July 20, 2010 – 8:42 am
This is part 1 of Aftermath, the “what happens next” story of Aely, a Lordaeron Paladin, after the fall of the Lich King. You can see the introduction and other parts of the story here.
The landscape didn’t change much, really. He had fallen; they had won. But the snowy desolation of Icecrown was still snowy and desolate, unchanged from the events that occurred inside.
Light-forsaken. The land where even sunlight would not shine.
The Light’s work had been done regardless; the Crusade marched onward, past the ever menacing gates of Icecrown, until the sound of Fordring’s voice echoed in the very halls of the Lich King. It echoed past the chambers of plague and blood, past the reanimated dead and willful, fanatic living, past the screams of Bolvar Fordragon and the screeching of frostwyrm and Val’kyr, until it reached the very halls of the Frozen Throne. And they had been victorious at the end.
The Lich King fell, but with such a terrible price as to be almost immesurable.
Aely walked, rather resolutely, past the gathering throng of people waiting outside and back to her tent on the Crusade grounds, ignoring the ever-increasing shouts and whoops of victory.
Not far behind, Arrens tried to trace her path, pushing his way through mobs of celebrating men and women and families searching for their loved ones in the crowd. He had seen Aely storm from the keep doors and tried to get her attention, but the loud, unruly crowd had kept her from seeing him.
Once he reached the bottom, however, she was gone.
He raced towards where he had last seen her and found an injured soldier sitting on the frozen ground surrounding the tents. Hurriedly, Arrens asked, “Excuse me. I’m looking for Aely Larsdottir. Do you know where her tent’s located?” The soldier never bothered to look up and instead flicked his thumb behind him in the direction of several dozen tents.
Arrens raced passed him, asking anyone and everyone where Aely’s tent was. At last, a bloodied, grizzled-looking Dwarf had an answer.
“Ye be lookin’ fer Dame Larsdottir, she’s like ta be o’er ‘n tha’ tent, lad,” he said, pointing towards a tent on the edge of the Crusader’s medic camp.
Thanking him profusely, Arrens got there just in time to hear the clattering of metal on metal. Fearing the worst, he yanked the flap of the tent open, only to have her sword come clattering to a stop at his feet, surrounded by a pile of hastily discarded armor. Her hands were badly scratched and bloody, and she’d picked up a nasty gash on her forehead but was otherwise whole. Relieved, he pulled her gently in against his chest. He whispered softly as he ran his hands over her hair, pushing it out of her face. “It’s over my love. It’s over.”
She leaned against him. “I ken. I saw. ‘s just… na real yet.”
July 19, 2010 – 9:22 am
Starting this week, I’ll be posting another extended story here on the blog. I’ve been calling it Aftermath. Though it’s not entirely a creative title, I think it fits, since this is the story of Aely after the fall of Icecrown. It’ll be digging into a lot of her past and how she’s planning to go forward now that a big part of her life and purpose is no longer there.
This is the “Well, now what?” story – what does a Paladin who’s spent her entire adult life fighting Arthas do when suddenly Arthas is gone. How does she go back to life, how does she deal with the destruction of her homeland and family, and what will she do with herself now? How will her life be different, and how will it be the same?
In a way, the post from a few weeks ago, titled Old Breeds and Old Ways, is something of a prologue.
I’ll be posting the actual “Part 1″ tomorrow.
Until then, have you guys written stuff to deal with your characters post-Icecrown? Have you had in-game RP events to that affect – possibly revelry, or even some introspection? Was Arthas’ death a big deal, or just something your character helped with because their friends cared, or was it something that happened far away, with other people, and barely touched your character?
July 14, 2010 – 7:29 am
It’s been awhile since I tackled the Blog Azeroth “weekly post idea,” but I thought weighing in on this one would be a good idea, since it’s come up before and I’m not sure I’ve ever specifically made a post about it.
When should a healer let someone die?
I can think of two situations when I’ve knowingly let someone die.
