While I’m waiting to hear from the Reliquary elves on their latest dig site up in Kun-Lai Summit, I decided to have a look around some of the neighboring areas. Before I came to Pandaria, everybody seemed to be going apeshit over the crazy overflowing farmlands here, and since the Valley of the Four Winds is pretty close by, I figured I’d take a trip down there with Malkorok and the DPS trainees to check it out for myself.
It really is a nice area down there, I’ve gotta say. Kind of reminds me of Nagrand, in fact, what with the grassy plains. Most of the region is covered with farms, and let me tell you, the folks writing in to the mailbag WERE NOT KIDDING about the giant vegetables they’ve got going on down here. Which would be a lot more exciting, granted, if they weren’t, y’know, frigging VEGETABLES.
At one point, I was standing in front of this gigantic carrot that was sprouting out of the ground – like, just the exposed part of the carrot was at least twice as tall as me – and I was saying to the kids how I don’t get the point of having giant-size carrots like this, unless they’ve got giant-sized rabbits to feed around here. And yeah, I know I’ve made that joke before, but check it out – no sooner had I said that, than A GIANT-SIZED RABBIT came hopping out of a burrow and jumped us!
Now granted, it’s not like this thing was especially hard for me and the kids to kill. (To tell the truth, the trainees mostly worked on a bunch of smaller rabbits that came bouncing on in during the fight, but hey, practice is practice.) So, on tonight’s menu: giant roast rabbit.
You know, I think I’ve just found a reason why these giant vegetables might be a good thing after all. Big huge vegetables = big huge herbivores = BIG HUGE MEAT.
Hmm. I should probably rephrase that last part. Jaina might see it and get excited.
Anyway, I figured hunting some of the smaller rabbits – which I guess aren’t quite rabbits, but something the pandas call “virmen” – might make for good practice for the trainees, so I spent a little time going into the burrows with them. The kids are coming along…still a little klutzy, but nothing that more reps won’t fix. Malkorok thought we were wasting our time with all the rabbit hunting, but hey, the kids have to start somewhere.
We went around the valley for a while, poking into those burrows when we found them. Then, after a while, we found what I figured was another burrow in the side of a hill – only when we went in, there weren’t any virmen anywhere to be found. The burrow ended up being a tunnel that led pretty far underground, and as we followed it down, eventually we started hearing some kind of activity in the distance, and could see light around the bend. When we finally got to the end of the tunnel…well, check this out. You’re not going to believe this one.
The tunnel opened to a large room, lit by lanterns hanging from the ceiling. All through the room there were rows of workstations set up with computers, and every one of them was manned by a panda. Mostly kids, from the looks of it, if not all kids. They were all busy working on something on the computers and hardly even noticed us when we came in. Then we started wandering up and down the rows and peeking in on what the pandas were all so locked-in on working on.
They were all playing Earth Online.
Wait, did I say “playing”? Not so much PLAYING, as…well…farming dollars in-game. And then some of them seemed to be on the sales end of the business, hanging out in the capital cities and spamming trade chat with their ads. Seems like the ones who were doing that all had a couple pre-set chat-spamming macros with their set announcements. You know the ones…
[Trade] Plz pay attention to the hot news! Happy weekend and all our friends. For customer in celebration old and new, we special offer on dollars! Now only 1000g = $250$dollar !!! Welcome to WWW. dollardollarbillyall .COM !! Come on!
So yeah, THAT’S where all those motherfuckers come from! Messed up, right?
Obviously I wasn’t going to leave THIS little operation going. I tried explaining my low-grade freak-out over it to Malkorok, but he’s not a gamer and doesn’t understand why I waste my time on that stuff anyway, and I’m pretty sure he didn’t really follow when I tried to spell out to him what these people were doing. I think he pretty much stopped trying to grasp it after he got to the “they’re doing something that Garrosh apparently does not like” stage, and recommended we just kill them.
Meanwhile, one of the trainees, this budding shaman named Ruekie, was already working on a less deathy solution: she started going around talking to the panda kids, and found out they were getting paid like 6 copper an hour for this gig. (I know, right?) So then SHE pointed out the (pretty damn modest but way more than 6c/hour) allowance that Horde trainees get paid, and woo boy, did THAT news spread like wildfire through the room.
So, bottom line, within about 20 minutes we had several dozen panda kids asking to sign on as trainees, and bouncing around on their chairs yelling “For the Horde!” once we’d finished signing them up. Burzum, Ishi, and Krimpatul are about to have a whole lot more mentoring work on their hands than they were probably counting on.
And I didn’t even have to offer to let them punch me in the face.
(Fuck you, Varian.)