A Lovely Idea – a year of WoW instancing in video

The Ancient Gaming Noob came up with an idea over the weekend which I absolutely love – seriously, it gets me right here – and I’m not entirely sure why. But I am at least partially sure that it’ll hit some of you the same way.

It’s a very simple plan, really. He wanted to put together a celebration of his regular Saturday night instancing group, which started back in 2006 and has been going ever since. And since he’d been playing around with Windows Movie Maker, he decided to make a movie.

And then he realised just how many screenshots he had, watched a couple of documentaries, and came up with something rather wonderful

“Deadmines to Zul’Farrak does not seem like a years worth of progress, especially if you have only played WoW in the age of the Dungeon Finder. Looking at the screen shots reminded me that there were often weeks that went by in between where we had to level up to get to the next instance. And, in addition, we used to try to get in an hour or two as a group on Thursday nights as well.

And then there was the hiatus when Earl moved to New York and Skronk and Ula came back to California. (Was that at the same time?) Basically, from mid-March to early September of 2007, we didn’t play WoW as a group. This, by the way, is totally the reason I keep the blog. Even looking at time stamps on screen shots for literally hours, I did not realize until I went to check on how long the hiatus was that it actually ran for that duration. During that time Lord of the Rings Online launched and the four of us not moving to New York played that. So the shot at time slot 3:08 and the one at 3:13 bridges a six month gap.

On missing screen shots, in Zul’Farrak there is a shot of the gong. What I had no picture to help explain was the fact that we got there and realized we had not yet obtained the Mallet of Zul’Farrak, which is way out in the Hinterlands. (Remember when instance quests took you all over?) There is a post that explains that, but I could not figure a way to get that across in the video sans picture evidence. So there is the establishing shot of the gong, but no follow on, aside from the Gahz’rilla fight. Liberties taken.

The first screen shot in the video, three of us (Ula, Skronk, and Blintz) at Loch Modan, is the earliest screen shot I have of any members of the group. It is time stamped September 30, 2006, 9:47pm. The oldest WoW screenshot I could find is from March 2006, and features Tistann, my hunter, at the Mirage Raceway at about level 40. Somewhere there is a folder of even older screenshots I am sure.”

There seems to be a screenshot/nostalgia thing in the air at the moment, as evidenced by the runaway success of the “Sixth” meme. (Which I will be participating in, having now been tagged multiple times – watch this space). And seeing such a breadth of WoW history in a single space, and hearing the stories – it’s somehow very stirring.

It’s worth watching TAGN’s video, too – it’s far more engaging than the description “screenshot video” would suggest, and he’s using some great documentary techniques that make the pictures come alive.

This is another moment where I’d love to see a wave of these videos. Indeed, my Sixth post may well be in video form. Particularly with recent discussions about bloggers being the archivists of the MMO experience, it’s awesome that we have such tools to tell our stories with.

Would you consider making a “WoW Memories” video?