1. I have a finite mana pool, and you are not my #1 priority.
My priority list is as follows: Me, Tank, Everyone else (in a 5 man) or Me, Assignment – usually Tanks, Everyone else (in a raid) – I can only heal one, or maybe two, people at a time. If the tank is taking heavy damage, and you stand in the fire, you’re going to die in that fire. If you do so repeatedly, you’ll probably annoy the piss out of me, but if I have mana and time, I will almost certainly try to heal you.
Because healing you takes less time and is less stressful than wiping, and I don’t get any vindication out of repair bills and an angry group. (Though I will definitely remind you not to stand in the fire, and possibly squawk loudly in chat/on vent.)
2. You are out of range/out of LOS.
If I can’t get to you, I can’t heal you. Sometimes that’s my fault. Sometimes it’s your fault. Sometimes it’s the nature of the stupid encounter and the fact that my 6 foot tall human paladin “can’t see” up 3 stairs. Sometimes it means the group ran off while I was drinking and pulled something. Either way, if someone is grey on my bars, and a few quick steps don’t get me into Holy Shock range… they’re probably going to die, and I don’t worry about it too much, especially in a raid situation where I have other healers to split up the raid with. (If someone is greyed out on my bars then, I don’t even pay attention to their health – they’re usually someone else’s job.)
Other than that, I can’t think of any other reasons to *intentionally* let someone die.
Why is that, you ask? And haven’t you joked about letting Tarquin die, or letting Izzy die, or letting the “hey ma, watch this”, aggro-pulling noob in the PUG die?
I joke about it because it’s a pressure release valve. And because, as a healer, my job is one that can be pretty stressful. Someone who seems to be intentionally making that job harder is going to get my hackles up – but I don’t let them die unless I absolutely can’t avoid it. My job in a group is to heal people. The tanks job is to tank things. The DPS’s job is to DPS things.
If someone in my group got mad at the tank and decided to sit in the corner and not DPS because he thought the tank was bad, I’d be peeved. Yes, sometimes people do dumb things – and yes, in PUGs that can be highly exaggerated. But in a 5 man group, all 5 people are responsible for the group’s success, and quite honestly, someone annoying me is very rarely worth my own repair bill and the time it takes to wipe. And then find 2 new DPS and wait 15 minutes for a new tank because people drop out of the group because we wiped on something dumb.
In a raiding situation, if someone – especially the same person – repeatedly does the same dumb thing and dies (usually bringing at least 5 of their neighbors with them), I can address it, or I’ll have their role leader address it. And yeah, sometimes the healing team will announce that anyone who stands in (X) thing isn’t going to get heals, as a way to get people to pay attention. But that seems to me very different – as well as announced beforehand – than letting someone die out of spite, particularly since usually standing in (X) will get people killed pretty quickly, and cause a raid wipe.
Besides, when it comes right down to it, in the heat of a major boss attempt, I’ve got my two/three tank targets, and I STILL can’t keep from dropping Flash of Light on a not-tank that takes some damage from something. I don’t have the time – or the mental presence, usually – to separate out that THIS yellow square should get heals but THAT yellow square shouldn’t.
Health drops, I heal it.
It’s the green bars, people!
THE GREEN BARS, THEY MUST ALWAYS BE FULL!! **
So yes. Healing is stressful and sometimes makes me want to pull my hair out. And yes, sometimes I’ve thought “man, it’d be so much easier to just let that person die”. But barring some pretty extreme circumstances, I’m not going to actually do so. I might release some pressure by joking about it, usually in the healer channel or one of my other chatter channels, but my job in a group is to heal people.
Even annoying people, or people who pull aggro or stand in fire.
Even, dare I say it, rogues, fury warriors, warlocks, and Cassamir. (Sorry Cass, it’s my job, you know.)
I feel guilty enough when someone I’m supposedly “responsible for” (in a healery sort of way) keels over. I don’t need to add to the guilt by having it be intentional.
