22 Aug 2008

WoW FEATURE - Enter Dwarfhead

Who's got a Scottish accent, a large axe and a low boredom threshold?

Dwarfhead of course!

On August 18th 2008 a big bundle of beard and gruffness sprang into existence on the WoW realm of Alonsus and I've been nurturing him for a good ten hours since. After deciding to take the plunge, I quickly set up my character on a surprisingly basic creation screen and set to work immersing myself. Nice and easy.

There followed a cutscene that I didn't really pay attention to, mainly because it mentioned something about a war and the word 'lands' a lot in a rather wizened, old voice.

So far, so fantasy.

When I did break free from the generic intro, I found myself in a dark, snowy forest, next to some dwarves gathered around an open fire.

Dwarfhead had arrived! I quietly rejoiced.

I set to work finding my first quest, entirely expecting it to be something along the lines of meat-fetching and, to my un-surprise, it was. Not to be deterred though and not wanting to let Dwarfhead down on his first day, I headed into the woods to bag me some flesh, making for the first wolf I saw and not knowing anything of the combat mechanics. At that moment I wasn't even sure I had the skillset to fight off anything larger than a squirrel. Fortunately, I discovered that combat in WoW simply consists of right-clicking on an enemy once and waiting until either you or they are dead. There are other special attacks to use intermittently, but nevertheless, the most important skill to have here is patience. I endeavored to be patient.

It was a few minutes after embarking on my first kill-the-thing quest that I encountered a young something-or-other that began fighting alongside me. We chatted briefly over a wolf's warm corpse and he told me he was from Slovenia.

"Cool," I said. "I'm from England".

There was a pause as it typed something.

"How do you know about Slovenia?" he asked.

Now, I'm not an ignorant person, but anyone who knows me well enough will tell you that my grasp of geography is beyond terrible. This response was not what I had expected.

"How do you know about Slovenia?" it repeated and there followed an uncomfortable silence in which I wondered what kind of answer it was fishing for. Was I not supposed to know about Slovenia? Was it some sort of code word in this game? How do you satisfactorily explain the knowledge of something that just happens to be laying about somewhere inside your brain?

"I don't know. I just do." I eventually replied. There was another uncomfortable silence before the the thing turned and ran off. Whatever answer he was after was not the one I gave.

I sighed in relief and was struck by the realisation that I had learned my first MMO lesson: that my own social awkardness transcends video games.

No comments: