Thursday, 20 January 2011

Light House

This is the second part to a fictional story I began here. Feedback is appreciated in the comments.

Deme turned her mount back towards the jetty and kicked him into a trot. As they approached, the boat was alongside and the rower was hefting rope in the moonlight.

Well get off your horse and tie me alongside! yelled the boatman.

Deme stood her ground and did not dismount. Wearing a flimsy dress was not the best way to encounter someone who might want a fight. She wasn't about to give up the advantage of being on horseback.

Who are you?

I'm the bloody Light House Keeper and your that stuck up death knight who thinks she's too good to get married in our cathedral!

Deme gaped.

Aww come on lass, grab this rope and tie me up. Then come inside, you look half frozen.

Disarmed by the light house keeper's consideration and his knowledge of who she was, Deme dismounted with as much vigour and dignity as the silly dress would allow. Self-consciously pulling her cloak tighter round shoulders, she thought, Damn that bloody Jenwa for convincing me to go to the party in a dress.

Don't worry lass, there's nothing of yours I want. I've seen it all a'fore from them blue ones to the blood elves and I still say the dwarven lasses are the best there is.

Deme was gaping again. He was damn rude, but oddly perceptive and reassuring. The light house keeper chortled and clambered onto the jetty from the boat. Not an easy task Deme now realised, given his short stature.

I'm Derrid Oljind, he grinned holding out his hand.

I'm that stuck up death knight replied Deme, shaking his hand and grinning back. Rude, but reassuring, what wasn't to like?

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Midnight Ride

As a side step from normal activities, I've written a piece of fiction this week. Constructive criticism is welcome, trolling is not.

Deme slipped out of the tavern and flipped the hood of her cloak over her head. Her heels clipped on the cobbles as she walked over to her deathcharger. A soft whiny greeted her as she slipped the worn leather reins from their tether.

The light grew brighter and the sound of raucous laughter emerged as the tavern door swung open again, but no one followed her into the street. Taking the reins, she led her horse through the winding streets and across the canal, heading for the docks. Rounding a turn past the Cathedral, she looked up and shuddered as the she saw the spires reaching up to the stars.

Even after all she'd been through this large building intimidated her. The Light seemed to emanate and pulse from it, even in the night blue. It forbade one of Deme's kind from entering the sanctuary it provided, no matter what anyone else told her, she still felt this way. Thinking back to her first meeting with Fordring and her recent run in with Thassarian and Koltira, she was stunned momentarily. So much had changed!

The deathcharger shied as a gaurd approached on his patrol. He grunted a greeting and passed on. Still not fully welcome in my home city, mused Deme. Lost in her nostalgia, the swoop of the gryphon riders overhead brought her back to the present, and the moonlight cast over the docks.

The sea salt tickled her nostrils and she felt the cooler breeze on her face. Dropping down in front of her were the sheer grey stone ramparts of the harbour, leading out to the piers and the ships, carrying merchants, goods and the Alliance Army to all reaches of Azeroth. With her free hand she pulled the cloak tighter around her, thinking her attire wasn't really appropriate for these nocturnal activities. A dress was fine for a few drinks in the tavern on a special occasion, but not really suitable for a moonlit flit across the harbour. She missed the weight of her armour. The sense of release she'd first enjoyed at not wearing it had quickly been replaced by a vulnerability she was not accustomed to, nor entirely happy about.

She'd reached the edge of the docks. Turning right she walked the length of the board-walk, aiming for the far northern land mass, the closest point to the Light House, her final destination. Hitching up the dress, and cursing it's impracticality, she swung up onto the death charger before leaning down and stroking his shoulder. A whispered word of enchantment and they were racing across the water on a frosted mirror.

The wind tore her hood down and tugged at the cloak's clasp around her neck. The skimpy dress beneath did little to keep out the cold but she'd forgotten about that now. Racing across the water, cloak, hair and clothes flying and her grin spreading. A laugh escaped her throat and kept coming. Pure, belly laughter of delight as she sat back, reining in her charge and slowing to a canter. The pair rode onto the small jetty that served the Light House and turned to see the city of Stormwind across the water. Coming to a halt, the deathchargers snorts displaying his enjoyment of the night-time excursions.

Over the bay, the spires of the Cathedral and in the far distance the high stone walls of the keep dominated the night sky, lit from the torches placed around the city and from the lights still burning inside. In sharp contrast to the grandeur and splendour of the new Keep, was what had once been the city's Park district. Now a tumbled, crumpled and burnt out ruin. In the slivers of moonlight rocky ruins could be glimpsed, a sign of the recent horrific events to have warped Azeroth.

Deme gazed over the docks and the city for what felt like mere moments. She heard the 'clunk-splash-clunk-splash' of a rowing boat and realised that her time alone, for now, was over.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Lunch Topic - What if ....

One day the AOL Seed programme will work in the UK and I'll be able to submit something for the WoW Insider Breakfast Topic. In the meantime, this is your very own lunch time topic.