As an aside to this, I think people often overestimate how often they’re “intentionally” allowed to die. I’ve been yelled at with “WHY DIDN’T YOU <expletives> HEAL ME?!!?!” before, and saying “you were out of LoS and I had no mana” doesn’t seem to make any difference, which is frustrating and kind of demoralizing.
In my experience in PUGs as DPS, when I’ve died, it’s almost always because I was doing something stupid, or because the shit hit the fan for the whole group. So, before we all go off railing on the healer or the tank for being vindictive and spiteful and terrible, let’s make sure that it’s actually not something WE can affect. As a DPS in a group, if I pull aggro, that is my fault, no matter how “bad” the tank is. If I stand in the fire (or pull aggro, or adds, or don’t drink a pot/eat a demoncookie) and die, that is my fault, no matter how “bad” the healer is.
Responsibility is a group thing, and we’re all in charge of ourselves, yeah?
*Group 2 is the melee DPS group in TRI most nights. When I began my career as a healer, I was the healer assigned to Group 2 because we only had one shaman, and totems were only group-wide (not raid-wide). As such, the Resto Shaman was stuck in a group with the rogues and fury warriors and ret pallies. I was their healer, and they were my /job/. Which didn’t mean that Group 2 NEVER died, but I still feel kinda protective over that group of aggro-gives-me-rage/aggro-means-I’m-winning crazies.
**It’s a sickness, I know. I do it when I’m DPSing on a class with heal buttons too.
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July 13, 2010 – 12:18 pm
Upon returning home at the end of the night, your character finds… a box before his or her door. It’s rather common-looking, as boxes go — a simple wooden crate, about two feet on a side. There are no markings telling its point of origin, but your name’s stamped in big, block letters right on top. It’s closed with a simple brass hasp. No one appears to be around that witnessed its delivery.
As you peer at it, something shifts inside: just the faintest sound of movement, then all is still again.
What do you do?
By the time Angoleth found herself walking south down the familiar path past the logging grounds, her eyes had adjusted to the faint starlight. The day had been long, and she was glad to be home, but Grizzly Hills was abuzz with insects taking advantage of the short summer season, fireflies and crickets and katydids and
She took her time on the path next to the river, idly noting the summer flowers and checking for berries in the brush. As she approached the little house, however, a large crate sitting next to the door caught her attention. Her name was written on it clearly, but there were no other identifying marks, no return address, not even a delivery stamp.
The box rustled.
Angoleth sat down on her front stoop, eyeing the box suspiciously. The box rustled again and then was quiet. She checked it over for a third, then a fourth time – still no identification. She nudged it with her foot.
With a sigh, she stood up and carried it inside, setting it on the floor and whistling for Shan’re. He trotted over, interested, and sniffed the box thoroughly. After a moment, he started to paw at the box, whining.
The box whined back.
Suddenly everything in the room was interested in the crate. The great grey owl ruffled her feathers, watching the box intently. Arsaelan padded over to sniff at it, his upper lip curled back, tail twitching. Shan’re continued to worry over the crate, which rustled more impatiently now.
Angoleth, on the other hand, eyed the box as though it was going to explode.
The wolf nudged the box with his nose, shoving it along the floor impatiently. Curiosity finally won out over caution, and the hunter pushed the wolf aside, unlatching the box gingerly and opening it just a crack. Shan’re shoved his nose inside, flipping back the lid and exposing the contents of the crate.
Angoleth blinked. Inside, wrapped in a faded woolen blanket, was a wolf pup. Shan’re immediately started licking its ears.
She lifted the little furball out of the crate, but there was no note that she could find, only a little wad of cotton, soaked in some substance that made her vision dizzy. Nestling against her arm, the puppy began to cry, prompting more nosing from the bigger wolf and snapping the perplexed hunter out of her search for any sort of identifying information. She wandered into the kitchen, murmuring soft reassurances in Darnassian, an incredibly intent Shan’re close at her heels.
(PS: if you didn’t click the wolf pup link, you should.)
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