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Give us your best Blizzard stories; win a copy of Stay Awhile and Listen

Some developers create games. Others, such as Blizzard Entertainment and Blizzard North, create experiences that stick with us forever. Millions of gamers have commanded armies and raided dungeons across the world of Warcraft, waged intergalactic warfare amid StarCraft's galaxies, and chased Diablo into the pits of hell (or more recently, the high heavens). Some of us have spent dozens of hours playing Blizzard games, others hundreds. No matter your level of fandom, DM Press wants to hear your b

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Some developers create games. Others, such as Blizzard Entertainment and Blizzard North, create experiences that stick with us forever. Millions of gamers have commanded armies and raided dungeons across the world of Warcraft, waged intergalactic warfare amid StarCraft's galaxies, and chased Diablo into the pits of hell (or more recently, the high heavens). Some of us have spent dozens of hours playing Blizzard games, others hundreds. No matter your level of fandom, DM Press wants to hear your best Blizzard stories.

Regale us with memories of playing Warcraft 2 over Kali, the battle that claimed the life of your favorite hardcore character in Diablo 2 or 3, the Zerg build order that earned you your 15 minutes of Internet fame, the raid your coordinated in WoW, or your quest to score a copy of Blizzard's latest collector's edition box at midnight on release day. Do you prefer one Blizzard game above all the rest? Tell us why. Everyone's got a story about one Blizzard game or another, and we'd love to include yours in our first book, Stay Awhile and Listen.

To enter the Best Blizzard Stories contest, register a Shacknews.com account and submit a story of up to 300 words detailing your favorite Blizzard story in the comments section below. All entries must be received before November 11th, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern. Entry is limited to one story per participant. The winning entry will be included in Stay Awhile and Listen, and the winner will receive a free copy of the eBook on the Kindle, iTunes, or Nook eBook platform. Five runners-up will see their entries commemorated in the DM Press Hall of Heroes, an online gallery dedicated to the most campfire-worthy stories our readers have to offer.

Check out the official rules on the DM Press site. By entering the contest, you agree to the rules of the contest. Participants must be at least 18 years of age, and must submit stories in English. Start posting below, and have fun. If you missed any part of last week's Stay Awhile and Listen content on Shacknews, be sure to give it a read.

The winner from the Butcher contest was allaryin. Runners-up were RogerDandy, Rehevkor, happynoddle, Teiresias and darthfusion. Congratulations. Allaryin will receive a free copy of Stay Awhile and Listen when the book is released in 2013. The five runners-up will have their stories featured in the DM Press Hall of Heroes at a later date.

Contributing Editor
From The Chatty
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    November 9, 2012 9:00 AM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Give us your best Blizzard stories; win a copy of Stay Awhile and Listen.

    Some developers create games. Others, such as Blizzard Entertainment and Blizzard North, create experiences that stick with us forever. Millions of gamers have commanded armies and raided dungeons across the world of Warcraft, waged intergalactic warfare amid StarCraft's galaxies, and chased Diablo into the pits of hell (or more recently, the high heavens). Some of us have spent dozens of hours playing Blizzard games, others hundreds. No matter your level of fandom, DM Press wants to hear your b

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      November 9, 2012 9:29 AM

      Let's hear those stories, Shack!

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      November 9, 2012 9:44 AM

      When I was about 10 years old, I saw a friend of mine playing Warcraft 2 on his family's PC. It blew my freaking mind. Up until this point (and for about a year after) my Dad had steadfastly refused to put a PC in our house (Commodore only, he even ran the local Commodore club). I begged for something, anything that would run WC2. Eventually my Mom got a PC for her business, and then I only had to buy the game myself.

      I saved up pocket money for the first time by doing extra chores around the house, doing stuff for our neighbors, and pooling birthday money. Eventually I had enough to afford a copy, and hearing the MIDI drumroll from the install window nearly made me explode with excitement. I hopped into the campaign and was blown away. The amazing world of PC gaming had been opened to me, and I never looked back.

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      November 9, 2012 9:58 AM

      I liked war wind more than warcraft. There, I said it, it's out in the open.

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      November 9, 2012 11:07 AM

      I never got into the Blizzard craze, but I am curious to read this book to understand how the Blizzard craze got started.

