It is with grim determination and a small fizz of excitement I declare myself ready to leap back into the maelstrom of pop culture that was once the great glory of my internet postings. Mostly my posts will be focused on my books, my games and the various ways in which I employ the intertubes. I have something else planned too, but that will be the subject of another post.
My last goal having been my Masters degree, anything that isn’t strictly career focused is causing me spasms of disabling guilt. Despite my present short term goal being to get out of (some) debt and move out, my ego will not take any sort of leisure activity without braying me about the head with the anvil of ambition. That said, I am mastering this anxiety by writing about my perspective on the pop culture products I enjoy. My take will obviously be refreshing and new, a smack in the face of the status quo. Take that, things as they are!
So, one of my most recent terrible decisions is to achieve the Loremaster title in World of Warcraft. I got excited about the game again following a new expansion (Mists of Pandaria) that I find enjoyable and highly playable, rather than the previous expansion, which I found mostly the opposite. Painful and tedious, if you’re going to force me to choose antonyms.
For the uninitiated, Loremaster is basically a quest to do quests. A quest is a tiny capsule of directed gameplay. A non-player character tells to you go and kill six of this, half a dozen of the other. Sometimes they’ll ask you to gather plants, go speak to someone else or watch them do things. At the end of this you get gold and some points.
Quests are generally a way of telling the story, and were something I never really bothered with. I don’t play games for stories, I read books for stories. I play games to hit things with axes and fire. Tiny pixellated folk bossing me about isn’t my idea of fun either. I’m a tiny green warrior, I don’t take your shit! And they give fewer experience points than rampaging through a dungeon of an afternoon. As a tiny green warrior, this is far more my cup of tea. While I do enjoy their directness (kill this guy!), quests just aren’t for me.
Why then, would I commit to doing the three thousand quests it takes to achieve the Loremaster title? In public? It boiled down to three things. I realised I was paying a monthly fee for a game in which I disregard the bulk of the content as boring. My wallet has decided that I will like quests whether I like it or not. Self induced Stockholm Syndrome seems by far the easiest way to go about this.
Secondly, I realised that having a title after your name is the most important thing ever. This realisation was forced by the writing of George R R Martin. Being Kingslayer is easy, Lannister, personally I’m aiming for Loremaster. That was an excerpt from the conversation Jaime Lannister and I will definitely have one day. At that revelation his head would turn and his eyes would shine in admiration, but he would never say anything, because he’s fictional. I could of course achieve a title by doing charity work or becoming a beacon of goodness in my community, but I’d rather smash the motherloving pixels out of some fictional monsters.
Thirdly a few of my friends have it. I cannot allow them to bask in this glory alone.
There’s a long way to go before my little goblin warrior gets to be Loremaster. Dozens of smaller achievements and tedious maps must be conquered before she can proudly declare herself accomplished in the arena of doing menial tasks for NPCs and crying at night over phased questing areas. It will be a long journey, but I’m sure her pixelated mind will rest a little easier knowing I am documenting her tiny stub legged journey. Also, she has a dragon. Nobody rests easier than a person with a dragon. Except maybe dragons.