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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July 12, 2010 – 1:50 pm
Houseguests all weekend – fun ones, certainly, but I’ve not done much gaming, and even less computering, and I’m kinda catching up on things and reorganizing my brain from hostess mode into “normal weekday” mode.
No post today. Hope you all had fun weekends!
July 9, 2010 – 9:51 am
(Please read the Edit at the bottom )
I don’t know any other way to write this, so bear with me guys. I imagine it won’t be any easier to read than it is to write.
I canceled my account last night.
It will expire on August 13, unless I re-up. Fortunately, or unfortunately, that’s the day before I head out of town, so at least I’ll be distracted for a bit.
The more I hear about RealID, Facebook, Activision, the “new social gaming experience” and Activizzard’s willingness to let go of their community, their players here in the US, and the people who have in some cases played this game for 5 years, the less I like it, and the angrier I get. Go ahead and read Dechion’s post on the subject. I’m pretty sure he’s got the right of things, which makes me even angrier, because it’s not just about smoke-blowing, it’s flat out lying. And then couching it in sunshiny, meaningless, corporate bullshit terms like “positive and constructive new direction” that people only use when they know they’re saying something that’s going to upset someone else.
I don’t have any problem choosing not to pay money to a company whose practices I dislike and do not trust. They’re a business, and their job is to make money. They think this is the best way to make lots more money, and so that’s been their decision. It’s my decision whether to like it or not like it, and to choose what to do from there. And so I chose to write a letter and then do the only other thing I could that might actually mean something. Walk away.
That wasn’t the hard part.
The hard part was turning around and saying “well, now what?”
What do I do with the blog?
What do I do with the stories?
What happens to Aely? To Arrens? Their wedding isn’t supposed to be until after Cataclysm. Can I leave that story unfinished? What about the Aftermath story, which was supposed to start publishing here this week?
What happens to Annie Mae and Duugvilder? Do they make it through Operation Gnomeregan together?
Will I really have to decide what to do with the last month in game, and where my characters will log out, and what they’ll be wearing?
What happens to the friendships? I know some will continue. The relationship I have with people like Bricu, Yva, Arrens, and Linedan have gone well beyond a video game – we talk about other things, and hang out online outside of game and do non-game things. But I’m not naive enough to think that the other friendships I’ve made will continue, or to think that none will lose a level of closeness without a commonality to keep the conversation going when it stalls.
Sadly, the answer to every one of those questions is quite simply “I have no idea.” I don’t know yet. I don’t know what the end result will be. I don’t know where the blog is going, or even (at this point) if it’s going anywhere at all. None of those questions is easy to answer.
Nothing is set in stone right now, and we’re all kind of waiting in the infinite feedback loop, trying to figure out what Activizzard will do in response to people’s leaving the game. (My guess is nothing, but I could be wrong. I kinda hope I’m wrong.) If things change, I might re-up my account. I don’t know on that front either.
This is not a goodbye post. (Trust me, a goodbye post would be a lot longer, and I’d be crying.) But I didn’t feel that it was worth leaving you all out of this completely. I like you guys. A lot. I could probably quote Bilbo Baggins here, but part of the original would be untrue – I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like, but I think most of you deserve the affection and goodwill I have towards you.
So here’s to figuring out what’s going on.
Sadly, I’m afraid it doesn’t look so good.
EDIT: Blizzard has, in fact, and to everyone’s great surprise, actually backed down off this one.
I’m not sure what it means for my account in the long term (I still don’t want Facebook in my WoW, and I still abjectly dislike the direction that Activision is taking their games, especially with regards to DiabloIII), but for now, I think we’ll call this a successful bit of communication on a mass scale. Thank you to everyone who went at this with a clear head and logical discussion.
…Can I say they backed down ’cause I told them I was quitting? /impish grin
July 7, 2010 – 10:54 am
I figured we could all use a little silly today.
A lanky, dark haired elf sat in front of a lovely fire in a little cabin in Grizzly Hills, a grey wolf asleep at her feet. Russ was off fishing, but Arsaelan lay stretched out in front of the hearth on his back, paws splayed wide and snoring in a delightfully lion-ish manner that made the hunter stifle a giggle every time he started up. Taleh hooted softly, preening the last of her rabbit dinner off of her talons, and Angoleth returned to cleaning her gun.
She wasn’t quite used to this whole “gun” business. While it caused less pain than the longbows she had been using, the noise it made was quite offputting. Still, she didn’t doubt its effectiveness, and so far only the owl had protested hunting with it.
A petulant, whiny roar burst through the cabin window.
“Oh for Elune’s frigging toenails, would you SHUT UP?”
“I told you already, you can’t come in the house. You don’t fit through the door.”
Angoleth walked over to the window, where the enormous red devilsaur had pressed her nose up against it, fogging it up with a combination of hot lizard breath and snot.
“Ugh. You know I just cleaned that…”
Shan’re growled under his breath. Arsaelan grunted and rolled over, facing away from the window, tail twitching. She opened the window and was greeted with an overly exuberant dinosaur head to the chest.
“I know. I’m sorry the house is too small for you.”
A disgruntled hoot from the corner and Taleh had turned away as well, fluttering down to sit just near enough to Arsaelan’s twitching tail to attempt to catch it. The hunter ignored them both.
“There’s plenty of room once we get back to Feathermoon. Or Ironforge. You’ll just have to sleep outside here.”
“You lived outside in Un’goro! How the hell did you manage to stay alive?”
“Oh right. Bigger than everything else. Still. There’s a big overhang, and it’s summer. You won’t die. I promise.”
The devilsaur stomped off in the direction of the porch, grumbling under her breath. Arsaelan loudly chuffed with feline indignation.
“Oh don’t even start with me.”