/roll 9010

You roll 9010 (1-9010).

Latus hit the It’s Over Nine Thousand! achievement late last night.  Or was it early this morning?  Whatever, very recently!  I’m pretty happy with it but now there’s no moderately easy achievement in sight for me.  I have plenty of easy cooking and arena achievements to complete but there isn’t an “over 10,000!” that you can strive for.  Oh well, I’ll just go back to working on exalted with Warsong Gulch and my Conqueror title.  I hit exalted in Arathi Basin on Saturday, as well!

And doing so led me to thinking about why exactly I play this game.  I wish I was an organized writer who would weigh his options, choices and make drafts before publishing his blog… but I’m not! So instead you get me vomiting onto your screens.

Not literally.

That’s only for the subscribers.

The Story. Lore. Whatchamacallit.

A certain fad seems to not have picked up in popularity with the release of WotLK as much as it had during TBC: wowwiki surfing.  In TBC, I remember guildies and entirely random people talking endlessly about lore and about spending hours and nights reading wowwiki entries about this or that.  New Forsaken players often seemed fascinated by the Scarlet Crusade, new Blood Elves often turned to lore about the Forsaken once they started interacting with them, and just about everyone was finding out about The Ashbringer. Alliance-side, I have no idea, but I imagine you lot of uncouth Varian lovers have your own topics.  Katrana Prestor and Bolvar come to mind although I imagine there are many less widely known things that capture the imagination.

WotLK removed the need for players to read up endlessly, I suppose.  It’s all part of the dumbing down package we’re being spoonfed by Blizzard.  I doubt xxLegolasxx or Deeatharthas or bestDK are going to care about who Saurfang or Bolvar were once they witness the Wrathgate cinematic.  To them, the cinematic is all the lore they need.  But this in no way makes the lore less interesting…  more idiots simply means more idiots.

So I’m one of the people who runs around cities and looks at NPC names.  I talk to them.  Sometimes they say things outside of the default npc talk.  Sometimes their very names are easter eggs.  Other times they have the same last name as someone a world away and I sit there trying to figure out if they’re related.  Sometimes one is Horde and the other is Alliance.  Sometimes living and undead.  That’s when it’s really interesting!  That would also be the time when I whip my wowwiki out and try to find clues, and often I will skip on wowhead and go straight to thottbot.  Thottbot has many more comments from much earlier in the game and there is information there lore-wise that is unavailable in any other source.  Game-play wise it’s a massive fail.

Outside Story – Lore

I’m also one of the people who has watched most if not all the cinematics from previous Warcraft games and who has read all the books that are out.  I haven’t touched the manga because it’s just stupid (sorry).  Morgaina recently picked up and finished Rise of the Horde by Christie Golden and facepalmed a lot about the horrible writing.  I can’t disagree with her.  Despite what the WoW community says, Knaak is an infinitely superior writer from a technical standpoint to Golden.  The writing IS atrocious, but it doesn’t matter.  The books all concern the game and world I love and so I ignore and forgive any shortcomings and instead focus on the story and the characters.  Speaking of writers, though, I wish Jeff Grubb would write more WoW books.  He’s the one who wrote The Last Guardian (about Medivh, duh), and I think that’s the best book out there.  Here, by the way, are two of the best posts about WoW novels that I’ve come across.  They tell you precisely WHY the books suck, yet can’t be put down.  Like stale cinema popcorn, in the author’s words.  Part 1 from Righteous Orbs about Rise of the Lich King (a Christie Golden book) and a follow up to laugh some more.

Player Community

On top of everything happening in the game and officially sanctioned by Blizzard, we have the incredible community of players who create things like wowwiki and regularly contribute to it, we have the blogs (life savers for hundreds of thousands of bored office working WoWers) and we have the creative group of artists.  I’ve gushed about the blogs before and see no reason to get into the gushing again with this post, but I wanted to touch slightly on the machinima and the song writing.

Much like the way I forgive the bad writing style of the official novels, I am willing to forgive a lot of bad singing in the machinima.  What I want to see is a love of the game, some scene that matters to that player, some funny references that make me feel as if I’m the only one who gets it (o ho ho IN THE UNDERCITY!  I’ve been there! This song is about me!).  So yeah, some of the work sucks, frankly, but I still love it.  p.s. wowcrendor ilu

I’m Kinda Veering Off Course Here Now

I realized that the very brief rundown I’m giving so far of reasons I like this game have not actually included anything about the game engine itself.  This is probably an important factor in understanding the addiction and love that some of us feel for the world of Azeroth.  I felt it for the world of Middle Earth as well, but not at all in LotRO (the game).  The universe that Tolkien let us visit was an experience that I will never get again.  It’s a one in a lifetime deal, and usually the “first”  such deal.  Azeroth is an amazing second because it allows me to appreciate a universe to a similar degree but in a completely different way.  I was reading about Middle Earth, but I AM Azeroth.  I’m part of it.  I make it what it is.  Knowing that I am part of the ever changing and ever progressing storyline makes it an entirely intoxicating experience.

There is no real issue as to whether any of us really influence the story because I know that we don’t.  Whether I personally quested to level 80 and then cleared every dungeon and finally killed the Lich King doesn’t mean that the whole community was waiting on me to do so so they could breath a sigh of relief that the story can continue now.  In fact, even if NOBODY had killed the Lich King anywhere in the world, he would still be killed in lore and Bolvar would have replaced him.  how is this possible?  Well, someone else would have done it.  Someone that wasn’t a player character.  The show must go on! With or without us.

Buuuut, that doesn’t mean I can’t feel part of it or feel that I am important.  My defeat of Arthas might not be why we don’t see him again in WoW, but it allowed me to experience what it was like if it was me who influenced these events.  Sure, he’s back next week, but this week I defeated the Lich King and helped the Ashen Verdict triumph, I assisted in the defeat of the power of the Scourge and in avenging countless lives.  When Cataclysm hits, I will have assisted in reclaiming the Plaguelands.

Oh, Cataclysm!

Which leads us back to the ever progressing storyline.  I touched on this another time when I said Blizzard had balls of steel for destroying the game that still gives them 11million subscribers or more and I still feel that way.  I know they’ll get even more now.  That’s what we all think.  But suppose they don’t.  Suppose somehow that Azeroth as we know it was a magic formula that had some inexplicable appeal to our subconscious minds.  And suppose that by halving the Barrens, flooding a ton of places, turning Azsara into a junkyard amusement park and by killing off one of the most respected figures ever to be active in the WoW-niverse,  that Blizzard loses that magic formula and subscriber numbers drop.  I don’t think this will happen, I’m just stating it for argument’s sake.  No matter how certain the company is of doing the right thing, there is definitely a slight amount of doubt in their minds that they are potentially breaking the greatest computer game money making machine to date.  And they’re still going for it.  *applaud*

In the most likely event that the game’s popularity skyrockets with the release of Cataclysm, it just furthers my absolute devotion to it’s storyline.  Leaders die, are replaced, factions change, politics are at play, zones are changing, bosses are dead, people are furious, people are happy, our power grows… and all this time, we’re heading towards that eventual confrontation with Sargeras.  To completely veer off, I think Sargeras will be the final, ultimate raid boss of the last expansion… until of course they release another one and we take on like, I don’t know, the Titans or something who have decided they want us dead after all.  But yeah… the story progresses.

How many games can say as much?

At least games with the mass appeal of WoW.

Hmmm, so I guess I’ll save other regurgitated thoughts about why I play (like actual mechanics) for another post!

p.s. no pictures in this post.  Crazy eh?


2 Responses to “/roll 9010”

  1. 1 Shayzani August 30, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    I do heart me some word vomit. Revising is for suckers.

    • 2 latusthegoat August 30, 2010 at 2:41 pm

      i know right… it’s like I never played Achaea so it was never drilled into my head to revise, spell check and all that glorious stuff. Oh wait, I did. I’m just a bad.

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