You want to know what one of the most depressing things is? During High School and early College I fancied myself quite the poet, and about my early College experience I wrote: Loneliness is laughter a room away.
It’s quite melodramatic, I know, but my point is there’s nothing quite like knowing other people (especially your friends) are having fun without you to make you feel like crap. Over the past months a lot of people in Relics have been knocking out vanquishes and racking up points in their Monument Halls. I’ve very much wanted to come, but our times don’t mesh (at all) and I can’t afford the drop in performance at work that would come with staying up ’till all hours of the night to tear Snake Dance a new rear-end.
My experience was much the same last night.
“Oh hey, we’re going to go do this awesome fun thing.”
me: “Hey cool!”
“Oh, but it’s late, so you can’t come with.”
me: “Boo hoo!”
So I wallowed around for a little while and then remembered that Jim, with The Notorious [PIG], made me a build for my Mesmer that combines everything I like. I don’t actually like making builds, but if you give me one I’ll tweak and play with it an have a lot of fun. It’s an Illusionary Weaponry build that brings a pet along for extra fun. As luck would have it I had (or had easy access to) every skill I needed except for You Move Like A Dwarf.
So I was hanging out in the PIG vent, listening to the tumbleweeds, when Mom logged on. Now, she’s not my mom, I don’t even know the person whose mom she is, but that’s what everybody in PIG calls her and her phonetic is something like “Don’t make me spank you”. Pretty intimidating.
But she was nice and said hi and when I told her I was off to hunt the NornBear she was game to come along.
We started out pretty well, then I realized that my fancy pants new IW Pet build didn’t have a pet! Outside the Eye of the North I cast around for a friendly warm body and saw only polar bears. I didn’t want a stinky polar bear! What animals are available in Eye of the North? Eagles! I wanted an eagle, nothing else would do. So we set off for Gunnar’s Hold and I’m keeping a weather eye out for eagles, frequently minimizing Guild Wars accidentally by holding Alt to look for eagles while hitting Tab to target an enemy to attack. D’oh. Thankfully Mom was patient with me.
Eventually we find one. I squeal in glee and run up and start charming it. My companion pipes up in vent, “Would you like to kill it or should I?” I’m sure my resultant pule of dismay sounded positively heart-wrenching. Either way, the eagle was feather-dust, and I still had no pet. There were apologies all around and promises to stay far back when next I found another feathery
It wasn’t until we left Gunnar’s Hold that I found another. I flagged the heroes back, Mom lurked behind, and I began to charm. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that the range of Charm Animal is REALLY FARKING FAR. Koss decided I needed rescuing and before I could fumble my clumsy cursor to tell him “No!” my second eagle was a red smear on the snow.
Fine, fine fine. That one was my fault. I should’ve had my heroes on passive or put them farther away. Chapter read, lesson learned. Our third eagle we found soon after entering into Drakar Lake. I squealed (again) in delight and went to tame him, but then a Wild NornBear appeared! It used Charging Spirit. It’s Super Effective!
Wait, what? We mopped up the NornBear, killed some meddling centaurs, then I flagged my heroes back at the entrance to the zone and Mom joined them. Then I charmed my eagle just like that and it was all rather anticlimactic. Over the course of journeying to Sifhalla, defending the place, hooking up with another PIG member, Fend, then hooking up with yet another, Dave, I hemmed and hawed over what to name the thing.
At first I tried Hitchcock. Because what’s more awesome than a bird named after the father of The Birds? However, Arenanet wasn’t amused and wouldn’t allow the name on account of dirty words, intended or not. I settled on naming him David, after Roland of Gilead’s pet bird when he was just a gunslinger in training. I’ve been reading The Dark Tower. It was David or Blane, because he was such a pain to get. Blane is a pain but you have to take the train…..
Funny story though! Not five minutes after my (now level 7) eagle was christened David, someone (I think it was Fend) asked me if I’d rather have a Jingle Moa instead. Would I? WOULD I! Heck yes I’d like a Jingle Moa! Where do I dump this stupid eagle?
What can I say, it’s tough being my animal companion.
So I dumped the eagle
in a cardboard box at the trainer behind the Eye of the North and picked up a Jingle Moa quick as you please. He didn’t even try to bite me while I was charming him, how’s that for a match made in heaven?
I wanted to name him Snowball’s Chance, but that’s far more than twelve characters and Snow’s Chance didn’t have the same feeling of the ludicrous. Ultimately it was one of the PIG folks who christened him (I feel terrible for being incapable of remembering who). We called him White Meat. Apparently there’s someone running around with a black moa named Dark Meat. Seeing as I have a long history of pink pets named Floyd, I felt the name fit perfectly. (I’m sure I’ll eventually get over associating the name ‘white meat’ with Detta Walker’s fowl mouth)
It was about this time, I think, that we lost Mom, but we continued on anyway. We ran Dave’s character (One of many, apparently in PIG they don’t call someone ‘hardcore’ anymore, they use the term ‘davecore’) up to Sifhalla, defended the town, and then went hunting for NornBear /steaks/. It was during these escapades that they told me about a quick-as-you-please pet leveling guide on the PIG forums. They told me it should only take 20-30 minutes. Perfect!
So eventually they had enough for the night and I had a pet to level anyway, so we said our goodbyes and I trotted off to the PIG forums to find what I needed. The guide involves bringing three heroes with specific skills. One of them was Well of Power. I didn’t have Well of Power, nor did I feel like romping off into the great beyond to capture it. I know! I’ll buy it with Balthazar faction!
I only had 800 faction points. @#*$!
I’m not sure what possessed me, thinking that PvP would be a quick and easy way to get some faction. More often than not, it isn’t. But Lyssa’s blessing was with me last night and luck walked at my side. I hopped over to my monk, threw on my Random Arenas build and ran off to kick some ass.
Our first group was lucky. There was myself, a monk, with another monk, a dervish, and something else. I say something else because for some reason he was offended by having two monks in his /random/ party and left after we won our first game. More’s the loss for him.
In our next battle an assassin joined us. From then on we were unstoppable.
The other monk’s build was very similar to mine, but different enough that we complemented each other quite well. The dervish and the assassin were wicked damage dealers, able even to take down the monks in the couple two-monk teams we found ourselves faced against. Most battles were flawless victories, about half saw our opponents giving up immediately. Some even cursed us. That one I didn’t understand. It’s a random group, we weren’t in the same guild, and we definitely weren’t trying to synch. We just got lucky. I didn’t let the cursing bother me, however. After all, we were winning.
One game was particularly entertaining. One person left off the bat, two we killed easily, and the last, a warrior with Sprint decided to go jogging. He ran us around the map for the full time of the match. It was ridiculous, but not infuriating. My team took it pretty well and we laughed it off easily.
The groups we had the most troubles with featured mesmers, most often more than one. The other monk and I began coordinating our casts of Spotless Mind and after a few instances of simultaneous pinging (which always made me laugh) we found our groove and powered through.
I’m sure we could have kept on winning all night, but Random Arena consecutive victories cap out at 25 and as soon as we won our 25th match there was much back-thumping and congratulations all around. Once back in Balthy’s place I checked my Faction. I had over 6,000, plenty enough to purchase Well of Power.
As my husband hustled me off to bed (I was 30 minutes past my bed-time) I shared a variation of a popular Chuck Norris joke on twitter:
Two monks, an assassin, and a dervish walk into Random Arenas….. There were no survivors.