Archive for the “Nature of WoW” Category

I have the mobile armory on my iPhone, but I’ll readily admit I almost never make use of it.  I don’t know too many people who play WoW, so I don’t do the whole ‘Hey, check my toon out!’ thing.  Hell, even if I did know a heap of people, I still wouldn’t do that.  I don’t bother looking up other people, because I have no real reason to.

However, I was lying in bed last night, and I was bored, so I thought I’d have a little poke around and see what it did (especially since there was an update!)  I didn’t find any fun new features, but I did find out some interesting information.

Turns out, I haven’t done anything meaningful on my Warlock in three months.  Three months ago, I got a Frost Emblem.  That is the last thing I can see in my activity feed.

Which, to me, sounds about right.  I quit playing my 80’s just before the new raid came out.  I just didn’t realise it was that long ago.

I also haven’t logged in to the game at all in a month.  Which is actually really terrible, and means I’ve been neglecting my guild, as well as an awful lot of other things (see: this blog).  I keep telling myself that I’ll play more when my desktop is functional again, but I think that’s just an excuse.  A few months ago, I would have been repairing my desktop the minute it died.  I wouldn’t let it sit there, broken, for a month.  I wouldn’t let my WoW account lie there, untouched, for a month.  I’d be on, I’d be trying to recruit, I’d be working on getting my alt to 80, I’d be working on keeping my Warlock at least somewhat up to date.

Now? Nothing.

I know I’m a little disenchanted with the whole game.  Heaven knows a break may have been a good thing.  But, you can’t just take time off when you have some level of responsibility.  The responsibility to be seen, the responsibility to be organising stuff, the responsibility to be around when people need you or want something.

I sound like an utter lunatic just for thinking this stuff, I’m sure.  I should put aside some of the things I have been spending my time on (futile chasing after a guy?  Excessive socialising [read: drinking]?  Re-reading every book on my bookshelf?) so that I can get back in the game and do all the crap I am meant to be doing.  My non-WoW playing friends would think I was insane, and no doubt some of you do as well.

I guess the big question here is, just how much of a space in your life should the game have?  I know this isn’t the first time I’ve grappled with this, and it won’t be the last.  How much should I push life aside for the game?  When is it OK to say, no, sorry, I don’t want to do that because I want to work on my video game?

All I know is, I’m going to log in today, see what the hell is left of my guild, and begin working on it again.  And pray that not everyone wants to kill me for mysteriously disappearing for so long.

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OK, OK.  I have tried really bloody hard not to end up writing about this whole gender thing that seems to be the big issue in the WoW Blogosphere at the moment.  It’s so spread everywhere that most people probably feel saturated by the whole affair.

However, I’m going to blather on. 

I’ve got broad shoulders, so I’m going to admit that I am the person being called out here.  Kudos to her for not identifying me (although, hey, almost all of you would have seen the conversation on Twitter about it!)  If you want the full back story, scroll to the bottom.  If you want your delightful Warlock author to still smell of fel roses in your mind, don’t bother.

Essentially, I had an issue with the idea of a post that Ophelie and Matt were discussing about ‘The Male Experience in WoW’ as a part of a discussion that seems to be happening with feminist issues in WoW.  I still do honestly believe that such a post has an incredibly high risk of taking all the wonderful discussion that has been going on around women and feminist issues in game, and undermining them for the sake of men saying “But what about us?  You want equality, no?  Look at how we suffer!”  It really is the most classic way I can think of to undermine or derail someone’s discussion or argument – some times it is well intentioned, some times it is not, but it is almost always effective.

Really, that would be like me writing a post on the trials and tribulations of being a well educated, middle class white person.  Yeah, I know that everyone who isn’t one of those things has problems to overcome, but what about me?  If we are going to be equal, then damn it, you have to listen to everything that sucks about my life too!  Next thing you know, we have a mass of people ‘in my boat’ going “Oh, yes, what about me?” and before you know it the original issue has been lost in a storm of ‘let’s feel sorry for the ones who probably need it least’, or, even worse, forgotten entirely.

