Holiday Season

September 20, 2009

And it begins.

I’m at a terrible risk. This is my first post in this blog, and I fear that the wrong impression might be given. I don’t want Two Tents to follow any specific theme, but I’m almost certain that one will be consistently present from today through two entire seasons. The whole latter half of the year will almost certainly deal with one aspect of the game that I’m hopelessly obsessed over; The Holidays.

I think that the holiday season is something needed. After a summer of constant raiding and questing, a sense of monotony builds up, and even if you’re decently progressed in what you’re doing, it’s all the same. That’s not to say that Blizzard doesn’t offer many fantastic different ways to play this game, but after a good while, you’ve tried ’em all and something is needed to help you break away from the severely typical. There are a lot of people that play this game that do have fairly tedious jobs that require you do to the same thing every day, and for WoW to sort of mimic that becomes horrifying. And so, Pirate’s Day Saturday rolls around to kick off a season that offers something completely different; a welcome change.

There’s something about the holidays that’s very alluring. There seems to be many more holidays in the game than ones we actually celebrate outside of WoW, and they all offer wonderful time-wasting activities. There’s a slew of various minigames to take advantage of and the social atmosphere is usually booming; here are people getting together not to take down a giant raid boss or fight the opposing faction together, but to…search for little easter eggs together, or something of that nature. It’s all very lighthearted and fun. The holiday events are a reminder that fun can be had with the game without taking it all that seriously. It’s my favorite time of year to play the game, and I’d be out of line if I didn’t blog about it. I fear the weeks to come will make anyone who stumbles across Two Tents believe that this is a holiday-related blog. I assure you that there’s more to it, buuuuut goodness I love the holiday season. And that’ll show.

<It Came From The Blog>'s Pirate's Day Event.

I can’t believe this was the first time I became interested enough in worldwide events to login and participate; I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on events like these from now on. <It came from the Blog> is an infamous guild in Zangarmarsh(US) known for putting on events such as these; it’s also the official guild of WoW.com, so I have to say that seeing some familiar names login and play with the group was pretty entertaining. These were people I’ve come to idolize in the WoW blogging world; writers of articles I’ve read countless times. The fact that they took part in this fairly fun little celebration really brought them down from the pedestal I’d imagined them to look down on me from and they were just like any other warcrafter, which, for me, was a really neat experience.

Down to the event itself. One thing’s for sure; this Robin Torres person really, really knows what she’s doing. I think she’s a she, anyway. But it was all handled extremely professionally. There was a loose set of guidelines and those that refused to follow were kicked rather quickly, making it a general pleasant experience. The turnout was massive; much more than I expected. There was pretty much an ocean of pirates running through the barrens; certainly a screenshot-worthy little journey. We met in Orgrimmar, we ran together in a huge pack to Ratchet, piled up into the boat, and headed up to Dread Captain Demeza to collectively join her crew in Booty Bay. We’d stopped in every little town along the way to make sure everyone stayed together, and it was quite the epic display once we arrived.

It was short and sweet. The main purpose of this was for everyone to grab the achievement and continue to have some fun however they wanted in the goblin town. Many people resembled lemmings and jumped in large numbers into the ocean drowning themselves, letting their corpses serve as a reminder for those that entered the town sometime later that they’d been there. Others took part in some fun world pvp with the various alliance that fought futility in trying to kill us while we were there. I merely stood around, took some screenshots of the celebration and talked a little while before it was time for me to head to the next great event.

Samueltempus' Gnomestock

What an ambitious event. This wasn’t related to any of Blizzard’s orchestrated holidays, but it was quite the little holiday in itself. Samueltempus of Mug’thol had much more prepared for his creation than It came from the Blog could have. It seemed like hundreds of level one gnomes had congregated in Dun Morogh, preparing for various games. There was a lot to this; customized tabards and shirts were handed out to everyone as it was required for participation in the different activities. We were all part of the same <Gnomestock> guild and wherever we ran, it certainly made an impression on everyone that wasn’t involved. There were a couple of people that had made characters on the server only to find the sea of gnomes in front of them as soon as their opening cutscene had ended; quite a surprise.

There were some events that fell short. It was handled as perfectly as it could have, but one couldn’t expect all of the gnomes to react quickly enough to keep some games rather fun, and while rock-throwing and paper zeppelin-chasing would normally be fun with a decent-sized group, a lot of us were just standing around due to many unresponsive gnomes not realizing they had the items in their inventory. There was also a lot of running around, back and forth to different places with no real goal which did get a little tiresome. I think the Pirate’s Day celebration was a lot more successful in that it was short and very sweet; Gnomestock tried to do a lot more and some of it sounded a lot better on paper than it would happen to translate ingame.

Despite various shortcomings, there were a lot of great things that kept me there. The obvious one is the very fact that so many people were willing to break away from their daily gaming routine to make a gnome and run around with lots and lots of other gnomes with no apparent goal other than to have fun, and there was plenty of fun to be had! I’d say the starting event was clearly the strongest; a race from the starting zone in Dun Morogh to Thelsamar, collecting money for the flight path back to Ironforge along the way. Gnomes were scrambling all over the map very, very frantically. It was fast-paced and what I had come to expect. We’d also ported to Theramore and had a few savory deviate delights passed around for some awesome pirate-style fun.

Events like these were exactly what I needed, and I’ll probably follow them a bit more actively than I’d ever before. Thanks to both sources for leaving me with a rather satisfied feeling.

Brewfest starts today. More on that drunken debacle later.

-Charles-

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