Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A gnome is knockning on the door

Three weeks have passed and here I am, standing by the door that leads to the WoW fandom. Should I knock on it? Am I ready? Does anyone still remember that little gnome lady with the pink pigtails who used to hang around? And - above all - have I still got anything on my mind about WoW, any opinions and thoughts worth sharing?

Something makes me hesitate for a second. I've never been away from blogging this long since I started in February 2008, and as I'm stretching my muscles, I suddenly feel how stiff I've become. It's strange how quick it goes. Three weeks, is that all it takes to get out of touch with the community?

Mind you, I haven't turned my back to everything imaginative and geeky during my vacation. On the contrary. For instance the last week has been a 24/7 exercise in All Out Geekiness.

Living the fantasy
The Medieval Week at Gotland that I mentioned before my take-off delivered anything I could possibly have hoped for. I think the best way to describe it is that when you're there, you're not playing a fantasy game anymore. You're living it. (I'm afraid there aren't any good videos posted yet, but here's a bunch of pictures from the week 2009, which will give you an idea of what it's like.)

Walking the streets dressed in a mantle and fairy-tale dress is for one precious week the norm rather than the exception. In more or less every corner there's some street performance going on - jesters, jugglers, acrobats and eaters and the music never ceases. If you like me think that bagpipes as opposed to the general opinion is a lovely instrument, you've come to the right place.

I spent three afternoons raiding, which turned out to be a quite exhausting activity wearing a full-length blood red dress in the sunshine. The sweat was pouring down my face and made me look far from ladylike. But I barely noticed, because the activity too my entire concentration.

To be fair, I don't think anyone else noticed that I in fact was in a raid. For a spectator it looked as if I was taking classes in medieval and renaissance dances, jumping around barefoot in long, complicated patterns in the green grass to some very old music. There wasn't any blood shred, no villains or dragons to deal with. But apart from that - it was raiding I was doing.

The learning process was exactly the same. The patient explanations from the raid/dance leader, the wipes in advance when something didn't click and we had to work out why. The strong sense of team work. And finally the moment when it clicked for everyone at the same time and we to our astonishment got through the entire dance to the end, ending at the positions we were supposed to end at. You don't need to wear a headset or even sit in front of a computer to let out a out a first-kill-cheer.

Can you blame me for holding onto this bubble? Can you blame the bards and musicians for writing melancholic songs about how dear the week is to them, and how reluctant they are to leave it, songs that brought tears into your eyes as you heard them.

I think anyone who's been to a geek convention knows the feeling. It's a homecoming and you enjoy every minute of it, but at the same time you're starting to take your bittersweet farewell of it even at the very moment it starts.

Nothing much happening in WoW
However - an end is an end and I'll have to cope with it. After all: you're still around here, provided Tam and Ixo didn't scare you off, and why should they?

WoW is still there and from the little I've seen so far, not very much has been going on since I headed out for adventures. It all seems very calm - to be honest a little bit too calm for my taste.

The release date for Cataclysm hasn't even been revealed yet. Not that I expected it to. Wrath was announced in mid September 2008 and launched in mid November. So we could wait at least another month or two before we have a reason to start worrying and asking ourselves if Cataclysm will launch this year.

But I must admit that the thought of spending the entire autumn with nothing much raid content to do except doing hard modes in Ulduar and ICC feels like a downer. It's a very long time we have ahead of us indeed. How are players like me, who aren't in the Beta and are reluctant to devour all the content in advance through movies and spoilers, supposed to keep up the spirit during those months?

And what about the blog, my dear old inn? With the lack of deliveries and new ingredients, can I really produce any decently tasting ale? The future will tell.

Tonight I'll just stretch out my legs in front of the fire, sip on a drink and linger a little bit longer in the memories of firetorches dancing in the air, hypnotizing music from instruments which I don't even know the name of and nightly walks under a the starry sky through the stone paved narrow streets of the 13th century town Visby, which makes Stormwind look totally modern and charmless.

