So, I've been playing a lot of World of Warcraft lately, which explains why I haven't been blogging much: I've been too busy dying a multitude of horrid miserable deaths in far-off imaginary lands at the hands of a host of assorted gruesome creatures, including giant hairy spiders, tunnel rat vermin, these things called "troggs" that look awfully like some of the salespeople I support, and squirrels. (Well, OK, technically the squirrels haven't killed me, but I know they want to. Squirrels are evil and I hate them. They have too damn much power.)
Even though I heckled G for years about his on-line gaming, I've found it very easy to get sucked into WoW. This is probably primarily because of the character I've created, who is -- let's just face it -- so many kinds of awesome. She's a gnome mage, which means she's about 3' tall with purple pigtail puffs and she's totally action-packed with magical superpowers. No leprechaun, this chick: she could completely kick your ass while you were telling her how cute she is and patting her on the head.
Of course, one of the reasons I like playing with this character so much is because I envy and admire her. She is still a "baby" in relative game terms (Level 16, out of 70, and with hardly anything fully learned yet, although I am becoming quite the virtual bassmistress, thankyouverymuch), but she has skills and abilities that I really wish I could have in real life. I mean, it's hard enough to be fighting against the forces of evil, asshattery, and stupidity every day -- and not necessarily in that order, either -- and while it would not automatically be any easier to fight the good fight with magic, it would certainly be more interesting. To wit:
Flamestrike. A spell my mage has that does damage to all enemies within a certain radius. I would love to use this on those days when everything converges on me at once -- emails, phone calls, retarded questions that I have already answered 847,000 times, lame jokes from my cube neighbor, etc. When I hit my breaking point, I could just channel the spell, scorch the earth around me, lay waste to everything in my path, and then go have a cigarette and some Spiced Wolf Meat and regenerate.
Frostbolt. Another spell, which causes enemies to slow down, giving you time to cast additional damaging spells before the bad guys can hit you. I like to think of it as a sort of forced "stop and think" -- like, when I have people arguing with me about why they think something is wrong even when I know it isn't, I could stun them with this spell and then use the slowdown period to hit them with a massive logic bomb and explain why they're giant flaming moron assholes and I am right and they should shut the hell up already.
Polymorph. Oh my ears and whiskers, one of my very favorite spells, even though I don't use it quite as much any more, now that I am levelling up and getting more health and magic powers. This spell is kind of ... ultra-extreme evasive maneuvers for total chickenshits, which lets you turn enemies into sheep for a short time so you can run away (screaming optional). I already know on whom I would use this spell most frequently: my "favorite" salesperson who insists on referring to me by my initials and never by my name oh my heavens such HAAAAATE. (And I can make a very cozy home in the janitor's closet.)
Of course, knowing these fantastic powers exist in WoW and not IRL certainly makes it more difficult for me to get through most days. I have replaced my sincere desire to stab people in the head with a mechanical pencil and make off with their wallets with the sincere desire to Fireball the hell out of them and then loot them for copper and quest items, which is progress of a sort, I guess, but it still suggests that I need to wait a little longer for the mood stabilizers to take full effect.
And also: all the Gnomeregan engineering in the world cannot gerryrig my company's systems into working correctly.