It is no great secret that I’ve spent hundreds, thousands of hours playing World of Warcraft. That being said, I’ve not touched nor paid for the game for a few months now, as I go through phases of being enraptured by and then utterly bored of it. Despite currently being in the latter phase, however, a friend of mine was interested in visiting the game’s free 20 levels, and having not uninstalled the behemoth yet, I hopped right on and made a new Tauren (I’m typically Alliance) to plod alongside him.
This is our tale.
This humble tale began with a glitch. Merely moments after our mighty cow men set ahoof on their journeys, I discovered my Tauren Monk (whom you may call Swiftsnout) took his Windwalking ability a little too seriously. Essentially, Reecus (the aforementioned friend) interacted with a cage for a quest, and it despawned, failing to give gravity the heads up as to the updated state of affairs. I’d already been standing on it, so I got to float with extreme majesty.
We’ve all been questing, though, and it’s quite the rudimentary experience, even with friends. Reecus encouraged me not to focus on questing so much as simply having fun, as we were not aiming to level our Tauren much (as my account was still a Starter Edition and he had no intention of buying the game). It is with this mindset that we chose to meet up with another friend of ours, and begin our journey to Stormwind, kingdom of the monkey people.
The zeppelin to Origrimmar, and subsequently to Undercity was a perilous experience. Cows were never made to fly, you see, and we soon discovered that the netting surrounding the sky ship had collision only on one side. Of course, the side in which it is possible to jump out of the zeppelin happened to be the side without collision, and soon we were all falling to our doom; some to our deaths.
It mattered not. Soon we were embarking to Undercity, and from there we’d take the Orb to Silvermoon, for we’d not decided on our destination by then. After seeing the Dead Scar, however, a sort of direction formed and we went to go and see what was at the end of it. At this point I decided to equip my heirlooms (account-bound armour which yields bonus xp when worn) to increase my survivability should we run into any… difficulties.
It was with some amusement that we found ourselves underlevelled for this expedition! If we all worked together, we were usually able to overcome the odd skirmish or two, though why Reecus sent his pet chicken over yonder to pull hordes of enraged skeletons our way, I’m not sure I’ll ever fully understand.
Perhaps it was suicidal to enter the Eastern Plaguelands at such a low level. It did take some convincing, on my part. But with some honeyed words and a fantastically dashing turtle, or maybe just stubborn idiocy, I pointed us in the right direction. For anyone who has not played the game, Eastern Plaguelands is full of monsters levelled between 40 and 45 (if I recall correctly). We were around level, erm, 7.
We sprinted from flight path to flight path, treating them as checkpoints despite not having nearly enough silver to afford to be able to fly between them. Still, it gave us something to aim for, and as I perhaps forgot to mention to Reecus at the time, it would only get better from there on out as the layout of the zones decreased in level range. But, as you can see from the party interface, my poor Tauren friend had bit the dust already. Well, it’s a good thing resurrection exists in Azeroth, or we’d all be maggot meat.
I cannot begin to describe to you the horror of being forced to watch from beyond the grave as a Noxious Plaguebat hounded my companions.
Well, anyway, I swiftly resurrected and headed for the next waypoint atop the hill, dogged every step of the way by a vile Plaguehound. Why is everything in this zone prefixed with “Plague” anyway? It might be accurate but it’s not exactly going to attract tourists.
It was at this time Reecus asked us about PvP and neutral zones. You see, nobody in this game is a big lover of gnomes, not even those of the Alliance. In my opinion, they clash with the tone of the game and are generally just annoying little shits. I don’t know if Reecus shared my prejudices, but when we happened across a gnome with their PvP turned on, staring away at the horizon like it was about to erupt into a dazzling show of rainbows and unicorns, Reecus did what any honorable Tauren would do and swung for the midget.
It was at this point that a dozen armed guards dashed towards him at lightning speed and ended his life in an instant, surprising everyone and causing the gnome to half turn in slight disbelief. What were a group of level 7s doing out in Eastern Plaguelands? And why were they trying to attack someone of a significantly higher level? Well, this could be fun. The dead Tauren would soon return to their body, and as PvP would still be enabled…
In retrospect, I’m not entirely sure why they activated their Explorer title before moving to attack us. Perhaps it was a show of kinship, an attempt to let us know that they, too, had wandered deep into uncharted territories and dived headfirst into combat with those out of their league. But surely, then, they’d know what would happen should they attempt to attack anyone within a neutral settlement. Even if not, they’d just seen it happen to Reecus! Well, I can’t say I feel guilty.
We never did make it to Stormwind, and I’m not entirely sure if we have plans to continue the journey. But it was certainly an enjoyable experience to take a level 7 Tauren out into the heart of Eastern Plaguelands, and a gentle reminder that sometimes it’s more fun to play games as they were not intended to be played.