Tales of Love, Death and Slumber from Blizzard’s Amazing Universe of Games

by Brian Burke

NVIDIA is full of fanboys and fangirls. Whether it’s cars, cats or cartoon characters – no one at NVIDIA is afraid to display their passions on a t-shirt or their cube wall.

Tell us the tale of your best Blizzard adventure for the chance to win this BlizzCon swag bag.

And more than a few of us have a very public love affair with Blizzard Entertainment. The passion some hold for their “Diablo” characters is unparalleled, the zeal they play “StarCraft II” with is unmatched. And the time some of spend logged in to “World of Warcraft” can be measured in months.

That’s why so many of us this week will be at BlizzCon – Blizzard’s amazing community event. There’s no other conference like it. From the cosplay, to the infamous swag bag, to the beer steins, to the headlining concerts, Blizzcon is the perfect example of an event put on by a company that “gets” its fans.

But the biggest reason Blizzcon is such a great event is that the passions evoked by Blizzard’s games make for great stories. And sharing epic tales – of love, of loss, of sleep – is the stuff of which great communities are made.

So, join the community of fans here at NVIDIA and share your stories in the comments section below. We’ll award our favorite a BlizzCon swag bag. 

Here are a few stories from our colleagues.

Eric Reichley, senior content manager, finds love

A very successful campaign: Eric Reichley found love in ‘World of Warcraft.’

I’ve been a “World of Warcraft” player since the Alpha days.

So, back five years ago, when Wrath of the Lich King came out, I was flying around Northrend and my guild leader sent me a tell that this chick needed my cloth transmute skill, which allowed me to create various kinds of in-game clothing. We met at the Nexus and I did the transmute. We started chatting. I looked her up on MySpace. She was friggin’ gorgeous. So, I went to Dalaran the next day and bought her a gift, the black cat polymorph.

I guess that was all it took. We spent more and more time playing together. She lived in Canada, and I lived in Texas, so it was a long-distance relationship. We used Ventrilo, then Skype to communicate until I worked up the courage to ask her if we could meet in person. She agreed, so I flew her down and we spent time together.

Today, I am married to that mage and we live in Texas with our son, and my three Level 90 characters. Getting a hot gamer chick for a wife was well worth the 380 days I logged in Warcraft.

Clay Causin, senior software engineer for Mobile Multimedia Cloud Streaming, finds death

In the summer of 2000, I was playing nothing but Diablo II. I played in hardcore mode, meaning if you die your character is gone. Forever. No respawning. I had a Barbarian that I regularly played. Being a melee class in hardcore is tricky because you are always in combat, with death always a split second away. I had to be very careful when playing, so I did so with friends to have safety in numbers. Weeks turned into months and my Barbarian continued to climb the rankings ladder. Once I was in the top 10 I was nearly untouchable.

Stay sharp: death lurks everywhere in ‘Diablo II’

Then I got careless. One afternoon, I decided to play alone because my friends weren’t online. Not a big deal. I would stay in a lower zone and farm for items. Sounded easy enough to do with a Level 86 Barbarian decked out in my killer gear.

Many Stony Field runs later, I noticed that loading the zone took just a bit longer than normal. I waited a couple of seconds and everything felt fine, so I start clearing the zone. I came across another group of skeletons and “whirlwinded” into them like I had done several times before. Halfway through the group of monsters, I had a technical glitch called a “lag spike.” In a lag spike the screen freezes but audio continues …

So, I’m staring at my frozen screen and then my heart stops when I hear “Rakanishu” and the buzzing of his multi-shot lightning attack. All I could think was “Come on, come on.” My lag spike ended and my screen caught up with the game just in time for me to watch my beloved Barbarian die. Since I was playing alone, my loot was locked to the character. Gone. In an instant it was all gone.

I didn’t move, speak or breathe for what felt like an eternity. I was stunned, sick to the stomach. I wasn’t just experiencing loss, I was actually mourning. I honestly don’t know if it was minutes or hours that passed while I stared at my Barbarian’s dead body. I eventually flipped the switch and just killed power to everything.

The hardest part was facing the music. I had to call my friends and tell them what happened.

