The game indicator of winning in WoW is receiving an epic item. In vanilla WoW, the vast majority of epic items came from 40-man raiding. I'll grant that there was an epic hunter quest, a few limited crafting bits, some world drops, and a top-level pvp set that only a handful of people could get. But overall, if you wanted a reliable way to get epic gear (and win), you hooked up with a raid guild and started raiding… whether you liked raiding or not.
I started off playing World of Warcraft because my best friend said that he loved it. He's usually a great gauge for what I will like, although I hated Heavy Metal 2000. (In all fairness, it was one of those times where he loved the original Heavy Metal in his teenage years and was horrified upon seeing the sequel ten years later) He asked me over to his place so I could try it out, and my first question was "Where's the run button?" He laughed.
A couple of years later, and I've solo'ed to max level, had my wife join me in game (to great joy), grouped up to max level more than once since then. We've been in a couple of guilds, and ultimately found the guild that became our WoW online home. In this guild, I've been: an enthusiastic member, a newbie officer, a raid leader, guild master, and am now a veteran officer.
My guild is casual/raiding pve, which translates to max-level/light-endgame. We're all adults with jobs, we play well when we're on, but all of us have real lives that we don't put aside for the game. We're good friends.
I raid with a healing priest and a tank warrior (whichever as needed), and dabble with other classes as time permits. My wife raids with a combat dagger rogue and dabbles with a druid. We know a little about battlegrounds and arena, but not much.
The game is fun; it was my primary hobby before my daughter was born (less than a month ago). Now I'm a casual dad. I play when I can. I help out the other officers in other ways when I can't be online.
I'll expand on most of this over time, but this is a decent overview of where I'm coming from.
In my April 2008 issue of Writer's Digest, there's a short article by G. Kyle White called "Back Up Your Work for Free". Here's the first sentence:
There's a saying in Texas: If you don't like the weather, wait a minute and it'll change.
Ah, Texas. Compare this to Mark Twain's famous quote:
If you don't like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes.
I'll put aside that this is a paraphrase of one of the most famours literary figures ever, appearing as original in a magazine on writing, and nobody caught it.
I love the whole Republic of Texas meme, and how this quote shows how Texas weather changing is clearly… bigger than New England's. Because everything's bigger in Texas. I can't help but wonder what other sayings that Texas has.
- A stitch in time saves seventy-two.
- Killing ten birds with one stone.
- The only thing we have to fear is hesitation itself.
Also, I didn't read the rest of the article because I was laughing too much.