Player Owned Housing

So I don’t know about you, but I personally have always been a fan of the Player Owned Housing systems typically found in MMOs and RPGs. The idea of having your own personal space which can be decorated with your heroic endeavours (or plain old furniture) has always been charming to me, and with the release of ESO’s Homestead update which adds (surprise surprise) Player Owned Housing, I thought I’d look back on some of my favourite versions of this feature in gaming.

To begin with, though, I’ll add that I’ve barely scratched the surface of ESO’s Homestead update. As a poor, lowly level 30ish character, I don’t feel the pull to immediately go home hunting, knowing in my heart that I won’t be able to afford much more than the free inn room that the opening quest awards you. I have a clip of my reaction upon entering my “House” for the first time, though:

Cosy.

Before moving on from the topic of ESO, I will add that what I have seen of the furnishing system looks very well done and fleshed out. It’s not grid or tile based; nor is it a simple options menu that allows you to select what you put in your house, but not where, as was the case in Skyrim (and Runescape, incidentally, discussed below). ESO’s furnishing system allows full free to place your furniture and collections anywhere. And, er, I mean anywhere.

20170209193805_1
It has idle animations, too. The breathing wallhorse is a sight to behold.

So anyway, my first real housing system was in Runescape, and it comes in the form of one of its many skills, Construction. Any Runescape player that isn’t a billionaire will happily tell you how much of a bitch Construction is to train, as it’s one of the most expensive skills in the game. Obviously you have to buy your plot of land, and then each room costs money too – a pittance, really, but to a low-levelled player with little money, it’s a fair gold sink. You also have to pay to upgrade the size of your land, to allow for expansion. The real money sink, however, comes in the form of planks, which you need to build the majority of your furniture. Planks cannot be made by the player. The player must take logs to the sawmill and pay 500gp each to have them made into planks, a cost which adds up alarmingly quickly given how many planks you’ll be needing.

Besides this, however, the housing system is great… though on second thoughts, I may be looking at it through rose-tinted glasses, seeing as room furnishing layouts are unchangeable, you can simply construct different tiers of furniture within the highlighted spaces. Regardless, it’s still a satisfying feeling to upgrade your wonky, uncomfortable parlour chairs into cushioned seats, and to add more functionality to your kitchen as you go along. My favourite part about Runescape’s housing system was always the player-run house parties you could attend back in the day. I don’t know if anyone still bothers with them, but last time I checked, the house party world was devoid of, erm, parties. That being said, they may have all moved to Prifdinnas, a high level area I’m yet to unlock.

runescape-house-1
Here’s my attempt at capturing the entire downstairs of my house. Yes, it’s wonky shaped. Can’t be helped!
runescape-house-2
And here’s the upstairs. Bit less filled out, working on it!

Another one of my favourite housing systems belongs in Skyrim, though there are two types of houses in that game. The first one that shipped with the vanilla game consists of you unlocking the ability to buy a house, buying the house, and then buying each room from the steward to become fully furnished. Quite basic, but functional, and homely enough to enjoy living in. Plus, the cost was well-tailored to make it obtainable, whilst maintaining the satisfaction of making a hefty purchase to secure your own home.

The second version launched with the Hearthfire DLC, and allows you to build a house from scratch, adding from a choice of different wings as your house expanded. Much like Runescape though, you didn’t choose your furniture so much as unlock it. This is perhaps a little more forgiveable given that it’s a single player RPG, and players are therefore unlikely to think of making their home unique a priority. It’s a good place to store the wife and kids, anyway. And speaking of storage, houses in Skyrim acted as a sort of bank, in that they contained safe chests for you to store all your dragon bones and cheesewheels in.

skyrimhouse
I always liked this screenshot of my house.

