17 years ago, I was getting married to my soulmate, my partner in crime, Inge (aka Soforah). Much has happened since then, we’ve changed apartments a few times, we’ve moved to another town, Inge has found a new job… Some things haven’t changed, we’re still the same geeks who enjoy to game and watch TV together. Inge has changed my life for the best and I only wish to be as good to her as she is to me. I am a lucky man.
On the first of April 2000, I started working at my office. I had spent 2 years searching for a job in my hometown, without success. When I finally applied for jobs in Brussels, my employer (not sure I can disclose) contacted me for a one year contract. 20 years later, I still sit on the same chair.
The office has changed a lot in twenty years. At that time, people (me included) could still smoke while working. What a chocking sight it must be for nowadays folks to see a full ashtray beside the keyboard. By then, it was totally normal. There was only one computer for the entire office, no internet connection and no home-working. We had drinks every Friday afternoon and we were spending our lunchtimes at the pub next door.
I spent my first salary on a colour printer and the first picture I printed was a picture of Björk. Only three months later, I was moving to my first place, which was more of a studio than an apartment, but I loved it. I lived there alone for two years, I was playing a lot of Counter-Strike and drinking a lot of beer.
The world has also changed much. Everybody has a smartphone now, when I started working I was the only one of my office to own a cel phone, a Nokia 5110. I was still renting movies on VHS, video clubs have long been replaced by streaming services. Not everyone had internet at home, now it has become a necessity.
In 20 years, I got married to my soulmate , I quit smoking and I almost don’t drink anymore. However, even if the world around me has changed a lot, I haven’t changed much. PC gaming is still my thing, I still watch a lot of TV and I’m still more interested by Reddit’s most popular posts than by the news (which I still don’t watch).
It feels like yesterday that I entered my office for the first time, nervous and dressed with the suit I had bought for the university exams. The song I was the most listening to was Bouga – Belsunce Breakdown and my head was filled clichés from Matrix. While I realised that I am not Neo (I swear), my head is still filled with the same cyber-dreams as it was before.
I wonder what the next 20 years will be filled with. By then, I’ll probably be getting close to retirement, if such there’s still such a thing and if the world still exists…
Alternative Chat is doing a project where in honour of the 10th Anniversary of World of Warcraft, she is asking players from around the world to answer 10 questions about their experience of the game. Here are our answers:
I started playing World of Warcraft in April 2006, so for me it’s more like 8 years… Nevertheless, I’m glad to be part of something as awesome as WoW and I find alt:ernative’s project a great way to celebrate the anniversary of the greatest MMORPG of all times. So here we go:
1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?
I needed a game for my Easter holidays of 2006… We were about to have 2 weeks at home and we were stocking up on comic books and video games. I thought “why not giving WoW a shot?” After 10 minutes in the game, I knew that it would be different. Not only did the game filled my holidays, it gave me 8 amazing years.
2. What was the first ever character you rolled?
Ok horde friends, don’t be mad at me! It was a Night Elf druid (ouch! Not the face, please). I wanted a character that could do a lot of different things like melee, heal and cast spells. I often played as a paladin in games like Diablo, I wanted something different, something more “nature” than “divine”. But why a Night Elf? In that time druids could only be Tauren or Night Elf,… To be honest, I didn’t give it much of a thought, Taurens seemed too big, that was all.
3. Which factors determined your faction choice in game?
Well, as I’ve said Night Elves were the only choice for me as a druid. I didn’t know much about the lore, the other races, their cities,…
4. What has been your most memorable moment in Warcraft and why?
Even if I’ve had a lot of awesome moments in WoW: completing the world events together with my wife, my Sunday afternoons with low level Orcs (I had a thing for leveling Orcs on Sunday afternoons), healing during “Ragnaros server first” (vanilla), the one that will always come first is my first hour in WoW. Running in Teldrasil, discovering the landscape, the feeling of depth of the game, it marked me forever. I thought that the game was so huge, imagine my surprise when I found out that we could cross the sea and explore another continent… I will never forget.
5. What is your favorite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?
That’s a difficult one, it’s between healing 5-man dungeons and running after achievements. From a pure fun perspective, I’d say that healing 5-man is my ultimate favorite. I love dungeons, whether it’s in a dark cavern, an Defias hide-out or a dragon lair, I enjoy them all.
6. Do you have an area in game that you always return to?
That’s an easy one: Darkshore.
I’m attached to that place, I’m a sentimental. The colors, the trees, the sea, the quests (damn it Cataclysm: for love eternal, the absent-minded prospector, washed ashore), Darkshore will always have a special place. Now, if I had to chose a place to retire, it would be Winterspring… I would become friend with the Furbolgs and I would protect the Yetis from the careless levelers.
7. How long have you /played and has that been continuous?
I’ve been playing 271 days and 7 hours (omg, that’s 6511 hours o_O’) since april 22, 2006. My most played characters are my druid (70 days) and my hunter (71 days), the rest is shared between a lot of other classes. I haven’t rolled a monk (yet) and I’ve never reached max level with a priest.
There has been pauses, sometimes of a month and even once for 5 months (worst time ever!). It always happened when my main character was geared and I had no reason to go to raids anymore. The first sign was that I started to re-roll and switch classes every day, then every hour until I got mad. But things have changed, other games like Hearthstone and Diablo III are keeping me away from WoW burnouts. Also, I have now two mains now (hunter and shaman), it will take me twice more time to reach that “I have nothing to do anymore” moment.
