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  • Writer's pictureCalcas

Wait, what? Wrath of the Lich King is how old?

Yinz, I admit I was so caught up in writing my memory of the glorious debacle that was the Warlords of Draenor launch that I forgot that today also marks fifteen(!) years for Wrath of the Lich King.

As I wrote on Twitter earlier (give me a follow there - see the footer of the page for the link), Illidan was right. I was not prepared.

I have so many memories about Wrath of the Lich King that it seems like I would need a week to just write them down, let alone organize them into any semblance of a coherent narrative.

But I would be remiss if I didn't at least offer some thoughts on WoW's third expansion when the game was (arguably) at its absolute zenith.

Wrath of the Lich King (WotLK) was the last expansion I waited in line for at a midnight release.

I had just begun my MA program in English at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, and for the first time in my life I was living alone. The local GameStop was having a midnight release, and so I remember eating dinner that night, getting caught up on homework, and grading some student essays before heading across the Highland Park Bridge (Pittsburgh is truly the City of Bridges) to get in line at the GameStop in the Waterworks Shopping Center.

It was cold and raining. I think I had probably been drinking coffee all evening to stay awake. The line was not all that long, but there were a respectable number of folks in line. The mood was good, and it was nice to talk to fellow players about expectations, hopes, and goals.

None of us could have known that WotLK would be one of the most epic adventures in the history of WoW - in the history of MMORPGs.

Ulduar is perhaps my favorite raid of all time even though it eventually broke the guild I was in at the time. We had a helluva time with Freya, which eventually ended raiding for us.

WotLK was the first expansion I engaged end-game content at any sort of high level. I played Marksmanship Hunter in an alliance guild, Lockdown, on Executus. I was even pretty good, which is weird for me to say as someone who couldn't DPS at heroic level now if my life depended on it. Maybe my friend and guild leader, Bonuspoppa, has it right - the game was at its most streamlined then when it came to abilities, CDs, etc.

My then guild and the online community in WotLK also likely saved my life.

I mentioned I lived alone for the first time in my life in fall 2008. I had developed a bit of an alcohol problem, going through a bottle of vodka every other day. I was feeling alone and lost for a number of reasons - not the least of which was still coming to terms with my sexuality. (That's a whole separate post for another day.)

The community in Lockdown - especially our guild master, Arlysil - were the supportive friends I needed. I don't think they realize how much they helped me get through that rough spot whether it was raiding, running dungeons together, or just hanging out in Ventrilo while we all did our dailies.

Fishing dailies back then were the best. I loved "Dangerously Delicious" that required you to fish up 10 Terrorfish in Wintergrasp.

I would just sit in the zone and listen to the music, fishing. It's the most beautiful music in all of WoW. Listen for yourself if you're unfamiliar.

I don't have much more to offer on WotLK at the moment.

But here I am at the end of another post, just reflecting on how much this game has meant to my life and how much poorer my life would be without it and the people with whom it has brought me into contact.

That's the true strength of WoW. Community. Hope. Friendship.

Happy fifteen years, Wrath. And thanks, Lockdown and Arlysil. For everything.

Thank you for reading. For Azeroth!

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