Tuesday, September 30, 2008

When you find out that you had it all wrong

Does it ever happen that you find out that the things you thought you had figured out was way wrong – that you have lived in an illusion? It happens to me. Often. Luckily enough I’m old enough to find it amusing rather than embarrassing.

WoW offers excellent opportunities for this kind of self entertainment, especially when you’re a beginner. I still remember two brutal reminders of my ignorance in the beginning of my WoW career, one and a half year ago.

The strange disease
The first one was the meaning of the strange man who suddenly appeared on my screen. He was yellow to begin with, a sickening colour. So I was convinced that my paladin, the first char I ever rolled, had caught some disease from the evil defias people in Elwynn Forrest. I just prayed it would wear off by time. It didn’t. It got worse. Helplessly I saw the man turning red, at first a part of him, and finally the whole guy. And my character started to die constantly. Finally I deserted her and rolled Larísa. It took me a few more days of playing before I realized the truth, feeling utterly stupid.

The Gnomegaran encounter
The next “Oh, THAT’S how it is-experience” was in Gnomegaran. I was around level 10, a happy little gnome on her first exploring expedition in Azeroth. I had just found Ironforge and was enthusiastic about the place, even though I felt a bit foreign among all those dwarfs. Since I had seen Stormwind with my deserted paladin, I imagined there should be a home town for the gnomes as well. One town for the humans, one for the dwarfs, one for the gnomes. It seemed logical. So when the map showed me there was a spot called Gnomegaran, I was delighted and thought I should pay it a visit.

I must admit I thought the entrance was a bit strange. It wasn’t really as welcoming as Stormwind or Ironforge. The guards outside were hostile, trying to kill me. But I shrugged and continued, convinced that I’d meet friendlier faces once inside. I just had to pass the dangerous passage to get there. So I went into the elevator. I took the ride down. I went out, prepared for a hearty greeting. And then the truth dawned upon me in a quite brutal manner.

I could only laugh at my stupidity and laziness. How came that I, brought up in a home where reading was as natural as drinking or sleeping, couldn’t manage to read the brief manual book accompanying the game? I could have got the whole background there, ever so easily.

The mage in the water
We’ve all had those “Oh, I’ve been stupid”- moments and I can’t get enough reading about them. The funniest misunderstanding I’ve read about so far was a mage confessing on a forum that he (or she) for a very long time was convinced that in order to be able to conjure water you actually had to be standing in water yourself. So whenever he needed some water he had to find a lake to stand in! I can imagine how relieved he must have been when he found out the truth.

Spelling
But it isn’t just newbies that suffer from misconceptions. I’m totally convinced that I still regularly show evidence of my lack of knowledge, giving other players the opportunity to smile behind my back. And I’m OK with it. The other day for instance I made a blog post about reputation. I consequently used the word “fraction” in it. Then Zakesh asked me why there wasn’t any mathematics in the post, since I was talking about fractions. I didn’t quite get what he meant but when I checked it out I saw that it should have been “faction”, just as it’s spelled in the reputation sheet in the game. And all this time I thought it was spelled with an “r”. To my defence I must say though, that in Swedish, for instance the terror group The Red Army Faction is called the “Red Army Fraction”. It never occurred to me that it was different in English. Anyway I’ll let it stay that way in the blog post, spelled the wrong way, as a reminder to myself that you never can check out the facts and spelling in your post too many times.

Pronunciation
Pronunciation is another area where you easily can get used to something that is way wrong. I remember when the kids were younger and we read all the Harry Potter books aloud to them. Then a few years later the first of the Harry Potter movies were made and within seconds my reputation with the kids as a storyteller was lost forever. The brilliant girl hero was called HermIone, with emphases on the second syllable! My own invention of how this never-heard-of-name should sound was… well… it’s enough to say: very different.

With that lesson in mind I avoid to be the first one to pronounce new NPCs and places in the game. When WotLK arrives I’ll definitely listen to what the other say first, before I open my mouth. Trying to save at least a little of my dignity, if I still have any.

Now I’m eager to increase my collection of interesting misunderstandings. Please, share your secrets with the other guests of The Pink Pigtail Inn!

13 comments:

musingsofaraider said...

Not so much a misunderstanding of game mechanics, but a truly "ohh.... right..." moment...

My boy and I were in Lakeshire on our alts, and I was feeling all powerful on my level 20 something mage. We ran into quite a few packs of multiple mobs, and we barely made it out alive.

An hour after we started playing, he says "hey, you're a mage. can't you sheep things?"

Oh... oops?

He teased me about it for days. I almost sent him some gold to cover the multiple corpse runs.

Cynra said...

That first one made me giggle to no end! I can't remember how I learned about the armored man, but I haven't seen him in over a year since my UI doesn't display it.

About the worst thing I can think of at the moment was Patch 2.3. I was on my third priest, gleefully enjoying playing a human priest. Blizzard made the changes that not only introduced Fear Ward to all of the priests -- regardless of race -- and I brazenly forgot for almost two months to even pick up the damned ability!

And you wouldn't believe how often people would request a Fear Ward in instances! It was almost embarrassing. I just had never associated any race other than dwarves with the ability.

gnomeaggedon.net said...

Little red & yellow man... freaked me too.

Hunter... dismiss pet.... only took me about 6 months to realize dismiss <> delete, kill, terminate, destroy...

To think soon after that I started coaching other Hunters, writing hunter guides....

as for pronunciation... it frustrates me that people can never pronounce my character names... I don't mind that they abbreviate... but...

Gnomeaggedon = Gnome-ageddon
Getafixsnow (old druid toon) = Get-a-fix-snow (yep 1st bit based on Asterix comics)

Kanye said...