8. Admit it: do you read quest text or not?
On my first run, I do. I’m a lore fan. I read the comics, I read the books, I read the quests,… I love stories and Blizzard is sooo good at story-telling.
9. Are there any regrets from your time in game?
Yes, I regret that I haven’t remained in one guild from the beginning. I would have loved to make real friends through the game. It almost happened a few times but the guilds disbanded because to GM was quitting WoW. As of today, I’m still looking for a guild where I could stay. Anyone from Draenor-Eu (Horde) reading this, if you’re searching for a funny couple of gamer to put some color in your chat, Soforah and me are available 😉
10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside gaming?
Passion is what WoW gave me and it changed everything. Before WoW, I didn’t have much in terms of passion, I was drinking and smoking a lot…
Spending more time at home to play WoW made me discover another lifestyle, more cozy. I’ve quit smoking and I don’t drink in the same way as before, now it’s more like going to the pub with my wife once a week to have a few pints like two orcs. Then we go to devour juicy steaks 🙂
Also, being a WoW player is being part of a commmunity with events, celebrations, things to be excited for, blogs to read,… The people around me in real life aren’t really gamers (with a few rare exceptions). I always felt sad not to be able to share my passion. WoW changed that, now I have barely enough time to read all the tweets and all the blogs, lol.
1. Why did you start playing Warcraft?
When I was younger, gaming in general was quite badly seen in the environment where I grew up in. Especially when you’re a girl. So, given the fact that it was such a taboo, I stuck to the good old paper and dice role playing games, which we could easily play hidden. It wasn’t until I met my partner in crime, my sweet husband, that I broke with that awful stigmatising world. Even though it took me 4 years of watching him explore that awesome world named Azeroth before I jumped on the Blizzard train as well.
The biggest reason I started playing WoW wasn’t to rebel against taboos, but because I love to explore new worlds and live adventures that make your creativity juices flow. I love lore and find the world of Azeroth both inspiring, and tremendously relaxing. My husband could always talk with so much passion about “the game” and he was always having so much fun that one day, I joined him on his adventures. On the 18th of February 2010 to be precise, was the day I asked my hubby if WoW could run on an iMac (quickly and gladly exchanged for a gaming pc). Since then I’ve been on a roll and became a big Blizzard fan.
2. What was the first ever character you rolled?
The first character I’ve rolled was a Night Elf druid. I loved the diversity of the druid. The shape shifting, the different specs,… it all had a lot of charm back then. Little did I know that there was a “Cataclysm” on the menu. Since that expansion, I lost my fun playing that character and rolled my new main, an Orc hunter.
3. Which factors determined your faction choice in-game?
Well, I started levelling my first character on the Alliance. I just loved the starting zones of the Night Elves. So peaceful, beautiful,… But, I quickly realised that I was fighting on the wrong side. I just prefer all Horde leaders above the Alliance ones. I prefer the capital cities from Orgrimmar (being my favourite) to Tunderbluff. And, most of all, I prefer the races. On the Alliance side, I always find it hard to roll a new character because I just don’t like the races while, on the Horde, I never can choose whether it’s going to be an Orc, Tauren, Troll,… I just love them all. So, yeah, “For the Horde” all the way!
4. What has been your most memorable moment in WoW and why?
I guess that would be my very first day in WoW. As a complete gaming noob and newbe, I found that huuuuuge world so overwhelming, I felt like Santa on xtc in Disneyland.
5. What is your favourite aspect of the game and has this always been the case?
Wow, that’s a tough one cause there are so many favourite aspects… hehe… (choices, not my strong point). I would say that exploring that huge open world full of quests (lore), collectibles, achievements,… is my favourite.
6. Do you have an area in the game that you always return to?
Darkshore! I love that place and if I could choose a place to live in, in-game, I’d build a little house there. I know, it’s an Alliance place, blame it on my first day in WoW, that day marked me… hehe. And, then there’s Winterspring! I love the snow, the cold, and above all, I love running around in those beautiful landscapes, pretending I’m making snow angels.
7. How long have you played and has it always been continuous?
Since 18/02/2010. On and off, the longest break I made was one of a few months. The usual reason is some real life crap that comes in between.
All my high level characters together (low lvl ones not included), I’ve played about 109 days of WoW (2616 hours)… well, and I thought that my 100+ hours spent in Skyrim would be an achievement?!
8. Admit it: do you read the quest text or not.
When it’s a new quest, yes. Like I’ve mentioned before, I love lore, but after a second or third time, I start to skip on reading them once more.
9. Are there any regrets from your time in-game?
At the beginning, I didn’t know the first thing about gaming. Hell, I couldn’t even run in a straight line with my character (-insert: you may laugh now-). So, needless to say that I was dead afraid to run dungeons or raids with my royal noobness. As if people could kick my ass for real through my screen or something, but later on, when I started being more at my ease, I kicked my own ass in stead, and now I even raid (something I swore one day I’d never do lol).
10. What effect has Warcraft had on your life outside of gaming?
A huge one. It may sound corny, but WoW has changed my life for the better. It helped me throwing my past luggage overboard and it gave me the chance to help breaking the taboos of being a gamer girl (still need to kick ass big time over this one, but it’s totally worth it). A few years back, I didn’t even dare thinking about telling anyone I was playing WoW, now I scream it from the rooftops and smash all naysayers under my size 6 boots.
Voilà, That’s pretty much our few years of adventures in a nutshell. If you are interested in this survey, we invite you to read this post on alt:ernative.