If you listened to the last AggroChat podcast you’ll have heard this bit already. I’m going on vacation tomorrow driving up to visit my friends Belghast and Rae. It’s not a very long drive, but I don’t get to take these kinds of trips often. I’ll have my phone hooked up to my aux jack in my car listening to “Death Masks” by Jim Butcher as read by James Marsters. This series of books has quickly become one of my favorites, and nothing beats having Spike read to you. If you’ve never read the Dresden Files of books I would highly recommend it, and if you have that much more disposable income I’d get the audio book.
While I won’t get in to the details of where I’m going, or where I’m driving from I’ll say that I’m very much looking forward to this trip. Partially because I’ve been really busy at work and really need some time off, and also because I’m getting to meet some good friends for the first time.
As a bit of background I started playing World Of Warcraft around the time it was launched, back in what veteran players call “Vanilla”. Some time after the launch of the first expansion several of my friends were raiding with a group that called themselves the “Late Night Raiders”. Belghast was part of this group, at the time a hunter. On occasion when they were desperate enough I would get invited along to raid. This was way back before I was serious about raiding, and I’ll admit I wasn’t very good at it. I was commonly referred to as the floor tank because I was dead more often than I was alive. So that is to say I’ve been playing with Bel for a long time, longer than I actually realized since at the time his character name was not the one I came to know.
Eventually I was talked in to joining the guild that Bel had started up and proceeded to get more in to doing current content, whether that was dungeons or raids. I was never the “best” mage in the raid but I did my best. Eventually I hit a bit of a burnout phase and left the game for awhile. The thing about our Bel, is that he is a lot like me. We both try out a lot of MMO’s when they come out though he tends to stick around longer than I do in most cases. This applies to a lot of folks in our guild though, so whenever a new MMO pops up there are usually at least enough of us to have a regular group to play with.
This is how I met Rae. I’m sure that we played together in WoW at some point, but I think the first time we started actually having conversations was when we were playing Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn together. Rae, like Bel, myself and a vast number of our guild mates are all software people with similar interests which is why I like hanging out in voice chat with them. If not for them I probably would have given up on MMO’s a long time ago and not met many interesting people from all over the world.
So considering I’ve known Bel for the better half of my 20’s and now in to my 30’s we’ve never actually met in person. I finally have gotten to a place where I am mostly financially comfortable to take a weekend trip, so I’ll be driving over to hang out. There probably won’t be any video games played unless I get bored in my hotel room at night, in which case I’ll probably mess around in Hex or Hearthstone. However, Friday night we’ll be breaking out some board games and pizza and having a, hopefully, good time. I might fail to post for a couple days, or if I do it will either be very early in the day or very late.