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The Warcraft universe began for me by occasionally playing Warcraft II - both on the PC and on the Sony Playstation console. Completely enchanted by the epicness of the events and the similarity to LotR, I immersed myself in this world completely. Although I didn't have the opportunity to devote as much time to this universe as I would have liked - in the 90s I didn't have my own PC and had to play in arcades and at friends' houses.
Death and Decay! That, and bombarding cities with Juggernauts and Battleships is the highlight of W2. When I finally got one, it was right around the time W3 was released. Oh boy, the desperate fall of Arthas, the encroachment of the Scourge hordes on the lands of the High Elves, the establishment of a homeland for the Orcs and the last bastion of the Night Elves - go to the Frozen Throne campaign and the founding of Orgrimmar....
It was the coolest experience ever - and finally the world map was complete in my mind. Before, it was skirmishes "somewhere out there". Now we got a planet with a shape.
A few years passed and I saw a friend of mine playing World of Warcraft (it was Lich King time, if I remember). I had heard of the game, but had never encountered the MMORPG genre before - which is why it took me so long to start exploring. When I saw him running around with his undead character in the starting location (it was Deathknell, not even Tirisfal), I fell instantly and utterly in love.
The same day I bought and installed the game and created my first char. Because of my predilection for the smallest creatures, I chose a gnome girl who was named after my favorite character from "My Name is Earl" - "Joyhickey". She was a rogue and had incredibly good times while mastering her bandit skills. Seriously, those quests from SI:7 are what I miss the most right now.
She leveled up to 60 and took her first steps on Hellfire Peninsula, Honor Hold.
Her next char was "Micromantica", a gnome mage who mastered ice, of course. I've always enjoyed ice magic in every game possible.
It went further than Joyhickey - all the way to questing in Zul'Drak. Then I switched to a relatively weak laptop and stopped playing Warcraft for a while. So I didn't do any raids.
I came back with Cataclysm. Since then I upgraded my laptop, and when I saw videos of the destruction of Azeroth on Youtube, I was determined to go back and punish all those responsible. This time it was the Russian official server.
When I started playing WoW this time, a nice discussion ensued. My girlfriend, of course, had heard about WoW addiction and was afraid that it might interfere with our lives. Well, we had a deal: if she notices that I'm losing myself in the game in such a way that it's becoming tiring and obsessive, I'll cut back or quit. It's been 2.5 years since that conversation, I play enough, but we still live together, we don't argue about it, we have two cats and we're embarking on the path of marriage - so I can say that balance has been achieved.
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