Player Owned Housing is a system that has been requested in World of Warcraft for many years now. In fact, one gate at the end of the Stormwind Canals had an inaccessible instance portal which the devs later admitted was going to lead into player housing. However, they said they’d only ever add it to the game if it had a function other than the novelty of owning a house. Player owned housing is still an often requested feature, but what many players don’t realise is that the Garrisons of Warlords of Draenor was a take on that concept. Players were given their own garrison which only they could enter, and it provided many in-game purposes regarding quest lines, professions, and conveniences such as accessing your bank and various vendors. Garrisons are retrospectively viewed as one of the worst ideas in the WoW, as they removed the multiplayer aspect by giving players too much accessibility in their private garrisons, and the mobile type gameplay of the mission tables one used to govern their garrison followers ensured that the player didn’t even have to complete dungeon or raiding content to get the best gear.

What players don’t realise – or seem to have forgotten – was the initial success of the Garrisons system, before it became apparent that they were going to lead into the death of gameplay. For the first time in Warcraft history, players had their own space in-game that they could customise (albeit to a very limited degree) and make their own. I remember reddit flooding with positive feedback about the system for a good month, and I myself was delighted with having my own base of operations. This, of course, didn’t last, and I soon despise my garrison as much as everyone else. Now we’re in Legion, however, I’ll admit that it’s not so bad when revisiting Warlords of Draenor’s content, although the lack of any cosmetic customisability is disappointing.

wowscrnshot_080416_200857
Disregard the fact that my spellbook is open. This is totally not a salvaged screenshot of the only picture I have of my garrison on my hard drive. LOOK I’M NOT SUBSCRIBED RIGHT NOW OKAY

There were, of course, plenty of other games that allowed you the ownership and customisation of your own house. An old web game I used to play called Gaia Online is still around:

gaia-house
I’m surprised this is still around.

I remember trying out Everquest 2 specifically for the player housing:

eq2-housing
Picture taken on my old, dying laptop, hence the horrible graphics quality.

And of course, the most cutting edge player housing of them all:

club-penguin-igloo
Club Penguin, home of accidental intimidation.

All in all, there are plenty of games which give you your own house to dick around in, and I’m always drawn to the objective of owning my own place. Maybe it’s what drew me to Minecraft and Animal Crossing. Well, in the meantime, here’s another goofy EQ2 screenshot:

eq2-housing-2
Welcome to Jackass.

World of Warcraft: Legion (The Levelling Experience)

Well it’s finally fricken here and it’s so brilliant that I’m going to have to restrain myself from gushing about it for the next few hundred words. I’d hoped to reach level 110 before writing this blog post but as I type these words, I’m currently sitting in The Dreamgrove at a very disappointing level 109 and a half, with only half of Stormheim left to do.

The class order halls were probably one of my personally most anticipated features of the expansion, and I’m still yet to explore any of the classes outside of my main, my druid. But as far as the druid class order hall goes, it’s beautiful. We always had a bit of a private druid dance party club in the form of Moonglade, but one of the first class quests you’ll get pretty much sends you there to open a portal to your order hall, which is greener, druidier, and substantially HDer. The class specific quests have been good so far and whilst the mission table is an initially alarming reminder of Warlords of Draenor (and everything it did wrong), there’s actually far less to do on it. It’s more of a side project than a base of operations.

WoWScrnShot_083116_150036
I’ve wanted to meet this guy in game ever since reading Stormrage! It’s a shame he has to wield those ridiculous looking paws.

Profession quests are in, and they tie in very well with the open world gameplay – provided you pick them up at the right time. I’ve had some quests that go hand-in-hand with the zone’s quests and can be completed side-by-side, but there’s others that have sent me off to kill dudes that I’d already killed a few hours prior, and the drop rates on those quest items kinda need an accompanying quest tied into the same mobs to stop you from going crazy. This is an inevitability of non-linear zone levelling, though, and might be something that they fix in the future.

