Thursday, October 6, 2011

Guest Post: Life on the Other Side

While I am off getting married and enjoying my honeymoon, I have decided to treat you my loving readers to a few guest posts written by some very nice people that I totally suckered were nice enough to write a post for me.

Today's post was written by Stop of several blogs across the interwebs. So without further ado...

Life on the Other Side

First off, I blame Jed for everything.

Ever since quitting World of Warcraft back in March, I’ve never really gone MMO-less for any period of time. I went from WoW to Rift, then rode the Rift wave until I died of endgame boredom and/or got into the SWTOR beta, then played that gleefully until it went down for a week or so to do a new release and I decided to cut back on my beta-ing - enough to get a good test experience and data for Bioware, but not enough to burn myself out on the game before the game even comes out. So that left an MMO-shaped hole in my life.

Around this time, 4.3 news started leaking out. I can safely say that I feel that for 4.1 and 4.2, Blizzard pretty much phoned it in, but 4.3? 4.3 looks, well, at least better. The new instances aren’t rehashes (although Murozond, really?). The new tier gear looks like some work was actually put into it rather than “take armor, add fire, lather, rinse, repeat.” But the one feature that started to rekindle my interest in the game was Transmogrification, especially time spent in Blog Azeroth Chat with Ratshag trading costuming ideas and coming up with the most horrifying plate costume ever for a Death Knight, to commemorate BC-era clown suits, and that’s when the urge hit to resubscribe, which I accidentally mentioned to Jed.

I’m not sure if it comes across to his usual readers, but Jed is a very persistent person. Once I had mentioned even briefly considering resubscribing, neither rain, nor sleet, not worries about playing on a PvP server would stop him from getting me into his guild, and so, one server transfer later, I found my death knight leveling on Ursin, a member of the Avengers of Azeroth, and me getting used to two big changes:

  1. Playing on a PvP server, and
  2. Playing an Alliance character.

It’s actually been less of an adjustment than I expected but there are a few big adjustments for a mostly-lifelong Horde PvE-server player.

  • I still don’t like Stormwind. I’m not sure I ever will. Say what you will about Orgrimmar’s aesthetic (Neo-Brutalist architecture), but they at least had the sense to put every facility in every part of the city outside of the goblin slums. Stormwind, to the best of my knowledge, has two auction houses, neither of which is terribly easy to find from the air. On the other hand, at least Stormwind color-coded their roofs to make it easier to get around. But seriously - give me Ironforge anyday. I think I might be a dwarf at heart.
  • The Alliance NPCs are starting to get more likable. I came up in an era when Thrall was everything the Horde should someday aspire to be - wise, brave, and willing to talk instead of throw down - and our opposition was Varian “The Chin” Wrynn, his weepy sidekick Jaina, and a bunch of pissed-off dwarves who’d stop a father from retrieving his own son’s corpse. Nowadays, with Garrosh leading the Horde to its own inevitable self-destruction via infighting, the complete disappearance of one faction leader, and Sylvanas making deals with devils of all sorts, suddenly The Chin doesn’t seem like such a bad guy, and I definitely have grown to like Anduin and Moira (especially after reading The Shattering - this is my first time interacting with them after reading the book).
  • Having to take the credo “if it’s red, it’s dead” seriously. Now, I’m not exactly flying around ganking lowbies or anything. But I have had to get used to the fact that if I see a Horde character in a contested zone, they’re considered hostile to me and I’m considered hostile to them. This is new to me - I kept my flag off at all times on all my old servers, and on Rift I even toggled on the option that disallowed me to accidentally flag myself. But the net change? I’m just a little more wary of that troll druid across the way - I don’t ignore him like I used to, but I don’t go out of my way to smash him into the ground.

There are other changes, of course - accidentally flying into the wrong tent or part of the city when in Northrend areas, for instance - but I’m slowly discovering the side of the game that I never really got around to before.

Well, discovering it until December 20th, anyway.

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