Narratives.

September 2, 2010 at 5:01 am (stories) (, , , )

Both of these stories are true. Even if they are not literally true accounts of events that transpired, they both express truth.
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Story one.

There once was a man, and in his house he threw a party. His friends came over, and times were good. Some of the neighbors nearby had become friends, and came to the party. Others came, and went, and the party rocked on and good times were had. There was the occasional awkward situation, vomiting in the planter or stumbling home drunk, but the music was kicking, the beer was cold, and good times were had.

And then a whole group of new people came by, because they saw the party from the street.

“Hey, can we join?” they asked. “It looks like fun.”

And the host replied, “Sure! More people’s more party!”

And so they came, and joined the party. Some of the older guests were making out in back rooms, or passed out under the couch, and in the front room, at the party proper, the new guests came to outnumber the old, and then they came with questions.

“We see you like beer! Cool. Hey, can we drink your beer? We’ve got a box of wine coolers, you can have it to replace the beer.”
“And hey, we don’t like techno. Can we play our jazz cds, instead? And, we’d like to turn it down so we can have a proper conversation.”
“It’s kind of chilly in here, we’re all cold. Can we turn up the thermostat?”

And the host, and those who had been at this party since it started, began to grow bitter. Who were these people who had come to this party? And why, when they wanted to change so much of it, did they stay in the house they had been invited to, that they chose to come, instead of finding their own?
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Story two.

Once there was a mural on the wall. This was the ongoing work of many artists, and it reflected them all. The mural was a living thing, and it was their soul, telling a tale of the past while also being a product of the present and growing towards the future. It was created by a group – it was them, and they were it -, and over time, the group had grown. The more brightly colorful and visible parts of the mural attracted many people who marveled at it, and many who wanted to join the artists creating it.

Many artists had joined before, and have contributed to this project. Some had grown the greater image and helped to shape what it was, others took their colors and moved somewhere else in time, others sort of fit in but never really became artists.

Everyone loved the mural.

Those who were the newest, however, began to feel as if those who had been drawing since the beginning, the old guard, was harrumphing and standing with a sheet of glass. The new artists felt that what they had seen that called them over was not what had been painted. They also felt as if they had been invited to a group project, only to discover that the project was at an end. They felt the Old Guard, even if they were some good people, people they could like, were… happy with the mural. And defensive of it.

They felt that that the whole image was not shown and that the visible parts told a completely different story, one they did not like, and felt lied to when the promise and beauty that they had seen seemed to be an illusion. They felt excluded, that the Old Guard was refusing to let the mural grow anymore, to change to incorporate their voices and their paints.

Why had they been invited, had they been welcomed, to this collaboration that did not want to add their voices to the choir and their paints to the wall?
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Both of these stories are true … and both of these stories tell the true history of the same incident.

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There Will Be Drama.

July 22, 2010 at 10:04 am (stories) (, , , , , , )

That was what I was going to call my blog when I had the first idea of blogging about WoW. Almost a year ago, now, when one guild was slowly falling apart as it was due to a lot of the core being somehow disillusioned with all the Cataclysm news, and leaning towards Aion.

“Hey, speaking of WoW-killers, what’s a one-word joke?” “Aion.”

I had no intention of going, especially because the beta left me thoroughly unimpressed and there was no endgame that I would appreciate. And so, knowing he and the other officers would leave the guild when we downed Arthas (at the very latest, when Cata came out), he said he would leave me to run the guild. Around the same time, the guild was splitting into two faction camps – ‘his people’, and ‘my people’, because our visions that we both founded the guild on, and the people they and we had attracted, weren’t working out together. And when eight of our members started spending no time in WoW except to raid and spent the rest playing the Aion beta or early release, those who remained began to feel disillusioned, that most of leadership was out of touch and just using those who remained to aggrandize their own raiding, it was suggested – and I began to consider – that really, he should step down now.

And when he did, there would have been changes. But that time never came, we just argued to the point that I couldn’t take what our guild had become, and then on the heels of a ridiculous argument, I finally gquit. I lurked for a bit getting my affairs in order, and then took Mathorvos to Alliance side and Azgalor.

I knew, though, that to run the show is to deal with drama. The blog was originally not going to be yet another Hunter blog, but rather a blog about picking up the gm hat to go with my officer’s stars and what that journey was like, and the drama that followed.

Why do I mention this, now?

Because I have left Brotherhood of Oblivion. The story is too much to tell here, because the story isn’t what happened in terms of who said or did what. The truth of the story is in how those involved perceived events that happened, and how those perceptions and mis/understandings colored their future perceptions and influenced those actions. And right now, there are two major stories who only agree on the most basic of facts and actors, mutually incompatible narratives about why it happened.

Ultimately, I left some friends behind. I left behind some people who’s company I enjoy. But I knew I did the right thing when, being sad that no one replied in farewell to my parting forum post, I was invited to Stands in Bad – and almost everyone whose reply would have meant a damn said in /g that it was nice to see me there.

I have been digging into the story and seen a relatively catastrophic clash of miscommunication and misunderstanding. I have learned a lot, both in the positive “this seems to have worked, albeit to little because it is far too late” and in the negative “this does not work.” My attitudes have grown and I have learned from these events.

I thought to use them, as I told the then-GM of BoO, and now-GM of Stands in Bad, to start my own guild. And that was when I learned that so much of what I wanted to do with a new guild was a part of Amber’s plan. Believing myself more to be an (excellent) officer than a commander, and not wanting to butt guilds on two very similar visions, I resigned my commission in BoO for a number of reasons I don’t desire to get into in public, and accepted a commission in Stands in Bad.

