Tuesday, March 17, 2009

For the Horde!

I am not into PvP. It's just not the kind of content that appeals to me in the game. That's not to say that I have anything against it. Far from it. I appreciate the effort and especially the skill that goes into it as well as the the enjoyment that can be gained from it when it is done well and successfully.

So when my guild started setting up a super secret raid deep into alliance territory a couple of weeks ago, I thought "meh...". I didn't even think I would participate. As time went on and excitement mounted both on the guild forums and on officer chat (we use officer chat for any non-RP related conversations as /guild is a strictly in-character channel) I kinda had a change of heart. These are my guildies, my friends. There is no reason not to stand by them and help them out to achieve a common goal.

I spoke to Hyce, the mind behind all this and the leader of the raid, trying to find what would be the best way I could help. I would heal the raid, of course, but was there anything more I could do? Everyone in the guild, including Hyce, knows about my psychosis with alts. So he asked me to take my warlock (Nosima, who is still only level 70) into Stormwind and park her in a super secret location close to the King.

On Thursday night, I took Nosima to Westfall, swam up the coast and into Stormwind harbor. There were no players in evidence and the guards were only 65 non-elites. So I was OK. I swam up to one of the ramps on the South end of the pier and walked up. As soon as her feet were dry I mounted her up onto her dreadsteed and rode like the hounds of hell were after her. I managed to get her to the deeprun tram unscathed and parked her there, since I didn't know where Hyce's super secret Stormwind location was at the time. On Sunday night, after our scheduled OS and Malygos 25 and Malygos 10 runs, Hyce gave me coordinates to the super secret location (which I have sworn on a stack of Bibles, Qur'ans and other holy texts never to divulge) so I did some corpse jumping to get to it. I was, of course, easy prey to any level 80 alliance who saw me in Stormwind as well as to the level 75 elite guards that patrol around. The run across Elwynn Forest back to stormwind as a ghost is so long it almost elicits physical pain. But I made it. Three times. Throw in a soulstone resurrection and that makes four deaths.

Fast forward to Monday night. We headed to Ironforge first. Hyce asked for (and got) complete silence on vent. He was the only one we could hear and his instructions were followed. Not surprisingly, there was a summoning team already in situ at Ironforge (as there was in Stormwind). Within moments, the entire 40-man raid was there. We buffed, huddled in a corner, and then ran through town towards the King. AoEs took care of the guards and the Magni was dead within a minute after we got there. I think a grand total of seven alliance players tried to make a show of defense. All they got for their trouble was a run back from the graveyard. A portal got us to Orgrimmar seconds after the King was dead.

At this point, Hyce called for a 5 minute break before calling the continuation of the raid into Stormwind. I didn't understand the decision, given that the only thing it would do was give the alliance an opportunity to muster a defense. They had to know we were coming. It was interesting to watch the chat in /trade as we returned. People seemed excited that the Horde had made an uncommon move. Others bandied about the name "Mythos" (our guild) and yet others talked about a reprisal force of alliance mustering in the Valley of Spirits led by Mixler (a gnome mage of some repute in PvP circles on Feathermoon).

Eventually, Hyce called for Operation Stormwind so I switched over to Nosima. I managed to get a summoning stone up and the two other alts and I that were there managed to summon a few raiders before we were discovered and wiped out by a greater force of alliance that showed up. Thankfully, Nosima was in the process of logging out when they were hit so she managed to get out with just a sliver of health left.

We immediately turned around and were summoned to Auberdine, while planning to hit the Exodar. We JUST missed the boat, so in a snap decision, Hyce decided that Darnassus was the next target. We jumped off the ship before it reached the pier and didn't stop riding until we were inside the temple engaged with Tyrande. The Alliance defended a little more vigorously than they had before and we lost a shaman who got a bit overzealous and ran out of line of sight of his healers (way to go Oopsie!). Strangely enough the defenders allowed him to self-rez and run back into the fight. Tyrande lasted a little longer than Magni had and ultimately perished to a superior force.

Once we were back in Orgrimmar, without even waiting for a breath, Hyce ordered us back into Stormwind. I logged onto Nosima and took the time to bandage her up from the 220 health she was left with before summoning the demonic TV to bring everyone there. This time, we managed to get a sizeable force into the room before the Alliance scouts found us. Again, a number of overzealous (but very capable) alliance-killers (including Oopsie again) drifted forward and actually managed to aggro Varian Wrynn. Ever on the ball, Hyce managed to grab away the King and fight him in a corner while the most of the rest of the raid burned down alliance. We were still not all there. I think the last raider reached the room only seconds before Wrynn bit the dust. Still, this was the most resistance we had seen and Mixler was among the fallen.

Compared to Stormwind, the Exodar was almost a joke. Like in Ironforge, I think we saw a grand total of five or eight alliance that put up a token resistance, but nothing that seriously inconvenienced us.

Now, we proudly ride our black bears through Dalaran and I bet most of us have kept the letter from Thrall denoting our achievement. The experience wasn't truly PvP, I guess. It was more an exercise in stealth and subterfuge as well as a logistical manuever trying to get as many people into an enemy-infested area undetected. I had a lot of fun doing it (and strutting about later on my sparkly new black bear) but mostly I was glad I had spent time with my friends and accomplished something with them. In the end, I think that is the real reason I play the game: to socialize and share experiences with my friends.

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