So I finally got back into the game..

I’ve been a little distant from World of Warcraft recently, up until a week or two ago, anyhow; though it wasn’t the only reason, it was pretty much triggered when I went around trying for myself the little bug where you could end up with the wrong model for your character; only for yourself, mind you – it’s entirely a character bug, but nonetheless. Getting the opportunity to try what a gnome priestess would be like to play was.. somewhat breaking to my desires playing anything else, and since Blizzard are bound to take quite some time before I actually get to transform my healing night elven priestess main into a somewhat shorter stature, I didn’t really see much of an end for it. It’s a rather damning feeling to end up with – the knowledge that what you really want to play is going to be denied you.

Starting to feel a bit seperated from my Yelnenu cronies however, I eventually managed to drag my sorry, distracted arse back around World of Warcraft and decided that if nothing else, I might in the least try playing a gnome that Blizzard would let me play. The end result of that was that I reached into my heap of mothballed characters and dug out one that I honestly didn’t expected I’d ever return to.

She might seem just a little familiar. Ahem.

There’s a particular irony when it comes to me and the warrior class – on one end, I’ve gone to record multiple times saying how I resent the rage system, how the stances to a point bother me because of how disjointly abilities overlap with some stances drowning in buttons to click while others have barely any to go around and soforth.. on the other hand, I had two prot-specced warriors at level 70 fully capable of taking on Burning Crusade-era heroics. I say had, because one of them is now level 73 and slowly climbing. The thing that really surprised me is that I’m actually having fun – yes, I know! They really did a whole lot with the prot tree that endears me to it, even as it frustrates me. For one, where I used to have one charge-like ability per stance, I now have all three of them available at any time in any stance, and the amount of buttons I feel myself needing “just in case” ended up somewhat staggering compared to the normal size of my action bars. Furthermore, Rage doesn’t really seem to be an issue anymore – atleast not so far. The whole issue of never having it when I needed it the most seem largely gone, and it’s actually pretty amusing – if daunting – to realize that I’ll actually run out of global cooldown time to click buttons long before I run out of the rage needed to click buttons.

Then of course there’s the downside. Devastate. Dear Elune Blizzard, what were you thinking?! Now, don’t get me wrong – the ability is nice and handy to use and all, does what it’s supposed to do and works just fine. The visuals aren’t too bad either – a tad large, flashy and offset perhaps, but it works. But the sound. Dear Elune, the sound! I remember a time when Devastate sounded like Sunder Armor did at the time, and it had this sound that at least sounded like a minor structure collapsing, if not things being torn and .. well.. devastated. It wasn’t the greatest sound effect in the world, but it was effective, recognizeable and gave a sense of power. The one they have now.. sounds like passing wind. Seriously. It’s this quiet ffffffttt noise as if your character had spent the last few years on a bean diet and now tried to destroy his or her foes by letting loose “silent, but deadly”-ies repeatedly on end. It not only seems so utterly off, it also provides me with barely any feedback – half the time, I can’t hear it. The sound drowns in the noise of everything else.

It might seem a petty gripe, but I play a great deal by ear – I need audiable feedback. An ability that doesn’t make sound is difficult to use for me because there’s no feedback to guarantee it went through or that I hit the right key.

Of course, as a consequence – and somewhat against my better judgement – I’ve been poking around Stormwind lately. It’s something I can’t really do with my elves much, so I figure it was worth a look, and to its credit I’ve actually had my moments of fun – especially the times I’ve managed to link up to part of the gnomish community on Earthen Ring EU and had some rather gnomish conversations back and forth. With the night elven community largely having gone beyond and forgotten me by now, it’s nice to have a foot in with my new.. well.. adoptees. There’s some good people among gnomes, so it’s nice to meet some of them on more even ground.

On the other hand.. there’s the rest of Stormwind. Not all of it is terrible, of course, but I’m still night elven enough that part of me despairs whenever I see night elves acting like humans with ears rather than even remotely night elven – I suspect that’s a reaction that might take a long time to grow out of. Mind you, that doesn’t touch on the actual worst part, and I’m finding that every so often you simply have to take a step back and don the strongest bullshit armor you can find just to keep safe from some of the madness people throw at you.