I can’t speak for the majority of Artifact weapons, but my Scythe of Elune is sitting comfortably on my back and I’m a big fan of the systems that come along with it. Of course, putting points into arbitrary power increases could have been baked into simply levelling up your character or acquiring new gear, and the same can be said for the abilities that you unlock through them too. But a new method of progression and power acquisition is hardly something to be faulted. As far as the common criticism about sharing a room with 50 people that all have that one legendary Scythe of Elune (or Doomhammer, or Ashbringer)… well, the criticism has merit, but I don’t feel like I’m wielding some legendary weapon as much as I’m simply in possession of a staff that everyone else has. And whilst it is jarring to run into so many Ashbringer-wielding paladins in the world, this effect will lessen as time goes on and players unlock more customisation options… or simply get sick of looking at it and transmog out of it.

WoWScrnShot_082916_233542
Holy goddamn balls it’s the Scythe of Elune.

As for the core gameplay… well, that comes in two parts. The first part is the questing, and whilst storytelling is at an all-time high (especially in Val’Sharah and Azsuna), it’s still the same old combination of kill these, collect that, interact with these 6 objects and return to me, with a few vehicle quests thrown in there for crazy hijinks. That’s not to say that the expansion isn’t littered with more unique quests, but there’s certainly a fair share of your copy / paste kobold adventures from level 1.

Balance Druid, as a specialisation, is wonderful. In Warlords of Draenor, it was an ugly mess of watching the UI and having your DPS mess up the second you break out of casting to avoid something. Now, I’m in control of what I cast, when I cast it. And the main artifact ability lets you drop freakin’ moons on people, so that’s cool.

I’ve not dedicated much time to discussing dungeons, but that’s because I’ve only done three of them so far – Darkheart Thicket, Eye of Azshara and Neltharion’s Lair, in that order. What I can say is that they’ve all upheld a unique theme, enjoyable boss mechanics and so far, I have no qualms with the prospect of revisiting them several times over the course of the expansion.

There’s plenty left to do. I may have to dedicate an entire blog post to post 110 content, such as world quests, raids (when they come out), the continuation of order hall related activities and more. Whether this will be a regular or a bonus blog post rests purely on whether I play anything other than WoW in the meantime!

Finally, Content! Sweet, Delicious, Content! (World of Warcraft: Legion Pre-Patch)

I know that I originally said that if I wrote about the pre-patch, it’d probably be as a bonus blog post… but I’ve not played much else since they released Demon Hunters, Invasions and the Broken Shore scenario yesterday. So without further ado…

The first thing I did yesterday morning after jumping out of bed and forcing myself into some state of a presentable human being was hop on WoW and make my Demon Hunter. I’d settled on the name of my Demon Hunter months ago, and had reserved it, even though the chances were highly unlikely that anyone else would go for the same name.

WoWScrnShot_081016_082405
I later changed his tattoo colour to green, as it clashed too much with the green-themed armour. I chose blue hair as a callback to my very first character made in 08!

Virizard, then, charged onto the front lines of Mardum and started chopping demons apart without hesitation. Having read the ‘Illidan’ novel prior to the release of Demon Hunters (which goes over their origins and their general state of affairs), I found the DH starting zone an absolute delight. The plot felt substantial, the characters believable, and the scenery… well, it was reminiscent of Outland in the best of ways. I cannot wait to return here for our Class Order Hall in Legion.

WoWScrnShot_081016_083540
Shit’s in space, yo. (Well… The Twisting Nether, which is essentially space-hell.)

The actual gameplay of the Demon Hunters themselves is wholeheartedly refreshing. (Keep in mind I’ve only played Havoc, the DPS spec.) Sure, you’ve got the base rotation of an attack which builds up your resource, an attack which spends it, and all sorts of bits and bobs between. But you’ve also got Fel Rush, Eyebeam and Blade Dance, turning you into a lithe, bouncing, beaming bastard of bloody murder. And then there’s Metamorphosis which turns you into purple Satan. The simple inclusion of double-jump and gliding is not only a useful utility in PvE and PvP situations, but is also a fun time-waster; I’ve spent many hours already parkouring around the rooftops of Stormwind, Darnassus and other major cities whilst waiting in a queue.

