Sunday, 9 May 2010

Random Blatherings (about friendship and stuff)

First off I'd like to give big hugs and cupcakes with sprinkles to everyone who left me a comment, mailed me in game, whispered me or a combination of all of the above yesterday. I really, really appreciate the support y'all gave me - more that you could ever imagine, and am very touched by it.

So, the best thing about WoW without a shadow of a doubt? Raids, pretty gear, achievements, arena, battlegrounds, pets, sparkly ponies? For me it's always been the people. The worst thing about WoW? Lag, random DC's, Blizzard's ongoing desire for RMT, nerfing/buffing of the class you love/hate? Nah, it's the people again.

When I first started playing the game I had a very definite idea of how WoW-gamers would be. Obviously they were no-lifers (I was the exception) who lived in the basement of their folks house, had a diet of Doritos, pizza and cola, were male (in the main) and on and on in a general "insert stereotype here" kind of way. It didn't take too long for this to be blown out of the water. I'm blessed to have gamed and laughed (and occasionally cried) with a seriously diverse collection of people internationally. Yes, cried. Bear with me a moment.

I know that in-game friendships (and friendships on the interwebz in general) can be fleeting, ephemeral things and there is an general view that online friendships are this. But really, it's bollocks isn't it? Some of the friendships made transcend the interweb ether and become real. Nevermind that I haven't physically met you, if I've spoken to you pretty much every night for months and life throws you a curve ball I'm going to want to hug you and support you. In my raiding guild, Syn, one of the other female guildies vanished for a while and we worried and fretted. Eventually her husband emailed someone to say she had had a stroke (at 40-something) but was recovering well. I remember all too well the silence in the officer channel on vent as our GM told us. I recall, with perfect clarity, sitting behind my monitor, tears streaming down my face. I remember the wobble in people's voices as they tried to raid as normal that night. And I remember the flood of whispers between the officers. I recall, again, with perfect clarity, her recovery period and the first time she came back online. And back on vent, when she sounded just like she always had, but with a noticeable slur to her speech, and her comments that she was fine, and to cheer her up, her hubby had brought her a shiny Alienware 'puter. Her determination to continue on, to raid and to rehab and get her life back. And again, I remember crying, turning to the Other Half and metaphorically beating my fists in a 'why is life so unfair?' childish way. I remember in the previous guild, RoTs, one of the long standing guys being given the 'marriage or WoW' ultimatum by his wife and how he logged on to say goodbye. I remember crying then, he sounded so desolate, and I remember one of the other women in the guild sending me a whisper asking if I was ok and telling me that she was crying too.

On the other hand, I remember laughing so much that I couldn't speak, being curled up in my chair with a raging stitch trying to get oxygen into my lungs; I think I've laughed in WoW more than in any other part of my life. I remember the RoTS gang, without fail, mentioning Gene Simmons (really, don't ask, just use your imagination some) right before complex fights, knowing that I'd keel over and the fight would be a wipe. The paladin in Syn who macroed 'Soulhammer casually flips his lid' and hit it whenever anyone flipped their Seal of Dalaran. The shouts of "No Pilf, your other left" as I had yet another sense of direction fail in Kara and pulled patrols. The raid leader doing the Battle Shout (or some warrior thing) noise down vent every time he hit the button and the fact that he sounded like an enraged frog. The ongoing limericks that were pure filth in officer chat. Too many occasions to list, that, taken out of context aren't that funny, but where I've sat in my chair, hysterical, tears of mirth running down my face, spluttering incoherently into vent, "Guys enough, I have to breathe...!" The Other Half taking pity on me, "Y'all have broken Pilf again, she's officially borked, give her a sec...".

So back to now. As I've said before, rolling on an RP server may by the best thing I have ever done in WoW. I'm privileged to be guilded with witty, articulate bloggers (and commentators) in SAN. And AD undoubtably is populated by warm, welcoming folk in the main. I love my characters. Pilf just continues to blow me away; my spark, my inspiration. She's shown me that I am just more than the sum of my parts. Having ranted for years about being an Aquarius, who is supposed to be artistic and having had zero creativity ever, I love telling her story. I'm now seriously contemplating NaNoWriMo this year because I'm loving writing that much. Sassi I adore as well - she's well on her way to being someone special to me too. Give it time and I suspect she'll be as embedded in me as Pilf is. I've gone from RP-curious, as it were, to having that as my game focus. My FlagRSP follows this journey - I've gone from not having it, to having it installed but 'off' so I could read other's descriptions, to Beginner RolePlayer, right through to Fulltime Roleplayer, Looking for Contact. I've updated and added to my character descriptions accordingly. Both Pilf and Sassi now have titles ( well, they're "Miss" anyway) and surnames, as well as descriptions. Im my head, I'm IC nowadays than I am OOC - guild chat excluded. I'm very protective of my RP too and I don't like it when people fuck with that.

