Tag Archives: story

Blizzcon, Warlords, & The Horizon: Part 1

It’s been a little over a week since the Blizzcon Opening Ceremony. I geeked out as I watched my virtual ticket over the weekend, and now that I’ve had a week to process everything, I want to join in the crowds voicing their opinion on what we all saw and heard.

World of Warcraft

First, of course, is World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor. I was definitely more interested in Warlords than in Mists of Pandaria when it was first announced, but that’s not a good measure, because I ended up loving MoP. In fact, I’m still enjoying the heck out of Mists!

Warlords: Storyline

The premise of Warlords is great–go back and fight against the Big Bads of a bygone era, a new Horde crafted from an old brotherhood. Big characters: who doesn’t want to meet Durotan & Draka? Who wouldn’t want to face Ner’zhul before the first rise of the Lich King?

Facing down Rend as he was in Draenor is going to be brilliant, not to mention the fact that I love draenei and getting to work alongside original draenei in their homeland sounds like something I’d sign up for yesterday.

The concerns I’ve heard, though; are valid. Primarily:

  • Is the story too contrived?
  • Isn’t the alternate timeline thing a little confusing?
  • Are the female characters getting shuffled under the table for this expansion?

On the first and second points, I think they’re kind of combined. The alternate timeline idea makes the story feel more contrived than it might otherwise. If you aren’t sure how this is going to work, it’s basically like this (at least, this is my understanding of it):

Warlords: Parallel Timelines

The idea is that Garrosh goes not only back in time, but on an alternate timeline completely, goes back to before the orcs drink Mannoroth’s blood, and rallies them into an un-cursed Horde. I believe his plan is to bring them back to our current time and wipe us out because I guess he’s a little ticked about the whole Siege of Orgrimmar thing.

Does this make the story a little contrived? Honestly, yeah, I suppose it does, but I think I can overlook it for the sake of what’s going to be involved. Burning Crusade also felt a bit contrived, but in the end, a lot of people loved that expansion.

As for the last point, it’s valid, and I want to know more. I’ve heard there will be some female characters, particularly a draenei, that will be completely awesome, but I don’t know that it makes up for the fact that this is a pretty testosterone-driven expansion. The “boys’ trip” comment took me aback a bit, too. I’m withholding judgement until we get a better look at exactly what’s going down in Draenor, and I’m hoping they’ll surprise me.

Raiding

Obviously, raiding is a huge deal for me, so I was paying close attention to the raiding changes. The biggest change is, of course, the raid types:

New Raid Structure from Blizzcon

I’m not going to lie, the inner elitist in me (and it IS inner, I can’t stand on elitist ground, I hang out somewhere on the cliff of “managing somehow”) recoiled at first. Everything is flex? But, but, but–that–I–okay. It’s a change. We’re not usually great with change. Is it a bad change? Nah. Is it a dealbreaker? No way. It’s different, and we’ll make it work like we always have.

My guild’s primary focus will be Heroic and Mythic. This means that we’re going to have to sit 5 people when we do Mythic, and that’s going to make an interesting dynamic. I will say that I like the fact that this will require players to push hard–when you really want to raid the highest content and your spot is in jeopardy, you will work for it.

The unfortunate side of this is that there’s a good chance that even people who try really hard won’t make it into Mythic every week. Encounter balance will play a big role in how this works out. I can tell you I’ll be fighting with all I have for my Mythic spot.

Coming in the next post: Item Changes, Stuff I Geeked Out For, Hearthstone, & Heroes of the Storm.

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July Challenge: There’s Something About You

Last month, I challenged you guys to tell me a story about something that has happened to you in game. We all have those stories that we like telling, and here are a few. Pull up your story rug…

Ivy4Life told us about a D&D experience that started with “a large and….. naked troll is following us with a bag over its shoulder with two large balls inside” and left us hanging on “our wizard being stuffed into a bag, in the hands of the troll.” I have a feeling there are a lot more stories lurking here.

Suzita shared an epic EQ2 moment when a group of friends found themselves stuck–stuck at a door. There was nothing to do but laugh–and kick some butt. Thankfully, they got to do both!

Ninevi related an experience that hits a little close to home! I have a habit of getting stuck in terrainand Ninevi tells the story of her and her gnome rogue buddy (gnome rogues ftw, I might add) and their precarious–and hilarious–experience of being stuck on a boat near a group of Horde in Tanaris.

Thank you for telling us your stories!

Ambermist & Ultraking 4 lyfe

Ambermist & hubby Ultraking IRL

Now, for the July challenge: Continue reading

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A Cord of Two Strands–Part 4

This is part 4 in a 7 part series. If you need to, you can start over at Part 1 or go to an index of all seven parts.

Memory

Sonora’s mind floated away from the room as images flashed dreamily before her eyes.  She saw herself when she was young, standing beside her father as he showed her the loom.  He said people were like threads in a tapestry, woven together by the Light; a cord of two strands being stronger than one.  Scenes from her childhood panned before her, and then tapered off into her young adulthood.  She had no plan for the future, like the others.  Maybe that’s why she had agreed to go to Stormwind…

Suddenly the flashes came quickly; Markus and the room and Aleron.  The images turned upside down, and Sonora felt as though she were falling into eternity.  Then she saw images that she did not recognize.  A beautiful human woman, with long brown hair, standing next to a fireplace, laughing.  A little girl, sitting on her father’s knee, blonde curls bouncing wildly as she giggled.  And a man, a young man—a young version of Aleron.

