And So It Begins
Greetings once again from behind the curtain, everyone. Averry here with another pseudo-kinda-public service announcement. (No, not another one about Google search terms. That one was all Garrosh.) (Kind of.)
First of all, yes, I know, I’m woefully behind on actual story updates on the blog, and I’ve left you all hanging on that last semi-cliffhanger for far too long. As I’ve hinted at elsewhere, I’ve had a convergence of real-life work and – ever so conveniently – a (minor but annoying) hand injury which has made it rather difficult to work on new comics for more than short periods at a time. And, of course, this happened just at a point when I’d committed the story to a string of comic installments that really need to stay in place.
Rest assured, I’m working on getting the next installment together as quickly as possible. Since starting the blog, I’ve always truly hated letting more than a couple days go by without a new post, so believe me when I say that the slow output I’ve had the last several weeks has grated on me to no end. With any luck, you’ll find this upcoming stretch worth the wait, between (in the immediate-term) some face time between Garrosh and Varian, and (in the slightly longer-term) a few plot twists that I’m hoping will draw some pronounced reactions. (Yep, there I go teasing again.)
In the meantime, though, I wanted to touch on two other items, since – have you heard about this? – today marks the moment we’ve all been anticipating for quite a while: the release of the Siege of Orgrimmar raid, and the downfall of Garrosh Hellscream.
Well, in-game, at least. Blog-Garrosh still has a ways to go before he bids us a fond farewell.
Granted, as I’ve mentioned before, I do have the major plotlines mapped out for the blog from here to the grand finale, and I’m admittedly not in any great hurry to close up shop just yet, but nevertheless, the gap between what’s happening in the blog and what’s happening in-game does highlight one issue that probably deserves to be addressed. Which leads us to…
ITEM THE FIRST!
That being, the timeline of the blog, and all the convoluted storylines swirling around it.
Over the last year or so, a number of readers have given the Command Board plugs and shout-outs on various other blogs and forums – for which I always feel grateful and flattered – and on more than one occasion, their endorsements have included the recommendation that new readers go back and read the blog from the beginning, since it’s not exactly newcomer-friendly. That’s a fair criticism, even if it’s not really meant to be critical; while building up these ongoing storylines and running jokes/themes is one of the things I enjoy most about writing the blog, I also understand that it probably makes it difficult to jump in mid-stream. And while I’d certainly love for people to go back to read it all from the beginning (ARTIFICIALLY INFLATE MY PAGEVIEWS, BWAHA!), at this point, well past the 300-post mark, I don’t think I can fairly expect every new arrival to commit to such a bear of an undertaking.
And, with the release of Siege of Orgrimmar, I should probably brace myself for a few new folks to start finding their way here. (It’s already started on Twitter, by the way. Not to mention the beginning of what I’m sure will be a minor whirlwind of trash-talking tweets. Stay tuned; I may share some here soon.) While I try to link back to earlier posts when relevant, and hope that the About the Blog and Major Storylines pages help fill in a bit, I’m sure the blog can be a little confusing to a new reader for a number of reasons. So, to help any of you who just arrived – or not-so-new readers whom I’ve managed to confuse with some of my byzantine plotting – I’m going to be putting up a bit of a crib sheet in the next couple days to help account for where we are and how we got here. Hopefully, if you just found your way to the Command Board and are having a WTF response, that will help a bit.
(Super-short version: Right now the events of the blog are taking place in the midst of patch 5.2 – the Divine Bell is still a recent memory, Lor’themar and Jaina have recently arrived on the Isle of Thunder, and Vol’jin is still recuperating at Shado-Pan Monastery.)
With that said, let’s more on to the much more pressing…
ITEM THE SECOND!
Raiding your Warchief. With your Warchief. Kind of.
True story: Coming into MoP, I retired from raiding. I had raided pretty much all the way through TBC, Wrath, and Cata…and it just wasn’t fun anymore. This, by the way, was a reflection of my own shifting priorities and interests, not some tired, stale WoW-veteran gripe about Blizzard somehow doing me wrong. And I’ve absolutely loved MoP – in no small part, I think, because I’ve spent the entirety of it doing solely what I felt like doing, when I felt like doing it, having stepped away from the gear grind and raiding scene. Not a criticism of those who enjoy that scene, mind you; it’s just not where I am anymore.
That said…well, this is something different. This new raid isn’t just any other raid. The Siege of Orgrimmar carries with it a personal connection unlike anything before, and unlike anything WoW will ever offer again. And while I definitely don’t have any interest in committing myself to full-on progression raiding, I feel like this is a raid that I need to sample. Not “need” in the sense of the joyless gear grind that many of us let ourselves be sucked into – “need” in the sense of “Oh, man, I’ve been living with this story for years now; I’ve got to experience the end first-hand.”
More importantly, I’d like to experience it with people who share some of that personal connection. People who have been along for the long, crazy, oftentimes ridiculous ride, and have context for these events and these characters that your average WoW player doesn’t have. People who think of Lor’themar as “Ponytail” even more than as “that blood elf guy”…who find it odd that Orgrimmar has no vendor selling lemon squares or goblin NPC named Spazzle…who understand why it’s a BIG EFFING DEAL that there’s a mini-boss named Mokvar the Treasurer lurking in the Valley of Strength bank. (Yes, really.)
So, consider this an invitation.
At some point in the next week or two, I’d like to try to assemble a group of readers, fellow bloggers, and all-around friends of the Command Board to stroll into Orgrimmar together and see what there is to see. In a perfect world, if there are enough people interested and we can cover the necessary roles, we could use the new Flex setting; worst-case scenario, we could group up, hop into LFR, and take over the whole operation Garrosh-style. I definitely wouldn’t want to ask anyone to commit their normal-difficulty lockout – not least of all because I want this to be a purely for-kicks endeavor, not about progression or gear. Just good fun in good company, and if we happen to stumble into a ridiculous wipe or two on trash, I hope it would be a source of amusement, not angst.
So, if you have a level 90 Horde character and think you’d like to join the party, give me a shout. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, send a tweet to @GarroshHllscrm, leave a comment here on the blog, or contact me in-game (RealID Averry#1116). Give me an idea of what days and times might be possible for you, and what role(s) you might be able to fill. With any luck, I’ll be able to get something together sooner rather than later, and then, with even more luck, you might have a chance to be there when I come face-to-face with…well…myself. And kill him. Me. Kind of. Unless we don’t. (AT LONG LAST, AVERRY’S NEUROTIC SELF-LOATHING FINDS ITS ULTIMATE EXPRESSION!)
Thanks for wading through all my babble here. And thanks, as always, for reading and hanging in there with me. I hope to hear from many of you soon.
Be seeing you,