The Wilcox Family’s New Look

Above (click to enlarge): The Wilcox Family has a new look.

  • Isaac is Hordhunter, a Night Elf druid. (He can polymorph into a bear at present.)
  • David is Stridar, a Dwarf paladin.
  • Nichelle plays sometimes. (She is actually afraid of becoming too addicted to the game.) She is Jassariss, a Night Elf warrior.
  • I chose to be a Gnome rogue, skilled at stealth and assassination (with trade specialties of mining and—of course—engineering. I can make bombs and dynamite now, and will progress to a host of interesting gadgets.)
  • Even Naomi has a character, Chritine, a Human rogue. (I’ll have to talk to her about that outfit, or buy her a nice dress the next time I’m in Stormwind or another big city.)

Our friend Phil Luchon convinced us to get a trial subscription to Blizzard’s World of WarCraft fantasy-based MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game). The kids had begged for months, having used his account to play when he visited and brought his computer, but it wasn’t until trying it for myself that I realized WoW (World of WarCraft) goes way beyond wandering the game world killing monsters. Approximately 7 million other subscribers (as of this September) worldwide seem to agree.

The game world itself is huge. There are two main continents at present, and an expansion is promised later this fall that I expect will make the game world even bigger, and introduce new races to play. There are eight races, each with six different class types, such as hunters, rogues, or priests. You can pick different occupational skills—I chose engineering (of course), and can now build things like dynamite and bombs. David in particular loves to design characters; I still have the first one I created, but will definitely add more later.

WoW has an excellent social aspect as well. Quite often I team up with my friend Phil, or other people who regularly game on the server I use at the time I use it, and go out adventuring. Besides teaming up for quests, there are ways to set up official guilds of similar-minded gamers within the game, including creating one’s own guild insignia.

I love exploring. The terrain is vast and wonderous, and varies as much as the terrain on Earth. There’s an underground tram that runs between two large cities, and you can rent a griffin to fly on to get between most other major locations. The game has e-mail, banking (including safety deposit boxes), an auction system much like eBay, and quite a bit of humor.

Last night I set up NaNi’s in-game button bar to include some of the commands we normally type, like “whistle,” “train,” “silly,” and “dance.” (“Silly” makes the avatar tell a joke. “Train” is one of our favorites, as it makes any of the characters pretend to be a locomotive, including appropriate gestures and whistles.) Anyway, when NaNi was away from the keyboard, David walked up and started clicking the icons I set up for NaNi. She noticed, and yelled, “Hey! That’s my character!”

I’d write more, but I’ve been itching to play, and the kids are finally in bed …

Update

After nearly a month playing World of WarCraft, our appearances have changed somewhat. On the left is Nichelle’s Night Elf character, with much improved clothing/armor, as she nears level 14. Nichelle is funny, she hates the idea of leaving Teldrassil, the island plateau on which the Night Elves live, because it’s so beautiful.

In the middle I’m wearing the goggles I made for my Gnome rogue character. (Engineering rules!) I have discovered that I really enjoy the real roll-playing aspect of the game, having been awed by a character named Sinisterlady’s excellent roll playing skills and imagination. My regret is that more players don’t stay in character or treat the game world as “real” and behave accordingly, even though the server we use is designated a roll-playing one. Our friend Phil Luchon and I often quest together, and we’re both developing consistent personalities for our characters. We do quite a bit of dialogue where we trade humorous insults—many involving size—back and forth, and that has been great fun.

On the right Naomi’s character is wearing a new dress that Nichelle purchased for her and mailed using WoW’s in-game e-mail system. I have sent her another one, but she has to get to level 13 before she can use it. The boys and I have helped level her character up to level 5, because NaNi loves to walk around the game world, and she kept getting killed nearly immediately once she stepped outside of her starting location.

10 Replies to “The Wilcox Family’s New Look”

  1. A couple of things I forgot to mention:

    • David and Isaac are contributing $1/week from their allowances to help cover the cost of the subscription.
    • During our vacation, Nichelle and I realized that we now have the ultimate punishment for the kids—“No World of WarCraft for you!” :: evil laughter ::
  2. If I have a problem with obsession over the new Doctor Who series, this would probably tip me over the edge…I’d never translate again, I’d never read again…oh the horror!! The last game I played was Myst, which I totally loved and which totally sucked up my time. I KNOW better now. 😉 Hope you enjoy playing. [hmmm, the graphics are cool…no…no…no…]

  3. Picture this…. Isaac and David taking turns playing WoW one after the other yesterday afternoon. Naomi sitting in the family watching them play on occasion. Her brothers are done and off doing other things and Naomi realized the computer was free—it was back at the main screen—and what was her response? “Oooohh, It’s my turn to play!” and eagerly jumped up in the chair and selected her character. David then quickly noticed Naomi at the computer, and thought that she had selected his character by mistake, and she told him, “It’s mine, I know my character.” What a kid!! She’s not even 3 yet.

  4. I will have to admit that I’m loving the game. I was very apprehensive at first about starting, for I feared the “addiction,” but now that I’m into it, the addiction doesn’t bother me at all. LOL. The game is awesome, though I’m not quite at level 10 yet, almost there. Doug and the boys are thrilled that I’m playing and enjoying myself so much. Yes, Phil is too. Our friend, Mark, loves to say that everything we find to do that’s great is because of him. He loves to take credit for it. Sorry, Mark, not this time, the credit goes to Phil, and of course to Doug for buying the membership. Thanks, Dear. Although having another membership would be cool. ::evil laughter::

  5. So, picture this … (to use Nichelle’s opening phrase), I finish my homework at about 12:25 a.m. on Monday morning, and go to bed. Nichelle is still playing World of WarCraft. The next thing I remember is trying to look at my watch (and seeing 01:43) while hearing Nichelle telling me, “Don’t look at your watch!”

    Ha!

  6. I got home from being introduced to the World of WarCraft, and am now trying to LIGHT A FIRE under my other half to fix the handed down computer that was given to me. I am also eager to get Internet, and whatever else is needed to play WoW!!!! YIKES!!!! What have you guys done to me!!!! B.T.W. we had A LOT of fun friday!!! We have to do it again!!

  7. Last night, Nichelle recieved a letter via the in-game mail system.

    You were so lovely standing there, that this humble dwarf decided to send you a bit of thanks. I wish you well in your adventures, and hope we may meet along the way.

    —Breyon

    Attached to the letter was 1 gold in in-game currency, which is a lot of money for a low-level character. The in-game currency comes in three denominations: 100 copper = 1 silver; 100 silver = 1 gold. (For perspective, I’m level 27, and have managed to amass—through careful auctioning and spending—only about 9 gold.)

    This is a fascinating aspect of online role playing and human nature. The female characters (with the obvious exception of the Undead race) are “fair to look upon,” and are generally proportioned like Barbie dolls. Nichelle’s Night Elf character, in particular, has a beautiful pair of large … ears. Because of this, the female avatars are often given gifts by male players, despite the fact that many of the female avatars are played by males, anyway.

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