I'll get over the loss eventually. A flat screen with moving pictures is slightly disappointing as a replacement for living out the fantasy, but as the nights quickly are getting darker and colder, I think I'll be quite pleased with the solution. And after all - only in Azeroth will I stand face to face with a dragon. That's quite something!

Now, if you don't mind, I'd like to hear your stories of what's been going on in the WoW community. What should I catch up on? Which discussions should I dive into?


Anonymous said...

Welcome back!

Klepsacovic said...

Why am I still sober?

Redbeard said...

You know, Tam kind of bailed. There was some festival thingie or other that he and Chas went to, and haven't been heard from since.

Aside from that, welcome back?

I've re-discovered fishing, which is something I can do as a Zen-like exercise. Although it is funny when you're standing next to a toon from an opposing faction and that toon suddenly gets ganked. One moment, there; next moment, a smudge on the ground.

I suspect the WoW event will get stretched out longer than one month than is typical; the signs are already in place for a WoW event to begin in the near future: the joke from an NPC in Stormwind about "the next thing you'll tell me is Deathwing appeared over the city"; the discussion in Thunder Bluff of a Tauren extolling the virtues of the sun (Sunwalker Paladins); and the Highborne NE demanding an audience with Tyrande (NE Mages). (I'm sure there are others around as well.)

When the WoW event happens, I won't have an Alliance toon at 80 (I'm not big on power leveling), but I intend to watch on both sides.

Redbeard said...

That "Welcome back" should have had "!!" on the end instead of "?". (Stupid typing fingers.)

Ysharros said...

Welcome back! :) No hot WoW goss from me but I'm sure someone will catch you up.

The great thing about blogs and games is that life goes on without them. The bad thing about blogs and games is ... that life goes on without them. :D

Perdissa said...

Welcome back!

For some reason, I had left my priest at level 79 for a couple of months. Because I wasn't looking forward to grinding out gear and rep for her all over again.

With nothing better to do, I took the plunge. 2 weeks down, I've been a happy raiding shadow priest, already fairly geared from 2 ICC25s and an ICC10. :D It's a good time for alt raiding, if thats your thing.

Utakata said...

My pigtails have suddenly become brighter and perkier knowing you're back now. :)

As for what I've been doing...

...getting sick of Wrath endgame content. Having doubts some of the changes happening in Cat. Raising an Orc Hunter to see Horde side of things before it all changes. And occasionally dabbling into Guild Wars.

Larísa said...

@Anonymous: Thanks!

@Klepsacovic: We can change that quickly. Give me a sec and I'll put together a suitable brew. Only for you.

@Redbeard: Actually I knew he was taking off, hence the double staff, with the main task to keep away trolls if any of those appeared, which I think they've done. There was a bit of spam at old posts, but I've cleared up that as well now, so we're good to go as usual again.

Ganked while fishing? You're on a PvP server then?

So there are already those little signs appearing in-game? That's cool. Love that kind of stuff so I'll keep my eyes open.

@Ysharros: Hehe... a subtle way to say you didn't miss me very much? ;)

@Perdissa: Well, I have my resto druid which I'm actually starting to gear up a bit now. It's a weird (but nice) feeling to get regular upgrades. So far they're from grinding triumph bagdges, but hm... yeah I might dare try to go raiding with her. Although I suppose I'll have to gear up a bit more for that. i don't think 4.3 GS will give her a spot even in an Naxx raid these days...

@Utakata: Nice to see you too!
/spins pigtails

Gevlon said...

What to catch up? What about a lvl33 gnome mage?

Jaedia said...

Ohhh I'm so jealous, the medieval week looks so fun! I love medieval history, and would love to go to such a big event one day!

Anonymous said...

I'm so envious, I never got to go to the medieval week - none of my friends were ever interested... :-(

Out of curiousity - I assume that everything is in Swedish, so one couldn't bring English people over?

Zahraah said...

