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Your fingers ache from the constant play while sweat beads down your neck. Your eyes become unfocused, the colors and background blending together until they resemble something akin to a Monet painting. Clicking at a furious speed, you slay mob after mob, all the while watching the XP progress bar as it inches towards your final goal: the level cap. Time flies. You ask yourself, "Has it really been 13 hours? No, surely it couldn't have."
You open the drapes, staring at the stars and moon with a challenging look. Their day, too, will come. No matter. Neither man, murloc, nor the perpetual spinning of the earth about the sun will stop you this day ... er, night. Pixilated blood shoots from your prey. Their cries warm your soul, adding another notch to your symbolic belt.
Then, whether expected or not, it happens. Your character is engulfed a soothing light, and the game changes forever. You've done it. After days, weeks or months of work, you've hit the level cap. You can stare proudly at your once-lowly character and proclaim your might to all of Azeroth. You're the new tough guy on the block, and nothing can stand in your way.
With higher level caps today and a new level cap imminent, it's not difficult to focus on what's to come and forget where we've been. For me, I was a late bloomer, having never hit the previous level caps before the next expansion came out. So when it did happen in Wrath, I remember sitting there, wondering where the XP bar had run off to (I had been used to seeing it for about four years at that point). Then I blurted out to my wife about how exciting it was that I didn't need to log out in an inn for the rested XP anymore. The world was my oyster.
What is your fondest memory of hitting the previous level caps? Did you save a specific quest in order to let it have the honor of rolling your character into the Halls of Epicism? Did you save that moment to share with friends and celebrate with many drinks in Goldshire? Or did you decimate the murloc population, so that their gurgling cries heralded you into the next phase of the game?
Have you ever wanted to write for WoW.com? Your chance may be right around the corner. Watch for our next call for submissions, and be sure to sign up for Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com. The next byline you see here may be yours!
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