Sebastien Januario, public relations manager for Spain and Portugal, finds slumber

In October of 2006 I bought a copy of World of Warcraft on my lunch break and created my character. The character I built was so cute with his beard and huge hammer.  I named him after my favorite South Park character.  Doncartman was born.  I got my Dwarf Paladin to level 60 in just over 20 days of gameplay, that’s 480 hours in 5 months. (A year or so later I was delighted to see that Cartman was using the same class character as me for the Make Love not Warcraft Episode.)

While you were sleeping: the action in ‘World of Warcraft’ never stops, even if sometimes its players do.

“World of Warcraft” quickly turned into a parallel life, with its own challenges and rewards. It’s a world that never slept, a world in which sleeping meant missed opportunity.

On yet another night of extended gameplay, my guild mates and I had cleared out almost all of Blackwing Lair, the most difficult raid in the game at the time, in less than three hours. We were now on the final raid boss: Nefarian. We reached the very last, most chaotic phase of the battle. Mobs rush you in waves, and you have to handle them any way you can. It was likely 3 am but in marathon game sections like this, who really knows.

After many tries, many deaths, many corpse runs, many rebuffs, I just couldn’t handle it any longer. I feel asleep. And not in a graceful, lay your head down on your desk way. I went for the head backwards, sitting upright in my chair, my mouth gaping open. My guild mates were dismayed, their headphones filled with the sound of my heavy snoring, which made communication among our 40-person raiding party difficult. They began yelling at me through their microphones, to no avail.

I woke up a bit later. Dead and alone, Doncartman lay next to Nefarian’s human form. We had finally done it! And I was not disconnected for being away from my keyboard – or “AFK” as they say. I had to laugh. That was the first time I had fallen asleep at the keyboard. It would not be the last.

Those are a few of our favorite stories. Leave yours in the comments section below.

Similar Stories

  • Guest

    My best memories are from WoW back in Wrath of the Lich King.

  • TBK50

    My best memories are from WoW back in Wrath of the Lich King. All my close friends were still playing at the time and there were 10 of us, so we managed to go through the entire expansion together, through all the raids, and down the lich king, really fun, really rewarding time!

  • Justin

    The best memories from WoW for me were when my friend and I would Recruit a Friend back to back and level up new toons in the older content of the game 🙂 Really miss leveling and spamming dungeons <3

  • Rick Lott

    my favorite memory is playing diablo 2 lod and playing with a mouse on key board and i kicked butt . thanks

  • Livlös Weidenhöfer

    My best memories are from Warcraft III. It was such an awesome game growing up, me and my friends would always LAN against each other playing tower defense or some of the RPG maps. It would lead us to stay home from school to play every possible minute we could, until eventually we would work around the schools firewall and play it at school. So many awesome times were had 😀

  • Zander Work

    My favorite Blizzard memory is first discovering the amazingness behind World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, and getting 3 of my friends hooked on it. One of the best games I’ve ever played, and probably ever will.

  • ryan phillips

    My best memory takes place during the apex of Diablo 2, which was v1.09.
    The whole game was filled with duped armor and cheat Ith weapons and this
    dude challenged me to a duel in chat. Needless to say i was legit and i actually
    beat his Ith CB with a Grandfather using great mouse technique in a
    barb vs barb duel ;P

  • UndeadNotSee

    My best days from blizzard games goes all the way back to 1995, when I got to play my first dungeon crawler, none other than the original Diablo. I was pretty young at the time, so I really had no strategy to the game, just grabbed the beefiest weapon I could equip, and have fun with it.

    My favorite memory has to be my first encounter with the Butcher in the first installment of Diablo, I was roughly six years old, and seeing a rather large beast brandishing a cleaver barreling toward me was rather exciting, and scary! Of course, I died, but I never let that stop me, nothing beat opening the door to that room and hearing, “Ah, fresh meat!” for the first time.

    Thus, a loving for dungeon crawlers was born.

  • Sean Patrick DeMarco

    My favourite story from WoW was when the guild I belonged to, Amaranth Knights, on Eldre’Thalas downed Illidan Stormrage on our last ever attempt on this content as the new expansion was coming up. Our raid leader said this was our last attempt and he meant it and we got the job done. Everyone was so excited to have done this and this was before Amaranth Knights became a guild filled with a full roster of skilled players and people that could get boss fights down pat in no time. At that point in time I was a double click healer (yes I know that is fail) and yet on that fight I did very well in healing on that last attempt and the rest of the raid all found a way to give their best and get Illidan down.

