hard to believe that World of Warcraft is turning six years old
already. While traditional sixth anniversary gifts are supposed to
incorporate candy, iron or wood, the staff at World of Warcraft
– Ten Ton Hammer decided to give Blizzard Entertainment a
gift of words instead.
Inspired by some of our fondest memories over the past six years of
WoW, join us as we take a look back at what has become the most
successful, genre-defining MMOG on the planet.
The Great WoW-Coaster
World of Warcraft's 6th anniversary is here and
that's exactly how long I've been playing. Six years.
Six years is longer than I've been married, and longer than
I've had the pleasure of being a parent. Yet despite the fact
that six years have flown past it feels like just yesterday I was
excitedly peeling open my World of Warcraft box and immersing myself in
the pleasures of Azeroth.
My adventures in Azeroth have been like taking an epic roller coaster
ride filled highs, lows, and even some unexpected in game loop de
loops. As the WoW coaster drove me forward I also found myself subject
to a wide range of emotions including excitement, elation, regret,
fear, anger, annoyance, and even love. This may strike some as odd - I
mean, who gets that involved with a game? But for those of us living and
breathing the WoW experience, we know it's all a part of what
makes it great.
This is just a small piece of the puzzle though, for me what has really
made my WoW experience over the years something to remember are the
people I have met along the way. From the insanely stupid (yes
I'm talking to you Hunter who decided it was an awesome idea
to pull Golemagg from the bridge), to the comically funny, or last but
not least those who I have made friendships with that will last far
beyond when World of Warcraft is long forgotten.
All of these people, even the not so great ones, have made my WoW
experience over the last 6 years amazing and the prospect of meeting
new characters of all sorts while pwning some boss face keeps bringing
me back for more. To sum my WoW experience up in a few short words all
I can say is; what a long strange trip it's been indeed. So
Happy Sixth Anniversary World of Warcraft and here’s hoping
for many more!
A Raider Is Born
Back in December of 2006 I rolled my second World of Warcraft
character. I had taken a long break after burning out playing my Priest
after the disappointing release of the battlegrounds (my server had 45
minute queues on the Horde side) and I was determined to do it right
this time. I rolled a Warrior since I knew from experience that they
were incredibly powerful and I thought I'd have a good shot at raiding
if I was able to play a tank.
Leveling was a pain, grinding up to the defense cap (420 back then) and
getting decent blue gear from the 5 player instances and Upper
Blackrock Spire was a bigger pain. Finally I was ready and managed to
get into a guild that ran Molten Core two nights a week. I had no
experience raiding with more than 10 players in an easy instance let
alone with 40 in a then-difficult instance. Playing with few mods and
under what seemed like incredible pressure was intimidating to say the
least, but it opened my eyes to a whole different style of gaming that
I'd never imagined existed: players fighting A.I. bosses that were
I was hooked and never looked back. I ended up quitting again later on
due to burnout and am now playing a Rogue that I've used throughout
WotLK. Coming back with a more mature and long-term perspective has
allowed me to relax and ease into a leadership role with an immensely
successful group of players. There's nothing I enjoy more than sitting
down with my guild and working through the puzzles Blizzard presents us
with in each new raid instance. Cataclysm can't come soon enough.
You No Take Candle!
Six years ago I sat in front of the computer nearly in tears as my
friends screamed in excitement about how great the gameplay, music, and
questing system was in World of Warcraft. I sat there with my tracking
number showing no hope of getting the game until the following day. No
hope at all of experiencing the joyous wonders of Azeroth and the fight
against the bandits or wolves everyone was talking about. My pain was
endless until a friend sacrificed one of his referral codes to me and
allowed me into the wondrous and joyous game that I've been addicted to
I won't forget those days for as long as I live and almost every time I
log into the game, I remember that experience vividly, as if it was a
dream. Even though playing WoW now sometimes feels like a chore or is
sometimes the greatest gaming experience I'll have all month, I will
always remember those first few moments, those first few wolves, and
that laughter when a Kobold screamed about its candle. Some see the
second sundering as a curse, but I see it as a gift to all of those who
for the past six years have been deprived of the feeling of playing WoW
for the first time or even those of us who have played it thousands of
days in the last six years. It provides a new experience and new
memories to share with your friends.
Ghostly Glitches and Lifelong Friendships
It's hard to believe, but it's true, WoW is now six years
old. Amazing, isn't it? It seems like just
yesterday we were falling through space from a graveyard as a ghost
glitched out and dropped you through the world. I remember piles of
bodies in the clouds as players fell and died through weird
glitches. Now, mostly the game is extremely stable and world
glitches never happen. However, with Cataclysm looming could
we be returned to the WoW of six years ago? Not likely, but
it would be funny wouldn't it, six years of progress wiped out in a two
week world event.
Aside from technical aspects of the game changing over the six years it
has been around, one thing hasn't. It's funny, but I play
with mainly the same crew I started with six years ago on
Sargeras. We have moved servers twice, changed guilds
numerous times, yet somehow a core group of 5-6 of us has stayed
together through it all. Even if WoW ended with Cataclysm and
the world of Azeroth disappeared, I'm pretty sure that we would find a
new game to move on to and still stick together. That to me
shows the power that WoW has had over us. Somehow the
unlikeliest of friends can be made in a fantasy land that transcends
into the real world. How else could seemingly random players
from Manitoba, Ontario, Texas, California, Illinois, New York, and
Florida all come together?
Here is to at least another 6 years of WoW and at least 6 more lifelong friendships formed!
Undead on Arrival
Even as far back as the fall of 2004, I was never one to buy into the
hype surrounding an upcoming MMOG. In fact, I'm one of those people
who typically avoid insanely hyped commercial entertainment products
like the plague. Remember, just because the title says so, 5
million Elvis fans can, in fact, be wrong!
As it turns out though, 12 million World of Warcraft fans certainly
haven't been. Despite my initial reluctance, an entire legion
of my fellow EverQuest players convinced me to make the jump to
Azeroth, and from the moment I realized that I could play an MMOG as a
walking corpse, I was hooked.
Even though I ended up on a server that crashed more often than a narcoleptic junkie over those first few months, and using my
Mage's Blink spell while running uphill would send me on an
odyssey through the vast expanses of nothing beneath the surface of the
world, it was a killer gaming experience through and
through. I still recall with great fondness how
we'd always know the server was about to crash. First,
you'd get stuck in loot position, soon followed by a chat
channel filled with people asking, "Um, why won't
my character stand up?"
But you know what? Even though
we may have grumbled about it at the time, we'd still hop directly back
into the queue to resume our newfound favorite pastime.
If it were any other MMOG, some of those early bugs and nutty server
queues would have crushed its chances of success 2 weeks out of the
gates. But this was World of Warcraft, damn it, and once you go Hogger,
you never go back.
World of Warcraft has always been a game that’s greater than
the sum of its parts. And the glue that binds it all together is one of
the largest, most passionate groups of gamers on the planet. Thanks for
giving us such a vibrant virtual world to connect through Blizzard, and
here’s to wishing you another six kick ass years of WoW!
Be sure to join us in our World of Warcraft community forums to share
your own anecdotes about the game in celebration of the sixth
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our World of Warcraft Game Page.