My Happy Place April 29, 2011Posted by Stormy in General Whinging, Guild Stuff, Meta, Personal.
Earlier this week I had a particularly odious pugging experience, and as I am wont to do I turned to my blog as a source of catharsis. As I told the story of the band of hooligans that had ruined my evening, I tried to remain conscious of not just telling a story of a crappy pug—as was pointed out to me in the comments, crappy pugs are a dime a dozen and we’ve all seen them. And yet, that comment from a dissatisfied reader got me thinking about a) the nature of blogging itself, and b) why I play WoW at all.
In an effort to be a bit more marketable to readers of the Wall (as if that doesn’t sound entirely cynical), this post is intended to herald a bit of a change in my tone. I don’t want to fall into the trap of just “bitch bitch bitch” all the time, so I took some time to reflect on the things that make me happy in WoW. So I give you…
FIVE THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY ABOUT WOW:
1. The Scenery
I sometimes stand in awe of the amazing world Blizzard has created. It may be a completely different planet, but I stand in awe of the rolling plains of Mulgore, the Nordic beauty of Howling Fjord, the dense jungles of Un’goro Crater and Sholazar Basin, and the desolate wasteland of Durotar. I can find something beautiful to appreciate in all the zones, even the ones (like Desolace, Silthus and Twilight Highlands) that I hate. I have had more “OH WOW!” moments in Azeroth than I can count, from the giant statues in Uldum to the redesigned Silverpine forest. While I’m a proud member of Thrall’s Horde (no, not Garrosh Hellscream’s), I firmly believe that if you’re not absolutely in awe of the majesty and power of Orgrimmar when it appears on the horizon as you ride up from Razor Hill, you have no soul.
2. The Jokes
Much ink has been spilled over Uldum, with people referring to it as one giant cultural reference. Others have opined that with Cataclysm Blizzard has gone too far in trying to stick cultural references and in-jokes into every little nook and cranny, and in a lot of ways they’re right. I appreciated the subtleties of pre-Cataclysm Azeroth, the jokes intended to be appreciated by those who got them and ignored by those who didn’t…but on the whole, Azeroth still makes me laugh my ass off. I’ll never forget riding the zeppelin from Tirisfal Glades to Orgrimmar for the first time and discovering that the zeppelin master’s name was Hin Denburg. I nearly fell off the zeppelin tower laughing. From cooking trainer Thomas Kolicchio to Haris Pilton’s Gigantique bag, I think these references add sort of a zany madcap feel to my adventures, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world.
I mentioned in a previous post the story of the night we killed the Lich King. Our guild was new, we had several new people who had never seen much in ICC, and we didn’t have the best gear in the world, but in six weeks we pulled together, went 12/12 and killed the Lich King. It’s an indescribable feeling knowing that all that hard work paid off. I have no idea how many wipes I endured in all the time I spent in ICC or how much gold I spent in repairs, but it doesn’t matter. We won and the Lich King died.
4. The Escape
I’ve covered this before, so I’ll keep it short and sweet. I love attempting to immerse myself in my character, making an effort to *be* Grimsey the blood elf paladin or Tormenta the shadow priest. I love setting aside the pain and suffering of the outside world and losing myself in the life of a tall and strapping Tauren druid or a warlock that kills things with purple fire. In WoW I can be anything I want to be.
5. The People
Yeah, I know it sounds crazy given the amount of complaining I do about various people. But WoW is a multi-player game, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Amazing people like Rush and Suzanne and most of the folks from my old guild are few and far between, but it’s when they gather and take on common goals that true magic happens. I’ve been rekindling a few relationships with some of the people from my original guild, and I’m doing so because to me these people are family. I may whine and rage about them occasionally, but I do that with my real family too. Far and away my favorite thing to do in WoW is 5-man instances with guildies. Back in the days when it was possible to ding 80 on Friday, spend the weekend running heroics for badges and run ICC on Monday, I gladly spent entire weekend afternoons running heroics with guildies, and I loved every minute of it.