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Posts Tagged ‘Bronte’

Question of the Day: “Why We Play?” or “Am I the Only Idiot?”

October 8, 2012 1 comment

When you start a title, do you have an urge to finish it? I do. It doesn’t matter if halfway through the game I realize it is awful, and I am not even having fun. But I must finish it, obsessively, just to make sure I got to the end, and checked it off of my list. Am I crazy? Or do most of you do that as well?!

Categories: Bronte

“Losing Purpose” or “Let’s See if This Thing Still Works”

December 27, 2011 7 comments

I stopped blogging for two months. Not because I had nothing to say, but because I was increasingly aware of a pattern in my posts that I was just not comfortable with. Let’s see if you can agree with it:

  1. Most of the posts were too negative. I found myself bitching about a lot of things that really weren’t that bad to begin with. Constructive criticism and always questioning are good traits, sure, but I felt like I had taken it a little too far.
  2. More importantly, I realized that I was no longer blogging about the games that I was playing, but that I was playing games that I was blogging about. This is a critical point for me. Somewhere along the way, I stopped playing what I enjoy, and started playing what “everyone else was playing” just to be a part of the conversation. I feel that somewhere in all this, Are We New At This lost its identity.

So after months of deliberation, I realized this blog isn’t about how many hits it gets, or who reads it, or whether I am discussing the most “in” topic. This blog is about me, and my adventures in the wonderful, magical world of video games. And that is all it will be from now on.

First post with this mindset tomorrow, stay tuned.

Categories: Bronte

“Nine Toes” or “9 Circles of Hell”

November 4, 2010 1 comment

Well this was interesting. Most of the search terms people use to get here make sense, such as “cataclysm zone maps” or “borderlands vs wow”.

Some are just.. odd. Here is a short list:

  • 9 Circles of Hell
  • Nine Toes
  • mass effect 2 imagesize:1920×1080 (hello specificity!)
  • captain caveman
  • greedy goblin (this is a Google fail, if people searching for Gevlon are getting redirected here)

 

 

 

Categories: Bronte

“Revisiting the Past” or “Mor’Ladim Lored”

April 13, 2010 3 comments

One thing I particularly enjoy about any game is the background story and lore. Blizzard has constructed a meticulously detailed world in Warcraft, and peppered it with small stories that don’t necessarily drive the main narrative, but give you a little glimpse into the world from a multitude of perspectives.

With the imminent advent of Cataclysm, World of Warcraft’s third expansion, I have been leveling a new Alliance character, a mage called Septimus, to re-experience some of this lore. I have to admit, I am guilty of skipping over quest text in the race to get to level 70 in The Burning Crusade and level 80 in Wrath of the Lich King, neither of which I am proud of. But now that the Old World will be decimated by Deathwing, and god knows what may be lost to the ages, I think it is time to go back and take a look at some of the things that make Blizzard behemoth what it is.

If you were a vanilla WoW player and played as Alliance, especially Human, you are all too familiar with the name of Mor’Ladim in Duskwood. A skeletal fiend in the Raven Hill cemetery with an aggro radius the size of a football field, this beast likely claimed most of the lives of hapless Alliance adventurers, until Vaelstrasz came along and killed more raiders than Indiana Jones in the Lost Ark. Mor’Ladim used to roam the fields of Raven Hill, killing anything it came into contact with, and although I the undead lord is well-remembered by vanilla WoW players, I sincerely doubt many recall his motivation for indiscriminate killing. The story isn’t particularly complicated, or original for that matter. It’s just cool that so much thought and background was put into a single character that roamed a small area in the game, related to but one quest.

I found a book, The Story of Morgan Ladimore, that recounted the life and times of Mor’Ladim. You can click through the pages of this book in the gallery below, or read them in the section beneath that. A sad little story, forgotten, buried, long lost.

Morgan Ladimore was a great and noble knight who fought in defense of the innocent, the poor, and the afflicted. For many years, he worked diligently throughout the outlying areas of Azeroth, bringing relief to the suffering and swift justice to evildoers.

He was married to a young girl named Lys in the summer of his eighteenth year. They were much in love with each other and would eventually produce three children, a son and two daughters.

