(From the Blog Azeroth Shared Topic Forums)
There’s something to be said for how many things I routinely find in Warcraft that just leave me sitting there with my jaw agape and eyes wide, enough so that I decided to start an entire blog based on the stuff I find. I rarely traverse the world by roads anymore because I never know what I might find. But what is there in this brave not-entirely-new-but-still-pretty-recent world that simply leaves me floored?
Well, the first time in my memory would still have to be the first time I ever entered Ironforge. Let’s go back to a younger, more innocent, and somewhat thinner Vrykerion back in November of 2006… Damn, I looked fine. But I digress, I had just gotten my copy of Vanilla WoW. This was after using the 10 day trial which the majority of which was spent as trying to get through the Night Elf starter zone with my perma-grimacing warrior (After six days, imagine my surprise when I dinged level 6 and walked out into Teldrassil proper. “Wait… There’s MORE?”).
But upon receiving my copy of the game and reading the manual (2 days later I would discard the manual to my bookshelf for all time for proving to be mostly inaccurate and useless) I decided that a hunter with a pet would be a fun choice for someone new. So I rolled a Dwarf Hunter. *dodges a bottle* What?! I didn’t know anything of the Hunter Stigma back then, or that ‘Warlockz R OP!’ when I rolled one of them when Burning Crusade came out. I like having a pet. It was neat!
After leveling my way to about level 11 and getting my new pet bear which I named ‘Phil’ (I would later get a boar named ‘Al.’), I wandered on up to the Gates of Ironforge. The moment that music hit as I approached the massive dwarven statue at the front door, I had to stop and stare. Before this, I had only known purple trees and lots and lots of snow, so this was absolutely amazing.
I took my time exploring every nook and cranny of Ironforge, running around the place maybe four or five times before I did anything else. I still think that first visit to Tinker Town was what inspired my long standing love of the Gnomish people. The city was huge, it was full of people (this was Vanilla WoW after all) and it felt like an actual epic city worthy of the fantasy genre. As opposed to say some Final Fantasy games where a ‘City’ is defined as having 10 people who apparently own 4-5 buildings each.
That was the first jaw dropping moment in the game, but it wouldn’t be the last however. Be it the moment where my I realized my heart was beating faster than a teenager in a slasher film as I wandered into Duskwood for the first time, or when I attempted to cross the Barrens on a PvP server (Stuck by the mountains the entire way to Thousand Needles, and even found a nice fort of Dwarves that I couldn’t interact with… cause they were there for the Horde to kill… which is kinda depressing if you ask me).
However the absolutely most memorable moment of jaw dropping shock and awe in the game wouldn’t happen till that Dwarf was level 38. When I finally figured out why hunters have guns and auto-shot. I was absolutely blown away when some explained to me that I was supposed to stand back, and shoot things, while Al the Boar fought them waaay over there. Up until that point I was just smacking things with my axe. For 38 levels. Of Vanilla WoW. Yea, I think you can officially consider learning that little bit of mechanics after two months, sufficiently awe-inspiring and mind-blowing.