Monday mailbag

I’m writing this from Brackenwall Village.  (Thank goodness Spazzle set me up with some kind of why-fly doohicky that lets me still access the blog from out here, because believe you me, the ogres aren’t exactly pimped out when it comes to computer resources.)  I’ve been in Dustwallow for a bit, but so far I haven’t had the chance to get working on the Grimtotem prisoner.  Not long after I arrived, a Grimtotem raiding party attacked the village, so we were pretty busy fighting them off.

(Or, rather, most of the others here were pretty busy standing around watching in awe while I fought them off.  Gotta admit, I do have kind of a thing for killing Grimtotem.)

Anyway, as you might imagine, that didn’t go so well for them.  Still, it ate up a whole lot of time, and right now Dontrag and Utvoch are leading scouting parties to try to track down the survivors.  Once they get back, and Krog and the ogres are done shoring up the defenses (we’re probably going to step up patrols just to be safe), we can get back to work.

In the meantime I figured I could take care of this week’s mailbag.  Just a couple letters this week, but they’re pretty good ones.  The first one, in fact, wasn’t even sent to me directly, but was posted online as a sort of open letter, and I thought it might be fitting for me to offer an open response.  Here’s a short excerpt:

Dear Warchief Hellscream,

On behalf of myself and my co-workers Thathung and Grimful, I, Wabang, would like to announce that we are laying down our axes in peaceful protest, to formally ask you to give us back our former jobs as proud Orgrimmar Auctioneers.

I know when you became Warchief you thought you were doing us a favor by “freeing us” from what you called boring, tedious bookkeeper jobs. We could see how happy you were when you told us that we could finally don our armor and brandish our axes like the proud orc warriors we were, and not be stuck behind a desk any longer.

We appreciate the gesture, Warchief. We really do. It’s just that…well…we kind of liked being Auctioneers.

You may not realize this, but Thathung, Grimful and myself chose to be Auctioneers. We were not forced into it. We all carefully studied and honed our arithmetic to be able to perform an Auctioneer’s speedy calculations, and as you are no doubt aware, private tutoring by the Blood Elves is not cheap. Now that we have lost our jobs as Auctioneers, we can no longer afford to pay our outstanding debts, and the Grand Magister gets rather nasty/polymorphy when he is not paid.

This is just a small snippet of the original letter, which I’d really highly recommend everyone going and reading in full.  In fact, go do that now.  I’ll wait.

You done?  Wait, no?  The hell, dude?  Go read it.

No, seriously.

I’m waiting.

Okay, that’s better.  Now on with business.

And yeah, hoo boy, here we go.  Look, Wabang, I understand that you’re not thrilled with the arrangement.  To tell you the truth, I’m not so happy about it myself.  That is, you’re right on the one hand – all things being equal, I’d rather have orcs like you and Thathung and Grimful fighting like the orcish soldiers that you are, and it DOES make sense to have the goblins tending to things like the auction house and the bank, what with them being a whole lot less useful on the battlefield.  But I also hate to have you guys pushed out of the jobs that you liked.

I’m not going to try to hide behind it being some deal we cut.  Sure, Thrall was the one who made arrangements with Gallywix to bring the Bilgewater Cartel into the Horde, but first of all, he didn’t make him any special promises as far as jobs or privileges the goblins would be getting, and second and more importantly, really, even if he did, I wouldn’t give two shits about pissing off Gallywix.  It’s fucking GALLYWIX, for fuck’s sake – if anything the thought of annoying him is a bonus.

So here’s what it comes down to: right now in Orgrimmar, we’ve got way more people than we have jobs to keep them occupied.  The sudden influx of goblins didn’t help matters.  People like to give me grief over the slums that we’ve got in Orgrimmar right now, but contrary to what they might tell you, that wasn’t by design.  It’s just reality – after the Cataclysm, frankly, we only had so many resources to do so much rebuilding, and some part of town was going to end up getting the short end of the stick.  And when it came time to divvy up the areas, yeah, the least desirable part of town got left to the latest arrivals.  Well, them and the trolls.  But I don’t need to go on about them.  (Side note: if the goblins and trolls are going to complain about their slum, have them take a look over in the Valley of Wisdom.  Not my fault if the tauren in Thunder Bluff were willing to send their people extra resources to pretty the place up.)