Let me give you an example – a staged “ghoul attack” – with behaviours ripped largely directly from the Left 4 Dead games, I’m told – instigated by some sort of necromancer wearing immense plot armor and suffering infinite ressurection disorder (I’m told this was the 7’th or 8’th time she’s struck down..), spawning the immense horde of three human males playing ghouls, equally wearing plot armor and swinging plot attacks. Not only did this assault take place straight in front of the Cathedral of Light, but apparently the two Paladins that were on site had apparently forgotten both their plot armors and plot hammers at home and were refused to actually do any kind of dent in this terrible offensive, leaving a particular bunch of nigh-invincible Death Knights to duke it out with the ghouls in a battle to see whose self-proclaimed invincibility was the strongest. And no, I’m actually not making any of this up; I spent the.. “event”.. sitting off in a corner by the Cathedral entrance, donned in my strongest bullshit armor and quietly hoping they’d either stop soon or move elsewhere so I could get back to pretending Stormwind actually is a sane city rather than the Azeroth Asylum.

Mind you, people are free to run around however they please, and if they had fun going about, more power to them. I’m perfectly aware there’s a phase that pretty much every actor/writer/whatever goes through that’s all about empowerment of the self, and that a great deal of the playerbase in World of Warcraft are most likely somewhere in or around that phase. Sometimes though, I wonder if they really realize how they come across to the rest of us.


3 Responses to “So I finally got back into the game..”

  1. 1 Noriam (ER)
    December 13, 2009 at 00:39

    Ah, good ol’ Areen – has been an interesting source of conversation for Norryman.
    Stormwind. Ahem. Quite the subject to cover, this. It’s a blend of epeens and good roleplay, unfortunately the stuff that really smacks you across the face (rather unfortunate considering I’m talking about “epeens”) is indeed the people obssessed with a good bit of heroics and attention-seeking with their impenetrable armour and even more impenetrable skull. There must be about three inches of bone, doesn’t leave much space for a brain.

    Ah yes, the ghoul incident. And our eighth-ressurected villain. I want to bleed my brain out of my ears, sometimes, I swear.

    Anyhoo, I was in cloth armour with a cloth hat. Fortunately I was not with the armour-flaunting crowd, but obeying my character’s own prime directive. That is, to exterminate pests. Albeit the only thing separating me from my deathknighty peers was indeed the restraining forces of ammunition and physics. I was also using an anti-zombie shotgun.

    Temptation was always there to turn it on the epeen flaunters.

  2. 2 Gryffyn
    January 22, 2010 at 03:03

    You mentioned about a night elf acting like a human with ears. I stopped and asked myself if my toon, a warrior night elf would act totally like a NELF who ever left the forest, or more cosmopolitan. I use Las Vegas for example. Damm few people are actually from Las Vegas. The population comes from all over. While I am from the East Coast of the United States, I have picked up the ways of the west in a lot of things.

    Considering that my night elf is very old by human standards, he may act like a curious blend of down home farm boy that has been molded by fighting all sorts of monsters and the horde from the top of Black Rock Spire, to the Outlands and now the frigid Northrend. If he were the same person….elf??? that he started out as a youth when he picked up sword and board I would be very very shocked.

    • 3 Nhani
      January 22, 2010 at 09:31

      There’s a difference between a character development and not. As I’ve said before, in my opinion many of the things that make a night elf.. well.. night elven.. is very much about subtle and internal things that can be glimpsed but rarely seen. I’ve actually seen night elves that are essentially naturalized citizens of Stormwind (just as I’ve seen humans that are pretty much naturalized citizens of Darnassus) which I totally bought into.

      Humans with Ears (or “Stormwind Elves”) is a term I reserve for examples that aren’t even trying; often because they’re too busy trying to be something else entirely, like a character in a noir movie.

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