Then something darker, the girl was older, almost Sonora’s own age, she guessed.  She stood alone in the snow, looking scared but determined.  Sweat made the girl’s sandy hair dark with moisture, and fire formed on her fingertips repeatedly as she sent it flinging at a target Sonora couldn’t see.  She felt the need to hurry, to save the girl; but she couldn’t move.  She watched helplessly as something struck the girl, and she fell to the ground.

Sonora gasped, and the image faded into darkness.  Light began to register on her eyelids, but the world beyond felt distant and muffled.  She let reality settle on her slowly.

She felt a cold cloth on her head and muttered through her stiff lips.  “Sonora?” she heard, “Sonora, can you hear me?”  She tried to open her eyes, and they responded, but slowly.  They fluttered open, and Aleron’s concerned face filled her vision.

“There you are,” he said.  “You should try to sit up if you think you can.”  He held a cup to her lips and after a few sips of water, she felt a bit stronger.  Holding onto his arm, Sonora was able to pull herself up with a groan, quickly leaning back against the nearby wall.  She took a few moments to sit and look around, trying to make the spinning in her head stop.

As it settled, she remembered what had happened, and she looked over at Aleron, startled.  “Are you okay?” she asked, quickly followed by, “Am I okay?”

“I am fine,” he assured her.  “I believe you are, too; although that was no small test they put you through.  You have been unconscious most of the day.”

“I have never felt so much pain in my life,” she admitted.  “I felt like I was on fire.”

“I expected it would be painful,” he said, intentionally omitting his own fear about experience.  “How do you feel now?”

“Okay, but I feel strange.  I—I feel as though I am shaking on the inside,” she said, blushing slightly at how absurd it sounded.  Aleron studied her for a few moments, lost in thought.  Suddenly, he glanced furtively around the room, then finally looking down at the straw of the makeshift bed upon which they sat.  Plucking out a small handful, he looked again at the draenei.

“Hold out your hand,” he directed.  She held out her hand dutifully, and he placed the straw inside her palm.  “Close your eyes, and try to push that feeling out of you.”  At her puzzled expression, he prompted her again, “Go on.”

“I am too tired for games,” she replied.

“Try.  You must do this,” he said fiercely, the first real spark of life Sonora had seen shining in his eyes.  Prompted by the strength of his response, Sonora tried again.  Closing her eyes, she tried to turn her focus inside herself.  She felt the shaking, like a reverberation within her.  She pushed against it with her mind, and was shocked when it felt as though it were following her focus.  Doubling her efforts, she pushed against it further, forcing it into her outstretched arm.  The feeling was so intense, she knew her arm must be shaking wildly, but she continued until she felt as though a blast of it went through her fingers.  The vibration seemed to settle back into her body, although not as strongly.  “My hand is warm,” she noticed aloud.  She was surprised to hear Aleron chuckling.

“Open your eyes,” he instructed proudly.  She did, and was shocked to see the straw in her fingers smoldering, smoke curling up above her hand.  The straw was clearly burnt in places, like the first breaths of a fire had passed over it.

“What have I done?” she said in awe.

“You have proven that you might be our way out of here!”  He stood up, and Sonora saw him sway unsteadily for a moment.  “I will talk to you more about it tomorrow,” he said wearily.  “The encounter earlier has weakened me, as well—I must get some rest.”

He laid down in his small pile of straw, but found himself unable to fall asleep immediately.  If Sonora were strong enough to withstand it all, there might be hope yet.  Hope—something he had nearly forgotten.

***

“Concentrate,” a younger Aleron said.  “If you do not focus it will find a way out without you, and control is key.”

“I am concentrating,” the girl told him, her eyes closed.  The room stood completely silent, nothing but their collective breaths.  Aleron had chosen thisStormwind home for its small tower, and certainly appreciated it now.  A place where he—and now his daughter—could do their work away from prying eyes and the sensitivities of his wife downstairs.  He looked again at Arcis’s hand, shaking almost imperceptibly.  Suddenly, a small spark lit up the piece of dry wood she held in her hand.  It burned a hole straight through the middle before dying.

“I did it!”  Arcis exclaimed excitedly.

“Yes you did!” Aleron chuckled.  “That was wonderful.  Do you want to do it again?”

“Yes! I can do even better this time!”  Arcis took another piece of wood from the pile on the table.  This time she did not close her eyes.  He watched while her youthful face twisted in careful concentration.  He could sense power radiating from her, and watched her hand, daring not to breathe.  Less than a minute later, an orb of fire the size of a child’s toy erupted from the palm of Arcis’ hand.  The wood disappeared completely in the blaze before it vaporized, leaving no mark behind.  Aleron looked at his little girl in astonishment.  Most mages spent months or years trying to turn their first spark into a fireball, and here she had done it in the span of several minutes.

“That was amazing,” he said softly, pulling her close.  “You are amazing.  But I should not have expected less.”

“Can I do it again, Daddy?  Please? I need to practice a lot so I can stop using the starter.”

“Of course, Arcis.  You can burn all the wood in this house if it pleases you to do so,” he answered proudly.

Click here to go on to Part 5:  Becoming.

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