    Anyway my favourite villains in video games will always be Illidan Stormrage and the Lich King and it was so exciting to be able to down one of them.

    I remember being so excited to share the news with my then fiancee and my son and anyone else that would listen. I remember all the screenshots I took.

  • Keith

    I was a level 80 mage flying around Hellfire in Outland months before Cata was released, and found 2 horde picking on a lower level night elf. I flew down and killed them and helped her get her quests done.. A few months later she joined the guild and we became great friends, running many dungeons..

  • Elessar

    It’s hard to say what my “best” story for any Blizzard product was… But I guess it would have to be one of the many mount runs I’ve done on my Hunter. I haven’t really played for long going on and off… I mainly missed any expansion content pre Wrath. Came back to MoP did a few good old dungeon runs… My luck was just a little bit too good… I got the Ravenlord mount pretty soon… The Ashes Of Al’ar on my 6th or so solo run. It’s almost impossible to say which moment I enjoyed the most… But I would have to guess at finally downing Garrosh in Seige Of Orgimmar with my friends… might have only of been normal and it might have taken us a few more wipes than what was necassery… But we got there and it made me happy as hell ^.^

  • Maxim Op ‘t Eynde

    My best story isn’t just a story, it a collection of memories. One of my many good memories was playing PvP in Cataclysm, doing Battlegrounds for fun not victory. As we were having a good laugh (and dying), one of our female players, a gnome mage, started “documenting” her adventure of capture the flag over ventrilo. Suddenly I was just stood hiding because my eyes were full of tears from laughing too hard, and I could barely still look at my screen as I listened to her say: “I am approaching the flag room, I am in the flag room, I am invisible, I am approaching the flag, I’ve got the flag, I’m running with the flag…I’m dead, I’m respawning…”

    It was this group of people that I used to play with that did such funny things, Everytime someone would AFK and come back and say “I’m back” they were greeted with the usual “Welcome back” just so we could chain in this stupid chain of “Thank you” “Nah you’re welcome…back” “Awww thnx” “It’s okay you’re welcome…back” …. and so on.

    WoW has done many things over the years, I’ve had fun soloing old content and struggling in the new, i’ve met many people in many countries and many guilds, i’ve lived thousands of lives (honestly I used to be a huge noob just kept dying over and over), and even had fun reading the books about it. I’ve got a facebook with many friends I met in Azeroth, and some that i’m planning to meat irl.

  • Joshua Wright

    My tale from Blizzard games goes back to when I was five in 2002 my cousin was an avid gamer so he played a lot of games at my grandmothers house. Anyways one time when I was bored and looking for a new game to play I found a game he left which happened to be Warcraft 3… This was the first time I had ever played an RTS or a Blizzard game and frankly I sucked but I was addicted and I spent my entire month there staring at the screen playing the wc3 campaign on varying difficulties then trying my hand at online… Two years later my cousin knowing how addicted I was to Warcraft 3 and letting me keep his copy brought me the greatest present had ever given me, he brought me a copy of World of Warcraft and Warcraft 3 expansion The Frozen Throne. This was the most exciting moment of my life as I sat on his lap staring at the install and creating my first Wow character ever my level 1 Tauren hunter, frankly I was worse at Wow then I was a wc3 but I didn’t care later he left leaving me his user and pass and told me to call him if I was going to play and he promised to come often to help me level… Like every young kid I couldn’t stick to one character for very long but hey each to their own. And here I am now 9 glorious years later with my level 90 Draenei shaman with his 550 ilvl yes I know Alliance im terrible :), writing this paragraph hoping to get a little wow swag.

  • Vikas Shah

    My favorite story about a Blizzard game is about raiding with my guild back in the Burning Crusade days. We were one of the top guilds on our server, Boulderfist (US) and I’d been raiding with this guild for some time now. I remember joining as a complete noob. They brought me along on one 25 man to Serpent Shrine Cavern since they were short a person and afterwards asked me if I wanted to continue raiding with them. That was back when I was freshly level 70 and before I knew about gear optimization and was still wearing greens and blues.

