I've been involved with Allakhazam since, oh, 2003 or so. Back in the day when I was still in high school, I was heavily into the game Final Fantasy XI. The ONLY good website at the time was a collection of web forums on a site with a peculiar name. I started out stalking anonymously, but then finally made an introductory post. Early on in my posting, I was rated up for a post comparing Japanese business culture to FFXI and showing the reason why Americans can have such a difficult time with the concept of forced grouping. At or around that time I hit Sage status, and have remained there since. I'm highly curious to know how close I am to Guru. I estimate my karma at around a 4.15 or so, meaning I have a ways to go.
I quit FFXI not once but twice. After the first time, I used Allakhazam to come back to a new server (Bahamut, I seem to recall). However, I was only on for a couple of months... my goal was t get a BST (first I needed a level 30 WHM, for which I needed a black mage sub... ouch), just so I could solo. I loved FFXI, but I hated waiting three hours for a party. Over the winter of that year, a friend of mine introduced me to a new game: World of Warcraft. According to the game, you could SOLO the entire way up to level cap. I played a druid on his computer for about 15 minutes and my obsession with FFXI was broken. I bought WoW and started up in January.
I have been playing WoW ever since, and have kept up contributions to Allakhazam. I love the open forum format here. A couple of years ago I helped condense the Tradeskills forum and wrote the first FAQ. Sometime after I quit the game for a bit (people on the forum may still remember my RL reasons for doing so), and handed the FAQ off to someone else; although I still have the original credit! I also wrote the first herbalism guide on the site, although that might be far gone by now.
As for now, I'm job-hunting and contributing here when I can. Anyone want to hire an educated idiot?
Update: Heyo, been a while. I've been a Staff Writer here since 4th quarter 2010. I mostly chat with developers, get tours, and stuff like that. I'm off WoW until MoP, as there's been no additions in the past nine months. I have found full-time employment, and hit over 10,000 posts. Also managed to get my status up to Guru before getting hired. Now I'm perma-5.0. Yay!
My first character, when I hit 60 I retired him soon after. I leveled entirely as Protection... pre-1.8. In all BoE greens. I had exactly two instance runs on the way up; DM and ZF. He leveled extremely slowly, but I thought it was warp-speed compared to FFXI (and it was!). Has 300/300 Alchemy and herbalism.
The character I took up after my Paladin got tired of being ganked by superior players. I switched to a PvE server and hardly ever looked back. I played Naoki more than any of my other characters to date... I think he has more than 40 days played. It might be higher. I leveled solely as frost. Early(ish) on in my game, around level 15, I saw an advertisement for the Twilite Crusaders guild, which was one of the biggest guilds on Skywall at the time. I said to myself "I'm going to join them... some day." And I did! By level 30 I was in TC, where I met some of the best friends I'll ever make in WoW. Shout-outs to Vespers, Duvessa, Valcree, Thasource, Twizzle, Nightstrike, Isura, and of course, Philemon (whom I still chat with infrequently on facebook). Of all of those, only Vespers, Duvesaa (now Duvvy), and Nightstrike still play. All are in AEnima (I can't do the combo A and E). Thasource may still play an alt.
TC gradually hit 60, and then the growing pains started. The guild leader (Twizzle) knew the members wanted to hit MC, but we didn't have the people and she was too scared to take responsibility for the raid. She abdicated power to Thasource. To meet the raid requirements, we ended up merging with another guild for the runs... and we still didn't do all that well. We ended up downing maybe one boss... and by then, the people who wanted to raid were leaving. TC effectively died. I quit the game for the winter vacation anyway.
When I came back, TC was a shell of its old glory. Most of the members had moved to AEnima, which I joined up with. Lots of raiders, and lots of rules; it was a raid guild through and through, though the leaders were trying to allow in casuals as well. I appreciate now how difficult it must be to juggle people's desires with such an environment, but at the time I could see a clear distinction: people who could make all the raids would be taken over better players who could only make half of them. I, of course, fell into the other half, along with some other TC members. Philemon, for example, wasn't allowed to come because he played as a Boomkin, exceedingly rare in the days when only Resto druids had innervate.
Things finally came to a head and drama happened across multiple sites (provoked by yours truly, I'll admit). A rant got back to the guild, I was sacked, and I quit the server for a while. Actually, something worked out well; Allakhazam had started their own guild: The Fifth Star! I joined up with them.
