Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Spirit of Kindness: Pay It Forward

Although Ekaterinae and Biancae have received much of the attention around these parts recently, Arielae the druid has not been forgotten! Unlike Clarissae and Biancae, who each have full Burning Crusade starting zones to get them beyond level 20, Arielae had to resort to vanilla WOW zones after finishing up all the odd tasks in Teldrassil because I did not want all three to start in the same zones. The Darkshore area has never really intrigued me, so I decided to relive a bit of my first days in the game by traveling to Westfall at level 10. It was a long trip, but standing on the boat to Stormwind at the crossroads, I felt like I was headed home...even as a Night Elf.

Upon arriving in Westfall, there was a lot of work to be done clearing out the Defias Brotherhood and other enemies scattering across the farmlands. One particular enemy excited me and those would be harvest golems. There's just something so scary and lovable about the noise those harvesters make as they run towards you. From the moment Ekaterinae stepped into Westfall, those mobs stood out as distinctive of Westfall. When she encountered similar harvesters in the Borean Tundra, she got homesick for the days in Westfall, even though those harvesters took her down more times than she could remember. Turns out, Arielae is also relatively overmatched by the Harvesters, even with the added experience of a few months in the game. The battle against my true nemesis has continued...just on a druid!

One of the first quests in the zone around old Blanchy involves finding a family heirloom in a farmhouse. Well as it turns out, the area is swarming with Harvesters and Defias, but Arielae trained her newly found bear instincts and cleared much of the area surrounding the house of the filth. Looking in the door of the farmhouse, she could only see one level 14 mob (Arielae was level 12 at the time). Typically there are two mobs, but she was undeterred with her new bear strength. Unfortunately what she could not see was that there was also a third mob guarding the family heirloom...a level 16 mob. The three Defias agents made quick work of poor Arielae, and as she embarked on a lengthy rez run, she wondered how she could even chip away at this group of three.

Just as she arrived on the scene a second time, a level 14 warrior went into the house presumably for the same heirloom. The warrior immediately took a beating from the mobs and was not going to make it, but Arielae remembered her true calling and starting casting restoration spells to keep the warrior alive. At the end of a long battle, the warrior turned around to see who was his savior and saluted Arielae for saving his life. We grabbed the family heirloom and helped each other back out of the Defias forces. Even though we were not grouped and I would get no xp or copper, I did not feel any hesitation to help this warrior because without knowing it, he was helping me. The Spirit of Kindess was in the air in Westfall.

Shortly thereafter I made my way back to Moonglade for more druid training, and on the way through Darnassus I stopped over at the Bank to deposit some herbs I had found along the fields in Westfall. While standing at the bank, a trade window opens randomly...and a shiny pair of boots is offered. I ask why and the fellow elf responds that they saw me without shoes and knew that I needed them to protect my feet from the blistering road ahead. I gladly took the unsolicited offering and put on the boots, and to my surprise they fit wonderfully. It did not matter that I ended up replacing the boots a few quests later upon my return to Westfall because The Spirit of Kindness was in the air in Darnassus.

It never seems like buffs get randomly thrown about in the big cities of Dalaran, or so Ekaterinae tells me. This is sad, because upon returning to Sentinel Hill I was greeted with two different buffs from random different players. I was happy to provide what little buff I could as a druid and wished them well. It seems like this random buffing happens all the time while working around these "starter" zones, as Clarissae, Biancae, and Arielae have all experienced. The Spirit of Kindness is alive in Sentinel Hill, Blood Watch, and Tranquillien.

Using the power of these newfound buffs, Arielae was able to finally start taking down some Harvesters to grab some much needed Okra and Bolts for farmer projects. Thanks to the Spirit of Kindness providing me with boots to protect my feet and buffs to enhance my power, the nemesis was taken down! The experience continued to roll in and Arielae made Westfall a better place, including a run through the Deadmines with fellow Illuminati agents to take out the infamous Van Cleef. However, nothing could match the triumph over my favorite enemy, and for that, I thank the Spirit of Kindness in Azeroth.

So Arielae has finished up in Westfall and is on her way to Lakeshire, as she has heard there may be some problems with gnolls and blackrock orcs in the area. She can only hope that she continues to pay forward the Spirit of Kindness to keep Azeroth a much better place. Whether that's a random buff to the people you see or a critically-timed heal on a stranger having trouble with multiple mobs, there's lots of little things you can do to keep the spirit alive. While the Spirit wanes in places of heavy commerce and high levels like Dalaran, it lives on strong wherever new characters need the most help. This is an aspect of the WOW game which keeps the alure alive for new players and hooks them into long subscriptions and happy adventures in Azeroth.

Even for those of you high level characters out there just passing through Stormwind on your way to the Auction House, take an extra moment to pass a buff or answer a question of a poor lost beginner. Remember we were all hopelessly lost with questions in the past. I guarantee they will never forget the kind atmosphere that arrived in their life when you did this, and if they are a new player...they will likely continue to be the helpful people that ensure the Spirit of Kindness will never disappear. And that, my friends, makes the world a much better place.

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