Monthly Archives: August 2010

I know something you don’t know…

One mount is only the beginning.

I have a confession to make. I’ve been responsible for a rash of Trial of the Crusader 5-man runs on the Shadowburn battlegroup. It doesn’t sound like too horrible a crime, does it? I actually like the place. It has three bosses, minimal trash – so quite a few opportunities for vendored epics and enchanting materials.

That’s not why I am doing it, though. You see, I queue up for ToC every day (sometimes on more than one character) because I am chasing delicious Champion’s Seals. Since I’ve been spending more time pursuing “before Cataclysm” goals, I realized that I’ve been neglecting the Argent Tournament dailies. Because I like pets, and mounts. And tabards…did I mention tabards?

A quick mental calculation the other day was too depressing… Not counting any tabards at all, I’m going to need something upwards of six HUNDRED Champion’s Seals to get all of the stuff the Silver Covenant and the various factions have to offer.

That’s where ToC comes in. The dailies are great, and I do those too – and since I’m queuing as DPS, I have time to wait. I queue up for the run while I’m netting snobolds, hurling spears at a kraken, or whatever else.

What I hadn’t counted on was the interesting study in pugs it has been to queue for the same instance repeatedly many days in a row.

First of all, I am gaining a new appreciation for comparisons between tanks. Millya is an arcane mage, so her threat grows by LEAPS and bounds (when I don’t have my mage posse with me, which I do as often as I can, because, hello – have you seen the buff it gives mages? But I digress). So the tanks I’ve had have run the gamut. There’s been…

  • The one who said “Can someone else mark these plz I don’t remember”
  • The one who zoned in and said “this place? f*** me”
  • The one who apparently hadn’t found his swipe button and left my hapless moonkin to tank the rogue for a full twenty seconds, even though I sprinted towards him hooting and panicking so that he could get aggro on the thing until I went down in a heap of chubby feathers. There may or MAY NOT have been Starfall involved. That’s all I will say.
  • The one who gave me Vigilance and proceeded to be absolutely awesome. Her aggro was rock solid. I don’t think I could have pulled if I tried. As someone who has grown rather accustomed to the ominous KABOOM of encroaching threat on Omen, it’s pretty nice to just chill out and hit as hard as I like without fear. (By the way, whoever thinks DPS is “relaxing” and easy clearly had their Omen sounds turned off a long time ago, doesn’t run Omen, or just doesn’t care. DPSing can be really stressful for me with a tank who has trouble versus my threat. And no, it’s not always the fault of the DPS. Voss teases me about having my “Omen underneath Recount,” but I usually put it front and centre, right under my feet. If “Don’t pull” means just standing there for a good ten seconds not attacking anything, I’m fairly sure the “It’s not me, it’s you” adage kicks in.
  • The one who said to the healer, “How confident in ur healing are you?”
    “Pretty confident, why?”
    “I’m going to pull all of these”
    “…I don’t think you should.”

So I’ve had some really interesting tanks and groups. I’d gotten out of the habit of pugging much (on any of my characters) so it’s been fun, even if I am seeing the same instance each day. It seems that many people don’t like it, so I feel vaguely guilty. I’m sure that most of them are assigned ToC because I queued for it specifically, and for them it is a random. I never pipe up and tell them that, though.

Instead I say, “Oh look, it’s ToC! Hey, at least it’s a quick one!” Sometimes feigning ignorance is the best policy. (It’s only a white lie!)

With at least six hundred emblems to go, you can bet I’m not going to tell Moonrunner and its associated servers that they’ll be spending weeks in ToC on my account.

Gallery

Tuesday Art Day: Haz Mace, Will Raid

This gallery contains 12 photos.

I’ve been trying to expand the range of WordPress options that I’m using, specifically when it comes to displaying images and any other media. For the Well-Dressed Paladin contest I thought the gallery display was rather successful. It was nice … Continue reading

Two for the Price of One

Jaedia over at The Lazy Sniper just celebrated her one-year blogaversary! It’s a big milestone. To celebrate, she was offering blog prompts for anyone who asked. I asked for one, and this is what she gave me!

I’d like to know, what’s the nicest thing anybody has ever done for you? Something that has stood in your memory, perhaps it’s a gift, or a tip that changed your game, maybe somebody waiting for you to get home before they started a raid, anything that might have given you the warm fuzzies.

