Second Banana

In response to “Gnomeward Bound” from The Escapist forums : “Who says you can gnever go home.”

That was great.

For the longest time I’ve enjoyed Gnomeregan. While everyone else touts their dislike or hatred for it, I find it a decent place to go. I’ve memorized practically the entire instance, and am the first willing to volunteer to help run someone’s alt through it.

One of my favorite characters to play in PvP is a gnome rogue. She’s small, hard to notice, and extremely deadly. Being an avid roleplayer, I decided to have fun with her and name her Gloomy, a name completely opposite of her happy, bubbly, and always energetic attitude. How can you not love the cute giggling?

For Gnomeregan!


The first character I ever made in WoW was a Gnome Warlock. The first character I got to 80 was a Gnome Warlock (completely different characters). I loved everything about the race. The Alliance is rather vanilla in terms of fantasy tropes. You have the expansive Humans; drunk, Scottish Dwarves; limber and haughty Night Elves; and (admittedly unique) space goat Draenei. Gnomes are just so much different than the rest. They aren’t forefront in world politics or holding a race-wide grudge against any foreign power. They’re just kind of drifting along, making cool stuff with the knowledge that they one day may go back home. No other Alliance race compares to that.

Admittedly, I’m For the Horde now. Their side was just so much more interesting in every way (though I will curse the Blood Elves with my dying breath). Still, as I rush around with my bloodthirsty Orc Warrior and slip through the shadows on my Forsaken Rogue, I cannot deny respect for all Gnomes that I see. It takes a special kind of person to be able to play a Gnome with pride. I’ll definitely dust my Warlock off to bring him back home, even if I could never stand being there with four other people.



In response to “What’s Your Cataclysm?” from The Escapist forums: It’s just I personally feel that WoW is still a bit taboo in the rest of “real” world. I recently finished my Masters degree in engineering, and played wow through most of my years in Uni, but thats not the important part.

What I wanted to point out is how I found myself in an uncomfortable situation while at a job interview:

During the interview I am asked if I had any experience being a leader/manager in any degree. This is an honest question, and well there are honest answers … that I felt I could not share with them.

Put it simply I personally feel I have some experience in the field, having both lead a Raid Community and having been a high ranking officer with responsibilities in other guilds.

But it just felt wrong to bring this up, because I didn’t know how people would react to someone who used to play WoW.

And it is therefore I feel that a focus on only the bad of the game is not smart, since I personally think good can come from it also.

And well anyone who obsess to much over a thing has a problem, and it’s important to keep it balanced.

PS: If you are wondering, I did get the job 🙂 And I do not hide the fact that I used to play WoW/is playing some from now and then.

My job also keeps me from raiding though. I mean I could, but that would not want to commit the few days off I might have to a game. Its not fair to my life, nor anyone who would be counting on me.


Thought I’d pop on to say that the author’s experiences from BC to WotLK are almost identical to my experiences from vanilla to BC. I was in a guild that was just starting to crack into Naxx and had been clearing up to the Twin Emps pretty regularly, and as BC started to hit the guild which I’d thought of as being pretty close already started to show cracks. By the time the expansion had hit, the guild had already broken up into a few factions, and then the differences in the rates at which people leveled split more people off. The end result was basically the total dissolution of the social network which had made the game fun for me, and I ended up quitting after running Kara in 2.0 (2.0 Kara combined poor tuning with terrible itemization) enough times to realize that my feeling of being part of a giant online team in Vanilla wasn’t coming back.

Finally came back just in time for 3.3.0 in WotLK, and I’m enjoying the game for the most part. I don’t think I’ll ever find another group that makes me want to do the 6day/5hour raid schedule, though (not that I really want to anymore, the new casual friendly focus is pretty fun without feeling like I need to rearrange my entire life around it).

Missing SHODAN


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In response to “Azeroth Is Burning” from The Escapist forums: I’m going to be the voice of dissent as often as that usually happens. I understand the perspective of game journalism nowadays and how it’s tied to the industry, but at the same time I’m a bit surprised we aren’t seeing more “Gerstmann”-type rebellion as people break from the pack.

I say this because we’ve been here before. A lot of people probably don’t remember what happened with a PnP RPG setting called “The Forgotten Realms” where the company (then TSR) decided to do something much like this called “The Avatar Crisis” and pretty much level and reform vast tracts of the world. Borders were altered, key NPCs and locations died or changed, even gods were wiped out (oh boy were they). It was all very cool at the time, and a big deal, but it pretty much opened the door for the same thing to be done pretty much every few years, and for it to become more trite and banal each time.

