Tales of a Wow n00b: Day 1

A little over a month ago I had this grand idea: spend the $1.95 burning a hole in my pocket on a 14-day trial of World of Warcraft and blog my exploits. Simple, right?

Tonight I’m posting the first in what I hope is a regular series of posts tackling World of Warcraft from a wholly outsider’s perspective. I suppose this would be “journalism” – whatever that means – and a good excuse to write off future discretionary purchases as “research”. ;-)

First, I should give a bit of background about myself and my game-playing habits.

My name is Seth and I’m a 30-year-old father of (soon to be) two who works in the cable television industry. I’ve played Blizzard games since Warcraft II (which I actually installed on a Mac in a lab in college in ’95 or ’96). I own Warcraft II, StarCraft, Diablo, Diablo II and all their many expansions, with WoW being the notable exception. I’m an old RPGer who did it up GURPS and AD&D-style long before D20 and all that mess. I also enjoy board games, but that hardly matters since this is my first foray into MMO territory. Be kind.

I’ve put it off for about a month now (new baby on the way, selling a house, work, etc.) but I thought tonight was as good a time as any to jump right in and play. Ironically, I have some free time since my wife is attending GDC in San Fransisco, so I don’t have to worry about watching the shows we TiVo anyway or synching up sleep schedules. No, tonight it’s all about a fantasy MMO that I’ve been loathe to join because I knew I’d get addicted.

Read on for the harrowing tale of “Tales of a Wow n00b: Day 1” OR “Installation and Registration will always suck”.

Rather than bore you with my meager expository skills and poor spelling, here’s a brief summary of the Installation/Registration phase of my experience:

1. Registration: Dead simple. Four screens, a little data entry and account creation (odd that someone else used my daughter’s name as their username, but I digress) and voila! FREE account created!

B. Installation: WTF?!?! 28 minutes to install of off CD? An estimated 56 hours to download the 3.5 GB full game? What have I signed myself up for? Is this the lag I can expect in-game?

Anyhow, while waiting for the download (which should take until the wee hours of the morning and I may give up and go to sleep (does that mean I’m self-ostracizing already? (how many of these parentheticals is too many? (recursive?)))) I’ve watched ZeFrank’s The Show, tried to configure the free version of Zone Alarm to speed things up and implemented some port-forwarding on my router. Anything for immortal glory and conquest though, right?

So while I’m waiting I might as well describe some things I want to do in the future, namely create a character, pick a side (faction, race, class) and a kick-ass name. I’ve been toying with the idea of Human Warlock whom some call “Tim” but this has likely been done ad nauseum. I’m also keen on a Dwarven Rogue named “Aberdeen” but this is an inside joke I have with a Scoth-Irish former roommate with whom I played a MUD ages ago and is likely just cause for a run-on sentence. Nuff said.

But since I’m actually not to that point YET, I think I’m going to end my dissertation post here. I’ll be on again tomorrow night with another post and another hopefully happier post.

In the meantime please feel free to give words of advice and encouragement, the helpful hint or URL or just sneer, grief and hurl rotten fruit. Either way, I hope to actually see you all on the inside, provided my connection doesn’t timeout.

Huzzah! (or a similarly endearing and “secret handshake”-esque exclamatory equivalent)

UPDATE: I figured out that I could actually run the game while the updater was doing it’s business in the background and in so doing I got to see the cool opening animatics. Outstanding! Completely stoked to get this far and ready to play.

Bummer though since, after logging in the first time, a seperate game update needed to happen so now there are two Blizzard Downloaders running and no game.

So it’s Midnight here on the East Coast, the wife is out of town, the kid is asleep and I’ve blogged and “played” enough WoW for one night. 1.5 hours of installation is more than enough to ask of me mid-week. Here’s hoping I have better luck tomorrow. In the meantime, I’ve del.icio.us’d a few links for perusal during work hours tomorrow.

4 Comments so far

  1. RT (unregistered) on March 7th, 2007 @ 12:25 pm


    I ve wondered about the WoW phenonmem whatever and boy I think the whole installation process has put me off forever!!

  2. Walf (unregistered) on March 7th, 2007 @ 4:18 pm

    It’s a massive, massive world thereby requiring a massive, massive amount of data. Yes it takes a looooong time, but all in all, it is well worth it!

  3. Heather (unregistered) on March 8th, 2007 @ 6:40 am

    Hey. Yeah, if you’re just now getting into the game, there’s a HUGE amount of stuff to download. I started just over two years ago, and thinking of the number of patches and such since then… phew! That said, well, that’s why there’s such a wealth of awesome game material to play with. You get what you, uh, pay for, in this case in terms of time as well as money.

    I hope that “newbie player tips” link turns out to be useful… you’d think it’s all common sense stuff, and obvious, but you’d be amazed how many folks ignore that kind of thing. I developed much of that list after spending time when in cities just answering questions that I’d see go by in the general chat channel, and eventually getting frustrated with the folks who apparently can’t even be bothered to read a quest before asking everyone else to solve it for them. And even that wouldn’t be so bad if they’d just say, “oh, my bad,” when someone points out that the answer is in the quest text, instead of getting angry and demanding they be told the answer anyway. =}

  4. Dave (unregistered) on March 8th, 2007 @ 9:32 am

    I also started about 2 years ago and think that it would be a good idea if they added the current patches to a new disk and send it with the game. Often times it would take longer to download all the patches that have been applied as opposed to installing them. However, they are both long and painful processes but which the rewards are many many hours of entertainment.

    For the horde!

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