So today I bring you something new for Keine Ordnung – and something that I hope will happen periodically over the life of this blog. A guest post! This time, from a very good friend (who signs himself Opaladin in comments) who doesn’t have a blog of his own. He’s the one responsible for the name of this place though, and apparently was compelled by my ramblings to tell his own story about Warcraft and balance. It’s a pretty interesting read! And so, here’s Zelig/Opalatheta/etc, on the subject of Warcraft and Real Life.
I found myself starting to play WoW in the fall of 2005.
I moved back to Germany in late 2004 after 9 months of looking for employment – I ended up as a contractor working for the Air Force. Prior to leaving for Germany I knew that it (Germany) wasn’t where I wanted to go with my life (I had been stationed there while I was on Active Duty) – I was going on 30 and felt the need to put down some roots. I love Germany; I just knew it wasn’t where I wanted to go – it wouldn’t be permanent. And so, after hearing all the guys that I worked with talk about WoW, I bought a copy. Around the same time, I started cycling / mountain bike racing, but knew that I wouldn’t get much riding in during the winter – I needed something to keep me entertained.
Shortly after all that, I flew an ex of mine over for a weekend – hindsight being 20/20 I should have known better. I keep trying not to blame a visit gone poorly on
putting me into a funk but it’s there. I played WoW most of that winter, with Zelig filling the role of not quite a full instance healer but not quite much of anything else (holy pally pre-BC). Opalatheta (my fruif) was started somewhere around mid 40 on Zel – it broke the solo leveling monotony, plus she also showed (pre-BC) that druids could tank. Being a 29 year old single guy – that might seem pretty common in the ‘normal’ world – not really so in the military. Most of the folks my age (or with similar interests) are married, and when married, you typically spend free time with said family (or, that’s what I envision as a good marriage). And having been a young single enlisted troop in the Air Force, I know how most of them act, and honestly I don’t have anything in common with them.
It figures that one day, while in the AH after having recently left the guild from folks at work, (cause as much of the your momma stuff I heard at work, I didn’t really want to hear in WoW too) I got asked if I’d be interested in healing in MC (this was on Opal – who was a bear, before bears were the tank of the expansion), Zelig had been transfered off server to get rid of his hideous non-RP name (I don’t RP, but I respect those who do – and even am envious a bit of the ability to put oneself IC). So I started raiding MC with Fates End around June of 2006. Germany is 9 hours later than Feathermoon server time – thus for a early Sunday evening (6 PM) raid I was getting up roughly at midnight Monday (it was a 1AM pull, whatever that worked out to). Same goes for a slightly later Monday start time, get up at 2AM.
Somewhere in this time, Zelig made the PvP grind to Knight – purely for the title… To give you some idea of how much a pain in the arse this was – think 2
hour queue times… 9 hours off server was a pain for PvP. Yes, pre battlegroup PvP grind 9 hours off server – Knight was awarded roughly two weeks before the honor changes – the only other title I would of been interested in was Commander, which never would of happened while in Germany. And TBC started – yes, being 9 hours off server meant I didn’t get to see the dark portal open (note a trend?).
I left Germany in Feb of 2007, to Florida – needed to get back to the states, and the ‘temp’ job I took there moved my stuff & I back. I was there maybe a month when I got moved into another office and stuck on nightshift (boo!), not only that, but my nights off where Tues-Thursday. Being new to Flordia, and on night shift I sorta fell back into WoW. I should say, I also had planned to make my move to Florida a detaching event from WoW – not that I felt I needed to completely quit, but getting back into outdoorsy stuff should be my focus. I did feel that I might be a bit too into it – not as much as some of the guys at work in Germany would talk about AP vs Crit and debating rogue talents… but still I sorta felt I was missing part of my old life (rhetorical question… what would you have defined as your old life…)
I started / lead a venture into Karazhan. Most of the raid members were known from MC/BWL – some of the new abilities were new to me (Pally tanks…) some had rerolled new toons (hunters > shammy, priest). In addition to the 2 nights by 4 hours FE was in Kara, I was literally turning around, and running Kara again the same night on Opal (as a HT fruif – ToL just hasn’t caught on to my way of healing). After a few months I have to say, 8 hours of raiding, two nights a week, is bleh!
Somewhere in the midst of all that, I bought a house; however, in late August I got notified that I was getting activated and sent to Iraq. My ‘unit’ for lack a better term was still Germany, so I asked them if they’d be able to get me ’employment’ until I was to get activated and they said sure (while I was working on an Air Force base in Florida, some things are much easier to take care of when you are in the same place as your paperwork / boss etc etc). First week of Oct – I packed my household goods (again) and shipped them to my dad’s basement. Fly to Germany that weekend.
Germany, take 3 – this time I was basically living in the military version of a hotel or dorm room – sorta – shared bathroom, folks being stupid (drunk) at 3AM, the normal. Of the few friends I did have while I was here just 7 months ago, two are off to Afghanistan or somewhere else in the middle east – the others have left. Could I have done something else? Sure, there’s always something else. But the question is do you want to do the something else? Could I have enrolled in a Masters program, yes – might have gotten one class out of the way, but the schools there only offer management / political science type stuff. I was a Geology Major (another story… 2 classes, BS in General Sci, Minor in Geo). One of the things I’ve often wanted to do is take a class / workshop to improve my writing, both in terms of quality and translating the ideas in my brain to the darn paper – do they offer stuff like that on the base, no – the military doesn’t use English they use the bullet statement…
WoW, if nothing else, is cheap entertainment (if mind-numbing at times). Having just bought a house, but not living in it (nor having the roommate to help defray the oh so hideous Florida property taxes/flood insurance) – I didn’t have much free cash. Thankfully the Air Force has a organization that does alot of things to make folk’s life better, they run the gym, the library, and in the case of Ramstein, they even have an internet center. I found myself in there most nights of the week (less Tuesdays – again that 9 hour thing means the servers are down till 8PM).
I find myself typing all this from my dad’s house – I’m ‘home’ in Oregon waiting to go to Iraq – but not as a military member – that isn’t happening just yet… I’m going as a contractor (no, not like Blackwater). All this because the Air Force will (or should) be able to activate me on or about Aug 2009, and my house in Tampa is rented out… why try to settle down when its just going to get turned upside down. Seems they forgot that they ‘used’ me in 2003 and have to wait 5 years to ‘use’ me again – thus this whole time I could have still been in Florida working on my second BS (in Geology). I find myself subbing into SSC when there’s a spot for a holybot, and wishing for a Kara run for badges + some pants and a shield… sometimes I ask myself why? I’ll be in Iraq – I might have internet, might not… then Lich King will be out… why am I making this fuss?
My latest trip to Germany did award me with something more though; I’ve fallen in love, surprisingly enough, with one of the attendants from the Internet Cafe. She doesn’t play WoW, and I have no desire to get her started into the game. As a matter in fact, when I get back from Iraq (whenever that happens to be) and we settle down, I might not play WoW much/at all – my current plan is to go back for a second bachelors, then a master brewer’s cert and open a carbon neutral bio-fuel powered brewery with beer that has some body/meat to it – IPA is a SUMMER BEER! its Oregon, there’s 15 feet of snow in the Cascades, I want body! Maybe that’s a side effect of having spent almost five years in Europe, I’m missing beers that monks survived upon.
In the meantime – it’s cheap entertainment (as is trying to explain what I’m doing to my 61 year old father).
Zelig, Steingrimr, and others – Feathermoon, US
I suppose BigBearButt was right about asking military guys for stories…
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