But there’s more than Demon Hunters in the pre-patch. Besides the initial pre-patch’s updates to every class specialisation’s abilities and rotations, yesterday’s update gave us Invasions and the Broken Shore, giving us some relevant content with which to test out our new abilities on. Both the Demon Hunter starting zone and the Broken Shore scenario lead into Invasions, so I won’t be giving any spoilers despite discussing them first. The Broken Shore scenario was an exciting narrative introduction to Legion, with the Alliance and Horde leading an assault on the portal which has allowed these demons to enter our world. As has not been a secret, we get royally messed up, and the performances from the voice actors were, erm, horrifying… but in a good way! You also get a pretty sweet weapon at the end of it, so that’s nice.

WoWScrnShot_081016_161134
This safari got ugly quickly! And I’m not just talking about the Orcs.

Invasions are excellent. Zones such as Dun Morogh, Westfall, Hillsbrad Foothills, Azshara, Northern Barrens and Tanaris are being assaulted by more than a couple of big angry demons, and through defending these bastions of wonderfully re-purposed twelve-year old content you get Nethershards. There’s plenty to be bought with Nethershards, such as an (admittedly rubbish) pet, four sets of transmog, some armour and, if you’re a Demon Hunter, your Invasion weapon. Each class has a unique Invasion weapon, which will only be obtainable (for use and for transmog) during this event. There’s also a few Feat of Strength achievements up for grabs, which I’ve already nabbed for posterity.

WoWScrnShot_081016_111545
This one hit like a truck. A, erm, horned, hoofed, fel-infused truck.

And there’s plenty more! The Dark Whispers event is periodically turning people insane in Stormwind, Dalaran has inconspicuously appeared above Karazhan (probably so the residents can play card games), and there will apparently be Legion prologue quests that are released episodically in the weeks leading up to the expansion! This is in addition to the treasure trove of narrative content that Blizzard has already released in the weeks leading up to the pre-patch, such as comics, a video series, and a fantastic audio drama, all with unique plot points and keen topics of discussion.

All in all, it’s a good month to be a WoW player.

An Unexpected Surprise (10,000,000)

10,000,000 is a game I picked up through the 14th Humble PC and Android Bundle. It’s a game that’s been on the edge of my radar for a few years, and every time I’ve clicked over to it out of renewed curiosity, I’ve left without much of an impression being made on me. For one, I typically prefer Match-3 games where you swap tiles instead of sliding the whole column or row across, and furthermore, it initially looked difficult to concentrate on matching specific tiles on the board in order to correspond with what was happening above. It was, however, in the fabled first tier of a Humble Bundle, and as such seemed like a purchase worth making.

For once in my misguided purchasing history, I was right!

227580_20160714094353_1
You may be locked in a dungeon, but at least they gave you a bed. And shops!

A game which is somewhat similar (if not more advanced) than 10,000,000 is Puzzle Quest, a game which I bought a little while previously in the hopes of finding the perfect RPG / Match-3 hybrid. 10,000,000, however, far surpasses Puzzle Quest in my eyes, mostly because of its simpler nature. Everything you need to know about 10,000,000 is presented to you within its tileset, and whilst choosing between certain abilities and upgrades is admittedly part of the RPG experience, 10,000,000’s simple upgrade system (where you can eventually choose all of them) is, in my opinion, better suited to the Match-3 genre. And plus, it has achievements. That’ll always help rope me in.

227580_20160714094413_1
Here’s the character upgrade screen. As you can see, I’ve unlocked everything. I’m pretty resourceful!

Bear in mind that 10,000,000 is something of a short game, as I’m approaching the end at 5 hours in. These have, however, been a very satisfying 5 hours thus far, and it may help that I also picked up its sequel, You Must Build A Boat, in the second tier of the Humble Bundle. In 10,000,000, I have so far completely upgraded my staff and fully upgraded my character’s skills. Sure, it’d be nice if the game were a little longer, but in all honesty there’s nothing to stop you from continuing to play the base game when you’ve fully upgraded every attribute of your character and his gear, and trying to get the highest score that you can. This is one of those games that I enjoy playing whilst listening to a podcast or two.

227580_20160714094430_1
This might be the first game I’ve seen where poison damage is achieved through magic.

