An Idiot In Azeroth Part Four: I Am No Longer A Tourist

When I was 19 years old I lived in New York for three months. The largest city I had ever visited previously was Glasgow, population: 500,000. Tiny in comparison.

For the first week I wandered New York City with my head pinned to the sky, the back of my skull glued to the base of my neck. Complete awe. This place. The scale of it. The possibilities. It’s a miracle I didn’t get robbed.

I’ll never forget my last day in the city.

Just before I left for the airport a man approached me in the street. He had a broad cockney accent.

“’Scuse me mate, how do I get to Madison Square Garden?”

A simple enough question, but I knew the answer and I gave him that answer. I was overwhelmed. In three months I had gone from a googly-eyed tourist to the kind of person who could confidently give others instructions. It felt amazing.

On Friday night, I was playing World of Warcraft. My brother in-law, after reading this series, had decided to start the game for the first time. We played alongside each other. He was manually clicking corpses for loot.

“Hey, if you push shift and click, you automatically pick up all the stuff.”

I’m hardly an expert — I’m still an Idiot In Azeroth — but I don’t feel like a tourist anymore.


The weekend just passed was a difficult one for me. My personal circumstances are conspiring to make it very difficult to play World of Warcraft. With a demanding job, an 18 month old child, and other commitments, sitting down for even an hour a night seems impossible. If I want to play I have to grab those spare moments and make them count. Sadly this has the potential to make gaming feel more like just another chore I need to tick off my list. It’s not always ‘me time’. It’s often ‘time I need to spend in order to continue writing this series’.

One of the major obstacles at this particular point in time is the fact that – in two weeks’ time – I’m moving house. I’m also in the process of finding a tenant for the apartment I’m leaving. If you’ve ever had to cart a shit ton of stuff from one place of residence to another you know what’s involved: boxes. A lot of boxes. And packing those boxes.

Long story short: my Sunday involved a lot of legwork. I estimate I wandered from my house to the local Westfield roughly four or five times: for lunch, for groceries, for an inordinate amount of stuff. And boxes. Lots of boxes. It was a shit-boring day that felt as though it would never end.

At the end of it all, I sat down to play World of Warcraft. That’s when I stumbled across the level 1 NPC some of you know as ‘Billy Maclure’.

Or as I now know him: that steaming little shit-dick who makes me jump through hoops for XP.

Here's the list of shame: first I have to talk to him because he stole a necklace. Then the little bastard won’t give me any info until he gets a goddamn pie for some reason. Then I have to kill some poor placcid, harmless boars in order to get the ingredients for the pie. Then I need to take those ingredients back to the woman whose necklace he stole so she can make the pie. What. The. Hell?

Then I have to take the goddamn pie back to Billy so he get his grubby little thieving paws into it.

But that's not the end. Billy informs me that he accidentally lost the necklace in a mine! What a level 1 child was doing fucking around in a mine filled with level 5 Kobolds I have no earthly idea — but apparently he shit bricks in the face of some gold-toothed bastard and ran off. Now I have to head back to the mine in question and slaughter some otherwise innocent Kobolds miners in search of this goddamn necklace. Fuck you Billy.

How many must suffer? How many must die as a result of Billy Maclure and his criminal ways? How many must be slaughtered in his name? First it was those poor boars, their tender flesh baked inside a delicious pie. Now it’s countless Kobolds — all they want is some peace and quiet to mine for candles.

Billy Maclure you little scamp. A king’s ransom for that bastard’s head on a plate.

Point being: after a long hard day collecting boxes, packing those boxes, heading back to Westfield for more boxes. Heading back to Westfield to get lunch. Heading back to Westfield when the lightbulb in my kitchen blew out. Heading back to Westfield to buy the garlic bread I forgot to buy. After spending all morning and afternoon partaking in what amounted to one single enormous, real life fetch quest, I chose to spend my precious spare time carting about Elwynn Forest looking for a necklace.

It was a chore-like end to chore filled day.


But how can you deny it? How can you deny that urge?

I could have stopped playing. I had every excuse. I was tired. I really wanted to play Destiny. I wanted to watch TV. I wanted to sleep to be perfectly honest. I’d been awake since 5am.

Yet I kept on. Billy Maclure got his delicious pie and Bernice Stonefield finally got her bloody necklace back. Literally ‘bloodied’ in the claret of boars and Kobolds.

And you know what? I can't deny it. I wanted this. I wanted to keep playing. I didn’t want to stop. Truth be told I found it difficult to stop.