Yes, I said that there would be ‘nothing to say’ if you did a gender post about men.  I’m kinda looking forward to seeing a gender post about men, as much as the whole idea aggravates the hell out of me, because to this point I can’t think of any real major issues (apart from the ridiculous body image problem in the game that affects both genders) men would have.  Sure, women aren’t ‘rare’ in WoW anymore, but we aren’t commonplace either.  Men still maintain the majority.  Men still have a lot more privilege than women in this game.  I know after reading all the wonderful comments over at Ophelie’s blog that many people say they don’t understand privilege.  Many people don’t believe in privilege.  Some days, I have trouble understanding it myself, and some days, I get bothered when my privilege gets used against me (see: my typical work day).  However, my understanding or lack there of does not change the fact that it is there, and it does cause some of the problems.

So, yes, I get incredibly irate when I see a male reaction of ‘I’m going to talk about men in WoW’.  I get equally irate when I see women encouraging such a derailing action.  And that will cause the reaction outlined below, in the italics.  Sure, it’s not fair, or pretty, or very bloody nice at all.  Having all that privilege doesn’t make me a perfect person!

As for my views regarding the game and feminism?  Oh boy…

Don’t expect me to start going on about how men treat women badly in WoW.  You know what?  I honestly believe most of them don’t.  Sure, I’ve been sexually harassed (albeit awkwardly), I’ve listened to things that would make a sailor blush (but I’m a school teacher, that’s a daily occurrence for me).  However, most men I have dealt with in the game have been wonderful people.  Most women I have dealt with have been equally wonderful.  Sure, there are going to be a few dodgy ones of either gender in the bag, but you deal with that and move on.

Most of the issues I have with the game are not the community – they’re within the game itself.  I’d love to have a strong female character who doesn’t go bonkers.  I’d love for Blizzard to think about events like the bunny ears at Noblegarden.  I’d almost roll over and beg if they had a think about some of the flirt emotes and perhaps gave the male and female characters some equally ‘domineering’ ones.  However, while they have the mindset that they are catering to a male audience, and that the female audience isn’t significant enough to worry about, they will continue doing these things.

Might I be painting a poor picture of men by implying that they welcome these things?  Possibly.  However, I really do believe this is the reasoning, if there was any, behind some of Blizzard’s poorer choices.

Ophelie would probably be interested to know that I actually agree with her with a lot of her post.  Yes, if we continue painting women as victims, we aren’t going to get anywhere.  I wouldn’t say that all women should be more aggressive in their reactions to discrimination or harassment (that would be lovely, but I do understand that some people lack the confidence to do that, or are in situations which make it difficult for them), but the women who are that confident should stand up and do something.  I can’t comment on the ‘talking on vent’ situation, simply because I did avoid talking on vent for most of my WoW playing life, but for a different reason.  Even now I am awfully quiet on vent, but that has a lot less to do with my gender than the fact I just don’t like contributing useless noise in the middle of a raid, and I have always been lucky enough to have raid leaders who notice everything, so I don’t ever need to call stuff out.

Similarly, I refuse to blab on about ‘I’m a girl I’m a girl I’m a girl!’  Yeah, I’m female.  Yeah, I am a guild master (although my wonderful ‘essentially a guild master without the name’ does most of the work for me at the moment <3).  Yeah, I play a class that is stereotypically perceived as ‘female’ for some reason.  But who cares?  I’ve had people tell me I won’t be able to handle raiding.  I’ve had them tell me I won’t be able to handle blogging.  I’ve had them tell me I won’t be able to handle leading a guild.  I just shrug them off (just like I shrug off every ‘but you’re a girl’ comment and take no notice) because I know what I can and can’t do.

I’d love to know why being a hardcore WoW player as a female is even seen as a ‘feminist’ thing, or a ‘stand for women’.  Huh, what?  When I was a hardcore raider, I never once thought that I was proving anything about women. I was just raiding and having a damn good time doing it.  Now I am in a casual guild, I kinda resent the implication that I am ‘doing what is expected of me’.  The reason I chose to be in a casual guild has nothing to do with my gender, and everything to do with the fact that I lead a stupidly busy life.  The reason there are less women in top guilds than men, I suspect, is because a) there are less women in the game and b) (look out, sexist alert!) women typically seem to end up doing the usual household ‘stuff’ (dinner, kids, cleaning up, etc) after dinner.  If we fix that problem in the greater world, then yes, we might be able to start fixing that problem in WoW.