I’m aware that this has blog post has been about half its usual length so far, but that’s because there’s not too much I can find to talk about when it comes to a 5 hour long, fairly minimal Match-3 game, no matter how much I enjoy it. I’m going to use this space, then, to talk about the upcoming events in World of Warcraft and how that will affect this blog.

As you may know, I’m an avid WoW player. It’s my jam. I feel at home in this game, fully attuned to every aspect of it (apart from maybe PvP), have played thousands of hours in it, and will therefore be blogging about it over the next few weeks and months. In a few days, the pre-expansion patch will have released, bringing with it all of the changes to the base game that will be coming to the game along with the expansion; this includes class abilities / rotations, quality of life updates like the new transmog system, and much more. In the coming weeks after that, they’ll be releasing the pre-expansion events, including the demon invasion and the Broken Shore scenario, and eventually access to Demon Hunters ahead of the expansion’s release on August 30th.

Here’s the thing. I know that statistically, most of the people who read this blog won’t be WoW players (which is the same reason why I have a separate Twitter account for my WoW ramblings). I don’t want to drive people away with blog post after blog post of WoW updates. Therefore, apart from maybe the launch of Legion which would be covered like any other game, I’ll be putting out additional blog posts regarding the pre-patch and its events if I feel inclined to do so in the first place.

A Sensible, Concentrated Post on One Game

I have been playing way too many games simultaneously to really focus on one this week, and given that it’s my birthday and I’m going to be busy for most of the day, I think I’ll just list off what I’ve been playing and why!

World of Warcraft – The Early Levelling Update

WoWScrnShot_060516_101557
Me mighty cow man. Mighty cow man goes ‘moo’.

In a recent hotfix to the game, Blizzard went back and fine-tuned the 1 – 40 levelling experience. After many years of focusing almost entirely on the balance of the endgame experience, Blizzard admitted that they had woefully neglected that actual first time player’s levelling experience, and have finally begun tweaking damage, mob health and xp gains so that the creatures of the world actually put up a fight, rather than dying in one or two hits – even without heirlooms. (Heirlooms are levelling gear that can be bought for large sums of gold and are account-wide; they scale with your level and provide hefty bonuses to xp gained.)

With this update in mind, I decided to create a new character and try the early levelling experience out for myself. In order to keep the experience as fresh as possible, I chose the alternate faction to my typical choice, and chose a specialisation I was not familiar with (for I’ve played every class a decent amount at this point). Thus, Golgore the Arms Warrior was born.

I’ve been having a lot of fun with it. Up until now, I’d never realised just how much having heirloom gear takes away from the game, in that most of the gear you receive is useless to you. It’s wonderful to actually have rewarding quests that you look forward to handing in, and quest bosses which take a bit of concentration to get through. Things are still far from challenging, but as this is the early levelling experience, I’m sure that’s no mistake.

Runescape

There’s not actually too much to be said about this one which hasn’t already been said in my recent blog post on Runescape. I’ve still been playing a whole bunch of the game, and my current target is to get every level to at least 60 (I managed a minimum of 50 a few weeks ago).

AdVenture Capitalist

346900_20160609102220_1
Much as it may look like it, I’ve not spent a penny on microtransactions!

Oh no. Why did I open this game up again.

AdVenture Capitalist will ruin your life. It’ll turn you into a gaunt shell of a human being who checks the time wherever you are, wondering if your investments have made enough cash for you to buy 57 more Car Washes to hit your next milestone target and triple your Car Wash income. You’ll be biting your nails, anxiously waiting for the moment when you earn enough money for your angel investors to peak, hopefully to a point where your next playthrough will be even more lucrative. And have you earned enough money to exchange for a mega-buck yet? Because 10 of those babies will give you a golden ticket, and applying THAT to a business leads to more profits than you can shake an unsexagintillionth dollar at!