Morgan was thirty-two when war broke out in Lordaeron. Morgan was called to the side of the legendary paladin Uther the Lightbringer to fight against the orcs and the undead. Leaving his wife and children in the safety of his home, Morgan left for war.

The years passed and the war dragged on, and Morgan would witness many horrific events, including the disbanding of the Paladins of the Silver Hand, the death of Uther and the spread of the plague. The only thing that kept him from the brink of madness was the knowledge that he would someday be reunited with his wife and children.

Morgan would eventually return to his homeland, but find it nothing like how he remembered it. The once verdant forest was corrupted and teemed with the undead and other dark forces. Destroyed houses and farms could be found everywhere, and the cemetary near Raven’s Hill now dominated much of the area. A shocked and bewildered Morgan eventually made his way to his home, only to find it in ruins. Not knowing what had befallen his homeland, he headed towards the village to find answers, and, he hoped, his wife and children.

Morgan inquired about his family, but could not find any answers. A priest in Darkshire, as it was now called, said that he might search the cemetary at Raven Hill for a gravestone. Morgan refused to believe that his family was dead, and continued to search every farm and house in Duskwood, but to no avail.

Morgan rode from Darkshire to nearby Lakeshire, thinking that perhaps his family had fled. On his way there, he decided, against his better judgement, to stop by the Raven Hill cemetary. Morgan spent hours walking amongst the gravestones. He recognized many names of people that he knew and became more and more distraught. Then he saw them: a small, untended plot amongst the many with three small gravestones. A feeling of dread washed over him as he approached. Morgan brushed off the dust of the most prominent gravestone to reveal the name on it. Simply carved upon the grave, letters spelled out his worst fear:

Lys Ladimore
Beloved Wife and Mother

Morgan’s apprehension turned to dismay and then to grief, and he fell to his knees weeping. For hours he stared at that one grave, begging the cold stone for forgiveness and sobbing apologies. Then, hours later, something in him snapped, and he began to lash out. He brought his sword out of its scabbard and began to rain blows on the gravestones, screaming in rage. Blind in his fury, he lashed out and swung wildly, catching the notice of a trio of the cemetary’s attendants. As they tried to restrain him, he turned his focus to them, hurling accusations of guilt upon the innocent attendants, then killed them all.

Later, when the rage had passed, realization crept into Morgan’s mind, and he saw his bloody sword driven into the chests of one of the attendants. Driven to the brink by his emotions, he removed his belt knife and plunged it into his heart.

Morgan Ladimore’s body and the three bodies of his victims were found the next day. He was quickly buried, without ceremony, in a hastily dug grave on the outskirts of the cemetary. Because Morgan committed murder against innocents, something that went completely against his beliefs and his nature, and because of the grief that he held in being unable to save his family, Morgan could not die a peaceful death, and lived on as one of the restless dead.

Only days later, his grave was disturbed, and his body could not be found. The being that was Morgan now wanders Duskwood, consumed by his grief over the loss of his wife and children and his own self-hatred. Mor’Ladim, as he now calls himself, roams Duskwood with mindless vengeance and hatred, and has been known to commit murder indiscriminately.

Categories: Bronte

Chronicles of Bronte I: “Humble Beginnings” or “Bronte: Dwarf, Paladin, Redhead”

March 31, 2010 10 comments

Being a guild leader is serious business. I don’t say that lightly. I led a guild for nearly three years in World of Warcraft, and micro-managed quite literally every aspect of the daily operations as needed. This series of posts is dedicated to the memories and experiences of those years and dedicated to the crew I had the privilege of playing the game with.

Leading any group of individuals is a difficult task, especially when they come from diverse, distinct backgrounds, cultures and ethnic identities. This task is made all the more difficult by the fact that these individuals are paying (Blizzard – not you) to be on your team, they aren’t salaried in the same vein as traditional employees. Further, none of them are in the same physical location; they are spread out far and wide across the world, especially if you are playing on a European server. Suffice it to say that being a guild leader is one of the toughest endeavors I have had to undertake. The following is a small chapter of that story.

