Empty Progress Bars Are The Devil

The following paragraphs will be written in the confessional style. You should assume that my tone is meek, conciliatory, and slightly embarassed.

It happened again, you see.

There I was, at the head of a marvelous three day weekend, ready to rock and rule the world. Ready to change. Three day weekends have this wonderful sense of possibility about them; during the Friday evening commencement period, one can believe that nearly anything is possible. You could wash your car. You could invent a new truth serum, and stop terrorism. You could open a new franchise of your business. You, of course, do not currently have a franchisable business, but damn, man, you’ve got that extra day in there…

On this particular three day weekend, I was going to hang out with my family, maybe play some Vampire: The Requiem with my buddy(ies), maybe have a 40K game or two… clean the house…

And, then I turned on World of Warcraft.

Let me give you some idea of my headspace on this. Because, you see, it disturbs even me.

Some Idea Of My Headspace On This

You may be aware of what is affectionately known in the MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Rationalized Payment for Gluttony) as my “main”. My “main” is Allora, and I do so appreciate her efforts to become the very bestest Paladin on the block.

I’ve made some progress with Allora. In fact, I made some progress on Friday. Those of you who still tune in to the darklord’s blog every week, even though the show has clearly jumped the shark, will know that I have been collecting my Lawbringer gear; a set of plate armor that is so goddamn holy that the mere sight of it makes women chaste and men drop to their knees in repentance. It’s quite a thing.

The reason you haven’t heard anything about this lately is that I have been hovering… poised, and ready to pounce… at 7 of 8 pieces.

I have the Bracers. I have the Belt. I have the Gauntlets. I have the Spaulders. I did finally get the Chestplate. I out-rolled another paladin for the Helm, for which he will be eternally bitter. I got the Boots, even though they hadn’t dropped for us in over a year. They did drop, and I did get them.

7/8.

And now, every week, we paladins gather around the shattered, destroyed form of Magmadar (the giant two-headed fire breathing hell hound), and pray silently as the master looter inspects our prizes… and, every week, the goddamn Lawbringer Legplates refuse to drop. It’s been seventeen weeks running that we haven’t seen them. And yes, we are counting. We all need them, you see.

I did get myself a little something this weekend, however. I’ve only seen it drop twice, and it is a thing of beauty.

So, there we have it: Allora in all her glory. One must put into this context that I am also working on Tyridane (my 42 hunter), and Crystalline (my 43 priest). It suffices to say that I have already spent way more time on this shit than I reasonably should.

Okay.

What I’ve Been Doing Up Until Now

So, see… [embarassed voice] I…

Well, I have this character that I’ve been using as a bank. I send her extra stuff that my other characters don’t have room for (like the 25 stacks of Dark Iron Ore that I’m hand-delivering to the goddamn fascist con-artist Thorium Brotherhood on a weekly basis).

And, at some point, I decided it might be fun to make her an enchanter. Just, you know, to explore the mechanics. It’s research, people.

My inclinations leaning the way they do, this rapidly converted itself into a game. She was level 6, you see, and I wanted to see how far I could push a level 6 character. How skilled could she be? Intriguing!! I want to know!! Hell, I bet everyone would want to know!!

Not very, as it turns out. But! If you get to level 10… so I did. And this is where the trouble started. I decided (“decided” in this context is meant to be interpreted in the same way that a cocaine addict “decides” to have another line… a really good line this time…) that I would let this character get to level 19, and see just how much experience, skill, and general ability I could stuff into her.

So, in short, I’ve been leveling her, get this, as slowly I as I possibly can. In order to maximize the amount of other stuff I’ve been able to collect along the way.

Which Brings Me To This Weekend

Does it fill you with horror? Perhaps if I were to list out the ways in which I have been extending my gameplay (for example, using this character as a way to fill in my Gatherer database of the location of every herb and ore vein in the low-level areas… while leveling her herbalism)? No?

Well, you’re made of stronger stuff than I am.

And, then, Saturday rolled in, like a fog bank… and I noticed an un-filled bar. A measure of progress on my character sheet that had been hitherto untouched by me. And, not just on this character, on any of my characters.

The PvP faction bar. Specifically, the Silverwing Sentinels PvP faction bar.

In english, that sentence translates to “the bar that measures what the good guy armies who offer the quests for fighting in the Warsong Gulch player-versus-player battle map think of my exploits”. It is a measure of how much time one has sunk into defeating other human players, who are not of my race, and are, thus, evil.

And who says games don’t teach morality.

The bar was empty. Devoid. Vacant. “How hard could it be?” I asked myself.

The rest is kind of a blur. I know a few things about the weekend: I did drive my kids to a barbeque once, and I did interact with real humans on more than one occasion. I also know that my rhythm was as follows:

  1. Put my character into the PvP queue for Warsong Gulch (waiting for the server to decide that there are enough interested and well-balanced characters to start a new match).
  2. Park said character at some location that wouldn’t generate “rest”. (Because, see, that would mean that I would be getting more XP from my kills, which… yeah.)
  3. Restart my audiobook version of George R.R. Martin’s Feast For Crows.
  4. Move to my Warhammer Geek painting station, and paint Squigs and Squig Herders.
  5. Paint, listen to book, and wait for the HORNS OF BATTLE!!!! to sound, indicating that a new battle for Warsong Gulch was about to start.
  6. Put down the paint, turn off the book, sit down at machine.
  7. Kill virtual extensions of other human beings in a fantasy setting for between ten and twenty minutes.
  8. Win. Like, 14 out of 15 battles.
  9. Rinse, and repeat.

I did that for…

…at least twenty hours over the weekend. Ten of those hours were on Monday.

In Conclusion

I have, at the end of my long weekend, achieved the following:

  1. I have reached “Friendly” faction with the Silverwing Sentinels. The primary benefit of this is an aching need to go fight more.
  2. I have a 95% of the way painted Squig herd. They look pretty goddamn cool, I must say.
  3. I totally blew off my buddy that I was going to play Vampire with.

Which brings us to the actual point of this behemoth of a post:

Uh, sorry, Dave. Maybe we can play later or something. [/blush]

That’s all I’ve got for ya! Good night, and good luck!

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the_darklorde

I design.

5 thoughts on “Empty Progress Bars Are The Devil”

  1. I completely support you in you WoW efforts as they are the only enjoyment I get from the game. Reading about your exploits far exceeds the pleasure of any actual level grinding I did myself…

    In fact, I cancelled my account just the other day — I figured two months of not even logging in was a sign the thrill had faded.

    Please consider this de facto prima latte that you must play and blog on a daily basis.

  2. Yeah, you’ve “been there done that” in a kind of 15-30 hours a week obsessively grinding your way up the latter sort of a way, there, monkey boy, so don’t yawn at me. I might have to come up there and do a Fear on yer ass, followed by a couple of DoTs.

  3. Yawn. WSG. Been there, done that.

    Of course, if you were running Horde instead of your traditional pretty-boy Alliance characters, you’d never have to wait in a queue…but of course that way leads to madness.

  4. Damn, I’m not even Dave and I can personally attest to this…bothersome but understandable (understandable meaning I understand you have a problem and are near helpless in it’s face) situation.

    My druid is 49 now, on her way to 50 this week, then eventually 60…alone…again… (this is only slightly meant to guilt you, as I don’t mind a solo trip to 60 – it’s faster).

    Sorry Dave! I have been witness to the things he describes, and they are, in fact like a car wreck, you know it’s bad to look and you think you should help, but you just kind of stare and drive on by…

    tg

    PS – you better burn through your bank obsessions before the BC comes out! Gotta do all that new stuff with someone!

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