My newbie mistake was trying to get my low-level human to Ironforge - by running through the Burning Steppes. I'm sure there was nothing about a tram in the manual!

P.S. On the spelling thing, fairly sure it's spelt Gnomeregan :)

Larísa said...

@Musingsofarader: I definitly could have done that too.

@Cynra: same here, UI doesn't display it. I kind of miss him.
Fun about the fear ward... When they gave ice block to all mages I actually logged out at the mage trainer so I wouldn't miss to pick it up instantly when the patch was applied. Didn't want to do that mistake!

@Gnomeaggedon: it surprises me it's that hard to pronounce. I've seen many names in the game that are so much worse. When you think about it it's no wonder people use short versions. Many players even think Larísa is too long or hard so they stick to "Lar", which is ok with me.

@Kanye: I was lucky enough to stumble upon it. But I've heard about people who've tried to swim. Not to reccomend either I think.
About the spelling... yep. You caught me! Another misunderstanding. *blush* But I've corrected this one.

Queklain said...

Oh, the little red and yellow man... I had an opportunity just recently at a gaming convention to teach someone what it meant. I guess it's not terribly obvious, is it? And now the armor man is banished from my UI, replaced by a simple percentage in FuBar.

Also - I wouldn't fret too much over spelling Gnomeregan wrong, especially since most people still don't know how to pronounce it... according to the opening cinematic when you create a new gnome, it's "nom-re-gone!" Not at all how I would've said it.

Darraxus said...

I used to choose armor pieces based on how high the armor was. And I had spirit on my warrior. And I didnt know what a spec was.

Fish said...

I had a couple that were pretty funny. . .

When I finished the blood elf quests, I was level 20, felt all proud of myself so I ran up this ramp and through a portal. On the other side I saw skulls with ??? level that killed me immediately. . .yeah, I now know thats a shortcut to eastern plaguelands. . .

The other thing was I used to hate that hunters were "stuck" with a quiver space, and had less storage than regular characters. . .I didn't know you could move it. . .

tinchen said...

It was the first time in Ironforge with my little Gnome rogue. She was very impressed with all these huge buildings, loud dwarfs... It was all very peachy until one dwarf came roudn the corner: Thief Catcher Shadowdelve. Immediatly she tried to hide.

Then I looked at him for a second time and noticed that his name was written in green (I already knew that meant "friendly") and when I got near him, nothing happend. So, thief catchers don't catch rogues...

Anonymous said...

Trying to get from Ironforge to Stormwind as a lvl10ish without knowing about a tram (can't remember really what quest) ... At least I made it into badlands - I believe I pulled every mob living in that zone.
After dying like 20 times (yeah I actually rezzed as far away from my corps as possible in the hops of reaching the other end of the zone) I gave up and ported back to Ironforge. That was the first time I used the chat to ask how to get to Stormwind. I guess you can imagine the responses ^^

@Gnomeaggedon: Same here. In some instance someone in my group suggested that I dismiss my beloved Humar so he wouldn't pull mobs while we jump down. I waited for Humar for days and that guy asks me to sacrifice him... what a jerk, right?

Buffing alliance-players with green names above their heads: I was so proud about that little icon ("... you gain honor for the alliance ...") that I buffed every green-name-player in reach from there on (I mean, come on, just by buffing someone doing the right thing, right?) ... well, until I reached Arathi where suddenly every horde-player was eager to kill me...

For a long time I didn't know that you can dive with your ghost/whisp (why the f... do they hover over the water when they can dive/swim?) - the reason why I only went to BFD once.

marypeeling said...

My new player moment was on my little mage, running around Elwynn forest. I'd never played a loot based game before so the mechanics of looting a corpse after killing it were totally new to me.

Anyway - I was running around killing boars and being totally enthralled in it all and I died. But when I died I also managed with my last breath to kill that damn boar so it was all sparkly. I ran back from the graveyard, worrying all the way that someone was going to take my boar meat. I got back and my loot was still there and I was so excited, thinking to myself "wow - these other players are so nice for not taking my loot!"

It was quite some time before I realized that wasn't quite how it worked.

Oh, and I was terrified of every horde that I saw, only having heard of what a pvp server was like and that everyone was out to kill you. I was on a normal server though, so i'm sure the random taurens running through the Nelf area thought it was funny that a baby druid was hiding behind bushes from them. yes, literally - hiding behind bushes hoping the wouldn't see me.

Larísa said...

Oh more lovely stories are dropping in, can't get enough of them!

@Queclain: no I haven't seen him in ages because if the addons. thinking about it I kind of miss him. It was so... physical sort of to see him slowly turning more and more red. Very dramatic.

@Darraxus: hear, hear... I love hearing those confessions...

@Fish: portal to EP??? It must be interesting to be on the horde side...

@Tinchen: what a cute story! I really see it in front of me.

@Anonymous: lovely story, whoever you are! (it's nothing to be ashemed of you know... :))

@Marypeeling: I could definitly have done that myself. Its funny how you make up your own logic in the game.

Anonymous said...

Mine happened when i was in my first guild. i got into it and oventually became guild leader and i was like "WHAT DO I DO?!?!?" everyone kept asking me to kick someone because they invited bad people and i had no clue how they knew and they said "Check the log" and i was like "what log?" Oventually i found out that to get to the log you need to go throw the guild information. Btw im Vythrin (Vi-Th-Rin) From Argent Dawn i has none of those accounts so... btw the guild was Survivors of Lordaeron and its disbanded due to my rp bro left and the guild went psychonutso without him so i was tired of it and /gdisband