Scroll of Blasphemous Conundrum

Damn you, YOU, who sent me the Blizzard scroll of Resurrection. Did you do it because you missed me? Did you do it to get phat xp rewards? (they still giving those out?) because I am a cynical blogger now, surely, it must be to taunt me. Taunt me after reading my last near brush with WoW death (erm.. life?) and sure enough in my inbox, sitting right now, is 10 free days waiting for me. No Paypal fiasco, no hobo-sleep-interrupting wallet retrieval, just 10, free, painful/glorious days of WoW return. When I first  received it in my inbox I smiled, then groaned, then smirked, then hrmpf? followwed by a mmmhmmmmm. I wish I had the video of it to share with you. I haven’t cashed in that chip yet but it did remind me of the other few times I tried to “go home again”. I wouldn’t classify them as successful.

When free trials pop up (as they often do) with the promise of all the new and shiny fixes to various titles I had left for various reasons, no matter how skeptical, I typically do them. Ah, to put on my troll costume and roam the EQ lands as Braack Baacarat. To enter my stealthly Emain Macha gate camping with Bleyzn Saddle. The joys. The memories! The dissapointment? Around this time last year (or the year before, it is all a blur in MMO land) I got one for EQ. Password retrieval was simple, and I downloaded the new shiny EQ skins (yes, it has been that long. I loved being a big boxy troll. The new graphics? notsomuch.) I had apparently logged out in the Great Divide Zone. I was still guilded!

[/gu] Erm.. anybody home?


Good thing there are zone channels.

[/1] Hey! Uh, I used to play on this server a couple years ago and just checking to see if anyone I know is still around

Small pause, then a chorus of replies. “HEY BRAACK!”, “Braack! YOU LOSER!”, “Hey B! come find us, we are grinding Giants!”

It was fun for the reception, albeit midly surprising that so many people were still here – this was a couple years after I had left.

So, I met up, and they were grinding giants. To work on something called “AA”. (Wow! they have expanded the game! Aircraft now? and you can grind skills to counteract that? SWEET!). We ground (grinded?) Giants for 4 hours. Yep, the same old EQ. The conversations I had during downtimes were fun, and it was a beautiful night overall. I had one other place to go – the dreaded Tower of Frozen Shadow. I ran my (now) little troll butt to the tower, sat, and just thought about things as the day/night cycle went through a couple times. The TOFS was a pinncle of memory for me. No, it wasn’t that great, but I still to this day remember how I stumbled upon it with my pocket Cleric (Candarie Stryper) and Druid pal (Deidre Whereami) when the expansion first came out. No walkthroughs, no maps. We tackled that place, the three of us, lost a quarter level of XP and had some of the most fun ever in gaming. The unknown is powerful. We ended up going back at a later date with a full group and beat the thing. That tower, for me represented everything good about gaming online at the time – still does to a degree. It is a beacon a hope – an old relic of a place, poorly designed, yet magical nonetheless. I look back at that as the “past” of MMO gaming, and how far we have come, and dare to dream that future iterations of the MMO scape can recapture that magic. I logged out that night from EQ for my last time. Didn’t have the heart to kill ol’ Braack off, but at least I know that if I ever get a free trial to that place again I will have a beautiful sight to behold when I log in. Even if just metaphorically.

So, 10 days, huh? I probably will take it and mess around with specs, and of course, check in on my motley crew of characters lying around do see if any harm/good has come of them. As of right now I have no plans to buy WOTLK, but hey, who knows – maybe 2 years from now when everyone in WoW is running around at level 110 I can login and learn that Shattrath is my new Tower of Frozen Shadow.

11 comments / Add your comment below

  1. This isn’t wholly on-topic… Am I the only one that isn’t a fan of the raising of the level cap? Why not just introduce new zones, new instances, new raid content without the leveling requirement and subsequent gear reset that comes with it?

    And no, I didn’t resurrect you. =)

  2. Hooray for hijacks!!

    And no, you’re not the only one. I mean, seriously… level 120??? What’s wrong with this picture? I agree; they should just add the new zones/instances/raids without putting everyone through the pain of having to level grind again. I realize it’s “only” 10 levels, but still… give me new areas to explore, upgrade my gear, but for the love of all that’s holy… stop making me grind to do it!!!

  3. Pope, a quick internet search of the phrase “stop raising the level cap” will turn up some good commentary on just that.

    Oh, and if anyone wants to send me, say, a year’s worth of sub, I’ll come and play whatever class you want. 😉

  4. Sorry for the double post, but Hez? Grind = sweet, sweet subscription money. I don’t think Blizzard is leaving that feeding trough any time soon.

    Of course, I agree with you, I just don’t see it happening. 🙁

  5. Agreed, Tesh.

    But, unlike the author, I stay because I enjoy the guild and (being a mom and substitute teacher) it can sometimes be the only adult interaction I get all day… which is kind of sad, I know, but the sad truth nonetheless.

  6. @Pope – I agree and I covered I’d on my levelling post a ways back minorly. I’d prefer they rengineer old parts of the world to create visible population for new folks and un-murder old backdrops.

    @Hez – I didn’t leave because of the people – quite the contrary. The grinds pushed me away from those good folk. Remember I had a solid two years of it before I suckered you in!!

  7. I know, hon, I know… jerk. 😛 But if I can’t have a chuckle at your expense, what’s left in my life? 😀
    I understand about the grinds, especially when one already has a lvl 70 and chooses to create alts. Then you have to go through all that lowbie stuff again, which is sometime enough to make one want to quit the game… or at least start drinking heavily…

    …and you know it’s cuz you’re missed…

  8. You know, take away the “pressures” that come with the grind (i.e. the pressure to go through all of it to stay on par with the raiding requirements), and the “grind” becomes much less of a grind. I’ve kept my account active through school, and though I don’t really get much time ingame, the time I do get I’ve enjoyed, even when all I’m doing is daily quests or the “grind” type activities.

    What I miss most, though, is the people. The raiding was fantastic and fun, and the thrill of putting together a team and seeing it kill bosses for the first time is excellent… But my favorite moments on a personal level will be the smaller group content experiences I had, the camaraderie that we experienced; jokes, laughter, strategy, all of it. And, the thought that these people transcended the superficial experience to become real friends.

    PS: A lot of the new achievement system has had me schlepping around the old world, and that’s been a LOT of fun for me.

  9. I was with the same Ally Guild for three years. A few different people came & left, but the core group was always there, at least until the inevitable meltdown, which is almost bound to happen sooner or later. Most of my long time Guildmates joined a new Guild, while I jumped ship and rolled Horde.

    Several months later when I logged back on my Ally toon I got an Invite to the Guild that had adopted my friends, but even though the world was the same, and several of my old friends were there, the experience just wasn’t the same. Something wasn’t quite right. I logged and went back to my Horde Toons, where I played out the remainder of my 6-month Sub then quit.

    Finding new gear is fun. Beating the content is fun. Even the Zen-like farming for Primals, Leather, etc, can be fun in a relaxing sort of way. But it’s the people, your Guildmates, who bring the MMO experience to life.

    Would I play WoW as a single-player offline MMO? I probably would, but I’m not sure how much fun it would be. The game would need to populate the world with a lot of NPCs doing many random & various things in order to make the world seem alive.

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