At the end of the day, I don’t care who or what you are.  You could be a spotted dinosaur for all I care.  Do whatever the hell you want to do in the game, and out of it.  Don’t let anyone tell you to do more.  Don’t let anyone tell you to do less.  Don’t let anyone say that you can or you can’t because you are male, female, black, white, yellow or purple.  At the same time though, don’t judge those who feel that they can’t do those things because of their gender or their race or their social class or anything else.  You don’t know what it is like to walk in that person’s shoes.

 

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I have a secret I have to spill

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..

It’s really hard to come back to World of Warcraft.

There.  I said it.  Done bun can’t be undone.

I always thought that quitting WoW would be one of the hardest things.  It’s kinda like when I gave up chocolate for a year – I thought it would be near impossible.  People said I wouldn’t last a week.  Sure, I cheated a little… I ate Nutella, I still ate chocolate cake, but I didn’t have any real, honest to God bonafide Chocolate for a whole year.  By the end of that year, I wasn’t really hanging for chocolate anymore.  I had kinda gotten used to it!

Well… I have found myself a Nutella.  I have found myself a chocolate cake.  While I haven’t been able to play WoW, I have played some Warcraft III.  I have re-read all my books.  I have immersed myself in my (frankly demanding) job.  Finding the time to get WoW and blogging back into my already cramped schedule has been difficult.  Almost impossible.  If I didn’t need to sleep, then sure, it would be fine.  But I look around and see that I still have to vacuum the house, I haven’t finished unpacking from when I got in last night, I have a load of washing waiting to be hung out and another to go in the machine, and my car needs washing.  WoW is slipping further and further down the list of priorities.

This doesn’t mean I will be quitting.  No sirree.  It just means that I will be coming back to the game, and to the blog, on my own terms.  I won’t be letting other things slip to make sure that I have an entry up every day.  I won’t be ditching social engagements because I had a raid to go to.  I certainly wont be slacking off on my job to make sure I can keep up here on the blog.

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I tried to play the other day.  I got caught up doing all the things I found exciting when I first played – fishing to see what I would catch, cooking to see what I could make, running around just LOOKING at things.  I tried to raid, and it was like learning how to walk again.  I couldn’t remember my key bindings.  I had trouble working out spell rotations.  I was so busy focusing on where the hell all my buttons were that I couldn’t even watch what I was doing.  My situational awareness was well and truly fubared.  I was so stressed out about what damage I might be doing or not doing that I died continuously.  It’s not fun being thrown back into the deep end.

I figure I will be back to my usual blogging maybe in a month or two.  Hell, I might be able to blog most every day regardless!  I just can’t get WoW back in my life properly.  When I do log in I feel at a loss for something to do, I am out of rhythm and step.  Quitting WoW cold turkey is bloody hard.  Getting back in like nothing ever happened is harder. 

… I sound like one of those ‘Quit’ smoking ads.

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“I can not buy it — ’tis not sold/There is no other in the world –/Mine was the only one” Emily Dickinson

It only just occurred to me that very few people understand the relationship between a Warlock and their pet. Indeed, I did not really understand it myself until I started playing a Hunter and got a chance to really notice the totally different dynamic that exists in the two relationships.

I have to admit, I have always taken my pets for granted. Just a little. Of course, that comes naturally I suppose when your pet is subjected to your every whim, and has no choice in the matter. None of this ‘Best friend’ business for us ‘locks – my pet had better do as I say and he better do it bloody fast. He doesn’t like it? Stiff.

On the other hand, I am always concerned for Brutus. If he isn’t happy, I’m not happy. I willingly starve myself so that he can eat, and the first time he died I was devastated. I regularly engage in soppy emotes, and the poor cat is probably groaning from all the /hugs, /kisses, and /pats that he gets. The only emotes Sar’s pets get are /point and /laugh (especially after I have just sacrificed one to gain even more monstrous power!)

