Monday, April 17, 2006

Can You Serve Two Masters?

My Scarshield Legion oddessy continues and has taken a new and very welcome step. Branan has reached 31st level and I seem to have finally 'got' the way the server works.

First off, the PVP side of things is very ... different. There are two aspects of it. In the low level areas, you occassionally get some high level types coming down to harvest the younglings. Essentially, there are two options - stand and fight or run like hell. Generally, I choose to run like hell but on one or two occassions, stand and fight is a decent option. Thats quite fun. However, the absolute slap-in-the-face of PVP reality is when YOU are that higher level invader! At 30th level fighters get a quest that takes them to Fray Island, off Ratchet. There is no easy way to do it - boat to Theramore and then either a trip through the Barrens or overland through Dustwallow Marsh. Either way, you see more Horde in that trip than all of the previous 30 levels in the dwarf lands combined. It is .... tense. A wholly different set of rules and social interactions compared to the 'care bear' invisibility of a PvE realm.

Second, the RP side of things has some interesting implications. Items that are totally worthless in PvE suddenly take on a new light. Take a 'Disciples Stein' - a random Level 7 item of almost no use whatsoever. Valuable? Oh yes. Why? Because it's a big beer mug in your off-hand and that means that if you are RPing in a tavern, you have the item that fits the situation. Similarly a non-magical diamond ring goes for 25g+ because of it's use in in-game marriages...art imitating life, I suspect. So Branan has his fighting gear and his off-duty gear. Now, this isn't roleplaying - but it is an aspect of the immersion that can occur. Certainly, the level of in-game RP I have seen is minimal. People refrain from using l337 speak in the game and do talk to each other using /say but generally, theres not much to put between RP and PvE....

Until you join an RP guild. Now, I have refused a number of guild invites over these 30 levels because I didn't want to dive into something unsuitable. I wanted an RP guild, preferably a dwarf-only guild and I wanted it to be quite casual. No raiding...been there, done that. So, this morning, I spotted an annoucement in Ironforge /general about a guild called Gryphon Hammers. RP guild (Check!), Dwarf only (Check!), no 60s and no raiding (Check!). I was directed to their website and it was all about their story, their ongoing plotlines, their clan meetings and ... well, wow! I was SO in! They signed me up there and then, and I put in an application anyway. So here it is:



-- Sometimes, a dwarf comes along who isn't destined to wield the greatest axe in the world and slice off the head of Cthon. Sometimes, a dwarf comes along who isn't the final child of a murdered clan seeking revenge on a race of dragonkin. Sometimes .... sometimes a dwarf comes along who has just been trouble since he was born. Say hello to Branan Badrock.

Branan was born and raised in Ironforge by his uncle, the owner of one of the cities smaller importers of 'exotic culinary frippery' - the salesmans patter for piles of smelly tangy clam meat and gooey spiders legs shipped in fresh from the Wetlands. Branans formative years were spent cleaning various animal parts for his uncle. He longed to join his father in the mines in far off Baer Modan but no, he had to stay at home.

Of course, Branan got bored and discovered the wonders of beer, brawling and no-beards. On more than one occassion he fell foul of the Ironforge city watch, either drunk hanging above the lava trenches in the Great Forge, bruised after some shennanagins in Tinker Town or brokenhearted after a liaison with a comely no-beard ended in a swift mace smack around the head.

Eventually, his bad behaviour got the better of him and despite his budding aptitude with the hammer and anvil he got into one brawl too many and was sentenced by the Ironforge Magistrates to be sent away and have his troublemaking tendencies put to better use - in the battle with the Horde. Banished to Coldridge to learn his trade as a warrior, Branan was also given the temporary name Badrock - a monicker he will keep until he manages to reconcile his differences with Ironforge.

Since that shameful day, Branan has found himself in a number of adventures - beating on Troggs and Orges in Loch Modan, aiding the humans in their battles with the Defias bandits - even gaining a token of gratitude from their boy-king and now he stands ready to breach the Thandol Span...

...which leads him to the borders of Aerie Peak and his true destiny, to drink alongside the Gryphon Hammers in the Hinterlands!

---

After I joined and was given a cacophony of IC greetings from my 'clannies' I suddenly got a pang of guilt. Yes, real proper guilt. About yes, the Dungeoneers. Lets get one thing clear - in no way, shape or form am I going to get anywhere near as involved with the Gryphon Hammers as I was with the Dungs. Not going to be an officer, not going to have any say it how they are run. Just another member. But it does mean that I have some ongoing responsibilities with their guild events. What if it clashes with the Dungs event?

What if it does? Which do I choose? Who takes precedence? At the moment, probably the Gryphon Hammers because the Dungs have really moved to a raiding guild status. In a really Dungs way. So they now raid an unspecified target four days a week. You turn up and depending on how many people turn up, thats what gets raided. Somehow, that just doesn't seem appealing to me anymore.

But the happiness that I feel at finding a suitable guild is a bittersweet feeling. I love the Dungs and I miss a lot of the people in it. Not the people I see every week but those like Havock, Volta, Gumbert etc. who are WoW-only acquaintences.

I'm not sure whether that is a sad thing (in the boo-hoo way) or a sad thing (in the geek way) but it has certainly been the unexpected upshot of having two masters...

Neil

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