But more to the point…here were the goblins, stuck in the low-rent district without much in the way of belongings, and pretty much no jobs to do.  The one thing they’re good at collectively is business.  So into the auction house and bank they went…thing is, though, those auctioneers aren’t really raking it in as much as you might think.  Because they’re actually not working just for themselves.  That was part of their contract, in fact.  They’re actually in there working, pretty much, on behalf of the majority of the goblins over in the slums.  Whatever they’re making is getting channeled back over to that part of town to keep the whole cartel stocked with whatever they need.  And don’t think for a minute that it doesn’t pain the goblins to have to keep their heads above water through a system that you could pretty reasonably describe as “redistribution of wealth.”

And here’s the ugly truth of it, too, Wabang.  The goblins as a group needed something.  But just as important…you guys CAN do something else.  Frankly, they can’t.  So – as I’m sure you’ll appreciate given your training – it really just comes down to the math.

Here’s one other thing, too.  While hiring the goblins to run the auction house makes sense in some ways, I have to admit I still don’t trust them entirely.  Not least of all because of Gallywix, but I mean, also, come on, they’re goblins.  (I don’t want to be getting any texts over that one, Spazzle.)  And along those lines…I do think that you might have taken your assignment a little too much at face value.  I mean…when I told you I wanted you to keep an eye on the auction house, Wabang, yeah, you were being assigned to stand guard…but like…I also want you to keep an eye on it, if you see what I mean.  Because…you know…just sayin’…if someone were to catch the goblins doing something sketchy, skimming money off the top that they’re not supposed to, pulling a fast one on some of the higher-priced Firelands loot…well, believe you me, I wouldn’t be reluctant at all to reevaluate the current staffing situation.

Now, who would I put in charge of watching out for stuff like that?  Spirits know I wouldn’t be able to catch something like that – have you seen the attic in Grommash Hold?  I can barely keep my own junk organized.  So what would we need to catch any shady business?  Hmm, well, someone with an extensive mathematical background, a sharp financial mind, someone who already knows the ins and outs of a pretty complicated system so they can spot abuses and loopholes…but if I were going to give someone a job like that, I couldn’t be obvious about it.  Say what you want about the goblins, but they’re not idiots.  If I stick a bookkeeper right next to them and tell them they’re going to be having their every move watched, they’re sure as hell going to make sure that they either don’t do anything sketchy at all, or they go to MUCH greater lengths to keep it covered.  So the way to do it would be to plant someone with the appropriate skills nearby, keep them in a position to keep a close watch, but in a role that would still make sense for them (say, I don’t know, an orcish grunt) in an assignment that would be justified (like, oh what the hell, an armed guard watching over a room full of valuables).

Just food for thought, Wabang.  Hang in there and we’ll see what else we can do to help make life a little smoother for you guys.

 

Hail, Warchief!

During my tours of duty with the Horde Medical Corps, I have noticed some … puzzling behavior. Something just isn’t quite right with the Warsong Clan.

I understand what the Frostwolves are all about: kicking Dwarf butt from one end of the valley to the other, then showing them the exit. And I understand what the Defilers are up to: capturing resources for our use, and/or denying them to the Alliance. (Either one works.) I get what the Kor’Kron are doing on the Isle of Conquest. Most of our field armies have sensible, understandable goals.

Then, I arrive at Warsong Gulch.

I follow a couple of Horde soldiers, and we infiltrate the Sentinels’ stronghold. We make our way to the center, I’m thinking to take out their commander. But no, they snatch the flag, and bolt. We promptly retire to Warsong Hold, and then one of them taunts the Silverwing from our parapets.

It was about this time that I realized that the Silverwing were trying to do exactly the same thing to us.

No one was gathering resources, or preventing the enemy from doing the same. No one was trying to interfere with the enemy’s command and control. Seemingly, it was all about grabbing flags and talking smack.