My head is no longer pinned back, the back of my skull is no longer planted on the base of my neck. I am not a tourist. I am one of you.

You can read previous entries into the Idiot in Azeroth series here.


Comments

    change the loot settings in options to auto loot or whatever it is. Then just right click the corpse and you get all the goodies from ALL the corpses in an area
    Ahhh Mark, they go under different names, but you'll encounter plenty more 'Billy's'.

    Last edited 21/07/14 1:07 pm

      My personal favourite Billy was Talvash Del Kissel in Ironforge. Back in vanilla, back before it was possible to turn in the steps of the quest without going back to ironforge, back before you could just port in and out of an instance, back when that place took an inordinate amount of time and mobs most assuredly had respawned by the time you made it back and as a result were required to reclear the instance not once, not twice but thrice...just for a shitty little ring.

      My shortlist included the kid who keeps getting kidnapped in Nagrand, Wrathion and Hemet Nesingwary with a special mention of the old onyxia attunement quest in general but especially for horde, nobody does full runs of BRD.

        Bloody Corkie, that asshole. Me and my mates were just talking about his dopey ass the other night lol.

    - And you know what? I can’t deny it. I wanted this. I wanted to keep playing. I didn’t want to stop. Truth be told I found it difficult to stop.

    THIS sums up why I never played it in the first place. Godspeed Mark.

    What realm are you on Mark?

      You mean the server? Man, I'm not too sure. I'm a noob and I don't pay attention to things!

        You mean this guy? :)

        http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/khazgoroth/Serrels/simple

        Aww man, wish you were on Frostmourne!

          Get lost, Khaz is where all the bodacious radical dudes hang out.

          Also - Alliance.

          Worst. Choice. Ever.

    "with a demanding job" - reposting other sites articles and YouTube videos can't be that demanding?

      Funny, I could have sworn this was a thousand word article I just wrote in a couple of hours.

        Well done to you. Take the rest of the year off.

          Let's just agree that Orphan Black is a cool show.

            How about a thousand-word article on it?

              You'd probably just complain that this was a gaming site, so nah.

                Stop feeding the troll mark =P It'll try to follow you home!

            i totally agree!

              I haven't watched Season 2 yet. I really need to get on that.

                You have plenty of time to catch up! ;)

      Mark actually puts alot of effort and time into what he writes its usually once a blue moon you might see a "filler" article from him or a "clickbait" story.
      Go and check out his other articles and youll realise your comment is worse than what you claim he apparently does.

        Are you reading the same articles as I am? You should go back and check too.

          I feel like you should just stop wasting your time on Kotaku right now. You should just close all your open Kotaku tabs and do something else. If you want gaming news and articles you can check out one of the many other gaming sites on the net. Trolling the Kotaku AU site and contributing to this community in such a negative way, where you're trying to bait one of the editors into a fight just make you seem, for lack of a better word, sad.

            Opinion = trolling? Great, thanks for the input ;)

          I did read it, it was good, different from a few words and not much else by other writers. Marks been doing this series for a bit now and its more an editorial than gaming news and its a welcome change, I'd much rather read ones opinion on a game than read a 25 words or less article on something trending on reddit

            I was referring to his body of 'work', that you were also referring to...

    Everytime I see the article picture I just imagine you swearing at anything and saying how pointless everything in the game is in a broad Northern accent Mark :D You should write to Pilkington and see if he wants to join you in Azeroth (interesting bit of random useless knowledge, type in 'Karl' into Google and now Karl Pilkington comes up before Karl Marx...)

    @markserrels how did you go choosing your specialisation?

      It was dumb. I chose one handed or shield or something. I chose it because I was using a oner handed weapon at the time. Short sighted thinking basically.

      BUT dat shield bash dough.

        Levelling prot warriors is OP as hell. Mostly one-shot most mobs of a similar level. You can also just pull heaps of mobs at once and not die. Once you get devastate and revenge gg

          Agreed. Love my Prot warrior to bits. Walk into a mob, tank the crap out of all the damage, walk away unscathed. Rinse repeat, complete quests in record time

          Levelling any tank has been great since Wrath but it's not quite that great without an heirloom weapon at least.

        Warning, chum: You have chose the TANK SPEC.
        This is fine for levelling up, but if you start doing dungeons (once you hit 15) it'll be your job to grab the aggro off of every monster ever, while your teammates do all the damage. (Ironically, tanks tend to do the most DPS while levelling, at least until the much later levels.)

        So basically every time a monster is targeting someone who isn't you, use one of your taunts and you'll be fine and nobody will yell at you.

