When Jed asked me to do a guest post on his blog, I was honored. Then I was hungry, so I made a sandwich. After the sandwich I felt nervous; not because of the mayo or anything like that. I wasn’t sure what I would write about.
It’s easy to write about myself and stuff about me, because I am familiar with myself and what I’m dealing with, and how all of that coincides with gaming. What could I use from my knowledge that I could apply to Jed’s blog? I considered spinning a yarn of my own, about Jedem and Oslis, adding to the tale. I considered writing about the effect an enthralling story has in our interactions in Azeroth, both with the game and each other. I considered writing a biopic about Jed himself. I decided to write about the gnomish death race instead. Or rather, where the race itself took place.
For those unfamiliar, Jed is the GM of Avengers of Azeroth, an alliance guild on the Ursin server. Ursin is a PvP server and is one of the least populated servers running. No joke, look at some numbers. While it’s not the lowest pop, Ursin is down there, and (allegedly) over half the population is Horde. Having leveled up there recently, I can honestly say it was one of the most interesting experiences ever. Let me tell you about it.
I decided to make a hunter, Exlukiss. Exlukiss because many people used to pronounce my main phonetically. That is to say, many people would pronounce Exlucis as Ex-Loo-Kiss. I pronounce it Ex-Loo-Sis but it really doesn’t make a difference. Exlukiss was funny; a goofy looking human hunter that made Avengers his home, on account of a couple of wonderful friends leveling some toons there. We didn’t start at the same time, nor did we finish, but I really enjoyed the journey. (1-60 that is)
As a human I primarily leveled on the Eastern Kingdoms continent, going abroad only for tabards and a couple dungeon quests. I didn’t want to get ganked, and I still saw Kalimdor as Horde territory. I would save my journeys over there for Hyjal and Uldum. So while I missed out on Un’goro and Felwood, I did experience Western and Eastern Plaguelands, Duskwood, and Stranglethorn Vale.
Stranglethorn Vale is, apparently, where little adventurers go to die. In other words, they get ganked and camped. Despite the initial fears, I could not resist the chance to tame rares and experience a refreshed southern EK. Besides, the server (especially the 1-60 content) was mostly deserted; what could possibly go wrong?
Well... I got ganked. By what I assume was a Level 85 Blood Elf Rogue, her name I never remembered. I assume she was turning in some Bloodsail Rep, when I came across her path. She vanished. I knew what was coming and did what I thought would be the best course of action: I played dead. Turns out Feign Death doesn’t work as well as a decoy in pvp situations. I died near instantly. While I wasn’t discouraged initially, I was more so when I returned to my body and saw the rogue still there. I popped back to life and begged for mercy. She came closer when suddenly...
I was quite pleased. We flirted and danced, and she bid me adieu before hearthing back to wherever her home was. It was quite an experience, being ganked and having a random spontaneous WoW moment. I think a lot of people take these moments for granted; the spontaneous, random moments that happen on occasion, that truly shock you or make your day. Most people (like me) want to level to cap as fast as possible because “that’s where the game starts”. But exploring new content, with a different set of eyes, with a different mind frame, can be quite remarkable.
It can also be quite profitable, for not 10 minutes later I possessed the rare Hyacinth MaCaw. That birdie was kind enough to pay for my epic flying, and I am thankful for having found it. I wish other avenues of income were as successful on Ursin.
Speaking of Ursin, I never was ganked in my leveling time after STV. Not even through the 80-85 content. I assume that come Mists that will change, but I will have cover to help me out through any and all gank attempts. Which leads me to one other note I want to make.
Avengers of Azeroth has been around 7 years. I was in a guild that was around for nearly as long, back on Zangarmarsh, when I first started playing, called Ares. Ares has seen many changes over the years; new members, new GMs, new policies, new voice clients, etc. The spirit always remained, that is until Cataclysm. The GMs I had known and become friends with left Azeroth for good. It was then that my main, Exlucis, made his way through many avenues, over to Horde on Malfurion, then back to Alliance on Azuremyst, with Eff the Ineffable. But what about my alts? Where would they call home?
Avengers of Azeroth is their home. Ursin is their home. But it’s more than just a storage bin for my alts and side projects. Avengers of Azeroth is part of my family. Original members, great twitter friends, and raid mates from my main’s server (Go EtI), all have toons in AoA. Jed is a great host, and the members of that guild are some of the greatest I have come to know in game. Always willing to run with you, always willing to help with a gank, always cracking jokes in Vent, and doing wild things, like the Gnomish Death Race, commemorating 7 years of solidarity.
Jed has led them through tough times, both for himself and for the guild. He is a great GM, a good raid leader, a fun guy to raid with, and a great man to confide in. I am thankful for having a chance to know him. I am even more thankful for having an opportunity to write for him. Jed, thank you for the memories, and thank you for giving me a home in this World of Warcraft. I look forward to many more as Mists rolls around. For everyone else, I leave these parting words: Embrace the pandamonium! Occupy Ursin!