Needless to say, this was a fun topic to contemplate, especially coming on the heels of my admonition to give players a helping hand if you’re able to – it was enjoyable to think of the incredibly nice things people have done for me during my time playing.

Sight-seeing with a friend. This is relevant because it was one of the few screenshots I had of him. Maybe he's camera shy!

An inheritance

When I was still relatively new to the game – had been playing for less than six months, I had a friend who made the abrupt decision to leave the server. Not only that – he actually deleted his character. He and I had chatted a lot and were good buddies, so needless to say that first “Friend removed because character no longer exists” message was a shock. The mail awaiting me at my mailbox was an even bigger shock.

It basically said, “I’m leaving, thanks for being a good friend,” and had enclosed a variety of herbs, flasks, and other things he’d amassed in his travels -  as well as nine hundred gold.

You have to understand that to me, at the time, NINE HUNDRED gold was a fortune. It allowed me to train epic riding. I hadn’t figured out the auction house. I’d scrimped and saved just to get a regular mount at forty, and it was a big deal. That money – a paltry sum by today’s standards – enabled me to invest a few things in the auction house. But let me come back around to that.

When I actually received the letter, I was stunned and upset. It was nice of him to give me the gold, but I didn’t want the gold, I wanted my friend to be playing the game with me. This character was the character he used for slumming it with us Alliance folks – I knew his character’s name and server, Hordeside.

I knew what I had to do. I immediately rolled a low-level Tauren (it would have been easier to get the cash with another race but if you knew how much my friend loves Tauren you’d know that it was appropriate). I began to do quests and kill mobs with that Tauren, and then I slowly loped my way to a mailbox in Bloodhoof Village so I could send him a series of mails telling him that the money he’d sent had made me cry, but no amount of gold was worth him having deleted his character.

He was so surprised and touched that his leaving had upset me that much – that he contacted Blizzard and had them restore the deleted character. He made me keep the money. The irony is that later I went on to become a big auction house person and would routinely make money – while my friend, an avid RPer and all-around nice guy, preferred to spend his time talking to people and fishing. I hope he feels that I was able to repay his kindness and generosity once I had the means. You can’t put a price on friendship, in or out of game!

The first time I went to Kara, and my coordinating pink BC gear. I didn't care if my staff was a bit gaudy. It was MINE by gosh. I still have it!

And a wealth of knowledge

This next kindness is a little bittersweet, because the friend disappeared without a trace over a year ago. I assume he just stopped playing WoW or had to leave or what-have-you, but before he did I owe so much of the quality of my WoW-playing experience to him.

It all started with an innocent mage in The Underbog. I remember that day clearly, because it was the day I had learned about Recount. I downloaded it, I installed it. As a few folks have said since… there is no going back once you have some kind of damage meter. You could uninstall it, or close it, but you will always know that it exists and your entire mentaliy changes. Before that, I was blithely content with whatever paltry damage I was doing. I was casting spells, wasn’t I? That’s what a mage does, isn’t it? I’m pretty sure I had no idea what a rotation was, and was just happily casting whatever spells struck my fancy.

We were running with another recent friend, an ex-raid vet who’d re-rolled on an RP server for whatever reason. I’ll call him Otto. I pretty much fail at pseudonyms because… well, that was his name. Anyway, I don’t know why he’d rolled on our server, but he had – he was playing a hunter. And his hunter was out-DPSing my mage by a significant margin. I whispered him to ask him, basically, “How are you doing so much more DPS than I am?”

“Well, for starters,” he whispered back, “How often do you use your trinkets?”

(The answer was hardly ever, when I remembered. At least they were on a button, a button I no doubt clicked.)

“You need to macro them to an ability,” he explained. “I will show you how.”

So it began. Otto was the best DPS I’d run with, and I’m confident he’d be among the best even now that I’ve met many more awesome DPS. He showed me the ropes of DPSing, everything from server lag and speccing to aggro management. When my DPS was flagging in late BC, he suggested I try out Frost, and then took me to do dailies while I got used to the spec. He taught me about kiting. When I dinged 70, it was in a whirlwind rush of quests he’d helped me obliterate and the screenshot has him cheering in it. He took me to the Isle of Quel’Danas (henceforth known as the Isle of WTF) to initiate me into the mysteries of Being 70 and Doing Daily Quests.