It is still Lieutenant Huntard. Just in a new guild. I am Mathorvos, and I Stand in Bad.

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Things To Do In Azeroth When You’re Blue

January 11, 2010 at 11:22 pm (stories) (, , )

Dear Mathorvos,

Yes, I know you’re confused. You went to bed one day a bishie blood elf hunter, curled up in one of the Hammocks of the Dirty Beast because 99% of the time you still log out at an inn even though you’re 80, and woke up the next with a sore head, blue boobies, and in the middle of the Exodar, wondering what the hell just happened.

I know you miss having Cam Clarke’s voice, but we all do. We all do. I know you’re not yet used to being Alliance. Or being a chick. It’s still weird to see you! But despite the hooves, the tail, the horns, and, yes, the blue boobies, you’re still the same ol’ hunter. When you whistle, Spiffykitty comes running, and is still the same awesome cat you’ve had for 61 levels. When you point at stuff, things die. You just now sound russian. And female. And look at it like this – while we all agree that Garrosh Hellscream is just awful, you can NOW kill him. You will, when Cata comes out. Lok’tar Ogar! Uhm, I mean, For The Alliance! Yes. Indeed.

But this also means when you get to Dalaran, when you want to log at an inn, or look at badge gear, or get the cooking daily, or get a portal, don’t walk into Sunreaver’s Sanctuary! They don’t recognize you anymore! Even after twenty times, they’re not going to just go “oh hai there” and let you in to reward your endless persistence or accede to a year’s worth of developed habit. You’re just going to have to learn to go to the place with the beer garden. Yes, there is a beer garden now. The tavern isn’t as welcoming, and there’s no big feast laid out, but it’s got Dwarves serving teh beer!

No, I know you got smashed before you woke up a Draenei, but I promise it won’t happen again! Your new home is better and not gonna turn out all untenable on you. Promise!

Likewise, I know you’ve got rapport with all the tellers at the North Bank, it’s where you’ve dumped thousands of gold and mats into the guild bank and filled your bank with glowing things, but when people are looking to do business, on “the steps of the bank”, it’s South Bank. Yeah, it’s not as cool, but hey, gold is always cool, and service might mean bigger tips than having them come to you. South Bank now! Just be glad it’s not West Bank.

Sure, It’s a kind of despondent feeling not knowing your way around anymore, waking up in The Exodar and not even knowing how to get back to Northrend without a port, your potions of water walking or panoply of winged mounts from drakes to gryphons to hyppogriffs unable to just travel there by foot and flight, and you had to stop and ask a nice gnome warlock for directions, but now you know where you’re going, and you even only tried to land on Ogrim’s Hammer once.

… Boy, we learned that lesson fast.

Just, a final note: when you’re riding around on your nice new Elekk and being maybe even taller than a troll (since they never mastered the /posture emote), remember to DUCK. Those doors you could just run through before, on your raptor? Now they won’t let you through. Your helm is starting to get dented, hon.

Still, the new guild sure is fun, isn’t it! I know it’s confusing, but you’ll adjust in time, just like you adjusted to all the old things. Meanwhile, keep having fun!

Signed,
your player.

p.s.: it sure was cool riding into Stormwind on the back of Frostsaber while Mars, Bringer of War hums along in the background, was it? Sure couldn’t do that as a Blood Elf!

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“Self?”
“Yes, self?”
“You’re talking to your character.”
“Yes I am.”
“Which is pretty much the same as talking to yourself, isn’t it?”
“Hrm. Yeah, I guess it is.”
“You’re not BRK, self.”
“… No, I’m not.”
“Self, are you going crazy?”
“… Am I going crazy? Why no, no I am not.”

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You never go full Huntard

December 31, 2009 at 8:45 am (stories) (, )

And yet, sometimes, it happens anyway. This is the story of how my life got flipped turned upside down I found that, you can do oh so good for so long, but, like darkness, huntardation always comes.

One day:
“Hey, let’s run Utgarde Pinnacle for achievements and try to get the blue drake! Besides, they now drop Conquest emblems!”

(…yeah, this is an older story, and despite being ancient and dusty news, it has yet to be lived down.)

Group forms up from guild, Quin, our illustrious healer and charm against death, who did the dubbing, was healing. I forget who the rest were – it doesn’t matter, they were still witnesses. Cleave through trash like they crossed our enrage timer, and get to Svala Sorrowgrave in short order. Quin, it bears noting, has a litte goose (affliction warlock, or “afflock”) alt.

We show Svala that being reborn in hot, frosty undead valkyrie glory is no good if a group of plucky, overgeared raiders are right there to clip your wings. It ends with her last Ritual of the Sword phase on me, and the sword is ticking down.

Do I move? No. I keep DPSing her.

Svala dies. Do I move THEN? Nah – she’s so dead (‘how dead is she?’), she won’t be alive when the countdown ends.

And what do you know? She dies before I do!

The boss fight is over! The danger is over! Loot is being distributed!

This is what happens next, in very quick succession and short order:
Mathorvos: *attends to loot*
Sword: *FALLS ON MATHORVOS’ HEAD, ROFFLESTOMPS*
Whole run: “WTF JUST HAPPENED?”

So, yeeeeaaaah. When you kill Svala, the sword doesn’t go away. It keeps falling. And if you’re dumb, or oblivious, enough to keep standing under it, it’s going to go STABBY STABBY WHEE all over your face.

You know who else stands under swords instead of moving? Pets. Because they don’t have the AI for it.

…And this, folks, is why, to this day, I’m still occasionally refered to as “Warlock Pet.”

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