Over a year later I went back to Naoki. I was where I had been left, in Silithus. I remembered the days of grinding Twilight Cultists with Isura and Philemon, and just then I started getting whispers from old TC members. While I had been gone for ages, I had not been forgotten. I now play Naoki infrequently.
Naoki is currently level 68 or so.
This was a character who joined The Fifth Star. While I only had some brief time before summer, I decided to give it my all in the guild. I leveled Retribution, which was SO much better than Protection, and when summer came I was the third highest character in the guild at 45.
After summer I came back to a whole new environment. While I was reinvited to the guild (I had been purged months before), almost everyone was 60 and very few of the core Allakhazam players were left. The sad truth was that Anetheron was a dying or dead server, and the guild needed anyone to join just to have a shot at the end game. I stayed only for three days, then real life issues resulted in me quitting the game again for a few months. I haven't gone back to Lockecole since.
My current main. After returning to the game again, I rolled on Sen'Jin, where my roommate at the time had a druid. Opting for something new, I rolled a druid as well. My roommate quit soon after (he was a terrible player anyway, and this is coming from me, who is pretty bad), but I continued to level. I LOVED druid. LOVE IT. Still do. Super fast grinding compared to many classes (felt slower than mage, but no downtime was great). Stealth for quest objectives. Ability to solo nigh-impossible content. Druid has everything I could want... except for one thing. I think Night Elves look goofy. There, I said it. If I could have been a human druid, I would have in a heartbeat. I know, I'm speciesist.
Anyway, I hit 70 on my druid, guildless. After playing around at 70 for a bit and getting a lot of gold (I've always been good at that), I finally decided to get into the end-game. I joined a guild called "A Team," scrounged up my Karazhan key (soloed most of it and duo'ed the Arc part with a rogue), and started going along as an off-tank. I've cleared Karazhan once... and by cleared, I mean I've taken down the Prince. No Nightbane or Netherspite for me yet. I also duo'ed the chest event with another druid. It goes to show that if you fail the chess event with 10 people, you fail at life.
A Team was undergoing its own internal struggle at that point; not enough people were coming to tier 5 content (I personally couldn't make it because of class), and the hardcore raiders left. A Team was also left a shell. Karazhan raids stopped. And my druid turned to PvP.
After BC, I continued to play mostly solo. I managed to hook up with a guild after this called Natural Disaster. We ran through Wrath Content, and I became the raid leader during Naxxramas raids. I took a LONG time to get "the Insane" title, but that burnt me out something awful. I slowed my play time when Ulduar came out, and came back only briefly during the end of Wrath. My playing was sporadic during Cataclysm; I hit 85 without any issue, but raiding never appealed to me again. I managed to do Dragon Soul with LFR (because who hasn't?), and spent a while hunting achievements and PvPing before MoP. Still debating if I want to buy the new expansion when it hits.
1. Has the Deathcharger's Reins (only person Alliance side Sen'Jin, so far as I know) 2. Will have the Diplomat title come Achievements. 3. Has almost 10k gold (seems like a lot to me). 4. Has the Brewfest Kodo 5. Has his epic flight form 6. Gear is almost all epics, and most of them are PvP-related. 7. Planning on creating a guild called "Highest Achievers" dedicated to achievements in the new expansion.
My PvP alt, has around 5.7k unbuffed exp, and is parked in that BG bracket. Turns out that honor and marks get reset with this expansion, so all his work is pretty much for nothing. Ho hum. Fun to play when I want a 4:1 kill ratio.
My only real Horde character, a Retribution Paladin. I like the difference, but Paladin is so much slower than any other class I've played, even as a DPS spec. He is waiting at 63 until the next patch, when Paladins get major buffs and exp changes.
Update: Nathanos is 85, but I've hardly touched him since dinging.
My newest character, and the one I work on the most besides Aureliano. I duo somewhat with a friend from college, who also plays an enhancement shaman. I am amazed by her DPS and grinding ability (this is my only female character too, btw). However, I don't know my role in grounds very well just yet, and while grinding green enemies is simple, once I get to yellow-level enemies, my DPS drops dramatically and my crits stop coming. Maybe I'm imagining it. I still need to decide my path at 70; I'm tempted to go master hammersmith, but I don't nearly have the money right now. Decisions, decisions...
Update: Hit 70, then 71... then stopped. My friend Alf moved his shaman to Sen'Jin years ago. I don't want to pay to do the same, so Alfaba fell by the wayside.