Where Were You When World Of Warcraft Started Running?

If your answer is something along the lines of "sitting in front of my computer cursing", you certainly weren't thinking Blizzard's MMORPG would make it ten years, yet here we are to the day.


When World of Warcraft first launched back on November 23 of 2004, I was busy playing EverQuest 2, which had come out just a few short weeks before. Luckily, due to my living situation at the time I had plenty of extra cash laying about. Due to some problems (oddly enough powered by a strong addiction to the original EverQuest), I was staying at my parent's house, saving up to reestablish myself in the world. Why anyone let me play EQ2 is beyond me.

I had played in the World of Warcraft beta and not liked the game at all. Too cartoony, to simple, too much like the other games I'd played. By the time it launched however, those negatives had turned about, thanks to EverQuest 2. It was trying too hard to set itself apart, and its plastic attempt at realistic characters left me cold. Plus everybody in EQ2 chat was talking about it, so I ran out to the store to grab a copy.

I was hooked, but not before my girlfriend at the time. She pushed me out of the chair, made herself a gnome warrior and told me to go get my own copy. I ran back to the store, but all they had left was the Collector's Edition, and that's how I wound up with the Diablo, Zergling and Panda pets that make so many other players jealous these days — an overzealous gnome warrior.

Ten years later I've been living comfortably on my own for the better part of the decade. The girlfriend went on to become a raid tank, made her way back up to her home town of New Jersey and we've not really spoken since. Instead I've got a wife and two kids, a dog and two cats, and I'm still playing this damn game — but I've got a much better excuse now.

So where were you in your life when World of Warcraft changed the face of the MMORPG market by recycling established concepts and trimming off the less user-friendly bits?



2004. I begged my boss to send me on a business trip to New York because World of Warcraft wasn't out in Europe yet. Finally he accepted. I remember the look on the receptionist's face wondering why the fuck an investment banker wanted to know where the nearest game store was, and then wandering around lower Manhattan, trying to find somewhere that sold the game. Eventually I found it, just made it to my meeting in time, and flew home later that day.

The moment I stepped into Ironforge for the first time. The moment I took the tram under the earth to Stormwind. The time I trekked to Theramore to get the boat at level 28, and died SO MANY TIMES to get there. Incredible. Amazing. Some of the greatest memories of my gaming life.

The lag was immense. The ping was worse. But boy, was it fun. I can remember coming home at 11PM, playing for four or five hours, sleeping for two, and going right back to work. It was incredible. Now I'm old, and I could never do that again.