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      November 9, 2012 11:15 AM

      Most of my blizzard memories are from World of Warcraft. During the Wrath of the Lich King expansion a group of my friends and their friends started a guild. One of the players was even a guy I thought hated me from like 10 years ago, but we quickly became friends from raiding together. Eventually we get to the last raiding dungeon and after many many tries (and hilarious mishaps like having a hunter get thrown off the edge of the platform then quickly doing a 180 to Disengage back on) we defeated it. The coordination and communication was just so much fun. After all that we decided to all meet up at a BBQ of one of our guild members and had such a great time.

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      November 9, 2012 11:23 AM

      What I think back on fondly for Diablo 1 was the mystery of it all. There were items like The Thinking Cap made for wizards that my friend and I thought was so clever and appropriately named. The dungeon floors were streaked with blood and the mood was dark and gothic. The sounds in the periphery were haunting and put you on edge. The whole experience was so new. My friend finally got up from the computer seat to take a break and let me try, so I picked a fighter and entered the dungeon. I clicked on a barrel, and my warrior walked over and cracked it open. Just from the visceral feel of that action, I instantly understood the appeal of the game and fell in love.

      Even though Diablo 2 was an improvement to the original in almost every way, Diablo 1 had two things going for it that 2 didn't -- a noticeably darker, more gothic feel and the fact that it was a completely new genre for a huge audience. Having played other games that defined their respective genres, that sense of mystery and thrill at experiencing something completely new is an amazing feeling that genre creators have exclusive access to. I'm happy I was there to experience it with the original Diablo.

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      November 9, 2012 11:45 AM

      Excellent stories so far. Keep them coming!

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      November 9, 2012 11:56 AM

      Starcraft 2 was the first multiplayer game I ever played on the internet. To think that I was "playing with my friends" when they were in their own houses was just too amazing. I became part of the first of many online communities through an SC1 clan that originated at Drexel University. We rallied behind our best players and had tons of fun playing.

      On more than one occasion I remember waking up on a Sunday, grabbing something to eat for breakfast and the next thing I remember was logging off and going to bed for the night.

      There was even a con of sorts. We went to the philadelphia art museum and hung out on kelly drive. A white 19 year old, a bunch of early 20s asians, a middle age woman from the mid-west and 3 of her kids.

      The clan broke up - two of them ended up getting married, but I heard through the grapevine that it ended badly. The person who got me in the clan (I didn't go to Drexel) ended up somehow hated by nearly every member. I'm still not sure how or why that happened.

      Man - SC1 and the late 90s were awesome! To this day I wish I had a group of people like the old [PEST] clan that liked playing SC2 the way we played 1

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        November 9, 2012 12:22 PM

        Just so I'm clear, you meant StarCraft 1 in the first sentence, correct? The rest of your story indicates as such, but I wanted to be sure!

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      November 9, 2012 12:53 PM

      When WC3 came out, I used to play tons, mostly night elf cause I'm fruity like that, and I started doing that Ancient Of War rush, basically guaranteeing a victory against most opponents. I had a ridiculous record, something like 74-3. Eventually, the strategy started gaining popularity and Blizzard fixed the problem, but I remember one instance before it was patched where I was sitting in my bedroom doing homework and I hear my brother scream from the other room:

      GOD DAMMIT NOT AGAIN

      I figured he had a gaming mishap, which wasn't the first time, and outbursts like that were common.

      About 10 minutes later:

      YOU GOTTA BE JOKING ME

      Which was promptly followed by him throwing a mattress down a flight of stairs while ripping his shirt off, just completely flustered. I asked him what happened, trying my hardest to contain my laughter, and he told me he got AoW rushed like 5 times in a row on the ladder. Probably my favorite rage-quit moments in gaming history.

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      November 9, 2012 1:00 PM

      blizzard is one of the most over hyped studios, possibly second only to Bethesda, despite producing extremely bland and mediocre gameplay. they totally sank the warcraft series by turning it into a fluffy fairy fart world, and none of their games since war3 have possessed the stark direness that they all used to. again, these days they're producers of fairy fart worlds. rip, blizzard.

