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Archive for the ‘Shared Topics’ Category

This week’s  Blog Azeroth’s shared topic post from  comes from Frinka of warcraftstreet.com:

What is the nicest thing another player has ever done for you in-game?

Oddly, I can sum up this question with an object from the real world. It’s a replica of the leaves of the Callery pear tree that survived the 9/11 attack in New York. I have this ornament hanging right next to the computer that I game on, and it symbolizes pretty much why I love WoW.

When this topic was posted, I tried to distill which moment in WoW that I’ve experienced was the “nicest.” The one that made my day or just gave me a smile when I needed one. And then I realized…I can’t just boil it down to one moment. The nicest thing that anyone has done for me is bigger than a moment.

I was very lucky to land in the right guild for me on the first try. When I see people talking about bouncing around guilds or having trouble finding the right one, I have trouble relating. I’ve been in only one guild since I joined WoW, and unless something really drastic happens, I can’t imagine leaving. The reason for that is the amazing friends I’ve made there, friends that I consider every bit as “real” as the best friend I’ve had for for 17 years. These are people who see me as a real person, not just a badly pixelated giant cow woman that is healing their face off during a raid.

They’ve done amazing things for me that are game related. They helped fund my epic flight when I was struggling to scrape the gold together to do it. They helped me get the freaking School of Hard Knocks achievement when I suck terribly at PvP and was tearing my hair out over getting that horrible thing done. They’ve mailed me the gold to get a mechano-hog, and come with me on runs through old content in search of that damn piece of transmog gear that won’t drop. They have written epic stories with me and been nice enough to draw me amazing pictures of my toons.  They are, in short, amazing guildies.

But that’s not what makes them so special.

What makes them special is that in addition to being great guildies, they are absolutely true friends as well.  They’ve stayed up late with me at night to talk about issues in my personal life that I haven’t really been able to discuss with “real world” friends. They send me texts to make sure I’m doing okay when they know I’m going through a rough bit. They helped to kickstart my creativity after it had been largely smushed by the stresses of becoming and adult after graduating college. Even after one of them quit the game (and broke my poor goblin’s heart!) he still checks up with me, even signing into Diablo after he heard that I had to put my dog to sleep to make sure I was doing okay. These people aren’t just guildies. They are friends. And that’s the nicest thing anyone has done in game. Being a true friend, when it’s so much easier to pretend that there isn’t a real person behind the computer. I think that’s the most that anyone could ask for from anyone else in WoW.

Koloma, with her “eat your damn food” face, drawn by Torolf

And then there’s that ornament up there. Over the winter, I had the chance to meet one of my fellow officers when she came to visit New York with her husband. We had a fun day of walking around NYC, doing the tourist thing, and finishing out the day with a visit to the 9/11 memorial. At dinner afterwards, she passed something wrapped in tissue paper across the table to me, and I was rather shocked to see that ornament within. She explained that it was a thank you for showing them around, and it meant she noticed as I was looking at it at the gift shop. I might have teared up a little, and whenever I see it, I smile. And it reminds me of just how lucky I am to have met such an amazing group of people through this silly video game.

But that’s just how my WoW friends are. They listen, they notice, and they act any other friend that I would have in the real world. And that honestly is the best thing in the world.

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So I’m going to try to get involved with Blog Azeroth’s whole Shared Topic thing.  This week’s Shared Topic over at Blog Azeroth was suggested by Saga.

The WoW in-game music is awesome, but there are times (at least for me) when I’m listening to my own music instead. Are there any specific songs that you connect with WoW? Whether it’s tied to your own characters in some way or simply because it reminds you of WoW. Please share!

Music is very important to me and always has been, so this is a topic rather close to my heart. I tend to have a very eccelctic playlist, but there are definite trends and themes that tend to permeate all of my musical choices.

Raiding

For a long time, I would always listen the in game music during raids. I loved the atmosphere of Naxx and Ulduar, and the the music only added to them. During ICC there were many moments when I would call attention to a particularly awesome part of the music (Hey guys! Listen! They’re using a variation on the blood elf starting zone music! Oh my gosh did you hear that little phrase from “Invincible” during the start up speech to fight LK? GUNSHIP MUSIC IS WIN!!!)