While I was levelling my pets did get a little more love from me. Before I accidentally deleted all my screenshots *sigh*, I had many holiday style snaps of me and my pets. “Traathun and I enjoying the sunshine at Booty Bay!” That sort of thing. I still do have a total adoration for Traathun, my felhunter. I refused to have any other pet out (unless I was in an instance) regardless of how useful or useless the pet would be. He was my very best friend, my compainion, and I loved listening to his grunty noises when he killed those casters! When people mockingly refer to him as the ‘crap version of a Zergling”, I Incinerate their ass. He is a unique and special snowflake! A Zergling does not have multiple tenticle things, or proper horns!

Inferior:

Superior:

Clearly the Felhunter is a much more developed, attractive and intelligent specimen! They are not at all alike!

Ahem…

Back to the relationship I have with my pets. Clearly I do have some affection for my Demon friends. Of course, if I get one with a dodgy name I will not love it. I will refuse to use it. Hence why I can not handle being Demonology. Stupid Felguard! However, I only appreciate this relationship for the benefits it gives me. I do have a favourite, but the others are just there to help me out when I need them. Bah humbug to the rest! My hunter is the total opposite extreme. She will not be able to part with Brutus, despite cats losing their status as the superior pet in Wrath. Silly irrational Draenei…

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First things first – if you have left a comment since yesterday, I am afraid I can’t read it properly just yet. My silly host seems to be having minor issues, and nothing wants to load up properly. Heck, I don’t even know if this will end up appearing on the blog because of these wacky issues!

Anyway, what I really wanted to talk about today is all the hubbub surrounding Blizzard now allowing transfers from PvE to PvP servers. Personally, I am a little confused by the anger at this. I always believed that not allowing transfers was just ridiculous anyway. So, the levelling might be a little easier on a PvE server. You want to see what would happen if I decided to transfer to a PvP server?

drawing one

1. Oh look, pretty flowers!

drawing2

2. Hai Mr Tauren!!

drawing3

3. Oooof… What did you do that for??

drawing4

4.  Well now, that was totally unexpected.

Sure, we may have an easier time levelling than our PvP counterparts. However, if we do decide to transfer over, we are going to have a heck of a time adjusting to perpetually being attacked, harassed, and /laughed at! All anyone has to say is:

hunting season

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Today one of my guildies accounts was hacked. We were in the middle of transferring between Hyjal and Serpentshrine Cavern, when he disappeared all of a sudden, and then logged back on within five minutes. Of course, we noticed straight away because he wasn’t responding to tells, and he dropped from the raid group. So out guild leader demoted him to prevent any access to the guild bank, and we just sat there.

I have to say it is one of the most horrible feelings in the world sitting there, completely helpless, just staring as you know your guild mates things are being sold or deleted. In my usual impulsive anger, I sent a series of abusive tells to the hacker. I really don’t know what I was hoping to achieve with this, and I got no reply, but the venting at least made me feel like I could do something, even if it was tiny. Of course, I got no response back. Perhaps my abuse actually made the hacker feel more inclined to destroy things. If that is the case, then I am deeply sorry. Especially since not all the things the hacker did were at all beneficial to anyone.

The hacker only accessed one of his characters, his main, and screwed with him. He sold off a variety of things from his main set and from his bank, so his main has been rendered essentially useless for the time being. He also dropped his alchemy profession, which I think is really low. Dropping a profession that people have worked at, spent time and gold on and value, for absolutely no profit is stupid and outright nasty. I hate to think that this was caused by my tells to the hacker. Especially since I am unsure if Blizzard can restore professions to a person.

Now, I am not sure why he didn’t try relogging in to boot the hacker off. I am guessing there is a reason why he didn’t, but I can not guess what it could be. He did try to change his password, but had trouble remembering the answer to his secret question (remember, always choose a secret question that you can easily remember!). By the time he got back in, it was too late.

So, in an open letter

Dear Mr/Ms Hacker,

Let’s be honest here. I really have no idea what your motivation is for hacking. I can not imagine that in this era of dailies you are that desperate for gold. I do not know whether you work for an RMT service, or whether you hack for personal gain. I can not fathom what it is that makes you want to steal other people’s things rather than earn them yourself. However, since you have some form of motivation, I would like to address some other issues.