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        November 9, 2012 1:03 PM

        And I mean to say that war3 was a product of the lacking latter day blizzard, not the former rendition of the company. And Chris metzen should stick to art.

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        November 9, 2012 2:41 PM

        I'm with you, see my post below.

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          November 11, 2012 2:28 PM

          The last positive Blizzard experiences that stuck with me were Warcraft 2 and Diablo 2. Unfortunately, the Battle.net release of the War2 put a smear on the product by:

          1. cutting the music short, fading the tracks out early before they were finished (this was an ultra cheapo move by Blizzard, done to fit the game all on one CD. How cheap is the price of a 2nd CD? I'd've thought Blizzard didn't need to be literal penny pinchers)

          2. Displaying the awful Battle.net logo in the game, totally killing immersion and ruining the great atmosphere the game had from launch to close.

          Those were a couple of really stupid decisions, which were done completely contrary to the spirit of positive customer experience. I'm glad I still have my original War2 and expansion CD's, with the music uncut, but they have the mouse infinite acceleration issue, which I think the Battle.net edition doesn't possess. But I won't play the Battle.net version due to the aforementioned blunders. After all, when there are so few positive Blizzard experiences to be had, it's a good idea to at least preserve what is there.

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            November 11, 2012 2:32 PM

            I'm not even going to go into the disaster that is Diablo 3. Glad I got my refund on that. Isn't it funny that during development the devs mocked the concept that the art was too cartoony (and had the community backing them up), and then it turned out that it really does look that bad? No grittiness, no feelings of dread... and the dialog reinforces the feelings of cheeziness that the look presents. Terrible writing, overdone cheesy voice deliveries, lame monsters, boring level up desing...

            RIP Blizzard. Oh wait, that was meant for 7 or so years ago

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      November 9, 2012 1:08 PM

      Warcraft 2 was the first Blizzard game I played and the first game I played multiplayer on. I started playing on Kali. I recalled from the campaign that towers were "great" and that hordes of enemy units would run through my towers to their deaths. SO, in one of my first 2v2 games I rocked the towers hard, trying to get up as many as possible....this took a considerable amount of time and resources so I MIGHT not have built a barracks by about 10 min in. My Ally says "BUILD A FCKING BARRACKS" and as he's saying that my towers are getting death and decayed by death knights. haha. good times.

      oh I also was worried my mom might see "temple of the damned" in the game so I hacked the game file to rename it "Templed of the Doomed", never mind that it was still shaped like a skull for death knights to be built

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        November 9, 2012 1:58 PM

        haha, both those stories are hilarious

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      November 9, 2012 2:37 PM

      I've posted this before, and it's only relateable to people who were hardcore into Diablo 2 post 1.10

      Easily my dumbest gaming moment ever. I was playing a HC light sorc and had been grinding hard to get an Infinity polearm for my mercenary to make Hell difficulty viable. Even with duped runes, it is hard to come across enough wealth to trade for the 4 high runes needed. I'd been doing tons of mephisto runs to get items to trade for mid runes, to trade up for better runes, and so on.

      Finally, after weeks of grinding, I had the runes necessary and a good item to put them in. Usually I double-check runeword recipies before making them to ensure I'm doing it right, but I'd drooled over Infinity for so long I had it memorized. I even had a pet name for it, "bumbi", based on the names of the runes that were needed for it that made an easy mnemonic.

      So, I have my runes ready and I drop them into the item as I'm thinking 'bumbi' -- Ber Um Ber Ist, bumbi.

      the recipe is actually Ber Mal Ber Ist -- bmbi

      Holy christ did that suck.

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        November 9, 2012 2:41 PM

        fucking lol that so totes sucks hard.

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        November 9, 2012 3:25 PM

        haha, did you do a Vader noooooooooooooooooooooooo?

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          November 9, 2012 5:10 PM

          I was really confused why it didn't 'become' the runeword. Maybe battle.net glitched? Maybe logging out and logging back in will fix it!
          It didn't.

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      November 9, 2012 2:38 PM

      My story: I used to really enjoy Blizzard games (starting from Lost Bikings and Blackthorne back in '93, all the way until Starcraft 2), then I played Diablo 3 and it didn't just break the streak, it skinned it and threw some acid on it first. It was a slow trend towards the sad but inevitable current state of things, with more and more of their game features, artwork and direction becoming cliched, generic and supposedly 'accessible'.

