I’m Kura, and I’ve been playing World of Warcraft since November 2005, roughly a year after the game was released, and for the vast majority of that time my main has been a warrior. I’ve also leveled several alts to max level in various expansions and raided as all the different roles.
About three and a half years ago I transferred to US-Korgath, and after a long stint in a few different guilds ultimately ended up joining Grown Ups, of which I am now GM, just short of two years ago.
To me the warrior is the penultimate World of Warcraft class. In the early days warriors were the only class available to all races. For a long, long time they were the best suited tanks for PvE content and dreaded opponents in PvP because of their mobility, slows, healing reduction, and hard-hitting attacks. Much of that still exists in the game today, and as much as we all like to complain about our classes from time to time, Blizzard has done a very good job of keeping them unique in many respects, while still making significant changes to mechanics and gameplay.
The first toon I rolled was a druid. I quickly gave up on that class while leveling–might have had something to do with me being absolutely clueless and running into the barrow dens at level 4, running out of mana spamming moonfire, and getting my ass handed to me repeatedly. I almost gave up.
I figured I would try a stealthier approach and leveled a rogue. I still remember doing those class-quests in Hillsbrad Foothills, pick-pocketing Syndicate Agents, when all of a sudden I got one-shot by a lion. Instead of a level by his unit frame, he just had a skull icon. I was terrified. After a while of asking guildies and looking around on the interwebs I learned that I had come across a Tauren druid, which I had no idea looked different than their Night Elf counterparts.
I took my time leveling the rogue, spending lots of time in WSG running and returning flags, making all sorts of friends along the way and leveling up with the same players as we went from one bracket to the next, sitting around looking at the LFG channel trying to find groups, wondering why lvl 56 characters were advertising to run Deadmines, and learning that they meant Dire Maul. Many of us have had these moments, and for those of you who haven’t, there were some good times and some bad. For we were noobs once, and young.
I was driven to continue leveling, however, and awed by the awesome looking gear I saw level 60 players running around with, and so powerful–weapons with 41.4 dps! I wanted them! But it was a challenge for a noob to raid. I didn’t know people applied to guilds, I barely even knew what a raid was, but I got started anyways, running UBRS, working on my dungeon set, and hoping someone would notice how awesome I was. Of course, I wasn’t really that awesome. I didn’t even keep slice and dice up. Back then rogues could kill a lot of classes in PvP, but that’s what ultimately led me to play a warrior. Warriors crushed me. Charge… Mortal Strike…Overpower…dead. That’s usually how it went. I coveted that power and started leveling all over, a Night Elf warrior name Kurathikai.
Eventually I got up to 60 again, earned the Knight rank doing PvP, farmed Alterac Valley for The Unstoppable Force and found myself in a guild called Hatred, raiding Molten Core. We killed Ragnaros and while I was away on Christmas holidays the guild killed Razorgore right before The Burning Crusade expansion was released. Not the most stellar raiding history. I’m constantly amazed at the amount of people I run into who were full clearing Naxxramas in Vanilla. It’s such a mystery to me how that raid had the fewest people ever step foot in it, and yet I keep running into all these players that cleared it. I must just be on an awesome server…
I had fallen behind on gear over the Christmas break, and had at some point picked up a keylogger, so when I got back my account had been suspended for 72 hours for account sharing, and most of my gear was gone. I shelved the warrior and re-rolled a draenei shaman on another server. Never again will I level a new race on release. Now I was even more behind than before. After being once again stomped by warriors I dueled, I abandoned the shaman, tucked my tail between my legs, and scuttled back to my old server. I did a lot of damage, and a fair bit of tanking. It took skill to keep aggro on multiple mobs before the days of shockwave, blood and thunder, and 300% threat modifiers. Mouse-over sunder macros were the epitome of pro play–at least in my mind (but I think I’m right about that). I found my old guild again after being rejected by the number one guild on the server, and while I had been playing as Arms in 1.0, I played as Fury for almost all of The Burning Crusade until the end or Black Temple. I had gotten better at my class. I used bloodthirst and whirlwind on cooldown, and I did well on damage meters. I was thirsty for more. The top guild on the server broke up, and I found myself a guild called Morte Diventa, the farthest progressed Alliance guild left. We killed Vashj when guilds on other servers were close to finishing Black Temple.
Ultimately my journey led me to server transfer, and I found Blood Reign on US-Korgath, and finally killed Illidan, but we never did more than some trash-packs and a few attempts in Sunwell. It was disconcerting to me, because I felt like I was missing out and hoped Wrath of the Lich King would be a better experience.
I’ve never been one to complain that the game is too easy. Sure, when you out-gear content it becomes trivial–that’s the whole point of getting gear, becoming more powerful– but I’ve never run out of content. I’ve never been in a bleeding edge progression guild, either. But Wrath was a great experience for me, culminating in Lich King hard mode kills.
After over six years of playing, I consider myself an exceptional player. I know that if I could devote the kind of time it takes to get server first kills and all that, I have the awareness now, the knowledge built into the fibers of my fingertips, to perform at that level. I also have a wife, a full-time job teaching high school, and three small and adorable children. I’m happy to be where I am, raiding three nights a week, part of a guild with others just like me, a guild with strong foundations, one of the few remaining 25-man guilds in a dwindling 25-man raiding environment, and while I’m always itching for greater challenges in the game, real life sometimes gets in the way for that, for me and my guildmates. But we’ll get there.
So that’s me. Hope to see more of you around.