So I’m back in WoW. Vanilla WoW. The Emerald Dream private server that lets you play the original game circa 2006. The thought of playing on a private server has always been off my radar – I didn’t even consider it. The prevailing thought was that private servers are bad and I always held to that. But then I happened across this series of posts at TAGN and I was intriguied. Because it’s a free server that is updated by enthusiasts who aren’t making any money off it. So yesterday I thought about it, and mulled it over, and pondered the complexities of my feelings and then I thought … fuck it.

So I joined. That is I signed up to the site and then I went through the process of trying to download and install the program. After a muderous escapade through bittorrent, (never even used it before), and trying to work out what the hell a rwr file is, (I think I got that right), I got it done only to discover that I couldn’t launch it and that I needed another launcher, which I downloaded but I couldn’t get working, and then I was smashing my face against something hard when I found a video showing exactly what to do and I did it and it worked.

I got the original WoW launcher screen. With the music. Dom-da-da-dom-dada-dada-dom etc. Awesome. So I put in my detalis and it did it all and there I was at the character screen. So now the big question was what to do. Would I strike out for new lands and try something completely different from my original toon? Of course not. I made her exactly the same, I even gave her the same name with slightly different spelling as mine had already been taken, (dammit!) So I had my female night elf rogue all ready to go. And I entered the world and it was AS IT SHOULD BE!!!!! Goddam this was exciting, I’m even excited writing it. The same old clunky interface, how I could kiss you. Off to the key bindings to set everything to my mouse. I discovered that it has been so long since I seriously played this that I had forgotten what goes where. Sinister strike? What be this? Where did this go? But eventually I got it sorted out and I started the blissful progress of killing boars.

Until there was a familiar little sound and I saw some pink writing and I realised that someone had messaged me.

“Hi.”

How best to respond to this. Was I going to be dealing with a ten year old, a scammer, a ninja, or a combination of everything plus an abusive fucktwad?

“Greetings.”

That reply seemed perfectly neutral while communicating that I was most probably over the age of 12.

“Would you like to join up to do some quests so I don’t have to melee?”

And on it went. And so we joined up. He turned out to be a hunter but seeing as he was level 6 and had no pet he was finding it difficult. No facerolling here, bucko! This is old style WoW – no hand-holding, no little points on your mini-map to show you where to go, you have to READ THE QUESTS and actually work out things for yourself. It is fucking great. It is ten serves of awesome sauce with a slice of awesome pie thrown in. And we cruised around for a couple of hours, just the two of us, me and my new hunter buddy, and we took our time and made some mistakes and we had a great old time and I made a friend in a social world. After 10 minutes of joining, something which hadn’t happened in quite a long time when I was last playing.

Techincally I was very pleasantly surprised. The last time I played WoW I was in Europe but now being in Australia I was very concerned for lag. No problems there and my new buddy was playing from The Netherlands. A couple of little quest bugs but these were solved by dropping the quest and taking it again. Genral chat had conversations along the line of:

“Can someone help me with X quest?”
“Has anyone got any small pouches for sale?”
“Watch out! Horde are coming in!”

And on and on and on and all with a wonderful tinge of everyone being so happy to be where they were. No trolls, no abuse, just people appreciating a game for what it is.

I am at level 8 and I’m planning on doing the Wetlands run around level 12. If anyone wants to join me my toon name is Elizza. I’m back, baby, I’m back.

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