It’s worth spending time on interests that you can share with your loved ones. Something you can bond over. Lathere had been asking me (nagging me gently) for some time to play with her and I always seemed to have something else to do. We haven’t quite nutted out which night works best for us both. And we have no ambitions or significant goals to achieve.
But spending a few hours together sharing a fun experience can’t be bad. Otherwise we might just end up having nothing to talk about except Lathere’s little girl, Caitlin!
Of course, once I’d agreed to return to Azeroth together for a once-a-week play session our levels of interest and commitment in the game changed completely. By the end of an evening I’d out-leveled Lathere’s baby Paladin by 5 levels. And it was very hard to stop.
I logged in first. I had a young, confused Paladin going by the unfortunate name Dêva waiting for me on my loading screen. Yes, that’s Dêva with a funky character “e”. I’m not even sure how you type that onto your screen. I know, on my Mac, that I can recreate the name by typing “d” “e” “alt+i” (that’s the bit that throws up a special character on the previous letter) and then “v” “a”. I had to figure that out straight up in order to send, by mail, a Bind to Account cloak to her from the Stormwind Visitor Center courtesy of my bank manager.
What a mistake. I’m so embarrassed walking around under such a silly bunch of characters. I might as well have called myself “Xxxlegolaosxxx”. /shudder. (Where’s that point scoring system that uncovers noobs simply based on name and hairstyle?)
I may have related the circumstances behind the name in a previous post. I’m pretty sure I talked up my baby Paladin quite a bit when I created her. That is, when I birthed her, virtually, full grown and empty headed into an Abbey just north west of Goldshire. Poor race choice you say? I really like being a Human in RL and in game. Sorry.
At the time of her creation a long time WoW player and guild mate, Ultraviolet, persuaded me to believe that if you do a WoW Armory search for a character name that you like, and it cannot present any characters of that name on your server, you can raise a ticket and petition Blizzard to release the name from some strange person’s inactive account and they will… well… just give it to you.
I believed this. And Ultraviolet had just created an alt going by the name “Dan” to prove his point. Unbelievable! A three letter name, a common place, recognizable and easily pronounced name on one of the older Oceanic realms!
I also knew, and this might still be correct, that nonsense characters do not belong in World of Warcraft character names and naming your character with one goes against the Terms of Service. Or something like that.
Thinking to kill two birds with one stone and to strengthen my case to Blizzard, I discovered the name I wanted for my Paladin, checked to see if I could find a character on Barthilas going by that same name, and then created an illegally named character from which to launch my ticket.
As you might have guessed Blizzard were not in the least bit interested in freeing up the name “Deva” and the ticket was closed and I was stuck with my stupid version of the name. At level 10 I was too stubborn to re-roll, or pay, for a name change. It’s my mistake and I’ll live with it.
The loading screen ran for a very long time. A disturbingly long time. I had to force quit the game and try again – this time with all Add Ons disabled – to see Westfall, and Deva, again.
I woke up in a graveyard. I’m not sure what it says about my experiences as a World of Warcraft player that loading in at a graveyard immediately makes me think that in the previous play session I was corpse camped until I gave up and logged out. I started running towards Sentinel Hill, mentally debating if it is even possible to be corpse camped in Westfall (I’m fairly sure it isn’t). and accidentally stepped between a ramshackle army and some ugly gnolls fighting it out on the outskirts of the hill.
In true Paladin style I charged in swung my mace about. Or my sword. I’m pretty sure I had a mace equipped at the time.
After all I may be a driving a lowly level 16 Paladin around Westfall but my brain is full of adventures in the most dangerous dungeons in Outlands and Northrend. Surely these footmen – these Westfall hicks – needed my help! After smacking a few gnolls into the ground I eventually realised that those hicks were coping well enough with the attacking gnolls. You might even say that they had been designed for that purpose. Indeed just as one gnoll hit the ground a new one would run in and attack.
The battle could go on forever, seeming to favour the Alliance but actually completely unchanged. World of Warcraft programming at its best?
It was about that time that I realised that I was in Sentinel Hill. This was Westfall. And I hadn’t loaded in at the graveyard because I’d been corpse camped or run down by one murloc too many. I had loaded in at the graveyard because while Cassandri was spending her last days before the Cataclysm drinking champagne in The Park, Deva had missed it altogether. Slept through it entirely.
And Sentinel Hill isn’t the same place I remember.
For one thing, there’s a Paladin Trainer living in the Inn. I found out about Sister Darnhald the hard way, or the “old school” way. I just typed in [General] chat “Is there a Paladin trainer in Westfall?” and got a fast reply back “Inn”. Whoops. She’s not even tucked away in a cellar. She’s right there next to the Inn Keeper.
Westfall isn’t the same either. And once I learned some talents and some skills with Sister Darnhald’s help I ventured out and discovered just how much it’s changed…
But more on that another day!