Happy New Year, everyone! I could take this opportunity to document my personal experiences from 2017, but I won't. Instead, I will share a small anecdote about an experience I had that I hope embodies the spirit of what's to come for 2018.
As you may or may not know, I like to play video games. Specifically, my favorites are a few works of Bethesda--Fallout 4, Skyrim, Fallout 3, Fallout New Vegas, Oblivion, to name a few. I like other video games, of course, but RPGs (role playing games) particularly interest me. I've never been much into MMOs or MMORPGs, whereas you play online with a vast number of other players. My fiancee is really into World of Warcraft (and also Overwatch). As a result, I did make a starter account for WoW to play with him online. The controls and lore confuse me a bit, as I'm not as immersive with this as I am with the Elder Scrolls series.
Solution? Of course. Elder Scrolls Online. I played this very BRIEFLY on Beta many moons ago, when you had to wait for a ticket and play during specific Beta allotted times. So I decided to try it for reals. I purchased ESO with the Morrowind DLC. So did fiancee so we could play together.
The tutorial is much shorter than I recall, for the Coldharbour quest that is. The Morrowind DLC starts you off differently. I've made a Bosmer Nightblade who specializes in archery and dual wielding (currently level 9). Then I made a Breton Warden who also specializes in dual wielding and archery. My Breton is a level 21 right now. Fiancee enlightened me of several concepts--tanks, healers, DPS. Things I had not been aware of previously unless he talked about Overwatch or WoW.
It was a journey that was quite overwhelming at first. The world is very massive, even sites familiar from the games. Crafting, oh my god, crafting. I still don't understand crafting.
For a brief moment, I attempted the Battlegrounds--the PvP aspect. Let me start off by saying that I HATE, LOATHE, DESPISE PvP, chiefly because it clarifies how much of a terrible gamer I am. I chose the below level 50 battlegrounds, because of course, I am below level 50. This was back when I was a level 15 (see, I haven't tried it since). Everyone else on my team and the other teams were level 39, 44, 45. I had no idea what I was doing and, unsurprisingly, I died a lot.
Then they show the rankings after each game. For my very first Battleground, I didn't do so bad. I was ranked 2nd out of 4. Every time after that, I was last. It took me WAY too long that my high "D" count was not my "defensive" points that I won for our team. It was the number of times I died. I had zero kills, but I always had the highest amount of deaths. And I SWEAR to you, there was always that ONE player that always seemed to target me, probably knowing I was an easy kill.
So after that shocking and discouraging experience, I avoided player interactions altogether. So now you're probably wondering what this has to do with my blog title--Kindness isn't dead.
Well, you see, I was in Glenumbra talking to an NPC, Mighty Mordra, who directed me towards an Undaunted Quest called Spindleclutch. I arrive to the location. Only to discover that you can't enter the location unless you have a group. This was a dungeon.
A group?! At this point, I think fiancee lost interest in ESO, especially since I was playing without him on my Breton character (my Bosmer character is to play with his Khajiit). But, I needed a group. I was discouraged, again.
For those of you that don't know, there's a small chatbox in the lefthand corner of the screen that people use to talk to each other. Most of the time, it's flooded with nonsense or guild advertisements. Sometimes there's game discussions, offers to trade or sell equipment, and political rants. People socialize. Me, being the awkward butterfly that I am, avoided this chatbox like the plague. Sometimes I'd feel the urge to troll but, wisely, I'd ignore it. Fiancee teased me about my unwillingness to participate in the chat. Sometimes I'd seen fellow noobs trying to understand the complexities of the game ask for help. I'm sure they were *whispered* some helpful responses, but the public response was usually sarcasm.
I was even less inclined to interact with other players when I accidentally reset one of the boss camps. The other two players I happened to be with were rather irate. Understandably so, though.
It took about two days, but I braved the world of the chatbox. "has anyone done Spindleclutch? Apparently you need a group to do it, but I have no friends :("
See? I was trying to appeal to people's sense of pity. Because that was the only thing that was going to help me. I did receive several zone comments about how I should just join a guild or get friends.
But then something happened. I made a friend. It didn't happen instantly.
Someone *whispered* to me offering to do the dungeon with me. For those of you that don't know, a *whisper* is sort of like a private message, only you can see it (and it doesn't save to an inbox like a private message). The player in question was rather friendly and offered to meet me there. S/he added me to a group so I could travel to the player's location at the dungeon. S/he had another player/friend with them, a templar/healer character. The initial S/he player was a tank. They asked me what role I was. I tried to explain that I wasn't sure but I thought I was a dps and explained my currently skill lines. Both were very friendly and welcoming overall.
Also, both tank and healer were over level 40 something with their current characters. I'm sure they've already pushed past the level 50 cap on their normal characters. I was like an ant among gods.
So we did the dungeon! I only died once. Healer even let me know when I was about to miss a chest of loot. Healer also, at the end, traded me a level 38 something bow while I gave them a rather pathetic set of prayer boots from my level. Healer was all like, "I know you can't use it now, but maybe later?" and I was like, "Heck yeah!"
THEN they invited me to another dungeon! I accepted and we split up to drop off our inventory. We met back up in a main marketplace a few minutes later. They were doing player duels. Healer invited me to a duel, I accepted, warning Healer I was going to die. Healer brushed it off, saying it was okay, and it was still fun. And it was. We dueled twice and I died both times. But it was still a good experience.
Then we did the second dungeon. I got some more loot and experience. I didn't die at all. At the end, Tank and Healer told me to ask them any questions if I was confused about anything. So helpful! I talked about Fallout a little bit. They were friendly. We added each other as friends. Then Tank had to leave.
I haven't spoken to either of them since this dungeon encounter. I doubt I will reach out to them in the future, given my anxiety. But still. It was fun and I was excitedly telling fiancee about their kindness. As an MMO veteran, he got a chuckle out of my excitement and agreed that you can find people like that sometimes in the sea of douchebags.
So, my way to be just as inspiring, I have my character play the lute or dance in busy player areas. Most of the time, other players ignore me. I get a few, though, that join me in dancing or playing an instrument. I always think it's cool to see that.
I know that this blog post has had NOTHING to do with writing, but it was nice to type my experience.