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Author Topic: Portrait of my Father as an Undead Priest  (Read 13123 times)
pxib
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on: November 11, 2005, 04:00:47 AM

I'm paying for my father's World of Warcraft account.

Well, theoretically it's my account, but nowadays I hardly play. I got a mage up to level 43 or so before even the lovely quest-drenched grind grew tedious and frustrating. When my a few of my friends bought the game, we all started new characters on a PvP server and played leveled together after work. One of these friends happened to be my brother, six hundred miles away at his new job. This caught my father's interest and, after I demonstrated the game to him, he showed interest in giving it a try. The idea seemed harmless enough, and remains a source of cute stories to tell folks online. Two things have lately pushed it past cute:

1) I have virtually stopped playing. His priest is now level 48.
2) He had enough gold to buy a mount immediately at level 40.

A few words on my father. He owns about a dozen hex-map war games. His younger brother introduced him to 1st edition D&D in the 70's, and he introduced it to my brother and myself when we were both pre-teens. He has little interest in fantasy as a genre, but the gaming mechanic appealed to him. The dungeons he would create for my brother and myself were complex logic puzzles. How many copper coins can you carry? Is it worth fighting that Rust Monster to see what he's guarding? Is that Yellow Mold or just yellow mold?

Not terribly fun at age 8. Most of our characters died before they reached level two.

More important to the story at hand, my father hasn't played a computer game since the first Might & Magic on the Commodore  64. When I got a new computer this summer, I gave him my aging Pentium III (his gaming machine). Before that he was running Windows 95 on a 486. Skills that I take completely for granted (touch typing, using a mouse and keyboard simultaneously) are steep and daunting challenges for him.

I did not expect him to last long.

He spent his first month of play unable to pilot the character at run speed. So he walked. He doesn't feel that bats and wyverns are worth the premium. So he walked. Everywhere. From Sepulchre to Thunder Bluff. Then, because various folks in my brother's guild had the crafting professions, he chose herbalism and skinning. If he saw a monster that skins, he'd walk over and kill it. If he saw an herb he'd walk over and harvest it. Always. If he saw somebody who didn't have a fortitude buff, and didn't charge past before he' d had time to move from the keyboard to the mouse,  he'd walk over and put one on them. Always. Because people would so rarely stop, and because he is so slow a typist, he made a few speech macros and put them in treasured places on the quickbar. He has recently learned to identify monsters by color and shape, rather than by clicking on them.

He's a priest, so people invite him to groups. Now that he's learned to run, he's actually rather successful on them. He has a decent set of +healing gear in addition to his soloing gear. To hear him tell it, the most challenging part was learning to understand the leet shorthand and acronyms people use. Things like "lfg" and "lol" went right over his head. He couldn't type fast enough to ask for translations... every time he'd start, people would be fighting again and need healing.

Our alchemist stopped playing that character, so my father found the auction house. Now he sells everything there. Everything. Any item with a white name that he does not find on his list of everything for which he has figured the ideal price. Every magic weapon. Every magic armor. All the leather the leathercrafter doesn't want anymore. If any of his old possessions aren't soulbound, they go to the auction house too...

...and he loves the game.

He wants to know if I've logged in lately because he's sent me a bunch of magic items my characters might like.

He tells me tales about particularly inept groups he's had in the Scarlet Monastery.

He memorizes specific paths through Ashenvale and the bay off Ratchet for gathering piles of Stranglekelp.

He wonders if I've ever found a good source of Grave Moss, and (rather shy of PvP) decides he'll swim around the horn from Booty Bay to the Swamp of Sorrows.

He plays three to five hours a night.


So an old gamer finds a new kind of game... and adores it. I shudder to think what'll happen once he retires.

if at last you do succeed, never try again
SurfD
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Reply #1 on: November 11, 2005, 04:48:02 AM

Let him know that a moderate amount of gravemoss can usually be found in the Kodo Graveyard, in central Desolace.   Most any "Graveyard" or "Tomb" type place will also spawn it (the graveyard by the Main Building in alliance side Stromguarde Keep, and a Tomb just south west of the crossing from Wetlands to Arathi contain spawns,  for example).

Darwinism is the Gateway Science.
pxib
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Reply #2 on: November 11, 2005, 05:48:34 AM

He had discovered as much, but wanted a more numerous and reliable resource. It turned out he had to go to the Swamp of Sorrows anyway in order to finish Nat Pagle's quest for Master Fisherman.

if at last you do succeed, never try again
Tale
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Reply #3 on: November 11, 2005, 07:31:55 AM

That's awesome. I admire your dad for not only taking an interest in what his sons are doing, but being able to overcome the age gap.

