The WoW I'm a Cow Experiment

After years upon years of World of Warcraft bashing, I took the plunge.  Hello, my name is Rowanheal and I'm a cow, er, Tauren...oh please people it's a cow. An old gamer friend of mine has been waxing poetic about WoW forever in a day.  I've received phone calls, text messages, Xfire messages, IM's, emails and so forth listing all the reasons I needed to experience Azeroth.  I finally rolled a 1 on my will save and decided to give it go when Blizzard ran a special on the digital download.  $5.00 for the basic game.  It was less than the price of a meal at my favorite greasy fast food chain.  If I hated it, I could at least save myself from the constant "Please come play WoW" invitations.

He did some kind of personality/class quiz over the phone with me while I waited on my game to download.  I am apparently the perfect druid.  Considering I've played a druid almost every time I roll a character for PnP, this wasn't a huge shock.

I was then given a list of 30 or so add on's that were simply REQUIRED to play WoW.  My head was spinning around,  and I had yet to create a character.  I joined Curse.com and began the process of downloading all the add on's.  I wish Curse worked with other games.  It's a fabulous little program that keeps track of all the add on's and let's me know when they have been updated.  I'd like it for EQ2, DDO and LOTRO.

I would love to give you all a feel for what all of the add ons actually do, but to be honest I don't have a bloody clue.  I can say I am using the Spartan UI, Carbonite, Auctionator, Hear Kitty, Zelda loot, Bagon, Healbot, Scrap,Deadly boss mobs, and a ton more that I can't keep track of.  I think they help this n00b understand a little more of the technical side of the game.  Probably.  Perhaps it is just muddying the waters.

Before I would even log into the game, I attached an authenticator to my account.  I have had gaming friends who have messaged me about how their accounts have been stolen.  In fact, when WoW came out in 2004, I bought a box and tried the game.  I lasted for 3 days before I clicked DELETE.  That account was stolen 4 years ago by a gold spammer.   I know because Blizzard was nice enough to contact me with my perma ban :D

After trying to create enough security to keep even the CIA out of my WoW account, I pressed play.

I was told I would be a Horde player since my friend was.  There are two factions in WoW.  Alliance and Horde.  I  don't know why they don't like each other.  I don't know how there came to be two sides.  I only know I am horde.  *shrugs*

I'd been counseled that in order to make a raid worthy druid who could tank and/or heal, I would need to be a Tauren.  I dutifully built, named and logged in with the new character and realized I was a cow!

CowMount
CowMount

Yeah, it's a cow on a horse.  It's hard to get immersed in a game when you're a cow.  I simply don't have the roleplaying skills to convince myself a cow should even be walking upright, much less riding a steed.

I found the starting area easy enough.  I can button punch with the best of em, and I was soon through the starting area into the great big world.

It was about level 10ish or so where I began to lose grounding in the game.  Friends power leveled me through dungeons, flew me through the world, and held my hand periodically. At the time of this writing I am level 64.   I have seen very little of the game outside of the dungeon system.

I will say, the random dungeon engine is pretty darn fabulous.  You can queue up for a dungeon from anywhere in the world.  The finder connects players cross servers, cutting down on the dreaded wait time for a group.  If you are in a party,  you will go into the random dungeon and be joined by enough members to make a group of 5 for the instance.  It's a painless and beautiful thing.  I adore it.

The experience and gear attained through the dungeon system has made questing seem like a HUGE grind.  I can't do it.  I might for an hour while doing laundry or making dinner, but as soon as chores are done, I'm going to do a dungeon.

My biggest fear for WoW had been the pervasiveness of douchbaggery.   I can say I've been there, done that and I need a T-shirt.  It truly does suck butt to be in a dungeon and have the little twerps utilizing their new found curse vocabulary,  whining and generally making an ass of themselves.  What helps is the ability to vote as a dungeon group to kick the little brat so you can get back to soaking up insane xp and loot.   It's doesn't happen alot, and I can say if there are a ton of under 18 peeps playing WoW they are good players who know how to shut up.

I am currently playing my druid as a feral kitty.  I can DPS like a mad woman.  Being able to shapeshift into my kitty means I don't have to stare at a cow's behind the entire time I am gaming.  Not to mention, she's just terribly fun.  I've found the rhythm to bleeds, rips and shreds.  I can pop out of being a kitty to do a spot heal or two if things seem to be going south in a group.  I can rez.  I love the versatility.

Kitty
Kitty

I can also shapeshift into a bear and a bird.  It's just cool.

Bear Tank
Bear Tank
Birdy
Birdy

So am I enjoying it?

I am for the most part.  I knew going in I was going to use my experience to write a series of articles for the website.  The Great Cow Experiment. :D  My uncommitted play style maybe allowing me to simply poke the big WoW beast thus avoiding being consumed.

I am not getting the shakes to run to my computer and play WoW.  I did however buy all the expansions including the newly released Cataclysm.  When I hit level 60, I wanted a flying mount, so I just pressed buy and got on with it.  I play maybe once a week for 6 or 8 hours when my friend has time to duo.  It's not MY game, but it is a game I am playing and I refuse to be ashamed of it.

Is it going to stop me from playing DDO?  Not a chance in hell.  It just hasn't hit my sweet spot like DDO continues to do.

Am I seeing the appeal WoW holds over 12 million players?  Not really.  I haven't reached raid level, nor am I geared to raid, so maybe I will feel the pull once I hit 85.   I'll let ya know.  For now, the skinner box in WoW is an epic fail.  I am playing because I am enjoying playing with an  old gaming pal, and I like ripping things apart with my kitty.

Stay tuned for more on my cow in the coming weeks as I learn my way around Azeroth.  It's turning out to be quite a ride.

Game on!!!