      Sure their games are super polished and run smoothly and are tested like crazy, but over the years they lost focus, and you couldn't feel any passion behind anything in the games. At least SC2 had amazing gameplay once you got past the boring story parts (that I still watched because I wanted to care, but nothing in the story had any emotional impact at all). With Diablo 3, not only was the story super cliched and predictable, but the game simply wasn't any fun. I played for a while expecting things to get more fun, and then I got sort of attached because I made an investment into my character (and was still hoping things would get better), then 15-20 hours of boring clicks later, I was starting Act 4 and realized that the only thing I enjoyed was when missions were over, because I could finally relax. The game forces you to focus, and is addictive, but somehow manages to be not fun at all doing it. I could tell they spent forever on all the art etc., yet everything was still super repetitive, especially the gameplay. I can spend hours discussing what else was broken in the game design, but I digress.

      Anyway, Blizzard has officially jumped the shark with D3, and although it's possible they can recover, it's extremely unlikely to happen. These issues are usually the results of management problems, and management in huge companies doesn't change overnight. Thanks for the amazing fond memories over the years, Blizzard, and I hope you can find your way again some day.

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      November 9, 2012 3:48 PM

      Back when I was in high school, WoW was released. A friend of mine was seriously into WC3, and he practically begged me to check out WoW. So I got it, and decided to make a NE. After I completed the starting quests outside of Darnassus on launch day, I went into the city. Wow! This place was incredible! I walked around for what seemed like hours, and then headed back to the main gate to do more quests. I saw an Orc player running around outside, and watched him run up to the gate. One of the guards, an Ancient Protector, ran after him, and from my point of view, simply stepped on the player, and he died.

      At that point, I was instantly hooked. The rest, as they say, is history.

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      November 9, 2012 3:58 PM

      Earlier this year i went on a snowboarding trip with some buddies to New Zealand. On our second day on the slopes we decided to visit Coronet Peak. Unfortunately the weather was quite poor; we had severe wind, heavy cloud and lots of heavy snow fall, the weatherman described it as a blizzard. It was particularly bad at the peak (the chair lift up was fun!) where it was extremely difficult to stand without being blown over and visibility was down to less than 5m. Needless to say that was a very slow and dangerous descent.

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        November 9, 2012 4:01 PM

        Huhuhu im so funny. Here is a gaming one:
        A few mates and i loved to play Diablo 2 for many hours at a time well in to the dawn of the next day. Many a Meph run was had in those days. I found Diablo 2 so addictive that instead of studying for my final high school exams for entrance to university i played up to 20 hours of D2 a day.
        Still managed to get in to uni though thank goodness.

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      November 9, 2012 9:00 PM

      A bump for evening readers. Keep the great stories coming!

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      November 9, 2012 11:43 PM