When Wrath came out, he and I got into a VoA together with his newly-leveled Death Knight and my Mage, naturally. Two pieces dropped from Archavon: DPS DK Tier 7, and Mage Tier 7. We both won the rolls for the pieces. We were on Vent screaming and yelling our glee at each other. Even though he stopped playing, I still think of him often because I learned so much from him.

I can be Auctioning, and I hear in my head, “Pro tip: post them for as short a time as you can manage checking up on them, especially if you’re undercutting or being undercut.”

I think of him sometimes when I pop Invisibility and heave an exasperated sigh at my monitor and mutter, “I’ve been threat-capped this entire time!” (Naturally, not when any of my guild’s tanks are tanking, but sometimes in pugs).

When I spent two solid weeks in Alterac Valley PvPing to get enough honour to buy my fancy pink magestaff (better than anything from Kara), he was right there with me for a lot of it. He said, “I’ve never seen someone with 5K hp f*** so many people up.” I loved Alterac Valley.

He taught me to look at the game in unconventional ways, to push myself, and to always give as much as I can.

The other day we killed Patchwerk for the weekly raid quest, and I had to smile as I remembered him saying, “Let me test my DPS on your perfect environment standing-still target dummy boss, with raid buffs? Yes, please.” That one was for you, Otto.

He was an elusive fellow, so I don't have many screenshots, but this was one from (duh) a Winter Veil party. The best parties are ones where people turn into reindeer spontaneously.

Finally, I think this is too nice a topic to be isolated – I’d love to read about the nice things people have done for you, either in comments or posts if the spirit moves you!

Haves and Have-Nots

The first vestiges of Gearscore

I remember my very first instance with my very first character. It was my night elf priest, and it was a big deal! Voss and I had been leveling and leveled along with a druid for awhile. He said, “I’ve been thinking of getting some people together to go to Blackfathom Deeps.”

Long before the days of LFD, I had only read of this mythical place, Blackfathom Deeps. (Confession time: When we bought WoW, we also bought the printed WoW Guide. And the DUNGEON COMPANION. Because I wanted to prepare myself for the dungeons!)

We told him cautiously that it sounded like fun. I started gathering quests to go, but this guy disappeared for a few days, we ended up organizing our own run. Voss and I were both nervous. We didn’t really have much clue what we were doing. We were terrible newbies, but we successfully conquered BFD with our group of adventurers. One thing that I remember very vividly was a remark someone else in the group made at the beginning.

“Lol, you need to get better gear,” he said to me.

As it happens, I don’t remember what my gear was but I’m pretty sure he was right. I shamed him thoroughly though, by replying, “This is my first character.” I knew about the auction house, but I didn’t have much of value to sell. I didn’t have a “big brother” character to send my newbie gold, bags, or items. Most greens my level on the auction house were selling for way beyond my means, and all the herbs I picked went towards leveling my alchemy.

Still, that was a long time ago. Now when I level an alt, they level in style. They start out with bags quickly filled with animal parts and herbs, sometimes appropriate-leveled greens and definitely heirlooms, where applicable. I own pretty much every armour type of heirloom there is. It’s no secret that I like alts. But what happens when you start a character on a different server? It can feel like starting all over again from the beginning.

"I have just one question. What's in the crate?"

Depending on the kindness of strangers

I’m actually pretty fortunate in the fact that my latest alt obsession does have some heirlooms. When I faction-transferred my shaman, I sent her Hordeside on another server loaded down with cloth, herbs, and anything else I thought my Horde alts could make use of – including some heirlooms I bought with Stonekeeper’s shards and what spare emblems I had at the time. (My shaman has since become a draenei again, incidentally, but that’s a whole other story). So my mage has heirloom shoulders, an heirloom weapon, and one of the heirloom trinkets. She’s really not THAT poorly off. I didn’t leave her with any gold when I took the shaman away – I didn’t really think I’d play her that much.

Except now, I have the leveling bug, and she’s getting pretty close. Level 77! I try to log in each day to do a random and earn a few Triumph emblems, because she’s going to need them. There are things that you just need for leveling professions, and if you don’t have a means of providing them for yourself, you have to either buy them or hope someone will help you out.

