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!

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8 responses to “Two for the Price of One

  1. Well, even though I did mail a response to you, I want to say thank you for the bags and the extra gold. They have been put to good use. And also thanks for coming back to let me know that you’d popped out because Rades asked you to run for a few. I honestly didn’t notice at first because I was too busy swimming in the Goonies section of Deadmines (I have issues with jumping when the toon isn’t a Blood Elf) but I appreciated the thought.

    (Note to self: Dwarves are much shorter than female Draenei, but you probably knew that. Still, it was strange to be standing next to a certain Draenei mage while I was scanning the AH and seeing the disparity up close and personal. I’m starting to sound like Tam, yikes.)

    For the topic at hand, I’ve got two I can think of other than Souldat, who would be at the top of my list anyway:

    -Right now, Soul’s wife is on hiatus until Cat drops, but the first few months of WoW she was my constant companion, showing me the ropes, chatting online, talking books and all sorts of other SF/F geeky stuff. I provided the accidental entertainment, like getting lost in Halls of Stone (“which time?” she’d reply, laughing) or standing in the green goo in Sunken Temple. She provided the encouragement and the competition. When she and Soul migrated to Ysera, I rolled a low level alt –yes, Tomakan– so I could level with her low level Druid alt. When Cat drops and she returns, I’m sure I’ll be leveling along with her.

    -There was a time on Quint where I was in Desolace, doing my questing thing. That place gets me jittery on PvP, because of the places Alliance toons could hide, but I was surprised to see an L80 Horde Shaman peel off the road and head toward my position. A trade window opened, and he started unloading stuff in it. I was stunned at the embarrassment of riches, which included an Epic shield. I’d never seen an Epic piece of equipment before. I whispered at him what he wanted for this, and he replied “It’s all yours. I’m going to be quitting the game, and I’d rather this stuff see some use rather than sitting around in limbo.”

    “You sure?”

    “Quite sure.” He waved, and rode off.

  2. Oh, I’m sure I have quite a few in my memory banks…lessee:
    • The first friend I made in WoW and Endyme were in the Deadmines and I think we were on our way out (it’s been about 5 years, my memory isn’t *that* good) and I must’ve been bemoaning my lack of money to train and stuff because she traded me a gold. One single gold and I thought the world of it. I was falling over myself to thank her for the gift she’d given me. She also later send me all her gold when she left the server and I’ll never forget her kindness and awesome friendship. We were both noobs together, traipsing through Westfall and beyond.

    • When I made my first toon on ThoBro (a DK, natch), and got out of the starting zone, I was summoned to Dalaran and promptly given tons of 18 slot bags, some starting goodies and a nice sum of gold by my RL friend Askevar. She later gifted my priest, who was nearing 80, which a ‘disc welcome package’ containing a number of very nice purple items and trinkets. Sufficed to say, I was a bit shocked, happy and fully intend to ‘give back’. I srsly have no words. Except two: Thank You.

    • My dear e-friend Arcand has given me much over the years I’ve known him. We met in Redridge, when Endyme was a wee pally and helped me in so many ways, giving me gold, items, unasked for and asked for help. I still have many of the silly items he’s given me (like the wildflowers) and not so silly (the wedding ring). When I sent some gold to his warrior on ThoBro, it was with the knowledge that it wasn’t nearly enough, but any more and I risked him sending it back. >.<

    I'm sure I have more, but these are some ones that stand out in my mind. I've known some really awesome folks in game over the years.

  3. Pingback: The Warm Fuzzies « Azeroth Apple

  4. My favorite Otto memories:

    - Those times he ran with that broken Frost/Unholy DK spec which had Gargoyle, dual-wield, and Howling Blast and would hit 7k on the first AoE pulls.
    - Out first time in Naxx when we called it after two wings and he was practically vibrating to get a lick in on Pathwerk to test out his maximum DPS potential and would only say “Patwerk plz!” over and over.
    - Because I was new to Paladin tanking (and was a fair amount of fail) I’d forget to renew Righteous Fury after it fell off and he’d pull aggro while you guys were desperately trying to keep him alive and he’d scream, “FURY FELL OFF!” over vent.
    - The RP pact we had to fight each other to the death after we killed the LK.