Well, anyway, when I first saw this free game, I looked at the achievements and thought, that sounds like an easy 100%. And, woe be to me, I was dreadfully wrong – especially when they added an extra planet and with it, more achievements to the game. Actually, that’s around the time I stopped playing, out of anger. But since I opened it back up the other day, I’ve been churning out more profits than ever before. Today, they’ve released an event, which is essentially a new planet that’s only available for a short amount of time, and awards you mega bucks, cosmetic badges and even gold (the buyable currency for impatient people) depending on how far through you get. Which reminds me, I should really check in on my businesses and make sure they’re running at optimal efficiency…

LEGO: Marvel Superheroes

249130_20160608222331_1
It’s okay, Hulk. We know you can’t help it 😦

LEGO games are great. I’ve already discussed my childhood love for LEGO Star Wars, and I’ve also already written a blog post about this game. Well, since that blog post I’ve finished the story mode, taken a quick break to finish university and have since delved back in to work towards 100% completion. Having criticised the lack of variety in gold brick missions before, I now feel somewhat guilty in realising that I’d simply been doing the same type of mission over and over again… woops.

I’m 25 hours into the game and I’m only on around 55% overall completion, according to the game’s calculations. There’s still plenty of characters to unlock, gold bricks to collect and an almost futile amount of studs to collect – my x3000 multiplier has made any stud sink irrelevant – and I’m sure I’ll be sad when it’s over.

Spore

24720_20160605220019_1
I found a planet called Bobermus. BOBERMUS.

Spore? Why Spore? Well, I had a hankering for a good space exploration game, and Spore has always fit the bill for me there. So long as you cheat yourself money in so you don’t have to bother with endlessly flying between colonies for spice, and you’re not afraid to genocide some arrogant race into next week’s moral crisis, you’re all good. I’ve been expanding outwards from the center of the galaxy rather than inwards for two reasons. One, I’m interested in what it’s like towards the end of one of those spirals (probably not that different, I just think it’d be cool). And two, I can’t be bothered to deal with the Grox yet. (They’re basically Spore’s Daleks.)

I’ve also been messing around with the creature creator for a bit, in an effort to populate my galaxy with races that aren’t generic or have lowercase names. (It is INFURIATING!) I’ve created one sensible creature and two monstrosities. If you have Spore, you can search for ‘krazyk095’ (an old username) to see my beautiful creations, including my earliest ones from 2008. For now, though, I’ll leave you with this adorable little fellow.

24720_20160608161447_1
I think he likes you!

Tauren the World (of Warcraft)

It is no great secret that I’ve spent hundreds, thousands of hours playing World of Warcraft. That being said, I’ve not touched nor paid for the game for a few months now, as I go through phases of being enraptured by and then utterly bored of it. Despite currently being in the latter phase, however, a friend of mine was interested in visiting the game’s free 20 levels, and having not uninstalled the behemoth yet, I hopped right on and made a new Tauren (I’m typically Alliance) to plod alongside him.

This is our tale.

WoWScrnShot_012616_200350

This humble tale began with a glitch. Merely moments after our mighty cow men set ahoof on their journeys, I discovered my Tauren Monk (whom you may call Swiftsnout) took his Windwalking ability a little too seriously. Essentially, Reecus (the aforementioned friend) interacted with a cage for a quest, and it despawned, failing to give gravity the heads up as to the updated state of affairs. I’d already been standing on it, so I got to float with extreme majesty.

WoWScrnShot_012616_200438
Moo.

We’ve all been questing, though, and it’s quite the rudimentary experience, even with friends. Reecus encouraged me not to focus on questing so much as simply having fun, as we were not aiming to level our Tauren much (as my account was still a Starter Edition and he had no intention of buying the game). It is with this mindset that we chose to meet up with another friend of ours, and begin our journey to Stormwind, kingdom of the monkey people.

WoWScrnShot_012616_210332

The zeppelin to Origrimmar, and subsequently to Undercity was a perilous experience. Cows were never made to fly, you see, and we soon discovered that the netting surrounding the sky ship had collision only on one side. Of course, the side in which it is possible to jump out of the zeppelin happened to be the side without collision, and soon we were all falling to our doom; some to our deaths.