It doesn’t help that her professions are enchanting and tailoring – pretty self-sufficient, I thought – she crafts gear that she wears, enchants it herself, and disenchants it when she is done with it. But it’s not great for moneymaking because I need all of my own enchanting mats. It isn’t until I need something that I realize how much I take my home network for granted. I have most of the professions covered among my plethora of alts. The ones I don’t have, someone in the guild definitely does. I am fortunate that Rades and his friends have been really helpful to me. One sent me a bunch of Frostweave he didn’t need, as well as some enchanting mats and DEables. Rades gave me some Armor Vellum to enchant so as to not waste my mats (also a means to make funds!)

A crazy (but nice) group of people on that server also took me to the Forge of Souls… at level 75. It was fun being in a place I had no right being, but at the same time I knew I was being carried. I don’t really like being carried, I like to hold my own – but I know that in this situation I often do need a hand. I can’t be too proud.

Secretly, in times of duress, Jikali hides behind her hapless water elemental.

You are more than the sum of your gear

So all of this to say, what? Feel sorry for me? Not even remotely! I’m having a lot of fun leveling a character who can’t lean on my others, or as Rades might say, she doesn’t have silver spoon syndrome. Somehow I find it fitting along with the lore of the Horde and other feelings I’m getting from the experience. Very little is handed to this troll, she has to scrape and save and eke by to earn her existence, but by gosh when she gets to 80 she’s going to have earned it!

She just learned to fly in Northrend the other day – and even though it’s slow flying, it’s flying! If I can get the mats together to make her a flying carpet she’ll be sailing on a rug in no time. I have no idea what she’ll look like when she hits 80, it sure won’t be anything like Vid did. Perhaps the RNG will favour her with drops. Otherwise I think I’ll be doing a lot of farming for crafted gear.

Meantime, if you encounter someone who:

  • doesn’t have heirloom gear
  • is leveling their first character (there are some tell-tale signs, things like asking questions that ‘everyone knows the answer to,’ etcetera
  • is playing on a server other than their own, that you know of
  • or even just doesn’t have awesome gear for heroics

Remember, sometime that person could be you! Help them out however you can, even if it’s just a few bags you’re able to make. Something that is a relatively small investment for you might be proportionately huge for them. Bags alone make a huge difference, and even twenty gold could be a fortune to a lowbie. I suspect my own friends of being too proud and accomplished to take gifts of gold, but have managed to foist a few other small things off on them. Perhaps not as much as I should, though.

Don’t assume that someone is a terrible player just because they don’t ding eighty with ilevel 245 and 264 crafted gear. So the tank has 23K hp…that used to be plenty for heroics. With a good healer, Vid tanked heroic Halls of Reflection with less than 30. Sure, the healer and I both had to work for it, and I’m sure it was more due to her expertise than mine, but it was okay. Give people a chance; you need to go to instances to get the gear in the first place, or the emblems to obtain the gear.

Playing on another server has been an eye-opening experience for me. I intend to be more generous on my server where I have an embarrassment of riches – I can’t forget my homely troll mage scrimping and saving to earn her ugly windrider. I think I actually sort of love the thing now, if only because I know I earned it!

A warm welcome! Actually, it was sort of cold. Because she's a frost mage, get...nevermind.

And the winner is…

Well, folks, it wasn’t easy! I called in the assistance of five judges to vote for their favourite Well-Dressed Paladin images.

The judges were, in no particular order:
Jaedia of The Lazy Sniper
Anea of Obeying the Muse
Lara of Root & Branch
Gameldar of WoW In An Hour
and last but not least, Rhidach of Righteous Defense

I also figured out how to post a gallery so that I could put all the images up in their glory for people to enjoy without making a blog post so long that your mouse’s scroll wheel gives up by the end. The results were close, but in the end…

First Place

Well, here we have “Gale, the Argent Champion”. As you know paladins formed the Argent Dawn, and the leader of the new Argent Crusade is none other than the strongest living paladin, Tirion Fordring. So I do not see why any young paladin doesn’t want to join this noble group and aspire to be like him. That is exactly what Gale did, and now a veteran level 80, he is garbed in his custom Argent Officer gear.

The quintessential Paladin.