Ordinarily I wouldn’t care. But now they’ve got the Dragonmaw doing it, too. Have they both gone nuts? Or am I missing something obvious?

–A Concerned Citizen

See, ACC, this is what happens when people totally lose sight of their history.  The whole flag-capturing deal in Warsong Gulch actually did make sense once upon a time, but after a few years, and some serious turnover in the personnel there (on both sides, apparently), it seems like nobody remembers the point of it all.  This is actually a classic case of what happens when people blindly go through the motions without bothering to learn the reasons why.

So, a teachable moment from Garrosh!  Lucky you!

So okay.  Once upon a time, when Grommash was chieftain of the Warsong Clan, and Horde and Alliance were both going balls-to-the-wall to try to gain control of Ashenvale and its resources, both sides would have regular air drops of supplies.  Armaments, explosives, rations, everything.  Sometimes even heavy equipment, as we started to become able to bring in zeppelins for supply runs.  With the airships we have these days, I’m sure you can see the possibilities.

Anyway, though, if you’ve ever flown over Ashenvale, you also know how bloody impossible is can be to see where anything is down there.  It’s nothing but dense forest as far as you can see in every direction (dense forest that’s been fucking dipped in glitter, no less), and even in the areas that have been cleared out, there’s still a lot of visual interference that would make it hard to target those air drops properly.  So way back in the beginning, both sides would use flags to mark the drop sites for their couriers.  One side or the other would have a spot marked, wyverns or hippogryphs would fly on in, spot the flag, drop the goods, boom.  With all the back and forth between the two battling sides, too, the flag system just made more sense, because by the time the supplies were airborne, the battle lines could have shifted, one side or the other could have lost control of one of their bases…it just made sense as a way of signaling where a secure spot would be.

Somewhere in the middle of all this, someone had the bright idea that hey, if we could go steal one of the Silverwing’s flags, we could stop them from getting the supplies they need.  What’s more, if we bring THEIR flag back over to an area that WE control, we could trick the Alliance couriers into delivering their supplies to US instead!  So, double win!  So from that point, the Warsong Outrunners would launch regular raids to try to steal the Silverwing flags.  Eventually, the Silverwing caught on and started doing the same.  At that point, it became a much bigger deal to keep control of our own flag, too – there’s not much benefit in stealing their flag to get their supplies, after all, if they’ve gotten our flag to steal OUR supplies, right?  That’s just a wash.  Hell, it might even be a loss – whose supplies do you think are going to be better, theirs or ours?  Horde pride, bitches!  Lok’tar!

So all of this actually made sense.  But apparently, somewhere along the line, both sides started losing sight of the actual reason behind the strategy, and just started fixating on the flag-stealing thing.  Which…is really kind of sad, when you think of it.  I might have to look into assigning some new leadership up there, so our forces can actually have some remote fucking notion of what they’re doing again.

As for the Dragonmaw…you’ve got me.  I might have to take this up with Warlord Zaela again.  (Even money on whether she’ll use the occasion to start flirting with me again.  Which I’m sure will set off a whole other mailbag.)

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4 Responses to “Monday mailbag”

  1. Your words make sense, Warchief. We hadn’t realized the details behind your employment decisions. I suppose we can deal with it, though if you could maybe ask Lor’Themar to call off that crazy Rommath until Thathung, Grimful and I can figure out our tuition payments, it would be greatly appreciated.

    • Lor’the-who? Oh, wait, THAT guy. Have you met him? Do you really think HE’S the guy to have lean on somebody who’s giving you a hard time?

      Tell you what, I’ll send someone else up to have a few words with Rommath and see if we can get him to back off a little. And if you need somebody talked to until they give up in despair, there’s only one place to send that assignment.

      Yep, you guessed it. Dontrag and Utvoch. You’re welcome.

  2. Someone who definitely isn't Wabang Says:

    PS: You might want to check out this Auctioneer Drezmit. I think he’s got some shady black-market connections.

  3. This is actually the most logical explanation for the capture the flag bgs that I’ve ever seen. It all makes sense now!

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