World of Warcraft

First Impressions as a complete WoW newbie (I subbed to play the WoW Classic stress test)

wow4 - First Impressions as a complete WoW newbie (I subbed to play the WoW Classic stress test)

Disclaimer: I’m exhausted from playing for so many hours. Typos, grammar and punctuation fails up ahead. I appreciate your patience.


I missed out on the WoW scene back in the day. I was too busy playing Toontown Online and MapleStory in 2004-2005. Dabbled in RuneScape a bit as well. But I never jumped in on WoW because I couldn’t run it on my computer.

Jump forward a few years and my friend introduces me to Warcraft III. I fell in love with it because of the atmosphere, the art style, the music and the lore. (I only ever played “War of the Ring”, as far as RTS games are concerned)

Playing Warcraft made me itch to play WoW, but again, my computer couldn’t run it. So up til now I have spent all these years wishing I could be a part of the epic journey everyone talks about. I found myself watching “viral WoW videos” so I can get a taste of it. Every expansion made me jealous, and I longed for the community that I heard people speak so fondly of.

Years passed, I grew up, got a better computer, but never jumped in. I read OG WoW players complain that the current game isn’t what it use to be. I coveted the fact that they actually got to experience Vanilla AND long for it. I have always felt like I missed out. And I know that when an MMO changes over time, you’ll never get that same early vanilla experience. So it felt like that ship had sailed.

Until WoW Classic was announced! Skip ahead to today and I tell myself I’ll take the plunge. I literally paid for a subscription 10 minutes before the stress test today so that I can jump in and see what I missed out on all those years ago.

My Impressions:

This is going to be a bit scattered because it’s super late and I just finished playing for an unholy amount of time.

  1. Started a Tauren Hunter in lucky Realm 13 (I think you can see where this is going)

I intentionally chose Realm 13 because I spit in the face of superstition. My old license plate had “666” on it just by happenstance, and I didn’t ask for a different one, because again, I spit in the face of superstition. (Also I’m born again. Checkmate, devil!) Well, I hit the ground running, was surprisingly advancing faster than most folks that started at the same time. Then boom! Disconnected. Realm Offline. Tried logging in for around 30 minutes before finally giving up. Ps. I checked again before writing this post, and it looks like the entire Realm was deleted, along with my character. RIP 🙁

  1. Take 2! Started a Human Paladin in Realm 3. I don’t want to play PVP, but only 2 PVP servers were up and running at the time, so I’m stuck with it.

There were waaay more folks in this Realm/Area, presumably fellow Realm Rejects spilling over. This was way more exciting because it felt very lively. I got my 1 quest to defeat some sort of vermin bois near a cave to the north of the abbey, so off I went.

I spent sooo long trying to kill them. Everyone seems to be ranged, so it’s difficult for me to run up to them in time. Especially because the area was SWARMING with fellow noobs all on the same task. It became near impossible to complete it. But I spent a ton of time grinding, and patiently waiting for each spawn. I made sure to follow this WoW Classic Etiquette guide I watched last night, so as to not step on toes. I didn’t want anyone saying I was kill stealing or “ninja looting”. No problem, I’ll invest the time to complete this quest ethically. Fast forward 40 minutes later… I find out I have been killing monsters that LOOK like vermin, but are sneakily named “worker” (or something) instead of “vermin”. Fail. No wonder I wasn’t getting any quest drops or whatever the quest was.

  1. Plan B. I learn that I have a healing ability. SWEET! I’ll run around healing people. So I did exactly that… for 1.5 hours.

I learned that a lot of folks needed heals at this future quest site to slay some their operative and obtain his head for turn-in. So I camped on a hill next to the house and healed everyone that needed it. I don’t think I got an experience points for it, which kind of stinks, but I met a handful of friendly folks. One guy in particular gave me free chain mail armor which drastically improved my defense. (Thanks, dude!) That was super kind of him, and I wish I had friended him so I could remember his name.

I spent a a LOT of time doing this. Mostly because it was cool helping and swooping in to save folks. But also, the vermin quest seemed futile. But alas! I ventured back to the vermin area and it seemed almost desolate compared to earlier. Now was my chance!

I completed the vermin quest, and then rapidly completed all remaining quests in that starting area because I basically had the map memorized at that point from all the healing I did.

  1. Finally got some loot, and a better weapon. So onward toward GoldShire.

Holy moly did the game really start to feel enormous at this point.

Gathered some quests and made my way East. Or toward Hell, as I like to refer to it. The Eastern town near the logging area really takes forever to get to. It’s such a pain. Thank goodness I learned how to set auto run on my keyboard. I found myself listening to some WoW Classic podcasts to pass the time while my character walked to that area of the map.

