Monday, August 15, 2005

My Weekend in Azeroth

-- geek mode: on --

I played a ridiculous amount of World of Warcraft this weekend. I had things to do, objects to craft, items to buy and wares to sell. It required alot of travel, and that is a bit of an understatement. I had to cross goddamn continents and oceans to get where I needed to be, and in Wow, that is a literal description. I have been playing this game since last October and still... still... I am coming upon areas and scenery that blow my mind. Sure, there are a majority of players who have ground to level 60 and have seen all this and more, but the mere fact that I have been playing for so long and can still be awed by a game's environments is a testament to is artistry and design.

For example, I had wandered into Blackrock territory, which I am only now able to travel through safely, and just barely. Blackrock Mountain is a key destination for top level players, but I couldn't resist taking the path to see what all the fuss was about. Once inside the mountain passage I rounded a rocky corner and was dumbstruck:

You must travel down the chain to get to the entrance of Blackrock Dungeon...

Once inside I didn't have time to take a screenshot because I found myself immediately running for my life. Some shit you just don't want to fuck with, the prospect of dying and having to retrive my corpse from such a place was not something to look forward to. Once safely out of the mountain, I came across an area simply called "The Gorge."

A bit farther north on my way back to The Badlands, I came upon this fantastic sight:

I was playing my long running character, Vonnagan the Dire. He's an undead Warlock and I've accumulated a nice pack of goodies over my travels. One of my prized possessions is my main hand weapon, The Sword of Omen, given to me by my undead king after finishing a quest that took weeks to complete.

As a warlock I am able to summon demons who must fight with me in service to my dark arts. My succubus, Kalyla, is my summon of choice. That's right. Succubus.

Being an online game, WoW can be very social, both good and bad, but often good. For instance I was at the Auction House in Ogrimmar when someone came in and randomly cast over a "buff" on whoever was near. This is not uncommon, but this particular buff was insanely potent! Yet another thing I didn't even know existed.

At the end of my marathon gaming session I had quested my way back to Booty Bay, and the southern tip of Stranglethorn Cape. It's sort of a pirate haven and has all the characters and quests that would go along with it. It's an averaged size city, one of many that scatter the land. It's fully populated, it has a history, locals, legends... Now that my character is in the upper 40's, whole new teirs of conversations and quests have become available, and I haven't even finished exploring the new lands that I've found! It's just amazing the depth that WoW continues to hold.

-- geek mode: off --

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