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One thing I don't mention here very often is that I'm on a roleplay server. We partially chose that to get away from stupid name, and partially because a good proportion of the guild are roleplayers, some of us semi-professionally. But I have to confess that I don't do as much roleplaying in WoW as I might like to.

Blogatelle is a blog that makes me really, really wish that I did more of it. A multi-author blog that concentrates just on roleplay in WoW, it really challenged my pre-conceptions about how rich an enivronment for roleplaying the game actually can be. The group of authors mean that there's always something new in you feed reader and even if one post doesn't spark your imagination, another one will. Well worth checking out.


So, slightly earlier than expected, I've dinged 72. I had a little time to spare this evening, and ended up doing a Nexus run with some guildies whose healer had been called away. It was a pretty successful run – two wipes (neither on bosses), and all four bosses down. And I've done another couple of blue-for-epic swaps. 

My Signet of Unshakeable Faith, removed from Mr Moroes a long time ago, has made way for Tome of the Lore Keepers, a pretty clear upgrade. And Red Riding Hood's Cloak has been displaced by a quest reward: Mantle of Keristrasza. That makes four Epic to Blue upgrades in a week. Whoa.

There's no doubt about it: I'm going blue faster than expected…

So, I hear you thinking, why has Leafy hacked together part of his banner and his custom Twisted Nether badge in a distinctly amateurish way? Why has he put Leafshine on Twisted Nether?

Well, my dears, it is a clever visual pun, oh yes, to tell you that I'm the featured blogger on this week's Twisted Nether warcraft podcast.

It's a bit of an Epic episode, at two and a half hours long, but that's understandable in the week that the new expansion hits. My bit starts about 70 mins in and goes on for over an hour… (It didn't seem that long when we did the interview at 6am last Saturday).

Anyway, if you've been wondering why my intial impressions of Wrath haven't appeared here, it's because they're all on the podcast. You can listen on the site, download the file or subscribe in iTunes.

And do let me know what you think.

It's going to be at least a year, and probably 12 months before we see any more levelling content, and I'd rather take my time and enjoy it. And when I mentioned this to Mrs Leafy, she rolled her eyes and muttered something about "process-driven". This is something we have to work around – she's goal-focused and I'm process-focused. She wants the buzz of finishing a project, and I love the process of doing it.

And I think just the same process is at work in my guild. Some people see the magic ding as one of the most rewarding aspects of the game, and they drive after it as fast and as hard as they can. And, for some of us, the ding is almost incidental, a side-effect of exploring, and questing and instancing. And there's nothing inherently wrong with that. Different people get different rewards out of the game, and that's one of the things that makes it so successful. But it could also lead to conflict.

Come the end of the year, some of the guild are going to be champing at the bit to get into Naxxramas and the 10-man raiding content. And some of the rest of us are going to be still working our way through the 5 mans they've run to death by then. They're going to be frustrated because they can't get enough people together, and we're going to be frustrated, because we're going to struggle to get people together for "old hat" instances. 

It's a short term problem, to be sure. The Christmas break will allow an amount of catching up to happen, and I'd imagine most of the people likely to be raiding will be at 80 by February at least. But it's another manifestation of the inherent conflicts in forming a guild by relationship rather than playstyle. 

By late spring, it'll all settle out. We'll be progressing through the 10 man stuff. The fast levellers will be working on their alts, and the slow levellers will be working on rounding out their gear and rep grinds. We'll reach a level of equilibrium, that will only be disturbed if we hit a real roadblock in our raid progress. But much as I'm loving Wrath right now (and you should be able to hear all about that in the next Twisted Nether), that pleasure is tempered slightly by growing (and inevitable) division in the guild.

UPDATE: Andro, our guild leader, has just posted on the very same topic.

Buli_Armour_CropThere's something quite interesting about this dwarf.

It's something I'd sorta noticed on Leafy, but only in a subconscious way.

(Any ideas yet?)

I guess that people who have been levelling fast might have noticed it. But us slowboats with reasonable BC gear haven't.

(Clearer yet?)

I have to admit, when I had it pointed out to me, I was blown away – and I got very excited about the Lich King endgame.

And even more excited to get some alts levelled.

And if you still don't have a clue what I'm talking about, here's the full story.