When I was a D&D-playing kid, my father banned my D&D-playing friends, telling me to find a better type of friend. He still describes computer game playing as "watching those little men jumping", having no concept of interaction, only television viewing. Discovering me playing them made him physically and psychologically violent. Twenty years later, I am still wary of discussing games in person with anyone, and my father has never even tried Windows Solitaire :)
kaid
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Reply #4 on: November 11, 2005, 08:45:53 AM

Heheh kinda funny but in my eq2 guild and my wow guild we have a number of fathers who were introduced to MMRPG and are loving it.

Heck I game almost every night with my friend her boy friend and her father. He sufferes a bit from OGS(old guy syndrom) but he is funny and he really does enjoy the heck out of these games. He is a funny bird in that he loves playing a caster but he insists on meleeing. After trying a warlock we kept poking him and he finally tried a druid and he loves it. He soon will be a happy pudgy moonkin able to nuke with wild abandon as he liked to do and actually survive in melee which he also likes to do.

We also hooked him up with team speak because he is as your father is a SLOW typer. Team speak is a godsend so he can concentrate on the game itself and not fighting with his hunting and pecking typing style at the same time.


kaid
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Reply #5 on: November 11, 2005, 08:50:04 AM

Oh one other thing you may want to do that my guild has done for a few of our older players is help them with chat filters. Most mmrpg can innundate you with information overload. A common thing I see amongst our older players who have just started is they have a hell of a time keeping track of all the chat stuff going on as well as whats happening around them. Usually we talk them or better have somebody go over to their house and help them setup their chat filters so they get only the info they really need without all the overload. Almost all of them have done far better keeping up with things and enjoy the game much more when they are not so bombarded with stuff that may not be very useful to them.


kaid
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Reply #6 on: November 11, 2005, 09:23:55 AM

Nice story, sounds like my friend's dad and DiabloII which eventually became AC2 of all games.  Now he's on to WoW, not sure how its going but I'll find out for thanksgiving (our families always do the thanksgiving thing together).

My dad has always toyed with the idea, since he realized how online gaming worked while I was playing DiabloI on a 56k modem w/ AOL.  But I think he's always worried about type speed and information overload.  He's the type of person who not only would want to play but want to be good.  I guess I've always worried for him as a result and kind of sheltered him from when he wanted me to install several fps titles on his machine (I never got around to it).  I was much younger then though, if I liked WoW enough to be playing it I would have let me try it for sure.

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Dren
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Reply #7 on: November 11, 2005, 11:00:13 AM

This touches on an thought I've always had: MMOG's would be a great source of entertainment when I retire.  Anyone else have this thought?

It really isn't very expensive.
You can do it as long as you have some mental capacity and can interact with a keyboard/monitor/headset.
You can do it at any hour of the day, any day in the week.
Time is on your side for once, which is critical in MMOG's of today.

While this segment of the market is a real boundary for today's MMOG's, I see this opening up in the future.  I can very much imagine myself playing these types of games well into my retirement age.  I'd love to say all my time will be spent vacationing and doing all kinds of crazy things, but realistically I won't have the money for it.  Hell, the way virtual item auctioning is going these days, it would be a great source of added income! (I somewhat kid about that.)

The age range for players will expand quite a bit by the time I'm 70.  It will be very interesting to see how all of the different ages intermix.  Will we see guilds that are 45 or older only? (I see 21 and over now and my friend and I are thinking of starting a 30 and over one.) Can we imagine special senior discount for accounts?  Perhaps discounts in game even, hehe.  I could see that as being part of WoW's ingame humor.  "Show your AARP card for a discount on our finest maces!"

Anyway, I do remember having a 70 year old guy in my UO guild.  Great guy, he was.  I hope he's doing well (was 6 years ago.)  Last picture I saw of him he was in the arms of a Vegas showgirl.  :-D
HaemishM
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Reply #8 on: November 11, 2005, 11:15:08 AM

As bad as MMOG's are, they still beat the shit out of fishing.

Ironwood
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Reply #9 on: November 11, 2005, 11:25:00 AM

Amen to that.

Less Maggots too.

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Dren
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Reply #10 on: November 11, 2005, 12:11:40 PM

Amen to that.

