Sunday, January 28, 2007


Alright, let's just say right up front that if you don't care about World of Warcraft, you probably won't care about this entry.

Now then...

As I mentioned, the launch of the new WoW expansion has gone remarkably smoothly. I've started over with new toons on a new server... a PVP server in fact. I've come to realize that one of the reasons I got so bored of WoW before was that I was 100% safe when I wanted to be. Not knowing when some slobbering orc played by a remarkably similar person at the keys might jump on me and beat the ever-living bodily fluids out of me adds an extra edge to the game that I haven't felt since the old days of Rallos Zek back in EQ.

But while the possibility of being ambushed and juiced like a california orange is ever-present, it's also actually somewhat uncommon. The reason? The Battlegrounds.

See, there are material rewards for PVP, in the form of better-than-average gear. The currency of PvP victory is "Honor," but honor alone isn't enough to buy the nifty trinkets everybody wants. You also must have these tokens you get from participating in battleground fights. You get one of these token thingies if your side loses, but you get more if you win. So you trade in a combination of "honor" and these tokens for the Ubergear of your dreams. So, merely jumping newbies out in the bush while they try to quest, while it may satisfy your inferiority complex, won't get you gear. So WoW rewards players who "keep their game on the court" so to speak, in that they PvP themselves to exhaustion in the battlegrounds, which cuts down on the amount of "let's make life hell for the newbies" that gets played.

So, obviously, these battlegrounds are classed out into level brackets. Being that I just started over, obviously I'm in the low bracket. The lowest there is: The level 10-19 bracket of Warsong Gulch.

This level bracket brings all kinds... the raw, bewildered noob who barely wears enough gear to keep from freezing to death, the casual gamer, the powergamer, and even the most reviled: the twink. A twink might only be level 19, but he's owned by a player who has at least one much more powerful character... and the finances of that more powerful character have been funneled into the twink. Think of it like a corporate sponsor putting their F1 racer in the lineup down at your local go-kart track.

I feel bad for the noobs. I really do. I see plenty of level 10 ragamuffins in crap equipment who have absolutely no chance, and no sane reason to be there on the battlefield. They don't even slow the enemy down any more than one more blade of grass slows down a lawn mower. The truth of the matter is they need to get their asses back to ambushing livestock, gathering fruit, and all those other newbie quests until they're at least level 17 and have some noteworthy armor/weapons/spells. All they are doing is taking up a valuable slot in a team that could be used for a competent player (each round of this particular battle limits each side's army to 10 characters). But I understand why they are out there; they are excited, and they want to play... they want to help out and fight the bad guys and revel in the glory, just like all the other players. So I cut them slack. I'm a laid back kinda guy after all.

I almost said that with a straight face.

Seriously, I just ignore the noobs and treat them as a needed handicap, because frankly I'm so awesome. Not a twink, but I definitely have opened quite a few cans of whoopass over the last week or two in particular.

Oh, but the twinks... the twinks cannot SUFFER the presence of a noob. At least, they cannot suffer in silence...

The chat line is often clogged by the half-literate ramblings of neon-clad glowing simpletons in gear so expensive it could have raised ethiopia out of economic depression if sold on the open market. Mostly the content of their nearly-illegible communiques are either demands for strategic leadership ("Give me the flag and get out of my way, except healers, they heal only me") or bilious condemnations of those who the twink believes have cost him victory (which is largely unprintable, even here).

To reinject some perspective here... there is, at any given time, 2 or 3 dozen battleground fights going simultaneously. These fights last maybe a half hour, longer for good matches, shorter for the more one-sided ones. A casual evening of PVP has me seeing at least 4 or 5 of these matches alone. You win some, you lose some. But woe betide anyone in the chat channel if there's a twink who is on the losing side of a match. And somehow, these guys are not all that keen to examine their own performance, either.

I'm just glad I don't have to sit in Teamspeak or Ventrilo with these clowns. I'm sure it sounds something like this.

And that's the word from bandit camp.

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