Note: I normally try to keep to one voice, in this blog - my own voice, Dàchéng the mage. Sometimes, when discussing matters relevant to Earth, such as the state of the euro, I might use the voice of my avatar in Earth Online. Usually it's clear from context who is 'me'. In this piece, though, I find myself jumping between several voices like a schizophrenic. I leave it to you, dear reader, to figure out which voice is which.Incredibly, it took me until this month to explore the turtle's back with my Pandaren, Paoquan. Sadly, I didn't find the Pandaren starting zone all that satisfying. Lack of immersion was the problem - all these wise old men telling Paoquan what a great fighter she is at level 5 or 10. It just reminds me of their insincerity. All these monks are relying on some dumb noob to fix their problems.
But the point I'm at now is one that I can't seem to progress beyond. Here's my dilemma. Paoquan has just learned that the turtle (Shen-zin Su) on whose back the Wandering Isle finds itself is in pain. The pain is coming from its starboard side, and there's a ship has crashed just there. Off to investigate, what's the first thing she meets? Taurens! They remind her of Yaungol. Oh, they are Yaungol! I, Dàchéng, know of course that the Pandaren are fighting Yaungol in Kun-Lai Summit, among other places. I'm not sure what Paoquan knows. Presumably she would have learnt about them in primary school. Anyway, the one thing Paoquan does know is that the turtle's pain is located here, and so are the Tauren. Now I find some idiot level 10 hermit helping them. Has he never heard of Yaungol? Doesn't he know Shen-zin Su's pain emanates from this area? Hasn't he put two and two together? I'm a bit more suspicious of these people than the hermit is. And the leader of these
Actually, how come he can speak Pandaren? Where would he have learnt? Is this a deliberate attempt at infiltration, or is this just Blizzard's thin storyline creaking? Anyway, I can't target him and kill him.
Instead of helping the tauren or the mad hermit, I do what every adventurer's first instinct tells him to do. I head down to the crash site. There I see humans under attack from lizard men. Again, I can't attack the humans. I can't speak to them, either. They don't know Pandaren. Or perhaps they're too busy fighting for their lives. Old Wei-Palerage, the hermit, doesn't think it worth helping these people. He's too busy helping the Taurens. There are medical supplies on the ground, but for some reason, I can't pick them up. The paper-thin storyline is reminding me at every step along the way that it's just a game, not a world.
So now I can't advance. The on-rails nature of the game prevents me from progressing unless I help arm the Taurens. Every instinct in my body tells me that would be a grave mistake; so here I am trapped in the intersticial void between the world and the keyboard. I know I'll still be here next Samhain.
Edit: Paoquan did indeed stay there for another year.