Welcome back! Sounds like you had a lot of fun - I'm going to my own geek fest of sorts in a couple of weeks, and a week away from my blog has me a little anxious, but I will be good to have a break to recharge. bring your bubble to your blog :)

Larísa said...

@Gevlon: yep, you're absolutely right: a lot of catching up there waiting for me! I haven't given up on the project, even though I admit it goes a bit slow.

@Jaedia: this week has been around for 27 years, so hopefully you can do it some day in the future!

@Tufva: There are a lot of foreign visitors who seem to enjoy themselves. Admittedly you can't understand a word of the street theatre performances by jesters, who all speak Swedish, but there's a lot of word-less activities going on as well. You can enjoy watching juggling, acrobats, fire-shows etc. There are jousting tournaments and above all - a ton of medieval music with both Swedish and international bands.
I definitely think you can enjoy it even if you're non-Swedish.

Some interest for medieval stuff helps though!

@Zahraah: there's nothing like a good geek fest. I'm sure your blog will still be around when you come back! And look in my blogroll right now... many bloggers are quite lazy with updating these days.

Redbeard said...


Actually, the toon I was fishing with isn't, but the Alliance mage in question foolishly left himself flagged for PvP. It was a like a giant "Hit me here -- please!" sign.

Pewter said...

Welcome back :)

Personally my event has been taking a step back from raiding. I'm kind of wishing I had the money to spend on the WoW novels so I can bury myself in lore in preparation for the expansion

lonomonkey said...

Welcome back.

I've been working on getting a raid crew up and ready for cataclysm so I'm pretty busy at the moment. But I suppose I dread too that we may run out of content before the expansion hits.

Kurnak said...

Welcome back!
So you've been learning Heigan's dance? :D

Rebecca said...

Welcome back :) Sounds like you had a great time!

Personally my major excitement is trying out A Tale In The Desert, so non-WoW related I'm ashamed to admit. It *is* great fun though.

(Lots going on at MMO Melting Pot too - O'm keeping an eye open on posts here, especially now you're back...)

Hatch said...

welcome back!

Tesh said...

Welcome back! Too bad that other event ended, though. ;)

SpiritusRex said...

Well, hello, little lady and welcome back!

Been quiet at the Inn as many of us regulars also were vacationing - mine was spent at the beach with the family - too short, but nice nonetheless.

Has seem awfully quiet lately. Calm before the Storm perhaps? Have three nights scheduled this week to get Phlegger his Kingslayer title so we will see how it goes (not hopeful, guild apathy has been shameless).

Anywho, think I may just pull up a chair near the fire and enjoy some vacation memories myself.

Again, welcome back and glad to hear your break was so nice.

p.s. This exhibition of abnormal melancholy by yours truly will surely be corrected in the near future as I delve back into the work world - much grumpiness to commence in 5....4....3...

Ysharros said...

@Larisa *coughcough* no no, not at all!

Kidding, of course! :D

Brian 'Psychochild' Green said...

Gah, thought I had posted, but looks like it got eaten.

Anyway, welcome back, we missed you! During the lull in WoW, perhaps I could remind you that you did promise to post more about your experiences in LotRO....

Have fun. :)

Talarian said...

Welcome back! Your vacation sounds like it was all shades of Awesome. I'm both glad and envious!

Larísa said...

@Pewter, Hatch, Tesh, Talarian: thank you!

@Lonomonkey: you took a break from WoW earlier, didn't you? That definitely pays off now. As long as you can find a party for it you've got plenty left to do.

@Kurnak: Actually those dances made Heigan's look silly easy.

@Rebecca: I'll head over to your place and have a look, it should be a great way for me to catch up!

@SpiritusRex: Hehe, I look forward to some grumpy comments from you! Not that I think of you as very grumpy tbh.

@Brian Psychochild Green: oh, yes, the LOTRO post, should have been written long time ago. To be honest I wanted to look a bit more so I prolonged the trial with a month, but never used it very much since there was a vacation in between and now it has elapsed. But I'll renew it and have another look at LOTRO and then I'll write about my experiences. I definitely will.