After installing, I tried to make a pandaran monk, but I logged into about 150,000 other pandaran monks in their starting zone who also got invites this weekend, and the game crashed shortly after that. This being a beta, I was prepared for this. Since the game hadn't fully downloaded, I let it sit for awhile and went to watch TV. Then I get a message from a guildie who happens to write about WoW for a living, asking me if I'd run a dungeon with him because he needs some input for his piece that's due soon. Let's see... midnight? Check. Work night? Yeah, check again... Sure. Why not?
I copy over my main, my hunter Elionene, and log into Pandaria where the other 150,000 people who got their invites at the same time as I did are just starting their adventure in the Jade Forest. I try to adjust my video settings, and the game crashes. I make a note and log back in. I meet up with my guild mate and we form a group and queue up for the first dungeon, Temple of the Jade Serpent. The first thing I notice is that I have no macros or key bindings. I was expecting no addons, but I'd forgotten about the macros and things, so I take a few moments to set up the vital ones. (Later I read a neat trick at WoW Insider for copying over your saved stuff from your real account, along with some other nifty beta advice.)
Apparently the first boss is dead or defeated when we log in. It takes a second to get my bearings and then I realize I'm in a huge library. It's impressive. We find our way to the rest of the group and we fight off a stationary water boss (who I'm told is similar to the Lurker Below mechanics, and I confirm this is true). I think we wiped, but the group seemed understanding, and we ran back in and killed him. From there we go through a series of hallways into a courtyard and fight off some monsters and fight another boss that turns into a dragon. The last boss is one of the Sha. The Sha of Doubt to be exact. I told the party I wasn't sure we could beat him. I didn't know why, but I was very doubtful it would happen. I'm still wondering if they ever got that.
After that, I ran from the starting area to the center of the zone where my guildie showed me a pretty awesome bridge. And it was on the way there that I realized how beautiful this place was. It was lush and green with flowers and trees everywhere. Epic stone statues, and the Temple of the Jade Serpent towering above it all. My guild mate showed me the Dawn Bridge. A very long bridge with scenic viewing areas built in. It ended at the top of a hill with a breathtaking view of the temple. I couldn't help gawking at it. I was inspired.
To write again that is. It's been over a year since I've posted anything here about Warcraft. I've thought about it many times, but nothing seemed interesting enough, and I took the time to play other games and do other things. My guild progressed through Cataclysm at a fairly good rate. We've beaten all the normal content, which for a bunch of friends raiding together is really all we wanted to do (with a few exceptions).
It feels good to write again. I plan to continue to do so, whether it's about the beta or lore or anything else. I've also included a few pictures of some of the sites I saw. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks, and have a good morning.