Friday, May 16, 2008

A Magnanimous Benefactor

It didn't come about the way I'd anticipated, but I'm finally carrying a title: Gweryc of the Shattered Sun. I deliberated on the issue of taking the title for some time. In the end, it wasn't a question of gold. It actually came down to my feelings about the Shattered Sun storyline.

The best quest chain I've ever done was the Great Masquerade chain. You know the one. General Marcus Jonathan, High Commander of Stormwind Defense, names you a hero before charging you with escorting Reginald Windsor to slay Onyxia. City patrollers stand in awe as you march past them, marveling at the "living legend" Windsor, a man who needed your help. As a result of your heroic efforts, Stormwind itself stands still. The entire quest chain is one long lore-gasm, and if you give half a damn about the story of the Warcraft universe, you're made to feel absolutely an essential part of that lore.

The push to reclaim the Isle is nearly unique, in that the change produced by your exertions is persistent. If I kill Onyxia, she'll be back next week. I've likened the World of Warcraft to Hell in that way. I can imagine few realities worse that one in which your every effort is absolutely futile. You may change yourself, but nothing you do matters. But on the Isle, I have watched my efforts impact an army. And like Marcus Jonathan commanding an army to part before me, or Justine Demalier calling, "That one, Malagan ... Gweryc is his name," the characters around me confirm it. "I guarantee that without Gweryc, this whole offensive would have been a failure."

The more I worked at my daily quests on the Isle, the more I felt as if what I was doing mattered. I wasn't just grinding rep or gold -- I was part of an army, part of a team. Like the collaborative Gates of Ahn'Qiraj push, my guildmates and server-mates cared whether or not I was doing my part. And critically, as with the Great Masquerade chain, the NPCs seemed to care about me, Gweryc, a lore character too. "We've got your back, Gweryc!" "Everyone, look! It's Gweryc!" and so on.

In the end, it proved irresistible. As I survey the Isle of Quel'danas, as I see and hear that I have truly done something meaningful to drive despair into the heart of Kael'thas Sunstrider, I feel proud to bear my title.

1 comment:

Brian Westley said...

You're right that there are a lot of trinkets/weapons/armor/items to reduce threat, but hardly anything that adds threat. The only thing I could find is a 9% drop unique consumable from Stratholme, the Clutch of Foresight, which is like a one-shot counterspell. I suppose a misfiring Gnomish Remote Control when it makes a mechanical mob "very, very angry" might count, too.