About this entry, the judges said:

  • This for me is the most “loretastic” of the entries; the one that, for me, really captures the original essence of what it means to be a Paladin. At heart, I think Paladins are soldiers—principled soldiers, with a moral compass and a cause—but soldiers nonetheless. This entry really gets to the root of the Paladin—he’s not a shining paragon of the Light, but neither is he some amoral mercenary for hire. He’s here to stand up for what he believes is right. This isn’t the most beautiful of the entries, but it’s the one that I felt really nailed the lore aspect of the Paladin most squarely.
  • I think this one captured the feel of the classic paladin the best. He resonated with me the most.

Second Place

In a very close second, this entry from Kirina of Kirina’s Closet.

I used almost the whole Valor Set because I feel these armor pieces reflect the classic paladin. I used a lighter plate leggings to blend in better with the white shirt and the lighter tones in the Valor pieces. The shield is in the same design as some of the paladin helms, and the gold color of the shield blends in perfectly with the other gold accents on the shoulders/breastplate when unsheathed.  I chose this white/silver and gold color scheme to match how I believe paladins are: connected to the Light and are holy warriors.

Hey, at least a Draenei is in here somewhere!

The judges said:

  • I’m a sucker for the Valor set.  It really says Paladin to me without being overbearingly yellow and enough shininess to “evoke the light” – as the person said, “connected to the Light and are holy warriors”
  • I agree, the Valor set does look very paladinesque and I also love the use of the Shattered Sun shield.

Third Place

From Kamalia of Kamalia et alia:

I decided to make a gold and red “Horde paladin” set, a gold and blue “Alliance paladin” set, and an all-golden “universal” paladin set.

All of these outfits are intended to have a certain everyday practicality about them. I wanted them to be something that’s robust and uncomplicated enough to withstand the rigors of an ordinary Paladin’s routine activities, but yet something that’d shine up real pretty for a formal occasion. In looking for chestpieces and legwear, I wanted to have as much coverage of tender body parts as possible. I couldn’t resist using the Lightbringer helms though — those just said “Paladin” to me in a way that nothing else did. I also wanted my outfit to look good on *all* Paladins — both genders of every race that can be a Paladin, including the Tauren (because I can’t wait to roll a Tauren Paladin in Cataclysm).

More Paladins - this time, for the Horde!

From the judges:

  • “Seriously?  I love it.  If I hadn’t found out what Tauren paladins were going to be called though, I would have hated it.  HOWEVER, since I have the knowledge, I actually do like this.  I think it evokes “Sunwalker” quite well – there’s yellow for paladin-ness and sun and the red for the gross Horde… (ugh)  But overall a great look that certainly says “Glory to the Horde!””
  • “A mix of the classic paladin feel with a splash of colour – and I must admit I’m a sucker for the red undercolouring (all my toons wear the red shirt from the quest in Elwynn Forest if I can help it).”

Now, the hardest part for me in having a contest like this is that everyone couldn’t win. I fail at contests, because I loved all the entries. (It’s a good thing I didn’t judge it. “You’re all winners!”) Below, I employed blood sweat and TEARS,  people, to make this gallery function work. Each image includes the description sent from the person themselves (on the first image). You can click the first image in the gallery and just go through them by clicking “next” if you want to check them all out, and you should! There’s a lot of hard work and creativity here. You can even leave comments on each individual image rather than the main post.

Folks who entered that have blogs (that I know of, and please let me know if I missed you) include:

Traxy of I Like Pancakes
Rhii of I Sheep Things
Kirina of Kirina’s Closet
Kamalia of Kamalia et Alia
Askevar of You Yank it, You Tank It
and Rades of Orcish Army Knife

I’ll only say that the entries included a blood elf with no pants(!), the world’s least stealthy paladin ever (aren’t we all?), a paladin who is definitely not a paladin, a dwarven lady who is one, a lovely purple outfit modeled by the best race in-game, and someone’s sick idea of a PALADIN JOKE. You know who you are.

Thanks so much to everyone who entered and the folks who helped judge, I had a lot of fun with this. I might do another contest someday, and I’ll be contacting the winners shortly to start arranging for your prizes.

Now I want to have an Unbirthday Party.

I haven’t done any search results in awhile, and they make me laugh. Search results, ahoy! But first, if you want a laugh at my expense, roll on over to Rades’ Orcish Army Knife and see how he’s been tormenting me as I level my second mage. I had nothing to do with it.

