Aug 18, 2008

World of Warcraft Explanation

So now that it's out there, I thought I'd try to justify myself to the world.

I have never been a video/computer game person. Until I was about 20, about the only gaming experience I had ever had was a) the games that come standard with Window (Minesweeper, Solitaire, etc.), and b) humiliating myself as an elementary school student playing Mario Kart at Kim Baur's house on a couple occasions.

Then I met Trevor. It began with Super Smash Bros Melee. It was a major activity in Stadium Terrace apartment 36, where I spent most of my time. All the guys there were very understanding of my incompentence and allowed me to play with them. At first, I would die really quickly (normally from killing myself on accident, but occasionally from someone killing me which would generally be followed by an apology), and would go and clean their kitchen (which was repulsive 100% of the time) until the next round because there was nothing else to do. But I slowly got better. I remember with pride the night I was playing with Trevor and Tylor and Trapper and someone said "Okay, we got to stop ignoring Andrea; she's killing people." Many happy hours were spent with the game: me as Peach, Trev as Ganondorf, James as Dr. Mario, Trapper as Samus, Hefe as Pikachu, Travis as whoever is the cheapest character in the game. Good times. This continued once I got married, and grew even more intense with the release of Brawl.

Somewhere in here was that couple months of my life where Trevor, Trapper, and I would play Rock Band pretty much all night, pretty much every Friday. My repertoire of video games was building.

Crucial to my development was Zelda: Twilight Princess. This was the first time in my life that I dedicated a significant amount of time to a game that wasn't played with others. The game starts out kind of slow which was perfect for me, as it was really difficult at first to know how everything works. I honestly loved that game. I loved how everything was designed to build on what you had learned previously. It was really well-designed that way, in my opinion. By the time I beat it (several months and over 100 hours of play time later), I was Link. I had saved freaking Hyrule, and nobody could take that away from me. I shed tears when at the end of the credits I finally got to go home to Ordon. It was emotional to have finished such a grand adventure.

Trevor, in the meantime, had started playing WoW. This is mostly because of the influence of Mike, an old friend of Trevor's who we started to hang out with a lot around this period of time. Michael Coe is the biggest WoW fan I've ever met, which is amazing because he's a well-groomed, socially-capable guy with a beautiful wife and friends and everything. Trevor was skeptical about the game, but once he started playing, he found he really liked it. So we would spend happy evenings with Trevor playing WoW and me playing Zelda. We'd share our accomplishments with each other ("Look at this new mace I got from a quest, baby. It nearly doubles my crit percentage. It would hurt so bad to get hit with this thing." "Well I just got this spinner thing in a dungeon. I can like jump from wall to wall with it. Come watch me use it for a second; it's so cool."), share our trials ("Aagh! Doesn't this level 60 undead rogue have something better to do with his time than camp my body all day!" "Well I cannot beat this boss. I know what I have to do, but I've been trying for the last hour. I can't get the timing for the clawshot."), share the love. It was really pretty fun.

I had made a couple WoW characters during this time. Because it's fun to pick their hair and face and everything at the very beginning. Obviously all the characters I made were either humans or blood elves, because they're just far better looking than the other races. But I didn't actually play the game for quite some time. Well, I think I got one of my characters to level 3 or something, so I played a little and figured out how gameplay works from that, but that hardly counts, as you can do that in less than an hour.

However, at a certain point in my life, it became inevitable. I had watched Trevor play for some time. I had lost my job and couldn't find a new one and it was too late to go to school during summer term, so I had quite a bit of free time. I had beat Zelda, and didn't have a ton of options for mindless entertainment. I was ripe for the picking. The only challenge at that point was figuring out how to spell the account name to log into Trevor's account. This took longer to accomplish than I thought. You see, I couldn't just ask as it was important to start playing without anyone knowing. So I'd purposely hang around the computer when I knew Trevor would be logging on and figured it out.

