|More friends can never be a bad thing.|
It has been a really interesting week.
Last night, I took part in my first, and what I hope will not be my last, podcast. I spent an hour rambling inanely on Guild leadership, having someone to blame and (inevitably) Hunters with the lovely guys at Ready Check. I had an immense run though MSV with some of these guys on Sunday, and it made me realise just how important the community of people who play this game really are. It is easy to forget when you're in a Guild that you are only a small part of a very large whole, and I think reminding yourself of that fact at every available opportunity is never a bad thing.
Remembering why you 'talk the talk' is something everyone should do, as often as possible.
Having finally completed the Chi-Ji questline last night, I was initially rather disappointed that this was all there was, especially after WEEKS of waiting for the dailies to appear so I could complete it for the achievement. Then, this morning, I found this letter in my mailbox, and was forced to re-assess that initial reaction. This game, as I discussed last night with the guys, has never really been about the shiny loots for me. Yes, having my first epic is a feeling I can still remember, but the far more important and meaningful memories have nothing to do with the fights, and everything to do with the people I have met. I can't recall specific triumphs, but I can remember the emotional highs when everyone pulled together and beat stuff AS A TEAM. Like the Crane says, I don't do this with negative emotions, I'm not just here to show off or prove a point. I'm here because this is where my friends are.
I'm also reminded of the discussion earlier in the week about weapon drops, and entitlement. After weeks of waiting, my reward for completing Chi-Ji's trials isn't purple, or equipable. It's a piece of mail that tells me, quite simply, that I am a hero and I hold a place of honour in another of Pandaria's orders. The Shado Pan and I are already a solid fighting unit, and to have one of Pandaria's ancient guardians congratulate me is a far bigger deal than I grasped last night. It's also a better reward in the long term if my efforts mean that I can finally remove the Alliance and Horde from this new land and send them packing so these people can continue to live in peace. Maybe, just maybe, if I'm lucky they'll let me stay here as one of them too.
Inevitably, there are times in game when you question what you do. I will admit I've been through one of those personal soul-searching periods in the last few weeks, wondering why I am still doing what I do after all this time, and it has taken a bunch of people I've never met to re-invigorate my love of some aspects of the game I'd started to take for granted. However, when all is said and done, it is my motivation outside of the game that so often has a direct influence on what happens inside it. Now the sun is finally out here at ALT: ernative Towers there is a renewed enthusiasm for all things in life, both game-related and otherwise. Maybe I just needed it to stop raining and the sun to come out, metaphorically as well as physically, to make the outlook on things improve.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Ready Check for their hospitality (I believe the podcast will be available for digestion on Monday or thereabouts) and for reminding me, should I ever forget it, that talking a good game isn't nearly as important as doing it right for real. I'll be getting back into the new LFR his weekend as a result...