Also, my friend Lara (referenced in the link below) has recently started her own blog: Go check her out at Root and Branch. She’s got some ideas about how LFD could be improved, and a great piece about how people can use interrupts and dispels to their best advantage in 5-man instances.

2man kael possible? – Yep, Lara and I did it. I can only assume that at 80 it’d be cake, as we were appropriately leveled at the time.

who is the paladin best known for wiping – Umm… uhhh… ummm. I didn’t do it.

you are fools to have come to this place – It gives me a little tickle to think of people googling this and being brought here. Welcome to Pugging Pally, YOUR PATHETIC MAGIC BETRAYS YOU.

rudest players encountered in lfd – I wonder if they found what they were looking for? I’ve met some rude ‘uns, but not as many as I would have expected, really. People in lower level pugs are usually pretty cool.

people hate healers in bgs – I’m going to take a second to quote Dusk from the warlock PvP guide that Cynwise linked the other week (did you follow all of that…?)

Be A Friend To Healers

We’ll just start off with this: all healers are your friends.
I do not care if he is from a different server and has a silly name, he is your friend. Bad people are going to try to hurt your friend.

Save him and he will reward you by making you immortal.
Do not ever abandon your friend to the rogues.

See, you must LOVE your healers. I think the person looking for this meant that people hate healers from the opposing team. I suppose that’s true. I don’t know whether they hate them or not, but it’s good policy to take them out. Then you can pick off their team mates. But the paladin waving her hands around, there, the one with the horns? Leave her alone, she’s cool.

ring of mmmrrrggglll – I really don’t know. If anyone has any ideas they’re welcome. I don’t know what it is, or how I might have referenced it here.

bear roasting moonkin – I thought long and hard about this, by which I mean I thought of the two possible meanings. One means to cook something. The other… I’m not going to get into it. You all have the internet and/or are more knowledgeable than I. Either way, you are not going to find that here! Moonkin are cute and fluffy, what’s wrong with you?!

what is a pally birthday party? – Well, sometimes we have to take a bit of time out of letting things hit us in the face/hitting things in the face/healing the people being hit in the face to celebrate special occasions! Those Dalaran mages make some scrumptious cakes, which we take somewhere very, very secret then we all let our uptight righteousness go for awhile and put on those conical hats. Then we cast spells and blind each other and spill punch on our librams and dance. Because it’s Joe’s birthday. I can’t tell you where it happens or I’d have to kill you.

pugging pally sculpture – Do you mean this? I’ve only really got the one. I accidentally burnt her horns.

This tiny Vid sits on my desk and grins her gormless grin at me when I'm staring into nowhere trying to think of something to write.

Last but not least, I think these two search results are best contemplated together: The first one doesn’t want to move on, and the second one can’t wait.

why cant i just keep running scarlet monastery – Because growing up is inevitable, Johnny. You have to move on to Blackrock Depths. It’s just the way it is. By the time you’re done there, you should be grown up. What did you think this was, Never-Neverland?

why do i keep going to scarlet monastery – Because of people like Johnny. They queue for it specifically and you keep getting roped in. No, actually, there just aren’t many other instances in that level range, if you’re leveling primarily through LFD you’re going to see a lot of it.

Finally, you might remember that contest thing that I am running, The Well-Dressed Paladin! (What does a paladin wear to secret birthday parties?) Today is August 6th and so you’ve got two more days to enter if you were thinking of it. You can still come in under the wire and you have the weekend to get it done. Thanks to everyone who’s entered so far. It’s not a ton of people really (too busy casting shiny paladin spells, I imagine, or else wishing they could) so the odds are pretty good.

Missing you, Moon Guard

Last year in late September I realized that my current server couldn’t suit my specific needs when it came to raiding. I wanted a very focused type of guild to belong to – a strict ten-man guild, and I set out to find one. Prior to that, I’d been playing about two years – and all of those years, I’d been on the Moon Guard US server.

Perhaps you haven’t heard of Moon Guard at all. Or perhaps you’re hearing about it now, in the form of a WoW.com article that details Blizzard’s plans to “police” the Goldshire area for inappropriate and harassing behaviour due to complaints that they have received. Perhaps you had heard of Moon Guard, and you heard that it was “the place where all of the naughty roleplay goes on,” or whatever.