What if you hadn't rolled your main character on your current server, do you think you would have made friendships/found similar people/guilds on another server? I sometimes wonder if, in a parallel universe type way, I would find people similar to all those I now know on my home server, on another server. Would they be the same personality types? Would there be a person who works/thinks like our GM, or like the officers, or like my friends in my raid team? Would we spot the person who gets lost ALL the effing time?! The person who spams up /g with random chat, would there be the same characters in another guild??

Would your WoW journey have been different? I know I would not have continued to play had I not made friends and found my guild. If I'd rolled on a PvP server and been consistently ganked in Stranglethorn Vale I probably would have /ragequit and never come back. What if I'd rolled on an RP server and discovered that side of the game? How would that have affected my gameplay? My blogging? Would I have begun a blog at all?!

The power of What If makes my head hurt. The great thing is I can still experience all of the things mentioned above and still stay on my server, play with my friends and play the game I've grown into and enjoy so much.

How has your game been shaped by the server you've rolled on and the characters and players you have met there?

Sunday, 9 January 2011

The Needy and The Greedy

Today's post is a two-for-one deal!

The Needy
Sparked by several incidents over on twitter, this great article on 'nice guys' and my own experiences, I want to say something about the 'needy' types out there on the innernetz. I'm not talking about your old and infirm, those living on the breadline or those in need of genuine help. I'm talking about the attention seeking, pity-party, woe-is-me unbalanced saps who can thrive on the internet and frankly, make other peoples lives a living misery.

This is not a guy-only problem. I can put my hand up and say I've been a needy girl too. Big apologies to Jim and Lewis where ever you are now, I apologise for the late night texting, the abuse of my position as your superior at work and any other awful needy behaviour I exhibited. I'm not proud of it. At all. The good thing is though that I moved on. I learnt. I grew the fuck up.

If you think you fall into the category of a 'Nice Guy' or Girl, go read that article I linked above. What you don't realise by being the first and last person your 'special' friend talks to every day, through YOUR persistence, not their's, is that you are not bringing them closer to you. You are driving them away. You are freaking them out. You are making their life uncomfortable. You are probably ruining some of their favourite past times and ways of relaxation with your constant bombardment and need to chat/text/have contact. Have they begun avoiding you? Not responding to your self-pitying nonsense? Take the hint. Go have a long hard look at yourself and ask if this is how you would like to be treated. Would you be likely to date someone who behaved like this towards you? Would you even want to be their friend? I seriously doubt it.

The Greedy
Yesterday the Man and I ran a couple of dungeons. I hate running dungeons when I've just got to level cap and don't know them. I hate it because I don't want to be the 'bad DK'. I'm so terrified of being 'that DK' that I'll only run dungeons with guildies and even pulling in two PuGs gives me The Fear. We ran Lost City twice yesterday, quite enjoyed it on the second run when I was actually able to look around a bit and wasn't thinking 'oh fuck 11fps and I can't see the bad not to stand in'.

I should say here, that The Man and I are the tanks in our raid team. We're gearing up at a similar rate to get into HCs and then raiding. We're also always talking to each other over Mumble or Skype when we are in game. So yesterday when a guildie* running with us whispered me to say I shouldn't have needed on tank gear whilst running as DPS, I got a bit upset. Said guildie is also in the raid team and is another plate wearer. The other two members of the group were druids. The Man is currently geared better than me. I needed on it. I won it.

I would never dare to need without asking on tank gear when I'm running as DPS in a random where I don't know the other members. It's just not my style. I think it's called 'being a ninja'.

What self imposed, or otherwise rules do you have for running dungeons? Are you a giant fraidy cat like me who only runs with guildies? Or are you a big brave lion who jumps right into the random queue with gusto?

*The guildie is cool, it's just my own paranoia playing out :P

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Insomniac Rant. What defines a 'good' realm or player?

Feeling infuriated. What defines a 'good' realm? Most ranking websites would have you believe it's how progressed the realm is in raiding. Thus a 'good' realm must raid. The further implication is that to be a good player you should be a good raider. Are you telling me that the player who has levelled many classes/specs to level cap and thus has knowledge of those classes is not a good player? Are you telling me that the player who hunts down obscure achievements on their own and knows the location/method to get them isn't a good player? Or the player who raided end game at top level and is now casual becomes less good because they aren't raiding? Orcballs to you then, Sir.

My home realm, Terokkar EU has languished at the bottom of the progression tables for a longtime. It has suffered through Wrath as a new realm which consequently was loaded up with noobs, myself included. However, overall the community on Terokkar is a great place. I'd say it's no worse than any other server and I do have alts elsewhere. It's fun and friendly and there's a great interaction between guilds and factions even. To turn up on the realm forum and slate the entire population of the realm in a profoundly offensive and bigoted fashion is most ungracious. I take umbrage on behalf of those who don't speak up and frankly on a personal level too. Your definition of good can fuck off. As can you.

So dear internet, what qualifies a 'good' player and/or realm for you?