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Return to Azeroth

August 3rd, 2016

So, those of you who follow my facebook page might know that Jen and I have returned to World of Warcraft (WoW) for the 50th time after a few months’ hiatus.

I vividly remember the first time I heard about this game from a friend. I poo-poo’d it at the time, having played a few fantasy MMOs in the dawn of (digital) time, but Jen was intrigued. So she bought a copy, installed it on her computer, and entered a world unlike anything we had ever seen before. She was hooked in the first minute. Watching over her shoulder while she played, it took me two minutes. So I grabbed my keys and ran out to the local box stores to get a copy. (It took me 2 days to get it, because the stores were all sold out.)(Yes, this is before digital download copies were available.)(Yes, I am old.)

We lost ourselves in the vivid world of Azeroth, with Jen playing a healer druid and me a bow-wielding hunter. We adventured from one end of the digital world to the other, slaying monsters and taking their loot. Along the way we met great people who were also sharing this experience, and some of them became real-life friends of the highest caliber. Friends we still treasure today, 12 years later.

About to Battle Ragnaros

Over the years, Jen and I would occasionally take a break from the game. Like anything else, a game can get repetitive. When we get bored, we cancel our subscriptions. But, invariably, a new expansion will come out, and we will get sucked back into WoW again. Like we just did a couple weeks ago.

I still have that hunter character, and Jen still has her druid (although we transferred them from the Alliance to the Horde side years ago.) But now I mainly play a priest who heals, and Jen’s been experimenting with the warlock class. Variety is the spice of life, eh? And now we’re focused much more on the player-versus-player combat than adventuring and raiding. But there’s still magic in this experience. We’ve tried tons of other online games, but we always return to WoW. It’s familiar, but it always manages to show us something new.

And there is no doubt in my mind that part of our love affair with this game involves each other. I couldn’t stick with a game for this long on my own. But having my love and best friend there with me is pure gold. It’s quality time we spend together, whether we’re assassinating elves or plunging into dark dungeons. We’re together, and that makes all the difference.

So, when our schedules permits, you can sometimes find us on Llane server, melting faces and having a blast together.






Clash of the World of Warcraft?

April 9th, 2010

I saw Clash of the Titans tonight, and the good news is that it’s not another In the Name of the King (which still holds the title for worst movie ever made).

For those of you who have never played World of Warcraft, and have no interest in ever playing it, skip the next paragraph for the sake of your sanity.

Nutshell: it wasn’t so bad for the first movie in a WoW franchise. I mean, it had beautiful and often ridiculous scenery, a rich storyline that no one cared about (including the characters). Everyone’s on some kind of quest, but the details are vague and no one feels like tabbing over to Wowhead to get the right coordinates. There were the usual fights over loot. (Draco: Hey Perseus, take that sword. It’s way betterz for your dps. Perseus: No way! I’m hoarding my DKP for a shield upgrade.) Like so many raids, Perseus’s crew has too many melee-types and not enough healers, but they did manage to pick up a warforged warlock. (Ooops, my bad. I’ve drifted off into D&D territory.) And the game . . . I mean, movie . . . ends with a bad-ass Boss Fight. Too bad the Kraken was nerfed to hell in the last patch. (And his drops were crappy, too: a doe-eyed damsel that no one wants to nail and two sets of pally leggings.)

In all honesty, I expected very little out of this remake, and I got my wish. I despise things in movies that make no sense, and every scene had at least one bit of silliness that couldn’t be ignored. The short list: flying horses that wander around the forest grazing aimlessly waiting to be found by equally aimless heroes, vast deserts in the middle of ancient Greece, bronze swords that can pierce stone pillars and hold up the weight of two grown men, and a main hero who learns how to be an expert swordsman in less than forty-five seconds because, like, he’s a demigod. (Thank goodness we can skip the training sequence montage!) Let’s not even get into the plot. (Transformers + Dungeons&Dragon + semi-Greek mythology = Clash.) The acting was . . . well, I give the performers credit for getting through their lines without laughing.

Did I like anything about it? Sure. For one, I took my wife, and any time spent with her is worthwhile. Second, Hades (God of the Underworld) was given a very slick appearance—understated (for this movie) black armor and smoky wings. I just wish Ralph Fiennes had dropped the annoying gravely-whisper affectation. Oh, and the black Pegasus was a nice touch.

But none of this matters because Clash made a bajillion dollars in its first weekend, so the geniuses behind this fiasco are probably being feted like ancient Greek kings by the Hollywood crowd. Get ready for Clash 2: Rise of the Fallen Lich-King Underworld God.

Hey, no one ever said life was fair.

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