Thursday, 18 November 2010

Homeward Angel

Allegedly, you can never go home again. I'm starting to disagree. You can go home, as long as you accept that 'home' has moved on whilst you've been away. It'll still be familiar - you'll probably recognise street names, buildings, landmarks. Many of which will mean something only to you, but that's why it's your 'home'.

AD has been my 'home' since I migrated my characters from my PvE server back in the spring of this year. I've still got many characters there, but I was recently hit by a longing to go back to my old 'home' and see what (if anything) was happening.

Actually, I've got characters scattered all over a multitude of servers now. Characters on Moonglade because a RL friend, who I never seem to manage to sync my WoW time with, plays there. Characters on Earthen Ring because, as I was working my final day, prior to moving house, a colleague came over and muttered that she'd started playing WoW and although she couldn't remember the realm name, she'd text me with it and could we maybe quest together as her Other Half was some high end raid dude and she didn't quite feel up to that...? Characters on DMF, poignant, these are now as they were my 'escape' characters I played with Erc, and now a baby Draenei shadow priest, along with Himself who I'm trying to make understand that wonderfulness of the Draenei, horns and having a tail... Call me a glutton for punishment but I'm enjoying spuddling round, not knowing anyone, not having gold, bags and heirlooms and basically not having any social obligations (yes, believe it or not, I have moments of extreme misanthropy, and in those moments I go somewhere where nobody knows my name rather than being a mare to people who are friends on days when I'm less snarly!)

I had a few characters left on Khadgar but they were bound to show up on friends lists and I wanted to go back, yes, but on my terms, i.e. with anonymity. So I made (with some encouragement from Himself, who is a mage-devotee) a mage. A fire mage. And because my old friends are Alliance I made her a Draenei. This made me incredibly happy from the get-go - the 'original' Pilf was a Draenei and it feels like a long time since I played an Alliance character and then I did a /who of my old guild. My screen filled immediately with familiar names, officers, raiders, alts, mains and it made me smile. On my first trip to The Exodar, the server know-it-all (meant in an affectionate way), who singlehandedly fights the battle for grammar, spelling and lucidity on Trade chat was once again, explaining in words of one syllable, what the invasion event was and I squealed with glee - some things don't change. Looking through the /who list I whispered a good friend who I'd kept in vague contact with via email, a guy I'd raid led with during my raiding and officer time and who I'm incredibly fond of. After some conversation he hit me with a list of people to say hi to, and a question. Did I want to return to the guild?

Now, I didn't leave the guild on especially happy terms. I was burnt out from raid leading and raiding 7 nights a week, fed up with having oil barrels permanently grasped in both hands, the better to assist with the troubled waters that flowed through the guild and frustrated by being the go-to 'fluffy carebear' officer who provided soothing strokes to egos, had meant that WoW had turned into a second unpaid job. Rather then be sensible and take a break I ploughed on, feeling like to do anything else would mean I let people down, until one night, well I'd had enough. Typically, I left with a bang rather than a whimper, I hate confrontation and the guild wasn't going to change for me or anyone else (rightly so, I think) so I left a brief message on the Officer forum and then I took a break from WoW, my interest only really resurrected by Tam and Miss M and the SAN project.

I'm considering his offer but I haven't decided yet. I've been clear that I'm a confirmed casual these days - I have no desire or plans to return to raiding, and returning to Syn would not only mean going home but returning to the same bedroom I slept in whilst I grew up, complete with Mallory Towers books on the bookshelf. I'd love to be a part of them again socially, but I know that I'd end up defaulting into officer-dom eventually and that's the road to madness. I'm happy bumbling around playing as and when I want, with whoever I want. But that longing to go home, to be a part of something again is a siren song...

PS: This is a fantastic idea. Whilst I'm not going to try to do all of them ("Favourite battleground?" None of them!), I'm going to give a number of them a good shot.

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