Choose My Adventure: Da udder half lives

Eliot Lefebvre
E. Lefebvre|07.27.11

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Choose My Adventure: Da udder half lives
I remember thinking quite distinctly that I was ready to be done with the Tier 1 scenarios, oh, forever ago. It's not that Nordenwatch is inherently a bad scenario; it's just that when you see it often enough, you start to get sick of it. So I was very happy when the voting closed on last week's poll and I saw that I had a very different list of scenarios available to me in Warhammer Online. That had probably happened several levels ago, sure, but I hadn't been queueing.

Unfortunately, I found out that Oscar Wilde's old chestnut about the gods granting our wishes when they want to punish us proved entirely accurate. Jump on past the break for this week in Klurgind's somewhat less than epic adventure, with the caveat that it's going to be just a wee bit depressing in places. But hey, I never promised this story had a happy ending.

Here, I'm just going to get this out of the way right off the bat -- during the entire time that I played, I was queued for scenarios that never popped.

I played in early hours, late hours, peak hours, off-peak hours, I played for long sessions and short ones, I even briefly considered playing while doing a prayer to the random number generator. Nothing. The grand total number of scenarios that popped was zero. I earned no renown or experience via scenarios because I did not participate in any scenarios.

The queue was dead. Very dead. "I went AFK while guarding the postern door of a keep" dead. "I'm a Discipline of Khaine and I'm going to melee without any support" dead. "No, this jump is totally survivable" dead.

Remember how I was saying that progress got a bit frustrating due to the emptiness of the ORvR areas in Tier 2? This makes it downright unusable. If you skip out on ORvR and opt for Scenarios instead, you are essentially being locked out of Renown, and it doesn't take a spreadsheet to see the impact that RR has on your gameplay. Between the fairly large stat boosts that you get as a result of Renown and the fact that it grants access to some pretty blightedly powerful armor sets, you need to be gaining those points as you level.

That was frustrating. The quests were a different matter.

See, I read the quest text. Always have, always will. I admit that a large part of that comes back to my lifelong enjoyment of silly little things like pretending that I'm actually an orc, but it doesn't change the fact that I do read the quests I'm undertaking and try to get involved in the world around me. It's one of the ways I connect with the game. So I was looking forward to getting a better look at the world in which Warhammer Online takes place, a world filled with dark magic and the horrible, crushing onslaught of Chaos.

Okay, let's start simple. I'm being sent to harvest ten souls of villagers from snrk.

Whoops, sorry, dropped off there for a minute. Let's try again. There's a corrupt noble in charge of defending the town of snrk.

Aw, jeez, again? Okay, I'm going to stay focused here. I have to go and grab a scepter off an altar, I'll just navigate over here and then my girlfriend is shaking me and asking why I'm drooling asleep on an expensive keyboard.

One of the (many) things that finally turned me off from World of Warcraft was the grotesque simplification of characters into caricatures. But for all the points WAR traditionally gets with its extremely dark story, it winds up being even worse in this regard. The forces of Destruction are unambiguously hateful and dedicated to chaos and murder and death and fire and kicking puppies when they aren't busy eating said puppies for breakfast. The forces of Order are almost deified simply by association. There's no sense of actual people behind the quests, no sense of personality, just mindless slaughter of one group or the other.

And I'm sure that part of it is just me. The forces of Destruction are made up of people who are at best amusing (Greenskins) and at most outright uncomfortable (Raven Host). It's not as if the game dances around this; Destruction isn't supposed to be misunderstood or justifiable or in any way sympathetic. But it makes it a lot harder to cheer for victories over people that are essentially cowering in fear, and it turns my character necessarily into an awful person doing awful things for awful reasons. So I found myself pretty unengaged by questing.

Last but not least, there's the simple fact that the quest text is pretty dull. I admit it's hard stuff to make interesting, but come on, this is really not beyond the realm of possibility. If you wrote an entertaining bit of quest text, it would be a lot easier for me to take slaughtering fifteen villagers for no reason in stride. Go for the whole Refuge in Audacity bit, go all the way.

So this was not the best week for my time in the game. But that time is just about over, so as I turn back to ORvR for the last week of play (in the vague hopes of getting somewhere), our last poll is going just a little bit meta. Bear with me here.


This time, I'm going to do something a little different. There are seven options there, and I'm going to be covering the top three. Yes, that does include the Choppa song, there is in fact a Choppa song, and it will be included if that's one of the top three votes. I'd like to think we have better things to do, but hey, I'm not in charge here.

What happens next in Eliot Lefebvre's adventure? It all depends on the choices you make on Choose My Adventure! What path will he choose? Only you can determine that! And the best part is that you can keep reading every Wednesday until you've made not one but several different choices for him!
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