So my first two weeks of Cata are now well and truly over. Most of my friends have returned to work and things are settling in, as we explore this new virtual world. That first week will probably be something I remember and treasure for a long time to come. There were five of us who played together and that makes leveling go so much faster, easier and just plain more fun than soloing.
One of our group I’ve been playing with for over three years. Another for over one and a half. A third for seven months and the fourth is a new addition to our group at a few weeks. It was a great balance. Another pally to balance my holy one. Two shamans and a mage. It kinda felt like the dream team, to be honest. With plenty of CC in dungeons and our newest friend a vet from not only Beta where we met, but she was in Alpha as well.
Night One saw us on vent and waiting for midnight to pop. I’d gotten in a few hours nap beforehand, waking up at 11:30 PM and ready to start what promised to be a marathon of epic proportions. Several others had also done that. We had food we could nuke or snack on, plenty of energy drinks. I put on my fave music playlist, appropriately titled “Wow Mix”.
We were logged in and, as midnight hit, we logged out and started the process of trying to log back in with our shiny new game – along with a about a zillion other people. It actually wasn’t too awful, all things considered. I think we were almost all ingame within thirty minutes. Blizz did a pretty good job in anticipating the madness that would happen at midnight PST. Please keep in mind that friends over on the East Coast were looking at clocks that read 3:00 AM. Dedication to a game? Insanity? Both? Who cares? We have fun.
Having played in Beta, our group had a bit of an advantage. Everyone was on top of the riding trainer to get to fly in Azeroth on our own mounts. Macros were typed and passed around so we didn’t have to “wait in line” to click on her. A few moments after getting ingame and we were in the sky on our favorite flying mounts. Heady stuff for veterans who’ve played since Vanilla.
We decided that Vash’jr was going to be the place everyone wanted to go first, so we opted for Hyjal instead. I’m on a PVE server, thank heavens, but that didn’t stop some people. Of course, Alliance flagged up and stood on quest givers. Needless to say, most of us got flagged pretty fast in those first few minutes.
Coordinating with each other on Vent, we quickly got our first quests and set out to start them. We played for about seven hours that first night. It was after 7 AM PST (my time), when we called a halt. We were now level 81 and pretty pleased with our progress. We took a four and a half hour break, naps and food included, before returning to continue.
The first two days repeated this pattern. Hours of play, interspersed with breaks for sleep and food. Then real life intruded for some in the shape of jobs. While they were gone, the rest of us would work on leveling professions. Then they’d return and we continued our quests together.
It was a comfortable group. We get along very well and look out for each other. We had a lot of laughter and a lot of challenges, as new dungeon content is beefed up from the days of Wrath.
One of my friends and I went into Vash’jr on one of our “off times”, since we’d agreed to use that as a solo area rather than group. I love that area – the way it looks, the quest lines. It’s one of my fave things about the new game. And there’s a lot to love about Cata! Speaking of which – time to go play.