if I would mind first, and of course I told them no since there was nothing I could do about it and I didn’t want to hold them back.
I don’t remember how long of a break I took, probably about a month of little to no playing at all, and then another month or two of trying to play on my own. We had left off in Arathi Highlands and me being clueless and used to having two other people there to help me with mobs, I got the crap kicked out of me repeatedly. I managed to get him up to level 35 or 37 (I forget) before I decided to just give up on him. It had been so long since I’d last really played him that I didn’t know what the heck I was doing anyway.
I knew then that I was going to roll a new toon, and I decided it was time to go back to my roots of being a caster and just go with a Mage this time. I also knew that I wasn’t going to be Alliance again because I liked the new server and guild better. Thinking back to my Alliance experience though, and the many deaths by drowning, it was time to embrace my personal roots as well and roll an Undead.
Psynister, the Character, is Born
My RPG gaming roots really started to develop when I was nine years old and my mom bought me the 1st edition AD&D Player’s Handbook at a garage sale for 25 cents. It all began with that single purchase. It’s why I like to read fantasy, it’s why I’m a gamer, it’s why I’m a computer programmer, and it’s essentially what allowed me to meet my wife as well. That one, simple purchase at a garage sale pretty much set the path for most of my life.
My favorite character type to play in D&D is a Necromancer. There’s something about being a nice guy in real life that makes me enjoy playing the nasty, mean characters in RPG’s. Not necessarily evil, just being able to have a mean side. It’s therapy, I guess, being able to let out some frustration on imaginary creatures.
So since Necromancers don’t exist in WoW, and neither did Death Knights at the time, I rolled the closest thing I could which was an Undead Mage, Psynister.
That toon I leveled all by myself since my wife and her friend were already nearing Outlands and there was no way I was going to catch up. Playing a Mage on a PvP server taught me a lot of things: how to die, how to get ganked, how to gank other people, how to get so frustrated at sucking that you look online for tips and how-to’s. And that last one is what really lead me to basically everything I do in relation to WoW today. By searching online I found out what kiting was and what AoE grinding was. I learned how to use the advantages of my class against other players in PvP, and tricks to break certain types of CC so that I could avoid getting ganked myself.
That was the real turning point in my WoW career, where I stopped being a noob and learned how to actually play. It’s also what taught me how and where to do my research so that I didn’t have to be a noob. The internet is your friend.
Psynister, the Blogger, is Born
My research on AoE grinding lead me to find WoWHobbs on YouTube, which is where I got my desire to level my first Prot Paladin, and leveling the Paladin is what got me started on blogging as well. That Paladin’s name was Palasyn and I think he made it to his mid-40’s or so before I abandoned the server and the toon forever.
Hobbs’ videos though are what inspired my main on the new server, Lexington the Prot Paladin. After leveling Palasyn by being powerleveled by guild members I found out that really kind of sucked for blogging and letting people know how it was done, so Lexington is really where my blogging started to take shape and become what it is today. I sucked even more at blogging than I did at playing WoW when I first started up, but I’m glad that I can go back and read my first writing and just shake my head at just how horrible I really was.
I had no idea how to record videos or make them decent quality, so I had to go with blogging. I honestly don’t remember which blogger it was that taught me how to kite and AoE on my Mage, or I’d give them credit for it. They don’t blog anymore that I’m aware of, but I would give credit where it’s due if I were able. But that blogger is who inspired me to go ahead and blog rather than make some failed attempt and making videos which I’m sure I would have given up on long ago.
The rest of the story I’ve told in bits and pieces here on the blog and on podcasts that I’ve been on as well. It’s not really that great a story from here on out unless you’re interested in finding out what Psynister Psyndrome is and where it got started, or how I went from being a hardcore Horde player to Alliance. All of those are stories for another day, I suppose, and this is supposed to be about my beginning anyway.
I don’t know what in the world inspired this post, and there was more or less no structure or planning to it at all, but here you have it. That’s the story of where I got started and how things happened that lead up to me being who I am today. At least so far as WoW and blogging are concerned.