[this is being posted on the day it was written/corresponds to]
Much, much time has passed, and I couldn’t possibly update this file with all my observations and musing about WoW in the months since last May when I last wrote.
In brief, to contextualize:
• AoC got old fast, and I stopped playing shortly after I wrote the last entry, there.
• I got used to being alone and leveling alone a bit more, and ended up impressing P. with my leveling acumen.
• M. quit, then joined, then quit again (then joined and quit again later) because of romantic entanglements I had no idea about with Cherry. Apparently she and Pyrez started up a relationship that hurt him, although that, too, is now over amid significant “guild drama”
• I met a new leveling friend, Lloyd, with whom I quickly formed a close relationship. More on that later.
• I hit level 70, ready for play with the big boys around early July, had a wonderful naked dance party with Dire, J., P. and new friend Lloyd (C.)
• I started to realize that 70 was only the beginning of, essentially, a new game, where more and better gear was required, and most of my time went into PvP battleground grinding. I was bored, bored bored. The other veteran players were so well geared that we could still do few things like level 70 instances together unless, as when I was leveling, they did it simply for my/our (with J.) benefit
• I realized that I am terrible at PvP – I use the mouse too much, I don’t use macros, and I get far too anxious. I prefer instances, but still didn’t know enough and didn’t have enough good gear to participate in many.
• The size of the guild limits a lot of game-play. The reason I did so much battleground (bg) grinding (where you enter an instance-like separate space and fight with your faction against the opposing faction to achieve certain goals like capture-the-flag) was because it could be done alone and basically anonymously.
• The other option, joining or asking around for “pick up games” or pugs to run instances never appealed to me – I was (and still mostly am) too concerned I wasn’t good enough to hold up my end of things and would draw insults and distain. For some reason, that really made me scared of such things.
• My friendship with C. (Lloyd) started to parallel J.’s with D. in many ways, and he and I spent a lot of time going off by ourselves. It quickly became very intimate, and spilled over into gchat, phone calls, and eventually, meeting up in person in New York where I was for a wedding at the end of August.
• Other guild members became jealous of our “going off” the way we were jealous of D. and J. and more guild drama resulted in M. and Pyrez quitting the guild in early December for one that “does more stuff” (largely raids and high-level instances).
• In November an “expansion” to WoW was released, to much excitement and joy – new content! A new continent was added, along with the capability to reach level 80, rather than 70, and new instances, “achievements” (vanity accomplishments that players can track their own and others’ progress – sometimes come with vanity awards like titles or mounts), and most importantly, more areas to explore and story to experience.
• P. after not playing for a while, returned to more active participation in the guild, and brought with him 3 friends who also now have level 80 characters who play regularly, for the most part. This means the guild as it is has enough people to regularly run “heroic” level 80 instances (which generate useful items for even well-geared players) and almost fill a 10-person raid.
• PvP seems to be off the table for the most part, although some folks are still doing the occasional battleground or arena (2 versus 2 or 3v3, 5v5 battles that are very difficult), especially D. and Car.