      By and far, my favorite game is the Diablo series! I remember my buddy John called me up one night and said he had just bought this new game called Diablo and it was a blast but the kicker was - we could play together on-line! Well, knowing John like a twin, I ran out the next day and bought it... And that's when my journey to hell began!
      I am one of those deeply affected souls who managed to spend thousands of hours playing Diablo. Mores the pity, I would start playing when the sun was still in the sky and find myself still sitting in front of my monitor, clicking away with abandon, when the sun was beginning to rise once again! A great deal of that time was spent going through and leveling up my characters solo. My favorite was the Warrior (until Diablo II came along and I fell in love with the Sorceress and now in her incarnation as Wizard in Diablo III!). However, the most fun came while playing co-op with my buddies!
      We beat Diablo seven ways to Sunday on every difficulty level, as well as solo, and felt quite proud of our accomplishments! After quite some time, the dreaded "game boredom" took hold. That is, until I ran across a little cheat called "BoBaFeTT's Diablo Trainer"... and that is
      when all "hell" ensued! The four of us downloaded the "Trainer" and took Diablo to places it was never meant go!
      For example, we would go into one of the dungeon levels and set a portal to Tristram and inevitably someone would come along and ask if they could team up with us. Our response was a resounding "Yes!" and once they stepped through the portal we would have all exits closed off - including the portal! One of us would tell him/her to bow before us or risk death! Now, after arguing via chat, on how one is supposed to "bow", you can imagine the confusion and rage that imparted to that person! Once they capitulated, we would take it a step further and explain how he/she were to kiss each of our rings. Needless to say, very few got past either of these steps before they started swinging whatever weapon or spell that was at hand! Resplendent in our Godly attire and "God Mode", we would vanquish them in a flash! The person would usually plead with us and if not, we would tell them to beg for their lives and we might see fit to resurrect them. Whichever way this panned out, we would kill them at least four times in order to get an ear each, which you may recall was the "prize" for killing another player. Most players we would resurrect and send on their way, albeit rather unhappily! Other, more indignant players we would let lie, earless and pilfered. The depths of our craziness went deep and far enough that a bounty was actually put out on us! There was only one person who put a spanking on us and, to this very day, we all swear it was BoBaFeTT himself!?
      Now, you would think that would be the end of our hi-jinks?! Absolutely not - we simply learned to be more careful! After a while though, we lost interest in this too. Yet, before we did, I made friends with a female player, however unlikely out of our shenanigans, who I swore my "protection" to! We became quite good friends and I would protect her from other players and help her here and there with some of the monsters, as she would quest her way to Diablo himself. In fact, because of her, I found myself helping other players as well. Once she reached Hell, at the ultimate confrontation, I helped very little and watched with pride as my sweet protege slay the demon! I guess you could say she slew two demons: Diablo and the one driving my impish behavior!
      So, thanks to four crazy friends, a naughty cheat and a beautiful friend made, I will never forget Diablo! Two and Three are fun but nothing will come close to the ridiculously fun, countless hours spent playing the original!!

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      November 10, 2012 2:28 AM

      I had been playing the Diablo demo for a while on our Pentium 1 PC. Then one day I came home from school and made a new character, but something was different. I could keep going! Turns out someone had replaced the demo with the retail version while I was out.

      I kept playing until bedtime, descending deeper into the labyrinth...


      Another one would be Warcraft 2, which was the first real PC game I saw. Before that it was all NES, SNES, and Windows 3.x games. My older brother got it, and when I saw Human mission 1 I said "that looks fun", he said "it is", I watched him play and from then on I was a PC gamer.

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      November 10, 2012 5:37 AM

      starcraft was the game that got me hooked on pc games. spent an entire night downloading the demo off a 28.8 connection, timed out once.

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      November 10, 2012 7:22 AM

      I used to play Lost Vikings on 2 player mode by myself, for double the strategy.

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      November 10, 2012 3:59 PM

      I was around 12 years old when my neighbor lent me his copy of Warcraft, the first real-time strategy game I had played.

      I started the install straight after getting home from school. I wondered what was in store for me as my imagination went wild over the medieval imagery before me - the universe felt solid and real right from the onset. From the first "my liege", I was hooked. This was the first game to truly captivate me.

      Oh sure I had great times playing FPS games like Wolfenstein and Doom. Killing demons and playing the action hero was great and all; but they lacked the feeling of power I was intensely craving. A feeling that can only be gained by spawning new life, looking down on your minions, and sending them to their death in your name! I was playing god, only this time I didn't have to feel bad about the poor insects I was toying with and mutilating.

      Building tiny towns was my new favorite thing to do, till I realized how much fun it was to raid an enemy village! I was in a stupor of gaming nirvana till I was sharply snapped back to reality by the shout of my Dad "are you still up?!". I was covered in a cold sweat. I was tired, hungry, and had to pee badly! It was 2AM and I had school the next day. Ever since this night I have been hooked.
      Warcraft made me loose my sense of time and space. I felt elevated above my mortal coil and into a plane of existence in which intellectual stimulation and enjoyment was the only thing of true value.

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      November 10, 2012 5:17 PM

      I played Diablo 2 only a few years ago as part of my "play all the classics" campaign, this was after I played games like Planescape: Torment, Fallout and Arcanum. Diablo turned out to be boring and repetitive with a terrible story and a random drop gimmick that continues to plague games today even though it was never a good idea in the first place.

