Monday, December 29, 2014

Wandering Around In Peace

The other day, when I logged on to World of Warcraft, one of my old guildies exclaimed in surprise.

"Anachan! Anachan?! Druid chat channel! Now!"

I giggled to myself and entered the super-secret Druid chat channel we had always jealously guarded from outsiders.

Yes, it was even something of a surprise to myself that I had logged on. It was hard to explain exactly why, when my guildie asked me, I was back running around WoW.

I didn't feel the need, with this friend, to sugar-coat that I felt I had no life and just wanted something I could run around in for the hour or two I have to myself after exhausting days.

"I miss herbing and fishing," I said, "and I'm in no hurry to get anywhere in the game."

Every real life profession has its ups and downs, but if you are a high school teacher who puts her heart into her work, it can be all-consuming of one's time and emotions. Students who complain about all the homework their teachers give them have no idea how much homework those teachers are doing, themselves. Every time I sigh and assign an essay to my students, knowing they need the practice (especially with the new Common Core-based standardized exams), I know I'm condemning myself to hours of painful grading in the evenings or on weekends. And it doesn't help when those students, or, better yet, their parents, think you are giving them too much work and not inflating their grade to their satisfaction. ("I'm sorry, but a single sentence doth not a summary make. I cannot give this assignment an 'A'.") I can understand why so many teachers get burned out.

So after a long day of emotional trauma, coupled with the work I have to do with my own daughters (two seniors this year!) and the hour-long commute home, when the dishes are done and I can finally sit down, I want to do something relatively brainless. My husband enjoys World of Tanks, but that's not horribly brainless for me. There is strategy involved, and if the server is having a bad night, you'll end up with game after game of frustration.

And so I finally decided to download and install World of Warcraft. My account had been upgraded to Mists of Pandaria, so I had something to do right away: Anachan was one point away from 86 and dinged on the goblin quest to talk with Greatfather Winter. After fumbling around with my buttons, wondering what all those spells were (oh, yeah . . .) and remembering that some had disappeared (Nourish, anyone?) I finally made my way out to Pandaria.

Amazingly enough, the place was rather populated, for an area which was an expansion past it's prime. Distressingly, it was primarily populated with Horde. And, as you surely recall, Gorgonnash is a PVP server.

I managed to avoid the Horde for a time, making the best use of my Prowl, but after a while, the inevitable happened: a Horde decided to leave me dead on the ground.

/sigh . . . It's all part of the experience, right? I'd done it before; this was nothing new. I picked myself off, dusted off my leathers, and started up again.

After another five deaths in less than an hour, I was fuming. These people were griefers, camping high in the sky so they could watch bodies disappear and find their victims again. Even the old trick of rezzing inside a nearby building, then going cat and Prowl didn't fool them.

At that point, I pulled out my credit card. "I don't have time for this!" I told my husband. "In the past, I could just wait them out and deal with it, but I only have an hour or two at any given time to play. And I'm not going to waste my time dealing with obnoxious, immature bullies who want to feel powerful by making someone else's game time miserable!"

Cenarius (PVE) was where my old guild had transferred to, and Cenarius became my destination. I sought out the new guild leader (on my Druid team back when) and asked if a lost little lamb could come into the fold as a Friend.

Most of my old friends are not raiding any more--life happens--but there are some who are still around in Friend status, willing to at least be cheerful. I can see their virtual smiles when I see their guild chat, and it's somehow comforting.

But now, I have a problem. Anachan is about four bars from level 90, and I have to decide whether or not to purchase the expansion. It seems like a simple decision, but Christmas break won't last forever, and I will be back to really only having an hour or so in an evening. Is it worth it? Then again, with garrisons, as well as my well-loved gathering professions, I may be fine with only an hour each time.

The fact that I've installed and configured Vuhdo for dungeon use tells me I may be seriously considering it.

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