Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The post where I assure the readers that I'm still a merry gnome!

Maybe it's just the season. The darkness coming over us will full force. Maybe it's the time of the WoW cycle, in the gap between content patches. But isn't there a bit of gloominess in the air?

Quite a few players seem to have gone into some kind of power save mode, biding their time for Icecrown, not caring particularly about upgrades and progression, since it all will be outdated in just a couple of weeks. This effect has spread to the blogs, where the writers are slowing down and spending whatever they have of creativity and spirit on their write-a-novel-in-November projects rather than on ranting about WoW.

Have I too become infected with this state of mind? A disturbing sign showed up in a comment to the post yesterday:

Bell wrote:
"You've been seeming intensely disillusioned about much of the game lately; are you sure you're not getting close to being done with playing? Brewfest, titles, instances, preparation for Cataclysm, micro transactions and're very unhappy and antagonistic towards much of the changes occurring in the game."
Larísa a grumpy gnome?
Yeah, thinking back on the last couple of months you might wonder. Has Larísa beome a Grumpy old lady? Has she without knowing it turned into one of those who are bitter, constantly complaining and looking back at the "good old days"? Has she joined the party of too old players who for some odd reason insist on hanging around, pestering the atmosphere in Azeroth, rather than leaving for a game they might like better?

I think it's time that I put some things straight. You see: I don't consider myself a disillusioned player at all.

OK, I admit that I'm not a fan of the pet-shop-thing. And for very personal reasons, I had some problems with the drunk-until-you're-smashed-out concept of the Brewfest, which I wrote openly about. But read my lips: on the whole I'm quite fine or even enthusiastic with how WoW has evolved since I started to play it in 2007!

I consider WotLK an absolutely awesome expansion with beautiful new zones, much more fun questing and a fantastic finish. I have never complained about the lack of difficulty, I have never cried about the handouts of epics to more casual players, on the contrary. Over and over again have I supported that all players have the possibility to see all bosses and that the more advanced raiders are offered hardmodes for their amusement. I think the achievement concept is fine too, even though I've very selective when it comes to which ones I care about for my own part.

I love WoW as it is and most of the changes that are incoming - although there are of course always things you may have opinions about in such a huge game and world. I have no plans to stop playing anytime soon; as a matter of fact I see myself playing in Cataclysm and probably beyond. And I'm a dedicated Blizzard fan girl, which I think is pretty clear if you look back at my writings about for instance the Cataclysm announcement or my love for their mission statements.

The stroke of melancholy
So where this does this sad tone in the innkeeper's writings, which Bell obviously can read in my posts come from?

The intention of this post was originally to assure you that don't just like the title Merrymaker, but that I'm actually quite a merry little gnome, no matter of a few blogposts where I may have seem a bit down. But still I can't lie to you. I don't walk around every single second in the game with a huge smile, sparkling as if I just had used one of the Halloween toothpicks.

There has always been a stroke of melancholy in my WoW writings. You see, I'm sitting here in my virtual armchair, enjoying a pint in front of the fire, just relaxing, putting words on whatever I happen to have in mind - ups as well as downs. That's the whole point of running the blog in the first place. It helps me to deal with my Azerothian existence - the good that comes with it as well as the bad.

I admit that I have moments in the game when not every single corner of my mind is all happiness. I think that what currently bothers me most is that I often find myself pretty lonely, except for when I'm in the guild organized 25 man raids. One reason is simply because I play at a bit odd hours, when not so many others are online, except for people who are already engaged into 10-man instances at the point when I come online. Another explanation might be that I've never been good at getting or maintaining friendships in real life either.

I've had a few game friends over the years. You know, someone who whispered you when you came online, someone to level with, run instances with, just talk some nonsense with, have a laugh with or whine a bit with when things are bad. But they're not around anymore, for various reasons. I couldn't help finding a little bit of comfort in a recent post by Thistlefizz at The Cranky Old Gnome, where he describes his loneliness. I know exactly where you're coming from Thistlefizz. We may be alone in the game but we're not alone in our experiences.

Still having a blast
This loneliness might be one of the flavors you've felt in what I've been serving recently Bell. But it doesn't mean that I'm done with WoW!

When I'm not raiding, which I'm absolutely passionate about, and is the major reason for me to keep playing wow, I've started to do some of the things on my 33-things-to-do-before-I-quit-WoW-list. And I'm having a blast!

For instance I can tell you about what I did a few nights ago. It was one of those bad nights, when my internet provider failed me and I repeatedly was dc:ing (which makes me quite cranky, it's the digital equivalence of toochache if you ask me) and I finally had to give up on raiding, asking for a replacement. Instead I switched to the horde side, to the bloodelf DK which I started recently, just to have a look at those famous first few levels, with all those moral dilemmas and cool questlines.