If you hack into my friend’s account, could you please do the ‘decent’ thing and sell all the items? Please do not disenchant things, because it makes it very difficult for people to get items restored to them. I know you do not much care who you hurt, but if you could lessen the impact of these things, then that would be wonderful.

Do you really need to drop somebody’s professions? I assume the only motivation for hacking into someone’s account is profit, so there really is no need to undo many many months worth of work. Doing so is nothing more than petty and malicious. Sure, you may receive some tells from angry guild mates while you are in the middle of looting and plundering. You can’t expect these people to not be angry! These are friends of the person you are stealing from, they will feel defensive and upset. You would not like it if someone was stealing from one of your friends, would you?

Lastly, I urge you to reconsider your reasons for hacking. As I mentioned previously, there are easy (and much more honest!) ways of earning gold, which do not impact on other players in the game. Please remember that every character out there has a real person behind them. Yes, real people. People who get hurt and upset when their things are taken.

Yours Sincerely,

Saresa.

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  1. The Story
  2. Socialising
  3. Progression

Progression

Larisa has perfectly explained (I think) one of the most attractive parts of playing WoW (using a great onion metaphor) – you begin small, with a couple of abilities and some basic tasks to do. As you level and progress within the game, you build upon this understanding, and delve deeper, finding more new and exciting things as you go. You also become more adept at playing your class, and discover new and better ways of doing things which you hadn’t really thought about before. As you become more comfortable you experiment a little, and push yourself to achieve more difficult things. Each more difficult thing you accomplish both creates enjoyment and drives you to go further within the game.

The sense of achievement and the enjoyment that accompanies progression is another reason why people stay interested in the game. People always want to reach a level which is slightly higher than where they are currently at. Improving yourself and learning new things about the game is exciting and entertaining. Even something as small as a new piece of gear can leave me incredibly excited (I just scored a new helm the other day, and I was literally bouncing up and down on my seat with joy). The things that we achieve are also scaled well (for the raider, at any rate). Smaller achievements as well level happen more frequently, but provide less of a ‘rush’ if you will. As we improve, the achievements happen less often, but are much more rewarding when they do happen. Obviously, progression can be a reason for some people not playing as well – if you are unable to progress any further because of real life commitments, or just not wanting to spend any more time within the game, then you will often quit in frustration. However, there are so many branches of progression that someone can branch out in. Different friends of mine all have different goals, and these also help ‘fill the void’ when nothing else in the game is quite as satisfying anymore. I have one friend who has levelled a character of almost every class to 70, and that is one of his main goals. Another friend is determined to hit the gold cap. Many others collect a variety of things, whether it be mounts, pets, titles, or recipes. PvP also provides another opportunity to experience progression, especially arena. Being able to ‘better’ your character means that you feel more excited about playing.

Make sure you go read Larisa’s Onion Theory – she explains the motivation behind progression much better than I!

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  1. The Story
  2. Socialising
  3. Progression

Socialising

One of the most entertaining aspects of World of Warcraft is that it is a social game. You have the opportunity to do most everything within the game in a group, or tagging along with a friend. I am one of those people who does not enjoy one player games – if I am playing something on my own, it is generally a game like The Sims which I can do while keeping myself entertained with other things (this could explain, of course, how so many of my Sims managed to soil themselves in public, starve to death, or set themselves on fire. I am a bad Sim Mum). I get easily distracted if there is no one else around to entertain me, especially when I am doing a horribly repetitive quest – kill 50 of these dragons, why don’t you? *sigh*. It’s much more fun to get a friend or two together and really pwn instead. I also enjoy doing instances (apart from the inherent anxiety attack that accompanies every PuG – what if I am not good enough? Good Lord they are going to hate me! Oh no oh no oh no!) because i get to interact with people and tackle a problem from a team work perspective. Playing with other people is much more fun than playing on your own, take it how you will.

