Exercises in WoW

Happy Labor Day Monday, dear Friend!

I’m glad you made it over, grab a cupcake off the counter (I experimented with a vanilla cake recipe and making my own frosting.  It isn’t as easy as the box mix, but it was way more fun to make; that’s another blog post).  I would put a pot of coffee on but the Keurig has left my coffee pot looking like a relic from a bygone era.  Go ahead and grab a cup of coffee and get comfy.

Today we are going to discuss the game I probably play the most, World of Warcraft.  I am sure most people know what it is, but in case you don’t, it’s an online game that millions of people from all over the world play.  I have been playing pretty much since launch in 2004, though I have taken some long breaks from then to now.  The premises is simple, choose a side, start a character and make your way up to level 85,  Once you are there, you can do many things; raid some internet dragons (or other such internet baddies; play in a player vs. player environment, or just happily pick flowers and go about your day.  You can have professions (such as mining, blacksmithing, herbology, alchemy, etc), partake in side professions (archaeology, fishing, cooking, etc) and they all have their purposes and levels to grind.  You can join a guild and meet new people, and talk to them over special voice programs. It may sound pretty mundane, but it can be quite exciting and every once in a while you may stumble upon a kindred spirit in the throngs of people that play.

I have been pretty lucky to have found one of those in my adventures.  Foreign Correspondent lives in NZ, but has visited me in March and will be visiting again in a month or so as well.  We came together pretty early in our WoW careers, in the same guild, on at the same time and then ended up in a group together (yay, internet golems!) and we just clicked.  We also took a longish break in talking, but sometimes breaks are needed.

So, back to WoW!  I most play with FC (Foreign Correspondent) on Friday nights and Saturday nights.  Since he lives in NZ, our time zones don’t really afford us any additional time.  We have our main characters, which we don’t play together all the time, though those are not the ones we play during our play time.  We have characters we are levelling to 85, hopefully before the expansion comes out.  I often wonder why he plays with me as he is super serial and good about the game and I mostly get stuck in trees and have mining issues.  If we are heading in a direction and I see a mining node, I will immediately change course and head in the mines direction; this usually ends up with him getting to our destination way before me and questioning where the hell I ran off to.  One other big thing about me and my playing: I am directionally challenged.  It is true that if I start heading in a direction 98% of the time I actually needed to go in the other direction.  My poor FC.  I don’t know how he puts up with me.  We do have a great time, and I look forward to it every week.  Our goal of hitting 85 with these characters is definitely within reach and should be good to go next weekend.

I think the best thing about WoW was something I was able to witness this weekend.  Girl 1 and Boy were playing together and I got to see them actually work together.  I am sure watching them was the equivalent of watching FC and I play.  It was a lot of, “Ugh, get over here, stop running off!” and other various things, but in the end they worked together quite well.  It isn’t often that I get to see that play out, and it was quite refreshing.  

There will always be some negative talk about WoW, and I will admit, it is very easy to become addicted to.  The world is always changing, there is never a shortage of goals to hit or things to do.  If taken in moderation, however, it can be quite rewarding and actually force you to use teamwork.  It brought me one of the best people I have ever known in my life, and I am sure I wouldn’t have had that opportunity without it (though I like to think in some alternative universe I am a artsy world traveller who may be sitting in a cafe in NZ.  He doesn’t drink coffee so I may have to think of a better scenario).  Goodness knows I can’t get Girl 1 and Boy to work together in anything, but in Azeroth, they can do it quite well and that gives me hope.  

They asked me to fight in those wars. I didn’t ask them! I did what I had to do to win. So I end up getting captured by those filthy, crap-swilling, maggot orcs and for five long years they used me as a toilet. Finally I break out and head back to my hometown and what do I get? People spitting on me, protesting me, calling me a baby orc killer and all kinds of vile crap!” ~ John J Keeshan

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