Admittedly, I felt pretty lonely - now that the huge DK rush in the beginning is over, there aren't many people around in the starting area and I know one (1) player on the horde side, who of course wasn't online. But boy, did I have fun (in spite of the dc:s, which didn't hurt anyone but myself)! I was clueless about how to spec and I even forgot to train as I leveled, which made killing quite a bit harder than it would have been else. I fumbled in darkness and I was delighted.

Maybe I should share more of those experiences with you, so you don't start to think that I'm about to quit. Because I'm not.

I will finish this post, quoting DW-Redux, who like me is worrying over the fact that he's starting to get a bit grumpy. In a post the other day he argued with himself, trying to silence the voice of that grumpy old man inside him, telling him to sod off.

"The game is still fun, and the people playing it are still the same."

Well DW-Redux: the people playing it aren't quite the same. But it's true that it's an awesome game. Maybe it was about time that I reminded myself and my readers about it.

Merrymaker Larísa. In the future I'll try to work a bit harder to show that I'm worthy the title.


Kromus said...

Don't worry Larisa, never for a moment did I think you miserable.

We all have topics that make our hidden passions set ablaze, I'll admit to some of mine;

and sometimes Religion.

....and I get annoyed when people moan at a game for graphics when its gameplay is fantastic.

Anyway, I hope your net connection gets well soon (awwh), tonight was fun was great to raid along-side you again!

Kromus said...

p.s drawing you a little something to cheer up any remaining gloom :)!

Klepsacovic said...

Well you know what they say, the only good gnome is a giggling gnome.

Bell said...

Some of it was probably my own wobbly sleepiness that contributed to the thoughts you quoted. After all, twas only curiosity that drove me to ask such things!

I am very happy you are enjoying WoW still, as I selfishly wish to continue enjoying your blog.

Dw-redux said...

Yea I think it's the weather. Personally I could have lived with all these things, if the raid instances had been there. But they aren't, and then all them little things that -to me- looks like ways to draw out as much money from us as possible with no content to justify it... bah :)

Also: It's DW-redux :)

Although DX does sound nice.

Anonymous said...

You and I are of link mind my gnomish compatriot. But I've got a few clever ideas of my own for staving off the loneliness, if I can ever get this post addendum out the door...

Anonymous said...

Larisa, I don't think you're miserable, I think you're smart enough to note when things aren't working. And I also blame this patch for being lame, and the reason there aren't as many people around right now.

I touched on this in a post today. I think it's just that lots of people are bored with the Coliseum and with running the same heroics again and again. I'm sure that when patch 3.3 goes live, it will get a lot more fun for everyone and a lot of people will be spending more time in game.

Anonymous said...

Larisa, Your posts are insightful and intellectually challenging not miserable!!

And if you have to work at being a "merrymaker" something is wrong!! I'm always happy!! mainly cos of the drugs the doctors give me but still....:P

Cacknoob (the Watcher!)

Larísa said...

@Kromus: You’re the sweetest! Looking forward to se that “something”.

@Klepsacovic: yeah, it’s irresistible, isn’t it?

@Bell: cheers! If you had those thoughts, probably more had.

@Dw-redux: sorry about the name! I’ve edited it! I must admit that I don’t quite understand your name btw. It’s probably referring to something I don’t know of.

@Cranky Old Gnome: I’ll keep my eyes open and see what solutions you’ll come up with. I’ve played with the thought too: write some kind of “how to find friends in WoW” post. But I gave up since I’m so crap at it myself…

@Spinksville: I read your post and it was great! I’m not quite as bored as you seem to be with the current patch, but yeah, I think you’ve nailed another aspect of the current gloominess.

@Cacknoob: “The Watcher”? Heh? Are you watching from offline? Or playing some secret alts now again?

Mister K said...

It seems like its a combination of things, and you layed out your examples really well. I know that its way easier to post a long ranting post about something that might be bugging you than to just put another post saying "Did my dailies, and ran some heroics not much to say" So obviously the more interesting posting will become more common. Also there have been some good reasons to be critical of the game. And besides, if it was all perfect alot of us wouldn't have a reason to blog anymore ;)

Carra said...

This is the post in which I hug Larissa.

Dw-redux said...

I used to raid on my priest; dreamweaver (or DW among friends), now im on my death knight -Redux.

Old friends and guildies still refer to me as DW, so i decided to go for dw-redux since im the only one using that :)