Interestingly the whole Pilf/Afaon thing has gotten into the Other Half's head too; we'd done a bit more work on the Pilf/Afaon storyline ingame and I flew off to meet a friend in Northrend to brag about my shiny mount and my latest outfit.

(Are the screenshots better now I've changed my resolution by the way?)

The Other Half was a bit off later on that night, and we were both bemused. He's never minded me spending ages gassing to friends on WoW (it's situation normal for me!) so this was a new thing. Eventually, after much thinking he finally said that he'd been in Afaon's head a lot during that evening, and that he surmised that the only reason he'd been a bit funny was that Pilf was consorting with a troll. Not that 'I' was off chatting to someone else but that Pilf was. IC is insidious stuff it seems! Easily fixable too - take an alt when I want to go chatting - job done!

Yesterday pissed me off so much because people thought they had a right to stomp all over my character for their own cheap gratification, lulz, whatever. I finally got there and worked out what it was that had gotten to me so much. Yes, the whole implication was deeply off, but what really bugged me was their utter and total disregard for Sassi. For where she came from, who she is. For her as an entity, and individual. I'm so careful not to Godmod, not to fuck with other people's immersion that I was deeply offended that someone thought it was ok to fuck with mine. Not that it'll keep Sassi down...


  1. All that sounds familiar... (Though, wtf, WoW or marriage?! There's limits, but seriously, why forbid your future husband from playing a game?) Honestly, the best laughs I've had in the last few months were last week, when we went to 'boost' someone in the ICC heroics and spent 3 hours wiping and rofling on Vent.

    I've never heard that Aquarians are supposed to be creative. I'm one and my creativity is... well, maybe not nonexistent, but it doesn't manifest itself in any artistic ways. My SAN char is stuck at 20 something with nothing resembling a personality.

    As for the screenies - yay, much better! The clothes are lovely, I might just have to get someone to boost my priest for that halo...

  2. Yeah, it's always been the people for me too :)

    I am so proud of you for how much you have embraced the RP and owned it :)

    Poor Afaon - I can't believe you consorted with a blue-skin :P

  3. Here here!

    I love the people.
    I hate the people.

    It's just the way things go - I have been in tears due to the people of the game, usually past friends who suddenly decided they were utter tossers. Annoyingly this all seems to have happened on Fae! Which gives me great memories of my Hunter *not* but I've had some great times too and I often wish my microphone wasn't so borked so that I could talk on vent. At least I can listen!

    And you know, blogging has been a huge part of my game recently. I'm always flying around thinking "that screenshot would be great for a blog post" or "oh I need to rant about this douche/lovely person" and it's great! I love that. I love sharing a bit of myself with my readers and being able to see also what they think in the comments.

    There is so much I want to talk about on my blog right now that I simply can't because I've been told to, for the most part, keep my mouth shut. We're planning a 10 man guild for Cata, and I really really can't wait! A lot of people I used to do 10 mans with before are coming or thinking of coming along, and if it's anything like it used to be it will be amazing :)

    Also bought that vest for Jaedi :D it's so lovely <3

  4. Great post! I have to agree that as cool as WoW is, its 14 times better with a good bunch of mates!

  5. @ Jen - yeah the 'WoW or me thing' I kinda found weird, but then he was online All The Time and they had 2 young children. As a side note, all that happened, as it turns out, was that he gamed at 3am when she was asleep - give it up for having an honest marriage... Halo is a drop from The Arcatraz last boss who is a PITA, but it's so shiny and lovely :)

    @ Issy - yes that's how Afaon felt! No more consorting with blue skins on Pilf *shakes head*

    @ Jae - squee re plans - I really, really hope it all works out and, ofc, am looking forward to hearing about it when the gagging order comes off ;) Although I focussed on the 'important' tears I've shed during WoW I would have trouble counting the number of tears I've shed out of frustration or wtf-ness. When I finally left Syn (the 25 man guild) I was sobbing my heart out with frustration and anger and all sorts of unpleasant emotions. It was highly upsetting but I try to hold by my view that most people are basically ok... that said, I confess to not PuGging much...

    @ Wulfy - *curtsey* thanks for stopping by :) And yep, agree completely, it wouldn't be anywhere near as cool without people to shoot the breeze with!

  6. You know? I've got it in my head that all people in PUGs are horrible and nasty, or just really big idiots. I'm never disappointed, but I'm often pleasantly surprised :)