|<3 H@ppy V@l3nt1n3s D@y <3
||[Jan. 31st, 2008|10:22 am]
Geek love. |
hungryandhollow shares his foray into an somewhat homoerotic eRelationship consisting of beating shit up, collecting cool stuff and trolling on forums. Such is the world of WoW. True love does exist, y'all. It just comes bundled with strained vision and seven empty bags of Ruffles at 3am.
Even if you don't get the Warcraft lingo, it's worth it.
Musings On My Bizarre WoW "Romance"
I still remember when I met Justin. It was two and a half years ago, in the Gurubashi Arena. It was August, and Ben and I, both living in empty college towns for the summer break, were playing WoW as always. I was eFamous, but not yet at my peak, only two months past when I burst out of nowhere, springing fully-formed from the skull of Bas and Outbackjack like a gnomish Athena. I was about level 50, with Ben's priest around 55, and we had decided I would be the first non-60 to win the Arena Grand Master trinket. At the time, it was an incredible item for PvP (player-vs-player combat), and we were proud to say that the only people on the server who had one were members of < M E R C I L E S S >. We were the best guild on the server when it came to PvP.
So there we were, in the Arena, waiting for the chest to drop and the fight to start, like it did every three hours. Next to us was an unguilded Warlock named Liance. He had intended it to be pronounced Lee-ahns, but I would make him famous as Lee-ahn-say. I'd seen him on the forums, and he had some pretty good posts. I told him so, and he said he loved my posts. Then three random level-60 characters showed up, obviously a team, and said they'd shitstomp us. There hadn't been any "us" a second ago, but now there was. We destroyed them - it was an hour before we let them leave. We come here all the time, I told Liance, I'm gonna win the Arena Grand Master. Next time we came back, she was there. Soon she asked to join Merciless. She said her real name was Justin.
Those were the "glory days", when the gear disparity was low and skill mattered a lot more. The three of us, and often another member of Merciless or two, went to the Arena constantly. One weekend we won 6 Arenas in a row, one every three hours, and crashed. Liance started posting more on the forums. He was great. He could have been better than I was, the King of the Trolls at that time, but he didn't want to.
Liance and I played together more than anyone else. But, on the voice chat, Liance never spoke. He never had a mic, even though you can get one for under $10. He was an Australian, a year younger than me, in college. Didn't talk much about his real life, which was unusual in such a small and close-knit group as Merciless. He said he'd made his character a female because male warlocks always looked stupid. Before long, we thought otherwise. We thought he was secretly a girl.
Now, this isn't unheard of. The vast majority of female WoW-players on our server weren't taken seriously at all, as at least half of them used flirting to replace talent. Leah, the only female of our founding ten members of Merciless, often pretended to be a man when she played with strangers. And Liance never talked, not for half a year. And he was decidedly feminine. No one would say anything to his face, but they teased me a lot about my eWife. And, unable to speak, no one ever heard Liance pronounce her own name - so my pronunciation, assumed to be correct, became standard.
No matter what I needed, Liance would help. We spent probably 40 hours one month, while I was on winter break and she was on summer break, raiding boring dungeons to get me the gear I needed for The Big Dungeon. She gave me money anytime I had gone broke buying better armor or trinkets. If I was playing, she was playing next to me.
Eventually, she left Merciless. She wanted to go raid dungeons, and we didn't do that if we could help it. She joined a new guild, but unless they were raiding a dungeon, we were off fighting together. She was everything you could ask for in an eFriend.
Roleplayers on WoW are despicable things. The worst of all their hideous behavior is the in-game wedding. Yes, they will actually host a fucking wedding with their characters. So when Valentine's Day rolled around, with Liance and I the equivalent of the server's Prom King and Queen, I "proposed". In a mockery of the typical RP wedding, our "ceremony" consisted of an hour-long free-for-all fight in the Arena. People loved it. For the occasion, Justin finally bought a mic. He was a male after all. We went on to celebrate a six-month anniversary, even bigger than the wedding, and then a one-year anniversary.
A month after our "anniversary", I retired from WoW. Eventually, Liance transferred to a different server. We kept in touch on AIM a bit. After all, for a year and a half we'd played together constantly - and considering we were both playing 20 or 30 hours a week, that adds up fast. I've never been as good of friends with anyone on the internet, before or since.
So this Saturday, I started playing again. I sent him an IM immediately, knowing he had another character on Dethecus still. Let's go kill some n00bs sometime, I told him, load up your shaman or your warrior. Instead, he left his guild and his server, transferred Liance back to Dethecus and rejoined Merciless. We're back, he said, with a little practice we'll be the best warrior-warlock combo on the server again. And, you know, it makes me wonder a bit. I am not vain enough to think Justin fell madly in eLove with me. I'm 95% sure he's not even gay. But every now and then, I wonder. All those raids he went on, not needing anything, just helping me. All the gold, all the gear. Transferring back. At this point I don't know if he's my eLover, or my lieutenant, or my disciple. But I have to admit, hanging out with OBJ and Corey and Leah, it still didn't feel quite like the good old days until Liance came back.
We're celebrating our two-year anniversary this Valentine's Day in the Arena. There will be free-for-all PvP and a battle for the chest. All are invited.