I don’t know if I will ever quite forget that first odd feeling, nor can I still really compare it to anything else.

Lemme explain what I’m talking about.

There I was, level ten, on the trial version of WoW. I had little clue what I was doing. I was merrily questing in Elwynn Forest since a friend dragged me there from Teldrassil at the tender level of six. I’d kept my hearthstone set to Teldrassil in case I ever needed to return there in an emergency, because I knew I’d never figure out how to get back otherwise. So there I was, questing away and picking flowers because I trained in herbalism specifically to give my boyfriend a Peacebloom. (Yes, that is the honest-to-gosh reason behind what is still one of my professions.)

So there I was going around Raptor Striking things and having a grand ol’ time when suddenly I hit level ten and was informed by the hunter trainer that I was to return to NightElfLand to get my pet.

I was scared to death that if I went back there, I’d never be able to find my way back, but I really wanted a pet, so I took a last look around at Elwynn Forest and then used my Hearthstone.

Several hours later, having spent hours doing the pet quests and scouring the archives of the first WoW site I ever visited– Petopia— before settling on taming an owl, Tux and I were ready to head back. There we went, taking the boat and schlogging through the Wetlands and finally ending up in Thelsamar where I (finally) remembered about this strange concept called “Flight Points” and proceeded to fly back to Stormwind.

That feeling of flying over the waterfall from Burning Steppes into Elwynn is what I haven’t forgotten. It was a feeling of relief, but more than that– it was homecoming. I was very struck by this odd feeling. No video game yet had given me a similar feeling, and I’d played hundreds of them. Some of them I had loved dearly and felt very immersed in. But none of them made me feel like I was coming home when I entered a zone. This one did.

That’s when I knew that I wouldn’t just be playing the free trial.

That’s also when Tawyn’s character really started to materialize and when I knew I’d be happy on my RP server, despite my initial misgivings. Tawyn who felt more at home among the humans than among her own people. Tawyn who was good friends with the inhabitants of the dwarven district, who prefers guns to bows and who has never in her life owned a saber mount because she has always ridden horses (or mechanostriders, or polar bears… but mostly horses, I promise) instead.

And as soon as my gryphon landed– that’s also when I set my hearthstone to Stormwind.



So this was a long time coming. Two years, in fact. Since long before the title even existed. My inner RP geek is satisfied.

19 thoughts on “Hooked”

  1. I got involved in the game (reluctantly) because my sister said it was fun. I rolled an orc hunter largely because Thrall is awesome and I’d read that hunters were good at soloing.

    I played for 10 levels and didn’t see what the big deal was. I was already planning how I would explain to my sister why I was quitting when the ‘tame a pet’ quest came about.

    One tiger later, I was hooked.

  2. Ahhh ….My Night Elf Sister , it is sad to think that you feel at home with our human Allies . They are a young race that will have many hardships in the future. We have ours up and coming . I hope you forget not with your people lay and lend hand when needed . Elven Kins time is approaching near .
    Azshara will make herself known and a great battle will ensue.

    so we will need your arrows and beasts when that happens

  3. This post made me feel nostalgic. I too found human land more welcoming and (dare I say it) more beautiful. For me it’s because the geography is familiar, everything looking like they do in the real world, and because most players tend to hang out in Stormwind or Ironforge. (I have a blood elf mage stuck at level 6 because I found blood elf land too strange-looking for me to enjoy being there for long. Heh.) My preferred mount is also a horse (or horse-like creature e.g. talbuk). I was delighted to ride around in a saber until I earned enough rep to try other mounts. I like the smooth ride that I get on a horse. Sabers are very bouncy!

  4. almost makes me wish I could go back to when I knew nothing about the game, and I was just happy running around killing the biggest things I could find with my wolf, strength axe in hand, incase the baddies got close to me. The game was much simpler then, and arguably more fun.

  5. I know what you mean. When I started playing I was Alliance and some of those flight paths take you over some truly amazing scenery and give a mighty strong impression of place and the scope of the world.

    My first much-played Horde Hunter, an Orc, called Thunder Bluff home. It was so much more magnificent and of the great wilderness than the grimy Orgimmar. Were I still playing her she’d be all over the “of Thunder Bluff” title. Sadly, these days in WoW I’ve succumbed to game mechanics and optimisation and all that stupid stuff and my sense of RP has fallen far by the wayside.
    Like Theldaris says, I often wish I could go back to the beginning, start new with no foreknowledge and just immerse myself in the world again.