    Fast forward a few months and we’re doing attempts on Supremus in Black Temple. On one attempt we end up beating him and I end up topping the damage meter (granted I was a warlock back in the shadow bolt spam days) for the first time in my raiding career. It was a great feeling. One of my guild mates even told me that he thought I was a complete noob when I first joined and was surprised when I topped the meter on that fight. I continued raiding with that guild until midway through the Cataclysm expansion when I had to leave to focus more on school. I’ve missed the late nights raiding and striving to get my rating up in the arena on non raid days ever since.

    I still keep in touch with the friends I made online through that game even though most of us have stopped playing. I look forward to going back and being able to meet more awesome people after I graduate next month. Hopefully maybe some of my guild mates will even start playing again when I do 😛

  • Brian_Caulfield


  • Brian_Caulfield

    Mouse and keyboard, ftw

  • Brian_Caulfield


  • Brian_Caulfield

    Playing since you were five. Now that’s hard core.

  • Roy,Verkooijen

    i remember the good times i had in world of warcraft ive been playing for around 8 years know all the good memories and times we had together all the friends i met and ofcourse the sad part is in the end we all went our own ways but memories i surely got alot of ehm i remember a 1 night in particular while raiding our guild master said if we kill this boss in a try i will sing a song so 24 people die on the boss on 2% and 1 guy finished him off so he had to sing us a song 😀 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fxj7McKN0bc (im roy btw on the stairs) enjoy we putted some sad music under it set the mood quiet well hoping the next expansion gives my wow feelings back im still playing but not that often as i used to Blizzard i thank you so much for all the memories i got from playing World of warcraft

  • James Langbridge

    World of Warcraft… I got my hands on the very first commercial version, but it wasn’t easy. I had to buy the game from someone on eBay, who sent me the box by mail and the key by email, and then download a few gigabytes. That got rid of any temptation to sleep for the next few weeks. I was in a magical universe, playing a Gnomish Engineer. I was an R&D director, creating computer software and hardware. Most other devs we used to talk to were on WoW too, and instead of using MSN or Skype, we actually connected to WoW and hung out in a noob sector. From time to time, somebody would wonder off to kill a few wolves. We used to make a fire, make things to eat, and talk about development techniques. We got a rather nice email from Blizzard telling us that they were really happy to have us play the game, but please use MSN for that, especially on a role-playing game.
    My girlfriend also played, even more than I did. We talked more through /whisp than we did in real life. We were also both very busy; I was a raid leader, taking 40 brave souls into Molten Core (at the time where it was HARD), and trying to make our way through. 4 days a week, I would take them inside, and on weekends, we would “relax”, Zul Gurub. I spent most of my evenings on WoW and Teamspeak.
    As a director, I needed to recruit a new junior engineer. I saw a few candidates, and one day, I came across someone who really was timid, and just looked at me. I asked if anything was wrong, and he said “Weeeellll… This might sound really strange, but I think I> recognize your voice”. After a bit of talking, we found out that yes, he was one of the people that came to raid from time to time. He was a good player, and he did exactly what I told him to do. “Everybody in the circle!” meant that he was one of the first people to get up and run inside. That gave him bonus points for the job, and in the end, he got it! Never regretted that.

  • Brian_Caulfield

    Damn fine way to try out a potential employee.

  • Brian_Caulfield

    I love the violins!

  • Brian_Caulfield

    School comes first.

  • Curtis

    It was a warm day in Stranglethorn Vale, I was with my best friends Bronx the Dwarf paladin, Metti the Gnome mage, Black the shape shifting druid, Linzay the Night Elf hunter and we were heading down to the hunter camp to stalk our prey. Patiently we waited… but not for long, filthy horde we sat for hours battling and dueling.

    The fight extended the whole of the Vale from the Rebel Camp to the barbaric Grom’gol Camp down to the vermin, pirate’s, scallywag’s and trader’s of Booty Bay but it was near time on to the Gurubashi arena we marched. Fighting as we went midnight came, Short John Mithril was giving away treasure. I always wondered where that little man kept it all.