    Otto was good times. /cheer!

  5. I first met Nael when I was levelling my little Protection paladin through the Ghostlands on Thrall (US). I was running up and down the Dead Scar looking for Luzran or Knucklerot—I don’t really remember which anyore. He was there on his Warlock, level 70 and glittering with Tier 5, back when Shadow Bolt spam was the name of the game. He ran past as I was pulling Luzran, blew the nasty fellow up for me, and we got to talking.

    It turned out he was also levelling a little Shaman, just a few levels ahead of me. Since this was before LFD, it was only natural that we teamed up and became levelling buddies. He helped me out with bags, and patiently allowed me to impose upon his enchanter to DE endless items for me. But perhaps the best part was, we were always able to run things together.

    It seems like usually when you find a levelling buddy, you do things together for a while, but then you get out of sync, and fall out of touch, and lose track of each other till—maybe someday down the road—you meet up at max level in a late-night Karazhan run or something. But in this case, we managed to always be more or less in sync, the whole way to 70. At the time, I didn’t really appreciate how unusual that would be. All I knew was, it was a blast! :)

    Nael was mostly Enhancement, but he kept around enough healy-type gear that we could always go places as “tank and healer”. More often than not, he would give me a hard time for taking too little damage, and would just spend his time DPS’ing anyway. :) We didn’t do all that much questing together till Outland, when he re-spec’d Resto.

    Maybe a levelling buddy doesn’t sound like such a special thing, but it’s really wonderful when it works out like that. Nael had a raiding guild waiting for him, but I was alone on the server, having picked it just to see what it would be like to be on a new realm. All the way to 70, we chewed our way through every Outland dungeon, and when we both finally reached the level cap and I’d put together enough gear to tank heroics, we went to Heroic Mechanar with three random Warlocks we’d pugged out of the LookingForGroup channel in Shattrath.

    (In case you never experienced Mechanar, let’s just say it’s full of demons; even one warlock made it easier—three almost trivialized it. It was one of the most fun instance runs I’ve ever done, second perhaps only to the normal Magister’s Terrace run Vid and I did at level 68)

    Eventually, Nael got absorbed in raiding again, and I kind of drifted away, but that friendship really sticks with me. Friends like that don’t come around every day in WoW, and it’s in the nature of different timezones, lifestyles, schedules, obligations, and so forth that such things rarely last. For that reason, I’ll always remember that summer fondly.

    • My first thought when reading your Mechanar story was “Three Warlocks? You could’nt pay me enough gold to go through an instance with three of them!” How did you keep the threat meter from breaking?

      • I kept them busy doing crowd control. :) Plus, back then, Consecration was a lot better threat than it is at level 80. :)

    • Arcand was my leveling buddy, so I know of what you speak Lara. We met when we were both in our low 20′s and from that point on, up until 80 eventually, we leveled pretty much together. He usually seemed to be a level or two ahead, but would never get too far ahead…sometimes just stopping playing on Arc til I got back from vacation and could level again. We mostly 2 manned the Verigan’s Fist quests, and for 2 lowbie pallies, that was SCARY. When he dinged 40 before me, he didn’t get his horse until I dinged as well and got mine and we proudly mounted our (free!) paladin chargers. Since we were on a RP realm, we RP’d a growing friendship and love between then and ultimately had ourselves a lovely wedding attended by many of our guildmates. That remains a highlight of my WoW playing career to this day. We still play together, between the toons he’s made on my current server and the toons I have back on my old one. Unfortunately, my paladin is now on another server, so I am hoping my Endy 2.0 can serve as a stand-in for our leveling antics.

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