  6. This reminded me of the first time I took my hunter to Thunder Bluff, which was on the Test 36 realm during the very first open beta. I still call Thunder Bluff my home, and I’ll sometimes take the flight point from Org just so I can get that wonderful feeling when crossing from the dreary Barrens into the grassy plains of Mulgore and seeing the majestic mesas appear before me. I always let out a sigh and think to myself that it’s been too long. Some people don’t like Thunder Bluff because it’s a little out of the way, not many people, and not many things going on. But those are all the reasons I actually love it so much. Plus the background music is nice there too. That and I’m sure being Native American and living for a time on a mesa has something to do with it as well. 😉

  7. Would that our paths could cross Pike. Alas, it is not the Night, but the Blood that rules this Elf hunter. Born to a different place and time, I too know the longings of which you speak. As hunters, we are drawn to familiars of spirit, earth and companion; we forever long for them and always will return to them.

  8. I don’t reside on an RP server but that doesn’t mean I don’t do little bits of RP now and then…Last night my Pally reached level 60, and with the help of an experienced Paladin, Bloodgarde, She obtained her Charger. We rode from the Western Plaugelands to Stormwind as the epic “ride back”. It was quite fun.

  9. Grats Pike. I’m not much of an RPer myself, but I can understand, as I am having trouble deciding whether “of Orgrimmar” or “of Thunder Bluff” fits me better.

  10. @ all the people talking about Thunder Bluff– I find it interesting since I, too, consider Thunder Bluff to be my home when I am Hordeside. Maybe it’s a hunter thing?

    @ twonationarmy – d’aww. That made me feel good <3

  11. I was so torn on this title issue. As a proud Tauren Hunter, “of Thunder Bluff” seems like a no-brainer. But I put in soooo much work to get the Loremaster title, I’m not sure anything can replace it (maybe Salty if I ever win that damn StV fishing contest).

    I remember the first hunter site I visited. It was the pet area at goodintentionguild.info. It’s now some other guild, but it helped my OCD-riddled self tame and get all of the pet skills around. Even if I was never going to actually use them (or the pet that taught them).

  12. Pike, this is a perfect example of why you should write for WowInsider. You have such a great way of capturing what is so fascinating about this game to me. Your stories place as much emphasis on the ‘World’ as they do on the ‘War’ and as a mostly solo player I can really relate. Though in the case of this night elf it will always be Teldrassil that feels like home. I remember the feeling of terror I felt the first time I boarded a boat and left the docks of Auberdine, wondering just how far the boat would be traveling and how I was possibly going to find my way back.

    It’s funny everyone mentions Thunder Bluff too. I had never been there before until I rode through it while working on my Explorer title. I fell in love immediately. And ever since I’ve been toying with the idea of rolling a Horde death knight and making some quick gold, just so I can facilitate easier leveling of a Tauren hunter.

    Thanks for all the content, I’ll keep reading as long as you keep writing…

  13. Grats Pike!

    The flight over the falls is great and seeing all of the high lvl content at lvl 10 and just being amazed by it. I always planned to take my afk then but didn’t want to possibly miss seeing a dragon.

    I like the Night Elf lands still though and TB for Horde side for sure.

  14. If I could joust, it would be the Thunder Bluff title for me. I din’t realise how much I missed that place until I went back during Noblegarden. It is so pretty there.

    Even if I learnt to joust well and got all of the titles, I don’t think I could choose anything other than “Malaran of Thunder Bluff”.

  15. Up until the Argent Tournament, my Dwarf Hunter had gone his whole WoW life without ever being exalted with Ironforge. Oh sure, he was Revered, but he was also Revered with Stormwind, Gnomeregan exiles, and pretty well Honored with Darnassus and Exodar. That’s what I get for questing with a Human Warlock and going all over the world (I still say my Bear’s a better threat machine than his Talking Blueberry. *hmph*). Then The Argent Tournament came. And the day I was to be a champion of Ironforge, I got exalted with My Homeland upon turning in the last quest. I wore that title SO proudly, I’ll tell you what.

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