For whatever reason, I stopped doing this during Cataclysm raiding, and I think the reason for that is that the music in raids is, for the most part….Not that great or noticeable. For all the time I spent in BWD, I couldn’t tell you a single stand out moment in the music. I listened to the Firelands music for the first couple of weeks, and then got bored and turned it off. The only raid I can think of with really distinct music is TotFW, and my rants about the wasted opportunities of that raid are best left for another day. 😉

But I need music to function, so instead of listening to the in game stuff, I generally turn to my old friend Pandora to get me through my raids. Pandora and I have a long history of me creating playlists and then screaming at it when it thinks that just because I wanted to listen to Metric, that I will also like Phoenix. No really Pandora. Thumbs down. I hate that band. Stop playing them.

For raiding, I tend to go back to my punk roots, and I have a playlist based off of one of my favorite songs ever, “Generator” by Bad Religion.

I chose that song to create a playlist from because it generally makes me feel like I can go out and take on the world. After some tweaking, I got Pandora to understand the kind of punk I wanted to listen to, and now I’m happily healing my way through Firelands with Bad Religion, Social Distortion, the Descendants, Rise Against, Dropkick Murpheys, Fugazi, and many more. And then I get wonderful moments when I mention what I happen to be listening to and one of the younger kids in my raid goes, “Who’s that?” and I can reply “Well, they’re this really great band that’s been around for….oh dear God, 30 YEARS I’M OLD.”

Character Concept and Music

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m and RPer along with being a raider. I love coming up with character concepts and personalities for all of the toons I play. Every one of my toons has some sort of backstory worked out for them, and even if I don’t RP on that toon in particular, I know their story and who they are. Toons that don’t have a personality I can’t get into playing, which is probably why my shaman is stuck at level 55, throwing me furious looks as I ignore her in favor of leveling my night elf.

Since both music and character concept are so important to me, it’s probably no surprise that most of my characters have a theme song that works along with their concept. When I first started playing my pally, I was having a real problem with her. I’ve never liked playing the religious lawful good type in any RP game, but my guild was doing some fun Blood Knight RP that I really wanted to be involved in. So I did a little research and realized that Blood Knights were likely the one brand of pally I could actually manage to play, and Kora was born.

My original concept for Kora was actually based off of an ex of mine. He was a total punk and very much a “eff you authority” type, and yet…he was in the army. Those two things were just so totally at odds with each other. How could someone who really believed all of the anti-authority stuff that spawned punk music have ever thought to enlist? His answer was simple. He was living in New York when 9/11 occurred, and it changed his outlook on a lot of things. And so, applying real life reactions to the fantasy WoW world, I decided I could also have a character who was very much anti-authority but after tragedy felt the need to grow up and change. Silvermoon’s complete destruction by the Scourge seems like a powerful motivator in any Blood Elves life, so I took the idea and ran with it.

Today, Kora is my most developed character and the one I love the most, even if she’s not my main. She is my survivor, and even though she may be a Blood Knight now, she’s still very anti-authority and hates a lot of what goes on in Silvermoon. While writing about her one day, I had my playlist on random, and a song came on that fit her so perfectly that it’s been her theme song ever since. Whenever I’m feeling a little lost with her character, I go back and listen to this song and it gets me back on track.

The hunt for rare pets

My rare pet hunting continues (141/150!) and I have spent A LOT of time killing stuff in Winterspring and Wetlands, searching for the Azure and Crimson Whelplings. I wasn’t entirely convinced those actually exist until I saw the Azure Whelpling show up on the Alliance AH for 999,000g. Seriously are people on drugs? Anyway, I will obviously not be spending that much for a stupid non-combat pet.

But that means my sanity is wearing thin as I reach upward of 4000 kills in Winterspring for an adorable blue dragon. At first I was listening to all sorts of music while I did this, but even that wasn’t working when I got yet another inert elemental piece rather than the damn pet. So I’ve turned to Audible instead.

Audiobooks can be insanely expensive, and Audible takes the sting out of buying them by signing you up for a monthly fee membership. Rather than spending $40 for a new audio book, you spend $15 a month and get one credit each month to download whatever you like. There are all sorts of other benefits to it, but the main one is preserving your sanity during horrible, soul sucking grinds in WoW. It also works well for hellish drives from New York to Pennsylvania when it takes upwards of three hours to go 30 miles to get out of the NY area.

Right now I’m listening to the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. I was originally introduced to this series through the podcast Writing Excuses, which Sanderson is on. I’ve always highly respected what he had to say about writing but never quite got around to reading his books. Audible gave me that chance. If you’re at all interested in reading epic fantasy and you haven’t yet checked out this series, I encourage you to give it a read or listen. The magic system that he uses is highly inventive, and it managed to suck me in pretty quickly. Plus, hearing stories told about an amazing fantasy world makes killing yet another elemental guy much more bearable.

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