Saturday, April 28, 2007

This may require some introspection

A couple days ago I posted this (which can also be found right below this post):
Hopefully, it's not lost on anyone that the poster here (and in every other thread like this) is a Blood Elf, the Horde's only "pretty" race, and widely (and rightly) excoriated for being the race of choice for noobs, pre-teens, and other immature folks who have, according to other posters, "ruined the Horde."
And it's occuring to me that perhaps it's not right to judge a person based on their appearance, in-game or not. I mean, sure, it's a game, but I find it interesting that I so readily went along with the stereotype.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Gnome haters

For whatever reason, there's been a slew of Gnome-hating posts on the Forums this week. Almost all look something like this:

Hopefully, it's not lost on anyone that the poster here (and in every other thread like this) is a Blood Elf, the Horde's only "pretty" race, and widely (and rightly) excoriated for being the race of choice for noobs, pre-teens, and other immature folks who have, according to other posters, "ruined the Horde."

So of course they have to deflect attention away from themselves and go after the Gnomes. Silly BElfs.

UPDATE: This guy gets it:

Love the last line, confirming what I already thought:
And what is it with Blood Elves hating on gnomes lately? Are you trying to move up one on the most hated scale? Who in hell cares what some other, highly anonymous player thinks of the class you've chosen? Yuck.

The Story So Far 2: The Protagonists

If you haven't already guessed, this blog is pretty much for people who already play WoW or are at least familiar with it. I'm not going to spend a lot of time explaining abbreviations or acronyms or any other game concepts, but will be happy to answer questions in comments.

Here is the cast of characters involved in this whole business. I've included links to their armory profiles so you can see what we're all about:
  • Snettles: Snettles is my main. As of this writing, he's a level 45 Gnome Fire/Arcane Mage sitting in Gadgetstan.
  • Hoskold: Hoskold is my alt. As of this writing, he's a level 23 Dreanei Prot Paladin, hanging out in Duskwood.
  • Palermo: Palermo is Sam's main and, to my knowledge, only character. He's a level 44 human Ret Paladin.
  • Bonemender: Bonemender is one of John's characters, a level 44 Dwarf Holy Priest.
  • Naughtiest: I suppose Naughtiest is John's main, a level 70 Gnome Affliction Warlock.
  • Lowpoint: Lowpoint is another one of John's characters, a level 21 Human Combat Rogue.
  • Moray: Moray is Bert's level 22 Dwarf Hybrid Hunter.
  • Fortudinas: This character is Art's main, a level 55 Night Elf Holy Priest.
Snettles, Palermo, and Bonemember quest together a lot. Hoskold and Lowpoint also do some questing together as well. (We had some insane times taking on monsters and quests far above our level and succeeding at them, though they took considerable time.) I'll put up some screenshots in the near future.

So that should set the stage for everyone. Let the blogging begin.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Story So Far: How I started playing WoW.

I started this blog to document my experiences with the MMORPG "World of Warcraft," both as a gamer and as a person with a real interest in pop culture. I'm a longtime gamer, but my first foray into online gaming was with the FPS "Unreal Tournament." When UT2003/2004 came out, I joined a clan which held the number one spot on the OGL ladders for some time and was known as a relatively elite player (at least in our fringe instagib community). Eventually, though, I tired of the FPS show and developed a great deal of curiosity about MMORPGs. When my brother bought Star Wars Galaxies (SWG), I joined him and together we tried to figure out what the MMORPG buzz was all about.

SWG was interesting, to say the least. We were early adopters of the game and immediately felt the grind-fest that marks this genre of games. SWG's grinding, though, was insane. Levelling took forever, mobs were difficult to find (let alone farm), transportation was either expensive or time-consuming, finding mats to farm was expensive and time-consuming...the list could go on. Long story short: my brother and I abandoned the game after less than four months. I felt as though I was working a second job and having very little fun. Sure, there were great features associated with the game (ability to change your appearance, non-combat classes such as entertainers, player housing, just to name a few), but the actual play experience left too much to be desired. I returned to Unreal Tournament.

A year later, my brother told me he was playing World of Warcraft. After my earlier experience with SWG, I initially declined to join him in the world. About a year after that, I learned my coworker "Sam" (not his real name) had played WoW briefly with a friend of his, but they'd stopped over their inability to get their friends to play with them. I did some Internet research and decided to give WoW a try. I alerted Sam and my brother, and we all decided to start new characters on the Korialstrasz realm, which had just opened about six weeks before. Sam brought in his friend "John" (also not his real name), who's a more hardcore player than we are and had already levelled a few characters to 60 (this was before The Burning Crusade came out), so we had a ready-made guide. I was actually excited to try it out.

I rolled a Gnome Mage and started playing in Dun Morogh. I was hooked almost immediately. The cartoon-ish world worked great, especially considering that other MMO's sloppy attempts at "realism" often fell flat for me. The first few levels came very easily and the animations were superb. (I did have to disable my character's voice, though—a high-pitched whine that annoyed the Christ outta me, but that was a small complaint.) Sam rolled a human Palladin. My brother ("Bert") rolled a Dwarf Hunter, and another brother ("Art")(who joined a few weeks later) rolled a Night Elf Priest. John rolled a Dwarf Priest.

Over the next few weeks, the casuals and the hardcores among us were separated out. John rolled a Gnome Warlock that presently sits doing end-game at level 70, though he kept the Priest at the same level as Sam and my characters. Art also ended up rolling several other characters and, despite starting six weeks later than the rest of us, quickly leveled past Sam, Bert, and myself. Bert ended up the most casual of all, just recently attaining level 23 as the rest of us pushed into the 40's.

The next post will lay out who the characters are.