WoW Memoirs – Part I: “Sproll, Gnome, Mage” or “The Great Arathi Basin Battle”
This is an epic tale, and you know it is an epic tale that ends with one gnome mage taking on, and utterly obliterating, five horde players.
But before I tell you what happens and in what context, I must introduce Sproll.
Sproll, Gnome, Mage
Sproll was a gnome mage in our guild, eternally obsessed with topping the DPS meters, even with DPS behemoths such as Spitachi (more on that in a future post). More often than not he broke the top three. Every once in a while he gave everyone the run for their money. I remember him as a funny, sweet kid, one who never hesitated to jump into the fray, and loved PvP on the side.
Closer to the last days of vanilla WoW, our guild decided to take a break from raiding. We were 9/16 in Naxxaramas, every other instance had been conquered, and the reality of all of our gear going obsolete in less than a month had fully settled in. It made very little sense for us to engage in PvE content after that. Several members of the guild wanted to PvP. One day we all decided to band together and queue for Arathi Basin together. An hour and three 5-cap matches later, we had found our addiction for the next 3 weeks before Wrath came out.
The Battle for Arathi Basin
One time in Arathi Basin we had the four nodes closest to the alliance (Stables, Lumbermill, Gold Mine and Blacksmith) under our control. Team Wrecking Crew (a group of our eight top DPS’ers) was pushing on the Farm to try and 5-cap the game. The remaining nodes were being guarded by two people each for Lumber Mill, Blacksmith and Gold Mine, and one individual guarding the flag at the Stables.
Masterabe and I were stationed at the Lumber Mill, overlooking all other nodes except the deep mine. Zarux was stationed with Debugger at the Blacksmith. We suddenly see the two-person Blacksmith team bolt and chase someone around the Blacksmith. Apparently a small group of Horde had brother through the blockade and had assaulted the Blacksmith. 15 seconds later, with the Blacksmith team nowhere to be seen, a Tauren Warrior, and an Orc Rogue emerge from behind the Blacksmith and run straight for the flag. Just then, I notice that Sproll, who is solely guarding the Stables flag, is actually standing right next to me at the Lumber Mill.
“You know,” he says, “one of us should really go down there and stop that flag from being capped.”
“I’ll go. I can heal and put out some moderate DPS, I’ll keep ’em busy till the wrecking crew can arrive and take it back.”
Richard, the leader of the Wrecking Crew responds with an affirmative in Vent. They had apparently lost the momentum on the farm anyway.
Sproll, Savior, Badass
This is the part you should pay attention to.
“No,” says Sproll. “Lemme handle this one.”
What followed was the most epic moment I have witnessed in PvP in the six years I have played WoW, and a true testament to the grit and capability of one Sproll, gnome mage.
Sproll mounted up, took a running start and dove off of the Lumber Mill. Just as he launched off, he dismounted and activated slow fall. He then maneuvered to land, ever so valiantly, amidst the two classes designed to physically rip mages apart. He proceeded to sheep the rogue, who, oddly, wasn’t in stealth at the moment, and POM-Pyro’ed/Fire Blasted the warrior. A few more shots and the warrior fell.
I spotted three incoming horde players from the bridge on the Gold Mine side. Sproll had maybe another 15 seconds before he would have to deal with four horde players alone.
“Richard, I need you at the Blacksmith NOW! Sproll will get creamed in a few seconds, we got three additional horde incoming!”
“We’re trying to die, so we could rezz with full health, but we’ll run back now!”
I calculate in my head quickly. Richard was too far away, if he came on foot, it would be too late for Sproll. If Masterabe and I went, the Lumber Mill would be vulnerable. The Stables were already unguarded. We were in a tough spot.
In the north, I could see Richard’s Wrecking Crew backing away from the Farm, but that was going very slowly. The three horde players were too close to Sproll. He made an executive decision. He knew he wouldn’t be able to fight off four horde players, so instead of killing the rogue, and calmly re-taking the Blacksmith with still another 30 seconds to spare, he re-sheeped the rogue and bee-lined for the flag, hoping to cap it, and buying our team some precious extra seconds to get to the battlefield.
“Richard,” I yelled in vent. “Change of plans, I need a blockade of the eastern road.” (A blockade of the eastern road implied he would converge on the bottleneck between the Blacksmith, Lumber Mill and Farm, and prevent anyone coming from the Farm to approach either of the other two locations.) Richard confirmed that he was on it.
We could jump off of the Lumber Mill, but there wouldn’t be enough time to heal and then run to the Blacksmith to engage. So I bubbled Masterabe and myself, and we dove off. We swam across the short body of water, one that felt like an ocean at the time, and finally looped around the ramp to the Blacksmith flag.
And that was when we were treated to the greatest thing we have ever seen in our lives.
There stood Sproll, two of the four attacking horde players dead at his feet, the rogue still sheeped, and a lone Troll Priest at half health as Sproll lobbed fireball after fireball at him. We were so dumbstruck by the spectacle, we literally stood there, our character seemingly frozen in place, because both Masterabe and I were in fits of laughter at this little gnome mage, who had, for all intents and purposes, taken on five horde players and wiped the floor with them. And true enough, after the Troll mage was dead, he chugged a pot, and proceeded to melt the rogue’s face off as well, with zero interference from either Masterabe or I.
That is the story of Sproll, one of the many, many memories I have of WoW.
And then Milamber found $5.