My first day playing WoW was back in vanilla. It's funny how the years meld together now, but I'd say it was 2005 (though I did not become a regular player until 2006). My boss lent me his discs and gave me one of his 10-day free trial passes and told me to go ahead and give the game a shot.
I was reluctant to play due to the fact I had been a horrible MUD junkie in college (now that's old school, MMORPGs from before they had graphics!) and I knew that if I got hooked I could have trouble maintaining a balance between the game and the rest of the world.
Because the free trial was for a limited period I decided I would start it up on a Friday night so I would have two weekends to play. At about 9 or 10 in the evening I finished installing the four CDs and found myself at the character select screen for the first time. I made my tauren druid (race/class combo already picked) and made her a brown cow who I dubbed Hana because it's Japanese for "flower" and sounded appropriately pleasant and fantasy-ish.
Hana began her life in Mulgore in what I believe was June (of 2005) and dutifully pew-pewed little plainstalkers to provide food and supplies for Camp Narashe. It was dark and I don't recall other players being around, but that suited me just fine. I was just learning everything.
My internet connection at the time was pretty bad, so I was having trouble staying online and I distinctly recall being killed by one of the quilboar's battle boars, the very first mobs that would aggro on to a new low level tauren, during a disconnect. I'd wager I didn't make it past level 4 before I logged for the night.
What I remember the most about my first night was that Mulgore was very green and (my death notwithstanding) very peaceful. I remember the night sky, and that I was amused that I could do the majority of the old emotes from my MUD days. MMORPGs were just MUDs with graphics. How little things change.
What actually turned out to be a pleasant thing to know after I finished my 10-day trial is that I was able to put the game down and not buy it. It would be over six months before I would actually buy the game and begin playing it.
While it seems like an odd thing to say considering that five years later I'm still playing it and I have been almost continuously, it means to me that I'm not in danger of the addiction I feared. I only raid twice a week and while as a guild master I have to put a certain amount of time into the game and related activities, I think I can quite happily put this game down when the time comes. I'd miss my online friends of course, but I'm not in danger of the game ruining my professional or social life.
Albion: my great horse business
23 hours ago