So, I’ve been caught! Yakra over at Mirror Shield has tagged me in this blog-meme-gone-viral. The Screenshot Wars have come for me. I’ve been watching this fad make it’s rounds and really enoying some of the posts, though I have to admit I was starting to feel like the last kid picked for the dodge ball team.
And without furthur ado, here is my six tags. Glad to feel I am helping to keep the virus alive! I would like to tag:
1. Tigerfeet over at Secret Agent Cat
2. Jive at Bringing the Wood
3. Altoholicmom up in Altaholics Are Us (yes it’s after the fact, but yay for being included!)
4. The Author of Groups of Words. Please! Before you go! And best of luck with your family.
5. Valkure of Valkure Unbound
6. Shieke! You thought you’d get out of this one, didn’t you!!??
Business out of the way, I delved deep into my screenshot folder despite the fact that I never bothered to organize them in any way more complicated than the default chronological order. So I opened up the sixth screenshot in that folder and found that it was back from the days when my better half and I were sharing the same account and he accidentally keybound screenshot to one of the letter keys. I thought I had removed all his screenshot spam, but that one got through. For the record, it was of a VC run, immediately after a wipe, with some PuGed noob saying “can u rez plz??????”
So I didn’t post that one.
Instead I excavated furthur and found the 36th screenshot in my folder. It’s the sixth of the sixth after a fashion, I guess. But I’m happy that I picked that method because I came up with this beauty.
This is shortly after I realized that there was an artform to screenshots. I had started taking them not as a dispassionate, stark record of conversations and events, but as a way to capture mood and feeling and atmosphere. This screenshot is the day Maegwen dinged 70, and myself and a friend taking our brand new wings out for a test drive.
I know that in my first round of leveling to 70, Nagrand was a memorable experience for me. I loved the quests, I loved the savannah-esq look and feel of the place, the spacegoat NPCs made me giggle and I very quickly became enamaroued of the talbuks (goat-raffes). I used to look up into the broken sky of Nagrand with longing, waiting for the day I would be able to take flight and make my way up to explore the floating shattered remnants of the land and the diaphanous, ethereal hanging waterfalls. So once I finally obtained my wings, I headed like a homing pigeon for the floating islands of Nagrand.
Maegwen isn’t the only person in this screenshot. Her companion is the rogue Cyclonus. Looking at this screenshot I was able to not only reflect on the way that the visual splendor of TBC initally affected me, but also on the life cycle on friendships in WoW and perhaps friendships in general. If you look close at this shot, neither Cyc nor I are wearing Impossibilium tabbards. This is us in our Sempiterna incarnation – one of the two guilds that merged to become Imposs. Cyc is a real-life pal of the person who initially formed Sempiterna. At this point in the life cycle of the guild, that person had retired from guild leading and I was in charge, so it was nice to see someone like Cyc sticking by me as my fledgling leadership struggled to soar despite it’s down and pinfeathers.
I like to have one of those people who is always online as an officer, or an officer’s advisor. Typically this means there is always someone around to solve problems, to talk to people, to observe and report on guild conditons to the rest of the officers and to grab stuff from the guild bank for folks. Cyc filled this role nicely, as well as being a generally friendly, helpful, caring sort of person. Our guild at the time was very much not a hardcore, progression focused sort of place, so a genial, open officer base was a good thing for us. Our guild had its factions however, and through the ups and downs of guild development, Cyc was always someone I considered to be on “my” side. When I felt that the balance of power was tipping beyond my control, I felt safe knowing that through thick and thin, Cyc at least would always be a voice for my PoV. Maybe not the healthiest relationship for a guild leader and an officer, but one that was a nice security blanket for me nonetheless.
Cyc also lives quite close to me, though in another city. He was the first Azerothian that I met up with outside of the game, which was a big leap of faith for someone as staunchly misanthropic as I am. He stuck with me and with the guild through a great deal of drama and through our merger and subsequent re-inventions. Over the years that we knew each other, we developed a close friendship that was rooted in WoW, but had branched through other areas of our lives and leafed out into something much more robust. He visited me here in my city several times and became a good family friend. He crashed at my parent’s house once or twice. He even gave me a cat!
But everything in this world has a life cycle. Cyc was involved in a bad car accident, and because of that and the complications it caused in his life, he spent alot of time away from WoW. I started a new job and had less time for all forms of socialization. He went back to school after he had recovered from his injuries and spent even more time away from the guild. Our goals and interests diverged. The guild changed and grew. Members came and went and Imposs was not the place that either of us remembered.
Because I was actively involved in the guild, I was – for the most part -able to roll with the changes. Becaues the time that Cyc spent in game was intermittant, when he did reconnect with us from time to time, he did not see a guild that he knew. He saw a house that stood where his old home was, filled with people he didn’t know, doing things he didn’t identify with or even understand. Our friendship, our connection to each other had drifted, and rather than chaging and growing, it had dissolved. These are things that happen to everyone at one time or another, and it’s saddening for me to examine our friendship in retrospect and see that its life span is done.
Sometimes closure comes quietly, summing up an episode in your life with quiet, almost karmic neatness. Sometimes the end of a point in your life becomes a ragged, ugly sore that refuses to heal. It was the latter that characterises the end of my friendship with Cyc and the end of his time with Imposs. He dealt with the changes to the guild by being angry and bitter, chaging himself from an officer and a leader to a demanding martinet. Everything that was said, every change that the guild underwent became a deep and personal insult to the guild he used to know, the guild he had helped to build. And I was so involved with my job and my home life and forging ahead with our plans to become an ever better raiding guild, that I wasn’t as understanding about his confusion and sense of dislocation as I could have been.
I don’t even know the full story of what happened to Cyc. I don’t know where he’s living right now, how school and work has been to him, how his family and his pets are. I do know that he turned control of his account over to his brother, and then he quietly /gquit late one evening. I wish him all the best, and I am regretful that someone who brought so much to the formation and foundation of this guild could not have grown with it in a way that benefited both the guild and the player.
I don’t mean to be morose. I look back on all of the friendships I have had with all of the players I have met with great fondness, even those that ended sourly. Everyone I have known and interacted with has been a factor in creating the player and the leader I am today.
There are places I’ll remember
All my life though some have changed.
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain.
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall.
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all.