I met the guard at the bridge and took on a bunch of new quests from him overtime. Finally got a quest for a brand new weapon. YES! But oh no… the quest requires that I venture back up north toward those stupid murlak toad monsters that almost killed me from earlier. Oi vey, did that quest suck. I hate that stupid river village. There’s too many toads, and they all want to kill your brains. But I eventually prevailed, after the help of some folks that invited me to their party.

  1. I have to admit that it’s really tricky attacking monsters and healing everyone at the same time.

I think I’m just bad at multitasking, maybe. But I feel like I’m expending a tong of brain power trying to keep track of everything. I will say that I think overall I did pretty well. But there were 3 times total from my 8hr play session where a party member died on my watch, and I felt terrible, absolutely terrible. The one caveat is that all 3 times we got bombarded and outnumbered by monsters. So the deaths happened during unintentional fights.

Pro tip for y’all newbie paladins: Don’t forget to heal yourself. /facepalm

  1. Once I started getting involved with parties, the game felt way more fun.

I always find myself playing solo because it seems like most folks don’t really want to join a team. This may just be my anecdotal experience, but that’s what I found most of the time. It kind of stinks, because when I DID play with people, they were almost always extremely nice and patient with me. I wish I could find more people like that, but I understand that nobody wants to babysit the decade and a half late WoW player newbie.

I think I’m mostly disappointed about this aspect because so much of this game felt really lonely. (The vast tracks of land to traverse by yourself probably doesn’t help)

I really want the camaraderie I always hear people reflect on. Where are the giant dungeons or raids everyone talks about? I found some caves to go through with people, but that wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. Maybe it’s just too early in the game.

Someone eventually invited me to a guild, and I don’t really understand what they’re for. But my chat box seems far busier now. I just wish I could see where all my guild mates hang out.

  1. You have to BUY spells?

This is somewhat embarrassing to admit. But I have been rocking baby paladin spells until I reached level 10. Some party member told me that I should have new abilities by now, and he showed me this Paladin spell salesman in GoldShire that will sell me upgrades to my current spells, and new ones too. At this point I had over 30 silver, so buying these new spells were no big deal. Finally something to use my money on!

It seems weird to buy spells. I guess I figured news ones would automatically arrive as I leveled. I hope to get some really cool ones soon.

  1. I was finally done in GoldShire, and my next location was Stormwind City… so off I went. But… where IS everybody?

Seriously, this might be the most disappointing part of my experience. I’ve been looking forward to Stormwind for years now, because I heard talk of it in videos, and I saw glimpses of it. And while the city itself seems massive and complicated and epic… there was nobody in there. What gives? Isn’t it like the capital of Azeroth or something? Why is it a ghost town?

Maybe it’s because I reached that location at night time, but still… there were plenty of people in GoldShire at the time. Somehow THE epic city with giant statues was a ghost town.

And worse yet…

  1. I have completed all my quests. And I don’t know where to go now.

I spoke to a dwarf in stormwind and completed that quest. He wants to give me a new quest and travel way far North of Stormwind to some place called like Loche Ness or something. But I only just got here! Surely there HAS to be quests related to Stormwind. Is this really it? Just a slight walk through a Stormwind and then off I go to the north?

I hope I’m missing something. Because I honestly don’t know what to do next when I log back in for the final time tomorrow.

Conclusions and Questions:

This game definitely feels like classic old school MMO Grundy and hard. I THINK I like it this way, but it’s waaay better playing with other people, the few times folks are willing.

I can’t get over how big everything is. I looked at the world map and I’m in this TINY portion of a continent. I can’t imagine what else is ahead for me.

The music is EPIC whenever it plays in the background. I really love it.

The folks willing to talk and hang out were really nice. It seems like most people are on their own mission and don’t really want to play with others. Kind of disappointed about that. But maybe it gets better at higher levels.

I want to go on dungeon raids. Where do I do that?

How the heck to I get cool shoulder pads? I have checked every shop so far, and I can’t find them. I know it’s silly, but the giant should pad armor I’ve seen in WoW videos looks SO cool and I want it badly!

Did I pick the right class? I don’t know if I’ll ever know.

I know I only have a day left for the stress test, and that my character will probably be deleted forever, but what should I do next? Stormwind seems to be a dead end.

Should I play the regular modern version of WoW? Or should I complete a Classic before moving onto the new version?

Thanks for reading my giant, poorly written, typo filled, grammar fail post. It seems like everyone on here is a returning old school WoW player, and I haven’t come across anyone like me so far. So I thought maybe this might be insightful to some of you.

I’m gonna go collapse in bed now.

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