Saturday, September 6, 2014

Liam O'Donnell Owes Me $30 Monthly (Nearly)

Now that The Boy has a regular writing gig on the GamingEdus website and The Girl composes on her Deviant Art page, this blog has quieted down a bit. However, there's still a lot going on with gaming and our family.

For instance, this summer, my daughter read Ganked, by Liam O'Donnell. I had an autographed copy because I was one of Liam's Beta-readers. The Girl read it quickly and really enjoyed the story. Then she announced to the household that she was inspired by the book to play World of Warcraft. Even though the MMO described in Ganked is a fictional one (Kingdom of Strife, or KoS), it captured the feel of MMOs like WoW perfectly. Liam's cast of characters defied gamer stereotypes and the game play that occurred as part of the plot was very appealing.

Even though WoW is still one of the largest MMOs in the world, it has lost a few players since its heyday, so now it is free to play a character up to level 20. Here's The Girl's account of her WoW experience:

Mom wanted me to describe my WoW characters in a couple of sentences, so I'll introduce you to my cast of characters:
My first character was Vestelle, a night elf druid. I played her when I was first getting the feel of the game and didn't really know what I was doing. I've gotten her up to about level nine, but I don't play her much anymore. As I'm thinking of one day composing a story about the group of characters, I like to think that Vestelle would be the clumsy newbie of the group who can't really catch up to the other high level characters.
Then we have my favourite character, Corrinthe, a blood elf hunter. She's really fun to play and I've gotten pretty decent at her. She has a pet Dragonhawk named Talon who accompanies her pretty much everywhere and does some tanking while she shoots arrows from afar. She's level eighteen and I pretend that she's the strategist of the group who gets really mad when nobody sticks to her carefully thought out plans.
Nyamo is my Pandarin mage, who I named after a character from a manga I read, since Pandarin are the fake Asian type race and have anime-esque hairstyle options for females. She's level thirteen and  I plan on making her an Alliance-allied Panda when I finish that quest line. Nyamo is the girly girl of the group and is a bit squishy, play wise, but has some pretty awesome spells that make her worth keeping around.
Nerissea is an undead warlock, whose familiars are an Imp called Gakpep and a Void Walker called Thultaz. She's level sixteen, my second highest character, and kind of interesting to play, since she's super evil compared to my other characters. She's, personality wise, meant to be a little misanthropic and cynical, but is a good leader for the team.
My fifth character is Jiira, a goblin shaman who I last left off at level twelve. She's really fun to play, even though I can never get past this one boss in her story line. Like all goblins, Jiira is superficial and enjoys the thought of being rich. She's a little bossy, but she's very devoted to her guild.
Lastly, I have Dionnae, my Draenei paladin. She's only level seven, since she was made very recently, but she's still an important part of my six man band. She's very different than most of my characters, since the rest of my group are ranged character classes, but I'm getting the hang of her thanks to my brother's expertise on melee characters. She's a gentle giant and very friendly, in my mind, and is often the one to break up the frequent conflicts in the group.
I like WoW for a lot of reasons. I enjoy exploring the world and seeing what there is to see out there in all the zones, even though I get killed by more powerful monsters than I can take on when I do so. I also really like the story and lore of the game, the interactions between different races and the history of the world. I enjoy the type of fantasy that this game has (with the elves and dwarves and such) and I think it was these qualities that I noticed prominently in the game depicted in Ganked, as well as why it drew me to WoW.

While The Girl was playing, The Boy saw this and was equally captivated. He had watched his dad play when he was younger, but now he felt he was able to play on his own, so he tried it too. Here's The Boy's account of his WoW time:

I have a dwarf paladin and his name is Amefist. He is based on my Cube World dwarf character, who is also named Amefist. He is pretty powerful. Amefist has a minor in Engineering. He has a pet bunny. I have not played recently but I think he is level 15-16. The most fun thing I did in WoW as Amefist was getting my pet rabbit.

I think it's neat that one media text can inspire another, and vice verse, although it had the potential to get a bit costly. The beginning of school and screen time limitations mean that both kids had other things to preoccupy them. There's also been this tendency with the younger members of our family that once we purchase an online membership, interest in the game immediately dries up. Still, this may be an ideal Christmas gift for either or both of them, and the interest is due to a well-written novel.

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