Humble Beginnings

Xanthus: Tauren, Hunter, Fat

I started on Bloodhoof as a Tauren Hunter on the same day the game launched. For anyone present on launch day, you would recall the excitement you felt exploring such a vast world filled to the brim with such exciting possibilities. And the goddamn lag! Blizzard underestimated the popularity of their behemoth (still in its embryonic stage). The initial number of servers was severely inadequate to manage the incoming traffic. Within 24 hours, several additional servers went live to accommodate the incredibly ravenous player base. The starting areas were absolutely drenched in newbies, running amok in their new sandbox as far and wide as the eye could see.

My Tauren Hunter adventured through the trials and tribulations of the lush green and visually appeasing Mulgore for the first 12 levels. It took me a week to get to that milestone, partially because I was learning the ropes of playing a fantasy MMO for the first time (my previous experiences included Earth and Beyond, City of Heroes and Eve Online), and also because Bloodhoof crashed endlessly during the peak hours, the only time I had to play the game during my last semester as an undergraduate student.

My Tauren then ventured into the arid Barrens, a stark and sudden change from the scenic, shamanistic fields of Mulgore. I quested my way to level 20, picking up skinning and leather-working along the way, realizing rather quickly that my inability to manage coin was beginning to adversely affect my coffers and the ability to kill efficiently due to a lack of purchased skills. By level 20, the hunter was no longer a source of fun for me, and was forced into retiring, thus ending my incredibly short stint with the Horde.

Bronte: Dwarf, Paladin, Redhead

I started Bronte on the Alliance side, a red-bearded Dwarf Paladin, conceived on the 5th of December, 2004. Little did I know then that this character would stay my main for my entire WoW career. Rampaging through Dun Modr, Loch Modan, Red Ridge and Westfall, I realized that the Paladin class was incredibly powerful, versatile and had a very high rate of survivability, even against a large number of opponents.

My First Guild

At level 20, on December 21, 2004, I was invited to my first guild. I remember I was in the Wetlands at the time, completing some quest involving artifact recovery in an archeological dig site heavily populated by rather unfriendly raptors.

Mortifer Militis was the name of the guild, Army of the Dead in Latin. I thought it was a strange name for an Alliance guild, but having quested solo for quite some time, I was ready to group up if the opportunity presented itself. So I joined the guild, and gingerly stepped out of my comfort zone to try and experience the unique dynamics of player interaction offered by MMOs. My experiences with the guild, to make a colossal understatement, fell a tad short of what I had imagined they would be.

The guild disbanded within two months of inception because the guild leader, named Raygin, enforced such frivolous activities as meetings around the pond in Stormwind’s mage quarter. The meeting started with guild members sitting in a half-U shape around the pond. Raygin, along with his two officers would then slowly walk across the district, eventually arriving at the slightly elevated edge of the pond and addressed the gathered crowd much as king would address his subjects. Especially if he was the king of Retardistan. He would then call upon everyone to recount how their week went, both in real life and in the game. Needless to say the attendance dwindled rapidly after the first meeting.

In another example, I once asked him to help me with a particularly difficult quest in the Wetlands. He responded by saying I needed to submit a written application through in-game mail explaining what the quest was about, and why I needed guild resources and help to complete it. Naive as I was, I still refused to comply to the ridiculous demand. As punishment, I was demoted a rank and my speaking privileges in the guild were revoked. By the end, nearly 95% of the guild was awarded this rank for one misdemeanor or another.

The guild leader also vehemently believed in farming for the guild, and there was a weekly quota of 10-20 gold (10 if you were below level 40, 20 if you were level 40 and above) that every member of the guild had to contribute to the guild coffers. No explanation was given as to what this gold was used for. Bear in mind that unlike the hyper-inflated economy and gold acquisition prevalent in Wrath of the Lich King, 20 gold in vanilla WoW was a hell of a lot of coin.

Understandably, most people burnt out on the incessantly nonsensical activities within the first month, leading to a rapid and uncontrollable hemorrhaging of players to other guilds, eventually resulting in complete internal combustion by the time February 2005 rolled around.

That was when I left MM, and joined CoV, a guild I would be with for the next three years.

Next Chapter:

Chronicles of Bronte II: “One Is The Loneliest Number” or “Bronte, Loner”.