Thursday, September 23, 2021

Time to Set the Lens Down

For someone who tends to write enough on the blog, I've been at a loss the past week or so to come up with much of anything to write about.

Oh sure, there was our first foray into Serpentshrine Cavern, my experiences watching my youngest mini-Red play in a marching band in front of 40,000+ people*, listening to my son's DJ shift at his local campus radio station**, or my occasional ode to Gen Con, which was held this past weekend.***

But after having written those blurbs here, I just have found no motivation to go into detail about them.


Yes, I saw this video by CarbotAnimations. Yes, it hit hard. 

The nostalgia that this video invoked could apply to just about any other video game, board game, or pencil and paper RPG that I've played over the years. It may take a while, but eventually everyone reaches some point of disillusionment with any game or activity. 


For me, it just reminded me once more of the old days, with Rades, Vidyala, Shintar, Kamalia, Syl, Lara, Linedin, Tam, Larisa, Ophelie, and all the rest. It reminded me that most of us have moved on, some have vanished completely, and others have passed away. 

On the flip side, it also reminded me of when the Grey Death Legion blew apart, and then the successor guild Schizophrenic Psychos did the same less than a year later. (You could say that the Schizophrenic Psychos lived up to their name.) Or how Is Up To No Good rebranded but still couldn't stop most of its membership from fading away through Mists.

So all was not good in the before times, and I should take pains to remember that.


Likewise, things are not always so depressing now, either.

Although I landed on Myzrael-US because of Ancient, I have built friendships there.**** Very few survived the first few months, when people came and went in a mad rush, but persistence does have its own reward.

And I won't lie: the friendships I currently have in TBC Classic are as intense as they were back in the Old Days. I'm older now, more of a WoW Dad than someone their age, but I'm fine with that. I get to hear how their families are doing, how they are doing, and it connects me to a wider world in this Pandemic Age. 

Or just being there for when they
go full "...Squirrel!!!" mode...


What's best about this current crop of friends is that I'm pretty sure they have no idea how much their friendship means to me.***** I don't play WoW for the bling; I play for the friendships. And if I'm doing it right, those friendships will last longer than the game itself. For those from the Old Days, some of those friendships have truly persisted, and I hope that these will too.


Perhaps nostalgia is just a weirdly specific lens in which we view the world, blocking out all of the complications and the reality of what the past was truly like. Nostalgia can be a starting point, but letting it be an ending point is committing a serious mistake, and it's a lesson I need to learn more and more.


As a bonus, have a poem written by Bob Salvatore and narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, about the most famous Drow in D&D, Drizzt Do'Urden:

*Oh, and there was an (American) football game as well. This was how the game ended. Yes, it was that exciting. (Or insane. Your choice.) When you thought the game was over....

**The wonders of live streaming.

***I'm pretty sure my wife and I are going next year. If the mini-Reds want to come, great, but it's not a requirement.

****Ancient, if you're reading this --and I know you are-- come visit again!!! We'll go fishing!!!

*****Okay, one does. /waves "Hi!!"


  1. Why is it a good thing that your WoW friends don't know how much they mean to you? Isn't it best when everyone in a relationship is on the same page?

    1. Well, in my experience that's not necessarily a good thing.

      When I was a kid, I only had a handful of friends. I was the stereotypical nerd, in spite of being athletic enough to be on the school sports teams, and I was often bullied and isolated. Because of that, anything that resembled friendship I latched onto so that I'd have at least a few friends in my life. And now looking back on it, I realize that they were typically my 'friend' only if there was something that I owned that they did not have. Once they went out and got their parents to buy what I had, they'd ghost me unless they needed me for something or other. That they were all the children of salesmen, who likely had their 'transactional' nature of friendship imprinted on them by their parents, never occurred to me until much much later when I was watching a performance of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman.

      When I went away to university I left those 'friendships' behind, but old habits die hard. I've been and continue to be extremely wary about opening up to people, lest they decide to manipulate my friendship for their ends. The semi-anonymous nature of print blogging has allowed me to open up a little, particularly given that print blogging as a format is pretty dead compared to other forms of social media. (And yes, in case you're wondering, that lack of opening up to people includes my wife. There's plenty about me that she doesn't know, even after over 3 decades of being in a relationship, and I keep it that way. I guess I learned my lesson far too well.)

    2. So from my skewed viewpoint, if people knew how much I valued their friendship I still have this idea in my head that they'd use that knowledge to manipulate me into doing things that they wanted. I fear it may take a lifetime for me to unlearn those lessons.

  2. God Red, once again you're in my head. Hope you like the hamster wheels in there.

    2 nights ago, was a late night, casually questing in Zanger on my 65 mage and chatting with a couple guildies in discord. I'm an ancient 53 to their mid-20's, the WoW-Dad of the bunch. The idea that I play not for the glories and treasure of raiding, but to level as many toons as I can before the next expac, while enjoying the company of others whether it be in game or in voice or text chat. They were trying to wrap their heads around me not pushing for BiS gear on my toons. I'm competently playing my toons in raids, we're downing bosses, clearing Kara in about 2.5 hours...beyond that, it's pure ego. Seeing big numbers, sure, everyone enjoys that, but if they don't come and I'm still exiting the raid feeling happier than when I went in? I've won the game.

    Of course, I'm talking to a destro lock that crits 3 times in a row for over 7k per, pulls aggro on the boss fight, and dies within 30 seconds of the pull.

    ' died and everyone had to step up to make up for your dps loss...'

    'Yeah, but 7k!'


    All in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. Sure, we downed the boss, at the end, that's what matters.


    1. Yeah, issues there. I've seen that sort of thing out of the Mages in Classic, where a huge crit + death is better than a lesser crit + surviving.

  3. I am still out here! I was just thinking the other day that I was so looking forward to Classic but when it came I remembered how it was, not just the good parts. Just much harder to play without a guild and I just never found one. By the time I thought a guild might be the "one" it had dissolved.

    The lucky part about that is as nostalgic as I get for the old days I don't have any fond guild memories of good guild times to remember. Luckily I'm fine with things like my hunt for Blanchy or the latest pet I need.

    And I look forward to meeting up again and fishing! TotA

    1. Maybe I ought to get that guild up and running after all, Ancient.