          Yeah I was laughing with my hunter just last week. At level 40ish I was averaging the most DPS in the group. Except for the tank. WTF tank, you're doing 36% of the dmg and everyone else is struggling to top 20%. Just embarrassing really :P

            Dat tank AoE damage

              Yeah I never thought it was much till I went back to my main, a brewmaster monk, and my god the AoE dmg... Tis cray cray!

          This is good advice.

            I'd really recommend doing dungeons as early as possible. They're a great way of changing the game up a bit, and more importantly you can queue for them and continue questing! Might be worth asking your mate from Melbourne who popped by the other day on his 2 seated mount for some tips.

              I'd recommend having an experienced player who's levelling with you and on voice chat with you directing you while you learn dungeons and tanking, that's what I did for my brother in law

        Lol first time and you went a tanking spec Mark.... Be warned once you start doing Dungeons, most people have little or no patience for a first time tank! =P If you get the chance I highly recommend re-specing to a dps talent spec. Tanking has a steep learning curve since you basically control the pace of a dungeon run and need to be aware of all mechanics that affect yourself and your group.

        Edit: You don't hit this steep learning curve until you reach Cata dungeons (78+) where the difficulty suddenly skyrockets. So until then you'll probably be fine!

        Last edited 21/07/14 1:48 pm

        Protection Warrior is actually great for leveling. 3 more levels and you can queue up for dungeons.

      Obligatory re-linking

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yihAMR0lsLk

        I expect an epic 3 parter in the future dude. make sure you are there the first time he goes exploring in darkshire by swimming across the river and worgen jump him.

        I swear someone needs to follow Mark around and stream it

          As Klutar will tell you, just ask yourself what Randy from South Park would do, and that's pretty much what I'm doing in every situation.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWxLanshXw4

    Damnit Mark! You're not leveling fast enough :P

    Are you enjoying yourself though? I found leveling to 90 solo with the occasional help from a mate much more fun than just getting power leveled through EVERYTHING. Also you can get a mount at level 20 these days. It's worth it, trust me!

      I'm honestly really enjoying it. I've only played for about 7 hours because of LIFE AND BABIES but it's been a real education and I think I'll continue to play after I finish with the series.

        Damn that life, always getting in the way of escapism *shakes fist*

        Glad to hear you'll keep playing. When there's no pressure to play and no urgency to level it's just such a fun game to muck around in ^_^

          Heh the big thing will be whether you keep playing once the month is up or not and so far it looks like you're hoping you can

    oh mark, Esc, Interface, and check the box that says auto loot. and bam you no longer have to hold down the shift key when looting to grab everying ( why its not on by default ill never understand.. the same goes with having A and D for turning left and right when they should be automatically bound to strafing)

      Also enable aoe-looting

        oh yeah forgot that AoE looting isnt automatic on MoP, its automatic the WoD Beta though ( there no option to disable it either, not that you want to disable it)

    Idle thoughts about Billy, Mark.
    Something I really need to do at some point for a fresh playthrough... Try taking an actual inventory of the murder you've committed and the other dubious acts of theft, sabotage, poisoning and torture that you commit through the course of your 'Hero' career, with the worst possible spin.

    My brothers and I have joked that our characters are sociopathic murder agents whose sole motivation is money - or worse, experience. As in... killed a man to watch him die, experience.

    Somewhere in the course of fantasy tropes and exploration of combat systems we all kind of just normalized the 'glorious murderer for hire' mentality in a race to level cap, very rarely ever stopping to take stock of just how... reprehensible our actions were.

    An outsider view on something like Billy's true nature definitely provokes curiosity on that point. Because I definitely remember doing some distinctly questionable stuff. And some stuff for which there was never any question at all; just outright Evil.

      oh god i cant wait till Mark gets to northrend and does "THAT" quest hehe. What will he do, will get over and done really quickly or will he keep it open to leave it as stress relief

    Loving this series - keep it up mate. :)

      I love this too, posting a comment to keep you motivated Marky :)

    Mark, you may get some nice entertainment from this old video now thta you have just endured Billy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTBo52IFHbE

    A simple enough question, but I knew the answer and I gave him that answer. I was overwhelmed. In three months I had gone from a googly-eyed tourist to the kind of person who could confidently give others instructions. It felt amazing.Haha, so much this. The first time I started offering advice to others bouldering, suggesting moves to make to help them get through. I still feel weird about it talking to guys who I know are better than me though :P

    Moving tip: if you get boxes from Kennards they buy them back afterwards.

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