Now, you can say “I trust Blizzard,” but I will point out that people trusted TSR and guys like Ed Greenwood back then too. I think established world settings exist for the sake of familiarity and stability, you start messing with that and there is no way to undo it. If WoW keeps going on as long as the original Everquest did (and is still going), despite the company releasing other MMOs, will you still think it’s as awesome the third time around? Do you think that your not going to say “well this is wild, and all but I really preferred the original” after a while? Unlike with AD&D you can’t just blow the dust off your old books and run a campaign with what you felt was a superior product.

I guess part of the big problem is that Blizzard is very corporate now; I don’t think it’s the same company it was when WoW launched attitude-wise. I think the release of the very Kotick-like StarCraft 2 with its limited content and $10 higher price tag sort of shows this.

Oh sure, I’m the old fogey (35! you young whipper snappers) but I can’t help but feel that I’ve seen all this before and know how it will turn out. Of course I’ll probably buy it anyway … which is again what they are counting on.

BTW, another good example would be DC and it’s “Crisis” gimmick which was cool the first time but we’re up to what three or four of these now, every time they want a burst in comics sales or to make changes? It kind of got old, predictable, and kind of silly. Making me wish the door was never opened to begin with.


At first I was starting to worry that this was going to be another story about “Blizz destroying the cool, old zones.” But right there at the end you hit the nail on the head.

My personal example: Final Fantasy X. I freaking LOVED that game. I laughed (sincerely) during that stupid laughing scene, I gasped in shock when I learned that Sin was Tidus’s father, I even cried in that moment when Yuna fell through his disappearing body. I probably played through it three times in a row just to catch all of the nuances.

Now … playing through it is hard. The emotion of the story is still there, but being jaded by newer games, the gameplay is kinda slow and repetitive. Its hard to even finish it.

Nostalgia is a dangerous thing because we develop these fond memories, not because the thing itself was all that stellar, but because we haven’t had access to all of the things that really are stellar.

I loved leveling back in vanilla WoW, I loved hunting down all the quests for a dungeon and going to do them. Now, in helping my wife track down those same quest, I want to throw my keyboard through the window at having to trudge across the world to find one quest.

Nostalgia is fine, as long as it remains a memory. Better to retain those fond memories of Durotar and come back to find a whole new Durotar awaiting your exploration, then to come back to the same old Durotar and find that it hasn’t aged well. Which will really destroy your fond memories more?


In response to “This Is the Way the World Ends” from The Escapist forums: “(Contrast that with Illidan Stormrage in The Burning Crusade, who, in Street’s opinion, wasn’t introduced strongly enough for players to associate him with the larger arc of the story.)”

I just have to say this is true. Your enemy is the burning legion in BC and then suddenly you’re hunting the elves that want to kill them. So they bind demon magic to use against them … enemy of my enemy is a better idea isn’t it? The whole Blood Elf Sunwell story was much higher impact and woven in to greater effect.

If they meant to redesign out the longer quest areas they should have done that instead of making mounts easier. It’s so easy to get mounts that long distances are trivial at best. That said I’m all for more RP-style quests. I read every bit of dialog with NPCs … even when I ask where the trainers are.

Its funny how long it takes Blizzard to add in ideas. Lost Dungeons of Norath had LFG tool groups and CoH has scaling levels for forever. They’re a great part of the fun in each game. Including them in Bliz’s work should be a natural evolution.

I’m not fond of PvP … or events that force it. The game is tending more towards that so even on the non PvP servers it has that feel. I wish they would take the chance to strengthen some of the neutral groups like the CC and give some sort of alternative to panting with blood-lust.


So all this talk about the Horde experiencing yet another loyalty shake-up in the ranks has brought an old question back to mind – what about the Alliance? I admit that I have hardly played much A-side, but one of the reasons for that was because so much about the Alliance feels bland and dull. Their five races all but hold hands and have picnics in the park in Stormwind every week, while the Horde is full of people second-guessing and eyeing each other suspiciously. It would go a long way towards making the Alliance more interesting if the events of Cataclysm actually knocked over the comfortable couch that the “good guys” all hang out on together.

Take it from a long-time Hordie whose Forsaken Warrior got every Horde city BUT the Undercity to Exalted just to spit in the eye of Sylvanas. Internal strife can be a seriously awesome thing.

The Rogue Wolf

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