First of all – yes, a lot of unsavory things happen in Goldshire. I only passed through on rare occasion (when I was doing Loremaster quests) and there were a lot of shenanigans there. It was a relief on my new server when the new “thanksgiving” type event came out and I realized that I’d have to go to Goldshire…but on my regular old PvE server, Goldshire is a ghost town. I did not enjoy Goldshire on Moon Guard.

However.

There is no other place in the game I have been (and I’ve visited quite a few servers, including roleplaying servers) that was as friendly and welcoming as Moon Guard. I mentioned that I was relieved at the quiet Goldshire on my new server. I’ll confess that I was also a bit relieved the first time I had to go to the Stormwind Cathedral on an alt, and there was no one there. Likewise, the place in Stormwind where the warrior trainers are was deserted. On Moon Guard there were usually people roleplaying in those places – the Cathedral could sometimes feel like running a gauntlet of religious types, beggars, and other oddities. I was relieved – and then I was a bit sad.

The people that populate and congregate in these places are what give the world a sense of space, an environment you can immerse yourself in. Hanging around with “Ipwnu” the DK bouncing around on his spectral tiger mount in front of the bank is not the same thing. On a normal server, you can have crowds, but you seldom have gatherings. I never see anyone walking any more. The world has become a place where people are in perpetual, frenzied motion – unless they happen to be AFK.

Moon Guard has a massively large community of people who truly care about their server. It’s so vast that there is bound to be a place for everyone. There are long-established guilds there to provide homes for people with innumerable divergent interests. There was a gnome in Stormwind who used to cry the daily “news,” there was a bizarre Night Elf giant woman, there was gossip and backroom deals and drama. It was an exhilarating place.

For me, the server transfer did involve some sacrifice. On my new server, a dwarf isn’t going to sit down next to me while I’m doing a fishing daily (hoping to get a crocolisk!) and wind up chatting for over an hour about how he used to be a pirate, and got chased out of town because of an inappropriate involvement with another pirate’s daughter.

On my new server, I’ve had someone chase me around a zone whispering profanities at me for “stealing his mobs.” I messed up in a pug run (before LFD was introduced, so this was all “local” people) and I got hit by the ghoul explode in the ToC 5-man. A warlock in the run started ranting at me, “Why would you do that?” etc. I whispered to him and told him that I realized I screwed up, there was no need to be so rude, and he told me I should be thankful, because “It could have been worse, I could have been swearing at you.” (This has since become a running gag for me, “Well it could be worse, I could be swearing at you! You should be thankful!”)

In the two years that I played on Moon Guard, I never had anyone say or do such things. Sure, it’s anecdotal evidence, but isn’t any server experience that way? You either have good experiences in a place, or bad ones. And don’t get me wrong… I love my guild. I wouldn’t trade them. But I feel absolutely no loyalty to my server whatsoever. I’ve met some neat people there, but in general people are more impatient, ruder, less helpful, and less friendly.

It took me over an hour to find enough people to sign my alt guild bank charter on my new server. I accomplished the same task in ten minutes on Moon Guard. On the new server, I was offering TEN gold per signature and people still wouldn’t help me. It was boggling, and I wondered if I had made a mistake in coming there. I don’t feel that I did at all – the community of people we have in the guild is also awesome. But the community in general is not. It’s pretty much non-existent. I have friendly relations with another tens guild on the server, but I don’t post on the realm forums because it’s more trolls than anything.

On the Moon Guard forums, people organize realm events, or talk about RP, or whatever. Sure, it has trolls. It’s the largest RP server in existence, that’s bound to happen.

I knew people who weren’t roleplayers, had no interest in roleplaying at all, and still played on Moon Guard. When asked why, they said, “Because the people are just really nice.” It’s true. I left because I wanted a different form of play – more intense raiding, and I found that. But my leaving doesn’t speak to the server itself. If I were looking for a roleplay server, I’d go back happily. Now people who have no knowledge or interest in RP servers whatsoever are hearing about Moon Guard’s infamous Goldshire, and I find that unfortunate. Just remember what with any story, you’re going to hear about what’s “news,” but it isn’t the whole or even a fraction of the truth.

This is my mage learning how to polymorph things into pigs. She was still wearing her super Outland clown gear at the time, because the drab browns and greys of Northrend didn't exist yet! This is related, because it was taken on Moon Guard, with a pig. They are proud and noble animals.