WoWScrnShot_012616_211800
Reecus soon discovered that his body had come to rest atop this balloon, which he could not reach.

It mattered not. Soon we were embarking to Undercity, and from there we’d take the Orb to Silvermoon, for we’d not decided on our destination by then. After seeing the Dead Scar, however, a sort of direction formed and we went to go and see what was at the end of it. At this point I decided to equip my heirlooms (account-bound armour which yields bonus xp when worn) to increase my survivability should we run into any… difficulties.

WoWScrnShot_012616_220300
Enemies with a skull in their portrait are over ten levels higher than you.

It was with some amusement that we found ourselves underlevelled for this expedition! If we all worked together, we were usually able to overcome the odd skirmish or two, though why Reecus sent his pet chicken over yonder to pull hordes of enraged skeletons our way, I’m not sure I’ll ever fully understand.

WoWScrnShot_012616_222350
The Sea Turtle is a rare pet obtained from fishing, which is usable at all levels as it has no speed bonus unless in water.

Perhaps it was suicidal to enter the Eastern Plaguelands at such a low level. It did take some convincing, on my part. But with some honeyed words and a fantastically dashing turtle, or maybe just stubborn idiocy, I pointed us in the right direction. For anyone who has not played the game, Eastern Plaguelands is full of monsters levelled between 40 and 45 (if I recall correctly). We were around level, erm, 7.

WoWScrnShot_012616_222934

OH GODS!

We sprinted from flight path to flight path, treating them as checkpoints despite not having nearly enough silver to afford to be able to fly between them. Still, it gave us something to aim for, and as I perhaps forgot to mention to Reecus at the time, it would only get better from there on out as the layout of the zones decreased in level range. But, as you can see from the party interface, my poor Tauren friend had bit the dust already. Well, it’s a good thing resurrection exists in Azeroth, or we’d all be maggot meat.

WoWScrnShot_012616_223707
My snout was not swift enough.

I cannot begin to describe to you the horror of being forced to watch from beyond the grave as a Noxious Plaguebat hounded my companions.

WoWScrnShot_012616_223721
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Well, anyway, I swiftly resurrected and headed for the next waypoint atop the hill, dogged every step of the way by a vile Plaguehound. Why is everything in this zone prefixed with “Plague” anyway? It might be accurate but it’s not exactly going to attract tourists.

WoWScrnShot_012616_225038
GUARDS, DO SOMETHING!

It was at this time Reecus asked us about PvP and neutral zones. You see, nobody in this game is a big lover of gnomes, not even those of the Alliance. In my opinion, they clash with the tone of the game and are generally just annoying little shits. I don’t know if Reecus shared my prejudices, but when we happened across a gnome with their PvP turned on, staring away at the horizon like it was about to erupt into a dazzling show of rainbows and unicorns, Reecus did what any honorable Tauren would do and swung for the midget.

WoWScrnShot_012616_223827

It was at this point that a dozen armed guards dashed towards him at lightning speed and ended his life in an instant, surprising everyone and causing the gnome to half turn in slight disbelief. What were a group of level 7s doing out in Eastern Plaguelands? And why were they trying to attack someone of a significantly higher level? Well, this could be fun. The dead Tauren would soon return to their body, and as PvP would still be enabled…

WoWScrnShot_012616_224014
Gnomes, ladies and gentlemen.

In retrospect, I’m not entirely sure why they activated their Explorer title before moving to attack us. Perhaps it was a show of kinship, an attempt to let us know that they, too, had wandered deep into uncharted territories and dived headfirst into combat with those out of their league. But surely, then, they’d know what would happen should they attempt to attack anyone within a neutral settlement. Even if not, they’d just seen it happen to Reecus! Well, I can’t say I feel guilty.

We never did make it to Stormwind, and I’m not entirely sure if we have plans to continue the journey. But it was certainly an enjoyable experience to take a level 7 Tauren out into the heart of Eastern Plaguelands, and a gentle reminder that sometimes it’s more fun to play games as they were not intended to be played.