You also have the ability to meet and talk to people from all sorts of cultures and backgrounds, one which you perhaps would not get in the real world. Some of the people who I identify with very closely in World of Warcraft I would never have spoken to in real life, whether it be because of the age differences between us, or the differences in our background (I may be a little bit of an elitist snob, but I still believe that people tend to be friends with people who come from a similar socio-economic background to themselves. Obviously this isn’t true in every single case, it is just a generalisation). The faceless nature of computer games means that you don’t really know anything about the person on the other side apart from their attitude and the things that you pick up about their personality and interests. People who are talking to me can generally tell I am female by the way I say things. They also gather pretty quickly that I am not an American because of the way I spell (colour anyone?) or the things that I happen to mention I am eating, which you apparently don’t sell over there – quite a list by the way, I should make a page out of it or something and explain what each of these things are, with wikipedia references. Some people assume that I am older than what I am because I never use abbreviations/sms-isms such as c u l8r, or whatever people say. That’s more because I am somewhat strict about grammar and things (but not too strict, or my writing would be a hell of a lot better!) than because of my age. The point is that the only way you generally start to learn about the people you talk to is through what they say in general conversation. They can’t really determine much about me and I can’t tell a whole lot more about them either. The best thing is, I kinda like that anonymity in WoW. It lessens nasty things happening such as prejudice and it means, as I said before, that you get to meet all sorts of interesting new people.

Let’s have a look at the people who I am close friends with in World of Warcraft. We have a very broad age range (from memory, anywhere from 16 – 45), live in three different countries, and all come from incredibly different economic backgrounds. We all have different levels of education – some of us did not complete high school, while some of us have completed tertiary education. Some of us are parents, some are married, and some are single. The odds of many of us becoming friends if we had have only met in real life? Very low.The thing that draws people together in WoW I think is the shared interest in the game – it is something which we all enjoy, and something which we can enjoy together. This means that you can build up some absolutely amazing friendships based on a tiny little aspect of the game. In particular, I am good friends with a number of people who play warlocks, even though we can’t group together very often obviously. We like to share stories, discuss the boring nit picky stuff such as spell rotations, specs and gear, and just have a blast.

Another interesting social aspect of the game is that you have the opportunity to organise a diverse range of events. Not everything in the game has to be progression focused – sometimes it is fun to do something just for the heck of it, such as a Five Man Ironman, or a massive event like The Running of Da Bulls. Even small things such as a group fishing party can be great, with everyone kicking back, levelling up their fishing while enjoying some conversation (and perhaps a brew or two?). This flexibility is something which makes the game entertaining and fresh. Running events like these, as well as your regular questing/instancing, can be a powerful motivation for playing the game. People also feel at times like they have to log on, because otherwise they will be letting their friends down – another powerful reason to keep playing WoW. I certainly know that the friendships I have made are the main thing that keeps me playing!

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Well, I am going to begin this post with a small sob for what may have been. I had just written a rather immense amount, and was really getting into the flow of things, when I somehow hit a combination of keys which all at once highlighted everything I had written, deleted it, and replaced it with the letter ‘v’. Now, I don’t have anything at all against the letter ‘v’. It is quite an attractive letter in its own right. It just isn’t as great as a good three quarters of an hour’s worth of work.

Back to the regularly scheduled program, I was planning on writing a post discussing the addictive nature of World of Warcraft. I often get lost in thought about the game (especially lectures at uni), and not long after I start thinking about the game, I start wondering why I am thinking about the game. What is it that keeps me playing, for anywhere between one and six hours a day, most every day of the week? What is it that also compels me to write about the game when I am not playing, to read about the game, and to talk about the game? The game in all reality has become a fairly significant part of my life, whether I like that or not. This seems to happen to a lot of WoW players, and there must be a reason that ‘Warcrack’ is so addictive. So I decided to explore some of the reasons why I personally keep playing, and keep on being interested, in World of Warcraft. Now that the post has expanded, I think that I might have to break it up into a series, because it is just far too large for one sitting to read!

  1. The Story
  2. Socialising
  3. Progression

Part One: The Story.

Cupcakes - a True Motivation?