Less Maggots too.


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Reply #11 on: November 11, 2005, 12:15:57 PM

Great story.  Closet grognard meets WoW.

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Jobu
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Reply #12 on: November 11, 2005, 12:23:20 PM


I dunno... on my priest, my playstyle is a lot like the OP's dad. When I'm not in an instance, wander around questing frequently stopping to buff/harvest. Sell every single thing at the AH. Except I type faster. He doesn't sound too different than the rest of us, it seems.

You said he's 48. Does he have a mount, or does he still walk?
Fabricated
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Reply #13 on: November 11, 2005, 01:03:20 PM

It's weird for people in this generation to have parents get into games. My mother is a tetris ninja master, and destroys me at any and all puzzle games.

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Dren
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Reply #14 on: November 11, 2005, 01:57:10 PM


I dunno... on my priest, my playstyle is a lot like the OP's dad. When I'm not in an instance, wander around questing frequently stopping to buff/harvest. Sell every single thing at the AH. Except I type faster. He doesn't sound too different than the rest of us, it seems.

You said he's 48. Does he have a mount, or does he still walk?

His story said he bought one at 40 with no trouble.  That's the benefit of going slow and killing and harvesting everything along the way.  Most of us (I think) burned up to 40 without smelling the roses and then bitched because we didn't have the cash.
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Reply #15 on: November 11, 2005, 02:23:42 PM


I dunno... on my priest, my playstyle is a lot like the OP's dad. When I'm not in an instance, wander around questing frequently stopping to buff/harvest. Sell every single thing at the AH. Except I type faster. He doesn't sound too different than the rest of us, it seems.

You said he's 48. Does he have a mount, or does he still walk?

His story said he bought one at 40 with no trouble.  That's the benefit of going slow and killing and harvesting everything along the way.  Most of us (I think) burned up to 40 without smelling the roses and then bitched because we didn't have the cash.

Part of it's also the class you play and the professions you choose, as well as knowing how to game the AH.  My hunter engineer/miner was poor, poor, poor the entire time I was leveling. Skills were expensive, components to craft were expensive as well as arrows, food for the pet, etc. My warrior miner/chanter was rolling in cash enough that I always had blue weapons and my mount at 40.  My priest, tailor/ chanter hasn't ever been below 100g and had enough cash to buy Robes of Insight at 42.  I didn't transfer more than 150-200g  between all the characters, and that was usually to get an under-priced blue or purple I then resold on the AH.

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AcidCat
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Reply #16 on: November 11, 2005, 04:46:20 PM

Hehe, good story. I was just wondering the other day, what kind of multiplayer games my 14 month old son will be playing when he's a young man ... and whether it will be cool or embarrassing to him that his old man wants to play to!
Pococurante
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Reply #17 on: November 11, 2005, 05:19:02 PM

His story said he bought one at 40 with no trouble.  That's the benefit of going slow and killing and harvesting everything along the way.  Most of us (I think) burned up to 40 without smelling the roses and then bitched because we didn't have the cash.

And bitched there wasn't enough content. ;)  I play the "slow way" too but then I'm an old fart who hasn't bothered with consoles since I discovered my C64 was at least as fun to program to as it was to play games.  I have much more fun exploring than camping for xp.

There already are guilds of mostly older players.  When I started playing UO in 1997 we started one for just 30-somethings with kids - a casual guild before we had that label for it.  And more currently I'm in a guild of 40-somethings in WoW.

I fully look forward to gaming when I retire.  And I suggest non-twitch MMOGs will enjoy greater popularity than twitch.
Dren
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Reply #18 on: November 14, 2005, 07:51:59 AM

Hehe, good story. I was just wondering the other day, what kind of multiplayer games my 14 month old son will be playing when he's a young man ... and whether it will be cool or embarrassing to him that his old man wants to play to!

From my experience thus far, they just get pissed because you are hogging the computer. :-D
Morfiend
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Reply #19 on: November 15, 2005, 05:34:21 PM

Cool story. I really like the part about him walking every where.

Anyway, my friend who I have been online gaming with since the first NWN (before UO), his father plays. Hes not the greatest player, but he loves the crafting element. I think he has one of every level master crafter in DAOC, and had a monopoly on Blacksmithing on our server in UO. It was kind of cool, becasue I always hated crafting, and we could always reply on him to totally controll the crafting element in any game we played.
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Reply #20 on: November 16, 2005, 02:43:54 PM

Hehe, good story. I was just wondering the other day, what kind of multiplayer games my 14 month old son will be playing when he's a young man ... and whether it will be cool or embarrassing to him that his old man wants to play to!