    Our band of adventurers mounted up and ran for the gate little did we know what would be waiting for us in the pit, all the horde we had been fighting for hours teamed up and set a trap. We fought bravely for a good 10 seconds before getting destroyed and the treasure was lost to us.

    Although we didn’t win but I will remember that night above all others, we had so much fun all sitting on ventrilo laughing and joking about, probably all in our boxers like the lazy sods we were, I had an epic pizza and a good bottle of whiskey and the best company anyone could ask for, I’ll keep that memory close to my heart forever.

  • Brian_Caulfield

    What kind of whiskey? 😉

  • Curtis

    Bushmills Northern Irelands finest 😀

  • Joshua Wright

    blizzard has consumed my life… no regrets

  • Andreea J

    So many good memories tie me to WoW but one of my favorites is the chase for the Sorceress set (tier 0.5 for mages). I wasnt in a raiding guild so that was the best gear I could get. All the events you had to go through, killing the Baron in 45 mins, doing the UBRS event, summoning the guy in Silithus… It was such an epic feeling when I got it and the best thing was another mage complimenting me on it, looking at me with admiration. I thanked him and a few days later, I was asking around for a tailor with a spellcloth transmute and someone mentioned he could make it. Now, we’ve been together for 6 years and married for more than 3. Even moved to the frozen kingdom of Sweden to be with him. If that ain’t love, I don’t know what is 🙂

  • Kerim

    My favorite stories are from Vanilla WoW. Running as a holy priest as part of the PvP Guild Bottom of the Barrel on The Venture Co. It was EPIC. Whether we were world pvping or running 2 groups of guildies in pre-made WSG or AB and spanking the horde, it was just awesome camaraderie and fun. Getting Lt Commander rank while still lvl 49 and kicking booty for hours on end. Such fun and what the game was all about. Player vs player in epic battles in battlegrounds, getting griefed on your low level toon and your guildies showing up to payback. It was by far some of my favorite gaming moments, and I have had A LOT of them 🙂

  • Joseph Yates

    My best memories are definitely from
    WoW. I have played since Alpha, achieving feats such as Thunderfury (as a lvl 60 Female Troll Rogue), various Realm First and US top 10 PVE kills, so I’m definitely speaking from experience.

    If I had to pinpoint a single memory or something I took away from the
    game, it’s that the friendships formed in this game, and the good times
    experienced are some of the most eye-opening things to ever have happened in my
    life. I have laughed, cried, raged and everything else imaginable whilst
    playing this amazing MMO.

    People often ask or tell me, “Why do you STILL play that game?”, “Omg
    that game is so olddddd!”, “I thought WoW died ages ago?” – and
    every time, I tell them “Nope, WoW is still a great game, because I play
    for the social aspect and don’t let the game change me as a person.”

    It is truly amazing to realize the friendships made whilst playing this game are
    no different to the friendships formed in real-world situations. WoW triggers
    emotional reactions and responses of all aspects from players because it’s an
    extremely focus-oriented game that really brings communities together.

    There’s something really special about a video game’s ability to do this for what’s
    coming up to 10 years now, a decade, the amount of grade years required to get
    to sophomore year; regardless of how you look at it, this is an extraordinary
    feat that both we as a community and Blizzard have worked together to

    World of Warcraft & BlizzCon are both things that I hope live on for many years to come. The friendships I have formed via. WoW alone have really made me proud to call myself both a “nerd” and [competitive] gamer alike.

    Don’t be discouraged, be yourself, nerd it out like a baws and embrace your inner gamer.

  • Vikas Shah

    Definitely, and I learned that the hard way. Can’t wait to start my career and hopefully end up at nvidia someday!

  • donniagw595

    my Aunty
    Scarlett got an awesome six-month old BMW M3 Convertible just by working
    online… Continue Reading w­w­w.B­I­G­29.c­o­m

  • Brian Caulfield

    James, can you drop me a line? bcaulfield[at]nvidia.com?

  • Brian Caulfield

    We have a winner.

    James, your swag bag is on its way.

    Many thanks to everyone who shared their amazing stories with us!

  • http://packetfury.net/ James Langbridge

    Thank-you Brian, and thank-you NVIDIA!