      Blizzard's battlenet requirements and dubious company practices have turned me away from all their other games and it doesn't seem to me like they've done anything good for the industry except make a lot of money off of easily addicted and duped gamers.

      The end.

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      November 11, 2012 6:35 PM

      PC Gaming has almost exclusively been centered around Blizzard for me. I don't come from a huge amount of money, and no one else in the family is the least bit interested in video games, so a high-powered computer that could handle new games was really out of the question. However, I've always respected Blizzard's goal to make PC games that could run on a wide array of systems, and I've always been thankful for that. I still can't afford a real gaming rig, but someday, I'll put aside the money for it.

      Anyway, my fascination with Blizzard games is a long story, most likely beginning with seeing Warcraft 2 at my friend's house. The music, the art, the gameplay mechanics, the voices of all the different units, it was all instantly engaging. I remember, unable to purchase a copy of my own, trying to creatively install his copy on my computer (sorry, Blizzard! I was young and broke!) so that we could play one on one matches over our modem connections. The inconvenience of using the phone line, of which there was generally only one per household and certainly only one in mine, seems ludicrous to me now, but hey, I had to play Warcraft 2 as much as possible, despite phone lines being in use, parents yelling, homework being neglected, and even despite my friend always winning. The thrill of competing in such a fun, sophisticated system was too much of a draw. As I got older, I would have many sleepless nights with many different Blizzard games each in their own way; weird custom maps in Starcraft II, a throwback purchase of Diablo II of all reasons to make waiting for World of Warcraft go by quicker, many high tension late night raids in World of Warcraft... main tanking for a big guild on a crappy server making friends I still have many of which would be stories unto themselves, and on and on and on.

      The greatest excitement, though, would probably have been the release of Warcraft 3. There were seven years between the release of Warcraft 2 and 3, and the announcement of the sequel put me into what could easily be classified as an obsession. I checked the website obsessively, sometimes several times a day, poring over each detail and each new announcement, whether it be a unit, or some lore, or different game mechanics. This went one for, oh, I don't even know. That game was made on REAL Blizzard Time, they're much faster these days. It was done when it was done. I must have followed the game's progress for at least over a year, seeing as it was announced in 1999 and released in 2002 (of course, I followed things much closer back when I had the time to). I held on to my Collector's Edition pre-order slip for much of that time, as well. I cursed that I was not selected for the beta. I bemoaned any even slight delay of which there were many; it was definitely where I learned greater patience when waiting for games (or perhaps anything).

      And, finally, the big day comes. July 3rd, 2002, just a few weeks past one if it's other release dates. I woke up early, which was odd for me, even at 13 years old. I called the game store (I come from a medium town in an isolated area, and it wasn't unheard of for certain games or videos to not show up right on the release day back then). It was in and waiting for me. I begged my mother to drive me there as soon as possible. I couldn't wait another second for it. I must have ran into the game store like some sort of cartoon kid, probably annoying the crap out of everyone. I went up to the counter, presented my slip , and received my massive Collector's Edition Box, and bolted back to the car. I could barely believe that I had, in my possession, a copy of Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos, and I was on the way back to my home to ram it into the CD Drive, pore over the manual as it installed, and then, finally, to play Warcraft 3, a game I'd been preparing my wee little kid brain for, at that point, what was almost half of my life.

      But then, my mother says "Ok, we're going to go get your Social Insurance Number now".

      I didn't understand. What? We're getting what? Why do I need that? Why?? I've been waiting for this day for YEARS. Why TODAY? Why RIGHT NOW? Most importantly, how long is this going to take!?

      I was most assuredly devastated. I more than likely stated my case calmly, then, when it was to no avail, as impudently and unpleasantly as possible. I did not get my way. I couldn't have been more miserable. In fact, I STILL give my mom a hard time for it, every once in a while. Of course, it was so inconsequential. It probably didn't take more than an hour or two, and it wasn't even out of the way from the mall. But at the time, nothing worse seemed possible.

      ...and that's why I still remember the day I got my Social Insurance Number.

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      November 12, 2012 5:35 AM

      The contest is now CLOSED to submissions. Thanks to all who entered!

Hello, Meet Lola