He will be playing Shadowbane III, and the virtual reality interface that actually lets you feel and see your head getting chopped off will frighten you.

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Reply #21 on: November 16, 2005, 02:56:09 PM

He will be playing Shadowbane III, and the virtual reality interface that actually lets you feel and see your head getting chopped off will frighten you.

You read too much Tad Williams.

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Der Helm
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Reply #22 on: November 17, 2005, 03:19:55 AM

You read too much Tad Williams.

Good books, that are ...

Regarding to the topic, I think that is exactly the way my old man would play any of these games.

If he could speak English, that is.

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Furiously
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Reply #23 on: November 17, 2005, 12:14:37 PM

You read too much Tad Williams.

Good books, that are ...

Regarding to the topic, I think that is exactly the way my old man would play any of these games.

If he could speak English, that is.

Doesn't seem to stop most of the people playing... /rimshot

kaid
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Reply #24 on: November 17, 2005, 01:44:09 PM

bye cheep gold 100 gp 5 dolla we good serve you best http://spammingarsehole.com RANG RANG KEKE!

kaid
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Reply #25 on: November 22, 2005, 01:23:16 AM

Before my father passed away a few years ago he played MMOs.

He told me about how in Everquest someone offered him cybering for plat. He didn't know what cybering was. When it was explained to him he thought it was THE COOLEST THING EVER CREATED (bear in mind he was in his late 60s). A dark elf would talk dirty to him for play money? Thank you God!

That's beat however, by a call I got the first few months of DAOC. I was really, really busy working on various back end stuff trying to make them not melt under the five-times-expected user load. Very few people had my office number. My father was one of them.

We had just nerfed archers. My father was one of them as well.

So he called my office demanding to know why. I know this is probably sweet justice to many of you but bear in mind at the time I was trying to make sure appeals didn't drop into the black hole of Calcutta and had nothing to do with anythign game related. And in the middle of this, this person (whom I was just now trying to re-form an acquaintance after being apart for 15 years) calls me to yell at me about archers. And how they should not have been nerfed. Because they were SUPPOSED TO BE POWERFUL. DID I NOT KNOW HISTORY! AGINCOURT, BOY! EVER HEAR OF IT!?! (this last in a thick Southern accent, and a shout.)

So, yeah. Your dad having enough scratch to buy his mount is sorta normal, in comparison!
Typhon
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Reply #26 on: November 22, 2005, 06:05:34 AM

lol, that's classic!
Merusk
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Reply #27 on: November 22, 2005, 07:45:14 AM

I hope that one made it into the book, Scott.

The past cannot be changed. The future is yet within your power.
HaemishM
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Reply #28 on: November 22, 2005, 10:24:19 AM

Before my father passed away a few years ago he played MMOs.

He told me about how in Everquest someone offered him cybering for plat. He didn't know what cybering was. When it was explained to him he thought it was THE COOLEST THING EVER CREATED (bear in mind he was in his late 60s). A dark elf would talk dirty to him for play money? Thank you God!

<snip other stuff>


Your dad was cool. /pour40

Sobelius
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Reply #29 on: December 25, 2005, 03:06:12 AM

Great story -- and nicely written, btw.

The "unexpected" WoW player I know is a woman in her mid-40's -- she's the director of a university library here in Houston. She's into computer games, but had never wanted to touch MMOs, but for some reason decided to try WoW and has not stopped playing since.

Her 17-year-old son, also a computer gamer, will not touch WoW (or any online or multiplayer game of any sort) since he literally believes hell is other people.

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TheWalrus
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Reply #30 on: December 25, 2005, 11:52:09 PM

He's not wrong.

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Hoax
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Reply #31 on: December 27, 2005, 12:36:11 PM

I just wanted to toss in something, this is one of the best thread's of the 2005 that I think of.  I think pxib should get like a pink name or something...

A nation consists of its laws. A nation does not consist of its situation at a given time. If an individual's morals are situational, then that individual is without morals. If a nation's laws are situational, that nation has no laws, and soon isn't a nation.
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shiznitz
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Reply #32 on: December 28, 2005, 04:00:54 PM

I cannot wait to PvP my kids.

I have never played WoW.
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