If you are reading this, then it means that I was unable to attend the celebration in-game. This is because I am currently staying with family in a house with zero internet access. It is only through a visit to a McDonald’s next to a gas station that I was able to post this at all. However, I didn’t want to completely forgo the anniversary, so I decided that since I couldn’t be there in-game with everyone, I would do the next best thing; tell you a story.
In my first few months of playing World of Warcraft, way back in early 2009, I remembered trying a little bit of everything. I had an Alliance character, I had a Horde character. I had a character on a PVE server, I had a character on a PVP server. Eventually, the time came for me to try out life on an RP server, which I was especially looking forward to as soon as I found out what role-playing was; a medium through which you can tell stories, as well as participate in other people’s stories. Being a fan fiction junkie, I was practically drooling at this concept.
First, I needed to come up with a character. It didn’t take too long for one to pop into my head; a bitter rogue with a cynical outlook on life, made that way when his love was taken before her time. It was a concept that had been bouncing around in my head in one form or another for a while, and I finally had a chance to see it realized. I went with a Troll Rogue who, if you went with striped mammoth tusks and white hair, he would have a black mask that reminded me of the Spy from Team Fortress 2. I found that rather amusing, so that’s what I went with. Finally, all I needed was an RP guild to join. I searched through Wowwiki for notable RP guilds on BWR and found Sub Rosa, which basically sounded like a mercenary guild, which I thought would be a good fit for my mercenary character. Around level 20 or so, I whispered an officer for a guild invite, and I was in.
I was never able to get that rogue past level 40. I was able to do some RP with the guild on him, yes, but I had other characters to play. Other classes and play styles to try out. I remember that, at the time, my favorite toon to play, a ‘main’ as it were, was a Tauren Hunter named Stegg. Turns out, I really liked playing a hunter; small wonder, as I was still a n00blet at the time. It was then that a plan began to form in my mind.
I had decided that I wanted to really join Sub Rosa. No other guild I had ever been in felt more like family to me. But, all I had on Blackwater Raiders was that little lowbie rogue that was kind of a pain in the ass to level. I’m not sure why. Maybe it was because rogues were too squishy back then. Maybe it was because getting a toon from 1 to 60 in the days before Cataclysm was a test of patience and fortitude. Most likely though, I just didn’t know how to play a rogue very well. All I know was, I needed a higher-level character on BWR so I could play with my guildies! So I leveled Stegg all the way up to level 55 and rolled myself an undead death knight named Johriah on BWR.
It didn’t really help as much as I hoped. Mostly because Outland leveling wasn’t much better than Azeroth leveling back then. I remember being stranded in Nagrand for a long time, because I wanted to complete the Garrosh quest chain before leaving Outland. Then I went to Netherstorm to level all the way up to 70. I remember happily announcing my achievement in guild chat, as well as my delight that I could finally go to Northrend.
Then someone in G-chat said I could’ve gone there two levels ago. Way to kill the moment. Prick.
It was another leveling slog through Northrend. I spent a lot of time in Dragonblight because I wanted to do the Battle for Undercity event, and there was a whole list of Dragonblight quests that you had to do first. Then I leveled through Grizzly Hills, Zul’Drak, and then a bit of Icecrown. Eventually, I was finally able to hit level 80 and I recall doing a bit of raiding with the guild. I also remember rolling Gorrin, my orc warlock, somewhere along the way. I remember noticing that orcs could have really long white beards in the character creator, one idea led to another, and now one of my premier characters is an old orc who is completely mad.
Then, Cataclysm was announced, and I decided that I wanted to get ready for what looked to be a truly awesome expansion. First, Jakko the grumpy troll rogue. I had intended him to be bitter, but still kinda badass. Instead, he admittedly wound up kind of emo. So I decided that some character development was in order so he could get over his dead girlfriend already (the Open RPs and Short Stories are still in the Sub Rosa archives I think, which detail his path) and thus he went from rogue to druid. Not only that, but I rolled a couple of goblins to act as his foster siblings, Rikko and Spritzie. My intention with them was to supply the rest of the role-players in the guild with exposition about Jakko’s past that Jakko himself wouldn’t give because he’s a stubborn prick like that. Also, I rolled them because I thought they would make fun characters to role-play in and of themselves, similar to Gorrin.
Oh yeah, and I was torturing myself by tanking three LFDs a day on Johriah so I could hoard enough justice points to get Jakko a complete heirloom set. Admittedly, I wasn’t doing too well in college back then. The LFD-induced torture probably had something to do with it. Most unpleasant time spent playing ever, and I remember feeling utter relief when I finally had enough JP for that heirloom dagger.
As for Jakko, I remember rolling him again, this time as a druid, and leveling him in secret, not asking for a guild invite until level 30 or 40 to keep up the whole “is Jakko dead or missing?” storyline that I was doing at the time. During that time, I experimented a bit with the druid’s restoration spec. Back in Wrath, I made Johriah a tank, because tanks are always in short supply and I wanted to be useful to the guild. I found out the hard way (i.e., the LFD torture) that tanking is a tough job, so I wondered if perhaps being a healer was a better fit for me. Turns out it was, because Jakko started as a level 1 druid on the Echo Isles, leveled all the way up to 85, and was healing LFR tanks in Dragon Soul. Jakko is still my main to this day.
Sadly, with my leveling efforts squarely on Jakko, Johriah and Gorrin near the tail-end of Cataclysm, it was inevitable that Rikko and Spritzie fell to the way side. Lately though, I’ve been trying to fix that. Rikko is currently leveling through Pandaria and I’ve already pre-purchased Warlords of Draenor, which means there’s a coin on my character select screen with Spritzie’s name on it. I’ll use it once I’m back home, where I have a good, stable internet connection 24/7.
So, what’s the takeaway from this little bit of rambling? I guess the point is that I’ve been with the guild for a long time now, and I’m thankful for that. In retrospect, I regret not being able to participate in more in-game RP. The reason for that has always been rather ironic; I was always either leveling so I could get to max-level so I could RP without feeling insecure about it. Either that, or I was doing dailies, dungeons and what-not so I could get mounts, pets, and other exotic vanity items that would be cool for RP. Or I was grinding justice or valor points to get gear to grow more powerful to participate in raids with the guild, as well as trying to get leveling heirlooms for my alts so they could reach max level and, you guessed it, RP with the guild more.
Basically, I was sacrificing RP now so I could have RP later, except later never really came. I think there are a few other people in the guild who know what I’m talking about here, as I suspect my problem is not a unique one.
Okay, now I know I’m rambling. Went off on a whole tangent just then. Basically, I just wanted to say that I’ve been with Sub Rosa for a long time now. My history with Sub Rosa is practically my history with WoW as a whole. I’ve met a lot of cool people in this guild, even made a few friends, and I look forward to making a few more. There are times where I’ve been away, not always of my own accord. I remember being stranded on BWR for a while when the guild moved to Wyrmrest Accord (I didn’t have a credit card at the time, so I couldn’t transfer any of my characters for a while). I remember when MoP came out, and I couldn’t play it on my old laptop without serious upgrades. The last big break, one that lasted a whole year, was simply due to personal issues negatively affecting my will to play. Those were all ideal opportunities to just up and quit on the guild and say my goodbyes, but I didn’t seize those opportunities because, much like the little troll rogue I first created all those years ago….
I’m a stubborn prick like that.
And like it or not, you’ll be putting up with me for years to come.
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