I receive this tweet from a friend, literally seconds after logging off from a two hour session in World of Warcraft.
“Great,” I think. “What have I done now?”
Then it clicks. No. It couldn’t be. Surely not.
I had spent the majority of the last 30 minutes killing Murlocs. Frightful little creatures. I still have an irrational fear of the froggy bastards since they were literally the first thing to kill me when I started World of Warcraft roughly 10 days ago. Now, in the midst of some pointless, grindy fetch quest, I was in the process of slaughtering them for their torn-up fins for some reason. Fear my wrath Murlocs. I was once a fat useless lump of flesh for you little bastards to chomp on, now tremble in the face of this mighty level 9 warrior with his big hammer thing.
During my routine squashing of Murlocs, I noticed a few messages pop up on my screen. They were mostly pithy remarks, mostly focused on how much of a noob I was. “Where did these messages come from,” I wondered, before writing them off as the workings of some 30-something troll resembling the slouched, pony-tailed WoW stereotype from that infamous South Park episode.
But every now and then I noticed a presence, a character on the periphery that seemed to drift in and out. I didn’t see it as noteworthy – this sort of thing happens in WoW all the time. It’s called an MMO for a reason: massive amounts of players can be online at any one moment. This was just another dude.
And I was done for the night anyway. Real life was calling. Those dirty dishes in the sink weren’t gonna wash themselves.
I logged out. One final message from the troll:
“NOOOOOOOOO WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOU HAVE TO LOG OUT AT AN INN.”
What… Oh, you were trying to help me strange troll? Didn’t see that coming.
Seconds later I receive that tweet: “You monster.”
It can’t be.
I make the connection.
I reply: “Tell me that wasn't you following me about it WoW just now.”
“Yup, fem Draenei warrior. You didn't even reply in chat. BUT YOU DIDN'T LOG OUT IN AN INN.
“I flew around with a target macro looking for you lol.”
I know this guy in real life and he found me. In the goddamn game. Wow.
Or more specifically: WoW.
Klutar, real name Mark. AKA Alaela, a level 90 Draenei warrior. He convinced me to delay the dish washing for at least five minutes, enough time for him to guide me to an Inn to get the rested XP bonus I wasn’t aware of until precisely 10 minutes ago.
What happened next was life changing.
I log in. I wait. A swooshing noise in the distance. My eyes a-goggle.
In a strange, otherworldly whirlwind, Klutar flies in like Falcor from the Never Ending Story and lands gracefully at my feet. I am a caveman and he is a shimmering God from a distant future. My puny brain cannot comprehend. Who is this creature, what is this wizardry he wields? What is this black magic? I am literally an unwieldy brute wielding a club, Klutar is the master race and what he is about to do is beyond my understanding.
“Hop on,” he says, like Gandalf or Tom Cruise in Top Gun. “I’ll fly you to a nearby inn.”
He is Doc Brown from Back to the Future and I am Marty McFly.
Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need… roads.
A couple of awkward ‘how the hell do I get on this robot dog thing’ moments later and we’re off… soaring headlong into the sky, wind blasting through our hair, tears of joy streaming down my face. Ten minutes ago I was fighting a group of glorified frogs with daggers. Now I was above it all, filtering through the glorious night sky on a robotic horse with a level 90 warrior from another dimension. Me – fly? A level 9 scrub with a chunk of wood for a primary weapon? Who didn’t even think to log out at an inn? Who was having difficult disposing of shitty brown bears in Elwynn Forest. It was like being transposed through time and space to a glorious future I had no business being part of.
After a couple of minutes in flight Klutar drops me off at an Inn, like he promised he would. He is Aladdin on a magic carpet. I am Princess Jasmine. A whole new world, a whole fantastic point of view. I’m completely breathless.
He waves himself off and flies back into the night. He didn’t even stay for coffee.
Or, more specifically: WoW.
You can read earlier entries in the Idiot in Azeroth series here