[Stream of consciousness inc.]
The first character I made in a modern MMO was Kheldul. I had played and programmed in pre-MMO MUDs. But this was my first MMO. It was Nov 2004.
You see, I ran a pretty popular MUD ("Multi User Dungeon") with 300+ players back in the early 90s. It was coded in C and was pretty amazing. It was a glorified text adventure system with global world-movement, tactical movement, object manipulation, and classes and spells. My good friend even strapped in a Spell Description Language that players would code in. (It was an extension language based on Scheme.) It's also important to know that most players could freely create objects, rooms, containers, etc. within the world for a world currency. A lot of different people were running MUDs back then and I got an API to bridge people between MUDs where they used the same client. Anyway... it's a long story. It was a lot of code written on the fly. It was a lot of fun in the pre-dawn Internet era before HTTP. I also had a history of playing D&D. And I hung out on Steve Jackson's BBS in the pre-ethernet age. I had heard a lot about other MMOs. So suffice it to say, I was eager to take in this MMO experience.
I think I was hooked before I played.
Throughout my computer gaming and pen and paper gaming life I've most often gravitated toward a ranger archetype. The thought of being able to use rifles in the game and have a large pet really hooked me on the hunter and specifically a Dwarf Hunter. The most recent character I had played in D&D had been Grantil Obergraff, a Dwarf Fighter/Cleric who was part of an Ursine Cavalry. Kheldul was not only the first character I played; Kheldul was the first wow character I created.
Except for vacations and normal life, I haven't stopped playing and I haven't stopped playing Kheldul. This means semi-daily play and raiding three nights a week. A year or so I typed, "/played" and it was scary. I haven't done it since. It's also worth noting that I don't stand in town or do auction sales on Kheldul. /played is scary and I can't easily dismiss it. It does make me think.
In addition to time played, I've spent countless hours on guild forums, community posts, blogging, and now twitter. This is my 560th blog post here. It's almost all about Hunters. I've started to do most of my trivial posts to twitter. Kheldul and I have crazy amount of time invested in a thing that does not have a physical form.
Alts Never Mains
In the early years when I rolled Kheldul, I had other characters. But most didn't get past level 20. In early Cataclysm I started a few more again. This time I happened to pick "Khel" as a prefix to their names. I have Khelark, a pretty good i508 Resto Shaman and part-time Auctioneer. I'm quite comfortable healing with her, but I don't like Elemental DPS and can't see building up a full Enhancement set again. I farmed and farmed a nice Scarlet Crusader set for her before MoP retired that gear. I have Khelarghast, a new i490 mage who I leveled from 20ish to 90 in what felt like record speed. I could be good with Khelarghast if I bothered to apply myself, learn the ins and outs and fix up my UI a bit better for him. I have Khelune, a level 86 (but ilevel 415) Guardian/Feral Druid. I have a Worgen Prot Warrior who is level 85. I have really nice transmog sets for all of them. The one exception being my 85 Blood DK, Khelduwath. I am tired of him completely and haven't even bothered to spec him since MoP began. Kheldul, i539 is my main.
Kheldul is a pretty bad-ass dwarf hunter, but he's really a softie - most especially with his pets. Over the years, he's had many favorites. Before the modern stable changes, he had to let three of them go back to the wild at different times. His first loved pet was Mokral, a temperamental brown bear. His second was an ornery boar named Bacon. Third was a the briefly loved Chipotle the red scorpid. Fourth was his silverback great ape with green eyes, Jason. Then came his albino T-Rex, named Chuckles. Lately he's been using many different pets based on the need, but this year when running as BM, he will default to his spirit beast porcupine pet, FITE, who comes in three different colors depending on the mood.
Be a Groover
I love the current hunter game-play. On farm fights, I often have Kheldul hop and move unnecessarily while DPS'ng. This isn't to say that I don't always give it my full effort. I'm
usually on the top of the damage chart, and
normally have the highest "active time". I move and hop because it is so enjoyable. I do spinning jump shots for no practical reason except that they feel awesome.
Better to Look Good Than Feel Good
Kheldul enjoys the transmog scene and often changes things up. He's had green suits, blue suits, black suits, and red suits. He's had gear sets for pet-tanking that look like shining white plate armor, one that looks like a two legged turtle, and lately one that looks like a red samurai. He even has a full set of red shaman gear from the Dark Moon Fair vendor. Each set has a matching tabard and gun.
And finally, what more do you need to know about Kheldul, other than he still has every nice looking gun he's ever owned. (With one exception, and with some re-acquired after the fact). He keeps them safely secured in his gun locker within his bank vault.