29 January 2012

On My Beginnings in World of Warcraft

The decision to start playing World of Warcraft did not come overnight and it certainly wasn't an easy one. I had read about the game for quite some time and the material included several rather unfriendly voices. Since this would also be my first MMORPG, the whole idea of a subscription to a video game was alien to me as well.

However, when the time seemed right to actually buy the game and create an account, I was already well informed about the payment methods, the setting, the lore, the different classes, their abilities and tasks, the professions and so on. In total, I would say that I knew as much about the game as it was possible, without actually having played it. How wrong that turned out to be. I bought the physical copy of the game in the fateful summer of 2006 (somewhere between Patches 1.10 and 1.11), when the game was already about one and half years old.

After my previous experiences in the RTS games of the Warcraft universe, I was already convinced that I wanted to fight on the side of the Alliance and that my character should be "Elven" (The Lord of the Rings comes to mind again). At that time, the idea of creating a female character for a man honestly had not even occurred to me, so I chose a male Night Elf. To find the right class, however, turned out to be much harder. Generally, I find any kind of magic wielder the most compelling choice, so naturally I wanted to create a Mage. Unfortunately, I already knew that a Night Elf Mage would not be possible – in fact, it should take at least another 3 years until that choice would become available. Though, I did create a haughty female Blood Elf Mage during The Burning Crusade.

Questions over questions: should I create a Night Elf Druid or an Undead Mage? Would a Druid be similar to a Mage, even though their philosophy seemed to be quite different? Would that, at one point along the road, matter from a gameplay point of view? In the end my desire to play on the Alliance side and to play an Elf was stronger and I decided on creating a male Night Elf Druid on an English-speaking European PvE server. This character would be my main character almost until the very end. His accumulated experience signifies my entire gaming experience in World of Warcraft and it was on the day that I “changed mains” (Oh how I hate that notion!) that I knew that my time in Azeroth would sooner than later be coming to an end.

If someone is interested in why I eventually fell out of love with World of Warcraft, they should have a closer look at my ESSENTIAL READING page. Other authors have already – very eloquently – described the same problems I had, so there is no need to rehash the details right here, right now. Suffice to say that it had NOTHING (whatsoever) to do with burnout! If the game had not changed this drastically, I would still be playing.

27 January 2012


The idea behind this post is to provide the interested reader with an introduction to my internet alias named Maldwiz. Since the name as such might only be meaningful to very a small minority, the focus shifts more towards the person behind the name, in particular towards the gaming experience of said person.

Our story begins in the year 1991, when a young boy’s parents decided that the time had come to purchase their first personal computer. Up to this day, the young boy did not call any electronic entertainment devices his own and was forced to look jealously over the shoulders of his friends, while they enjoyed themselves by making a small, stereotypical Italian plumber jump around. Then suddenly, at around his eleventh birthday, the parents seemed to have arrived at the conclusion that a personal computer would be beneficial to the child’s further education. Needless to say, the boy was more than thrilled.

In the months and years to follow, the boy would gradually mature and familiarize himself more closely with this new technology. It seemed inevitable that sooner or later he would leave the standard (card) games – that came with the PC – behind him and stumble across more advanced types of interactive entertainment software. So it happened that the very first “real” video game that this young boy – now a teenager – would be playing on his computer was none other than the infamous DOOM.

While DOOM was certainly a lot of fun the whole First-Person-Shooter genre never really “clicked” with Maldwiz. Something new was needed, something different. Luckily this came in the form of a real-time strategy game called Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. This game was very captivating because it required a different approach towards gaming, aiming more at strategy and tactics. First-Person-Shooter – at least at that time – never really required the player to plan ahead. Everything was more of a spur of the moment thing. Another aspect that Maldwiz enjoyed about the new game was the fantasy setting. It reminded him strongly of The Lord of the Rings, one of his favourite childhood books.

Naturally, Maldwiz also played the sequel Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness and the related expansion Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal. Those were just as great as the original. Later came both Diablo and Diablo II as well as StarCraft with its expansion StarCraft: Brood War. The final RTS game that Maldwiz would be playing was Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos with its expansion Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Please do not worry! There were also countless other games in between – some even in the real world, with actual human beings. Preposterous!

And then came ... World of Warcraft.

The numerous adventures in the online world of Azeroth, however, deserve their own post.

One final note: the company behind all those wonderful games, Blizzard Entertainment, did provide Maldwiz with over ten years of marvellous interactive electronic entertainment and he will be forever grateful for that experience. Rest assured, dear reader, that our teenage hero did not neglect real human companionship. He grew up to become a productive member of our society and is, in fact, married to a lovely woman. They might be expecting a child in the not too distant future.


This post should have given you a bit of background information about my person and my gaming history. More will follow, although not necessarily similar in length.