I am sure you know some of those people who go see a movie and spend most of the time watching it pointing out the flaws and mistakes. Those really irritating people who can’t just accept things as they are, and try to ruin everyone else’s experience by criticising it… constantly. Well, that’s me! Even in films I enjoy, I will point out every single flaw that I can find, loudly and obnoxiously. I just can’t help myself (like in Ironman? I thought it was a great film. But at the end of the escape scene, how the hell does he survive? Saying he is a superhero just wont cut it either folks. His suit is super, not him – well, except for his ability at mathematics. But that hardly counts. Well, when he was absolutely engulfed in flames while he was in that metal suit – how did he not cook? And supposing by some strange miracle that he survives being roasted, how the the bejebus does he survive that fall? He should be completely broken!) Anyway, I quite often take these completely harsh expectations and impose them on games as well. If I can’t understand my character’s motivation for doing something, then I get annoyed and bored. You are crusading against the forces of evil because they stole your cupcake? Well now that’s just dumb. Why the heck would I want to go around shooting people over a cupcake? Of course, if someone stole my cupcake IRL, there would be hell to pay!

Now WoW was much more sneaky about the story line aspect. In some ways, it deals with story line well, in others, not so well. However, I was suckered in from the first moment I looked at the game, through the introductory cinematic (A new cinematic, by the way, is one of the things I am really looking forward to about the expansion. No doubt it will bring tears to my eyes. I love their cinematics THAT much). The little ‘blurbs’ about the different classes on the character creation screen just added that little more flavour for me. Not only do they explain each classes main purpose and abilities, but also how each class is viewed from a lore perspective within the game. When you begin playing, you don’t get completely overwhelmed with storyline. It just slowly builds itself up over time, as you gain some familiarity with the different races and their stories, and then the different groups within the races. Somehow though, you magically build up an understanding of what each group stands for, and who you like and who you don’t. Broad things such as the differences between the Alliance and the Horde have a massive impact upon the game. I can not even comprehend creating a Horde character and trying to play it seriously. All this time as Alliance has made me feel something like a loathing for the Horde, and I automatically distrust anything that they say or do. When the Alliance and the Horde are forced to work together side by side, I always keep a careful watch on what exactly it is that they are doing, because I am sure that they are going to sneakily undermine it somehow. Irrational? Maybe. But I just don’t trust those filthy Horde! (no offense intended to any of you dir.. ahem, Horde players out there).

I also find that there are certain races which I trust more than others. While I have found that every race that I have played to a high enough level has corruption within its leadership, I find it much more easy to forgive in the humans than, the night elves for example. Humans can be forgiven in many cases because they are led astray by the meddling of dragonkin (Thanks alot, Ony!), or simply disenchanted with the poor leadership that has been displayed in the past. The night elves manage to disgust me just a little more because they portray themselves as so in tune with nature and pure… yet Arch Druid Staghelm is possibly the most disgusting, corrupt figure I have seen in all of my travels across Azeroth. Sneaky bugger.

Can This Man Be Trusted?

Favourite Quest Chain: “The Unsent Letter” through to “Items of Some Consequence” (the Stockades quest chain). Great story line, and I am a sucker for political intrigue. I also get a kick out of Jailbreak though (apart from having to go into BRD… eeeeew). I just love seeing Onyxia reveal herself in the middle of Stormwind in all her shining glory!

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Alot of people on my server have been commenting on the difficulty in getting a 5 man run going. We used to have difficulty getting regular runs going, but there was always interest in a heroic. Since badges have become substantially easier to come by now through Kara runs and the like, no one wants to run many heroics anymore (apart from the occasional MgT run, because everyone wants the mount!). I think the new dailies have also had something to do with this – most people I know have basically scheduled play time, and having dailies to cram in to this as well eats alot of it up – people just don’t have the time anymore to do 5 mans in amongst all the other farming and questing they need to do. Have other people noticed this phenomenon on their own servers? Or is this just something that seems to be happening on Cenarius?

Oh, and by the way? I manage to fit in the time by not doing all those new dailies. Sure, I am always low on gold… but I manage to make enough cash to get me by the old fashioned way, and I don’t enjoy questing. Why spend my limited time in the game doing something I clearly do not enjoy?

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