Balance is important. Work, laugh, strive, sleep, be useful, relax . . . all these have places in our lives. One of the ways I let off steam is to play World of Warcraft (WoW), an online, multi-player game that honors productivity, humor, beauty, cooperation, and violence. Much of my spiritual background suggested violence was not a good thing (unless you were protecting someone very important to you). However, there are things in the world that make me very angry: sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, animal abuse, Earth abuse, corporate greed, you get the idea. Some people play sports or do physical activity to deal with their anger — I play WoW. And I play it PvE (players versus environment) instead of PvP (player versus player), so the violence is directed toward a computer person/thing, not another human being.
Created characters begin at level 1, and currently max out at level 90. I have six level 90s, and after playing with them the length of time it takes to get there, they each have distinct personalities (which are probably an extension of mine). Glada was the first to reach level 90. She is a Blood Elf (belf) frost mage, which means she uses long-range magic to fight. There are two primary factions in WoW: Horde and Alliance. Belfs are Horde, as are most of my characters. In PvP realms they are constantly fighting against each other, but in PvE realms there tends to be more cooperation and less animosity (on a player level). Glada is my Main, which means she is the one I play most. Over the last year or two, the Horde leader, Garrosh, has been a real jerk, destroying everything in the name of power. In January they added a string of dungeon battles where you could fight against Garrosh (even as a Hordie), and take him out of power. Glada participated in those [with the help of our real-life son, who plays very well], and it felt very good to see Garrosh go down. It would have been even more satisfying if they had named him Monsanto.
My next character to reach 90 was Wupo, another frost mage. She is a Pandarian, a race that was added in a recent expansion. Pandarians are neutral, and can choose to participate with the Horde or the Alliance at about level 15. Within the game there are guilds, groups of people who choose to play together and do things for the benefit of other guild members. Glada and Wupo both belong to the same guild, and reached 90 sooner because of the help of other guild members. Each character has two professions that focus on gathering (mining, herbalism, skinning) and/or production (alchemy, inscription, tailoring, blacksmithing, engineering, enchanting, jewelcrafting, leatherwork). While Glada gathers only (gatherers tend to make more money), Wupo is a miner/engineer. She was created solely because I wanted my characters to have a motorcycle. 🙂 While you can buy one from another player (via the in-game monetary system), they are expensive. So I leveled Wupo and made my own.
My third character to reach 9o is Ahnwee, another frost mage belf. I created her name to express the general boredom that tends to be an attribute of belfs. As the first one I created on another server, she is also strictly a gatherer. Have not played her as much lately, but she is patient and waits for me. Don’t really like her shoulder armor; they are created for PvP characters, but were the best I could get at the in-game Auction House. When I do get around to playing her again, will have her go to the Timeless Isle (a region in the game) and get some stronger and better looking armor.
My fourth character to reach 90 is Silversage, a Tauren elemental shaman. My first character was a Tauren, and I have a fondness for the area they come from and their attitude toward life and the Earth. They honor the Earth, and will not seek conflict, but if you start a fight with one they can be very formidable in battle. They are a member of the Horde mostly because they needed help in keeping Humans from taking over their land. Silversage uses the elements to fight her battles (long-range and close-up), and is an alchemist, creating potions that help her and others be more skillful or protected in the game. Shamen also make excellent Healers, although I did not choose that path for Silversage because she tends to play alone.
Periclosa is my fifth level 90, and the first Alliance character I got to that point. She is a Night Elf beast mastery hunter, and while all hunters have animal companions to help them, beast masters have a closer bond, sharing health and strength with their companion. Some beast masters collect many companions, but Periclosa only has the one, Ombra. Ombra is the one who gets up close to the enemy, while Periclosa shoots arrows at them from a distance. Between the metal armor she wears, and the help of Ombra, Periclosa can be a formidable fighter, taking on difficult targets that would be more dangerous for the mages.
Finally, we have my newest 90, Vrede. She is a frost mage Gnome, Alliance, and an alchemist like Silversage. Alchemists not only make potions (which can be very expensive when purchased in-game), but transmute elements and stones from one thing into another. Living Steel is an important ingredient in many engineering projects, and only Alchemists can make it. Hence, Silversage and Vrede leveled faster than other characters I play. In fact, Vrede leveled from 13 to 90 in about a minute. 🙂 Blizzard (who makes WoW and similar games) is releasing an expansion to WoW in December, and as part of their pre-release package they offered a one-time instant level to any one of your characters. My husband has a character who will need Living Steel, so I created Vrede. I’ve actually created a lot of Gnomes over the years, because I like their friendly, sassy attitude. And there is something very satisfying about taking down a very large enemy with a tiny Gnome.
This post is twice as long as my normal ones, but that is what happens when a gamer starts talking about their game of choice. At least you could ignore it when you had enough, and I didn’t actually see your eyes glaze over. 🙂