And that's that. Time moved on. I played. I have a level 40 human warlock. A warlock because I liked the red dress that warlocks wear at the very beginning better than the starting outfits for any of the other classes and that was the only deciding factor (see fig.1 for dress). However, I'm glad I picked that class because I really like playing with a minion. I don't have to get my hands dirty at all, just shoot spells and let the minion do the physical damage. People familiar with the game try to explain to me that my minions are enslaved demons doing my bidding only because I am more powerful than them. But I insist that it's different for me. I hug my minions after a good victory and tell them what a good job they are doing and we work together out of friendship (except one of them):

1) I love the imp because she (I decided mine's a she, get over it) bounds through the grass behind me like a kitty. Sure, she looks kind of scary (see fig. 1 for imp), but I always told her she was beautiful. Her personality was what matters anyway and I think they act adorable.
2) As far as the voidwalker (fig. 2) goes, I imagine he's kind of like the genie in Aladdin because he kind of looks that way. Sure, he sounds like he's not happy to do my bidding when he talks, but that's just how we play; he likes to tease me. And when he says "As you wish," we all know that what he really means is "I love you."
3) I never ever play with the succubus (fig. 3). We are bitter enemies in the high school teen movie kind of way. She's the cheerleader one who hates all other females in the school because they threaten her power, but it doesn't matter because I'll end up getting lead in the musical and she'll end up being embarrassed in front of the whole school or some such worthless teen movie ending. She just thinks she's hotter stuff than everyone else. She has the same personality as Paris Hilton, but doesn't have the money. I just hate her.
4) And the felhunter (fig. 4) is the nicest German Shepherd ever. We play fetch and he wags his tail when I summon him because he's so happy to see me. And he's handy against magic users, just like a German Shepherd.

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 4
I suppose I'd also get the minion-effect if I were to play a hunter. Hunter's have pets that really are supposed to love their masters, so that would be nice. But the huge drawback of that is this: most hunter-friendly outfits are pants and a vest or something like that, and the warlock-friendly robes are far more feminine. I remember one time, very early in the game, when there was a time that a tunic and pants was better outfit and I put it on for the higher armor but missed my robes. And my hero Aglarel (Trevor's character) bought me two dresses because I complained to him about it. And Trevor was so cute when I got home that day, all excited for me to log into the game and see what he had done for me. It was really tender. He's just a sweetheart.

My main complaint with WoW is you never win. You can level up to 70, but then you can always have better gear and always have more pvp (player versus player) victories, etc. I had a problem with this in Zelda even, as even after I won, I knew there were things left unfinished in the game. There were still some empty spots in my bug collection, and I'm sure there are some chests with heart containers in them that I never found, and I never got past the two heavily-armored knights in the Cave of Ordeals, and these may just be side quests, but dang it I want to finish everything and wrap it up neatly. World of Warcraft is like this but on the biggest scale possible. It's horrible. When I first started playing, I decided I would just tell myself that you win once you get to level 30 and then I would be done. Then Blizzard changed it so you get your first mount at level 30, and I wanted to ride my felsteed (because she's a legitimately beautiful black fire horse) (only complaint: I wish there was an option to ride her side-saddle, because that would be such a ladylike picture), so I continued.

You see, how I look in a game is one of the most essential parts of it all. I am still the girl I've always been. I always played princesses (meaning my choices were Peach or Zelda) when playing Super Smash Bros, and that still sums up my gaming personality. Actually, I didn't even play Zelda in Melee, because she was too ugly in that game, but once Brawl came out I think she's pretty, so I'll play her now. I never use her to turn into Sheik, though. I don't like that part of her personality. She should be proud to wear a dress and look like a girl. Also, in Brawl, does it bother anyone else that she's a brunette as Zelda and a blond as Sheik? Peach will always be my favorite for two reasons: a) she's the only one who fights in heels, and b) she gets to hit people with frying pans.

And that comes to the gist of it: I like playing video/computer games. I didn't mean to, but it's a fun time. The way I think and the reasons I play are somewhat different than your average gamer (especially the males), but I have a fun time with it. It's a hobby I share with my sweet husband and I just want you all to stop judging me. I still bathe, for crying out loud.


Trev said...

I'm just so proud of you. Reading this made me tear up.

Trapper said...

I am pretty sure I lost a lot of brain cells playing that much Rock Band.

Rachael said...

Well, at least you still bathe. I guess it's ok. Just kidding, if you like it, I don't care too much! Besides, B plays every once in a while, so I can't be too harsh on it right now!

KDav said...

Your stories are always so great to read! I think you need to start writing novels, screen plays or maybe for a day time soap.

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