Wednesday, January 28, 2009

For The Children

One of the methods the makers of World of Warcraft use to keep over eleven million people hopelessly addicted to it is the use of world events.
For example, May features Children's Week, where players can temporarily adopt an orphan from their capitol city's orphanage and drag them around for a while.
For the rest of the year, these orphans just mill around the orphanage.
At the end of the week, if all went well, the player got some reward.
The latest incarnation of this mechanic involves a title related for participating in all the varied event activities for each world event.
The Hallows Eve festival awarded the title "The Hallowed". The Feast of Winter Veil gave players "The Merrymaker".
Currently, The Lunar Festival is in full swing in Azeroth, so players are wandering all over the game world meeting "Elders", with specific Elders needed in order to have fully participated for credit.
Webinara is all about that.
So far, she is hovering at about 80% complete. Most of the Elders are located in pretty easy to reach locations.
Some are deep inside dungeons, and Webinara is getting to those.
The last three are in the capitol cities of the opposing faction, which means that accessing them requires a very uncomfortable possibility that town guards and other players will take the opportunity to kill Webinara (a lot) while she is about this.
On Monday night, during peak server time, Webinara went after the Elder in Stormwind, the main Alliance city.
It did not go well.
The process went in stages. Webinara would take off all her equipment to keep the blood stains off it, travel in as far as she could get, then get killed.
Then, she would return to her body as a ghost, resurrect, run a little further, and get killed again. Horribly.
After about half an hour, a friend from my guild noticed where Webinara was:

Mairick - Hey Webinara, are you raiding Stormwind?

Webinara - Not exactly. I'm trying to get the stupid Lunar Festival achievement.

Mairick - How does the Alliance feel about that?

Webinara - Considering I'm dead and naked in the town square, I think they are cool with it at the moment.

Mairick - You know, you could just not do it.

Webinara - What?

And so Webinara continued. Resurrect, die, run back, repeat.

Webinara - I hate this place. I'm killing the king while I'm here.

Mairick - You need a full raid group for that. In fact, you need a really good full raid group.

Webinara - In that case, I'm killing their orphans.

There was stunned silence in Guild Chat for a moment.
Then there were offers to come help me. Sure, I could have used help getting to the boring old Elder, but I did not. Once I started talking about killing the computer-driven, non-player, pixel-based, parentless children of the opposing faction, I could not send out party invitations fast enough.
For the record, while they do just mill around the orphange for 51 weeks out of the year, the orphans react amazingly poorly to a Hunter's explosive trap.
And Webinara totally met the Elder, too, but it was anti-climactic.

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