Monthly Archives: December 2009

Good Manners

I have heard Psychologists call this the Age of Entitlement. The implication is that due to the “everyone is special” teaching practices of the last 20 or so years, we have an entire generation of people who have grown up believing that they are more important than others or entitled to special treatment. This mentality is common enough that I recognize it, even if I don’t apply it to an entire generation. I encounter people who honestly feel it is all about them. These are people who max out their credit cards to buy expensive clothes rather than buy something from Walmart simply because they could never been seen in Walmart clothes. These are people who scoff at economical cars. These are people who look at the unemployed and say “Well I have a job, obviously you are just lazy or aren’t trying hard enough.”

Most of the time, when I encounter these people, I think to myself, I hope karma shows them otherwise, then shrug and walk away. But these “entitled” have begun to worm their way into my holiday and my patience is growing thin. They have the belief that they are more important than others and as such have lost basic Good Manners. They get angry when you wish them a Merry Christmas because offense of offenses they don’t believe in God or Jesus and instead they celebrate a Holiday.

Well wonderful for them. Now they can shut up and go away. As a kid I was often threatened with a spanking if I was rude or mean to someone older than I was. Even now I find myself saying Sir or Ma’am to someone who might remotely be 5 minutes older than me. My mother always told me to be polite, and so I try. Some movie, I can’t remember which, had a character who said “Good Manners is simply a way of telling someone you respect them and you want them to be comfortable.” My, what a revelation! Showing respect for someone you don’t know and trying to make them comfortable?!? How un-entitled of you.

I celebrate Christmas, with a bit of religion thrown in. But if someone wished me a Happy Hanukkah I would smile and say “Thank you! Happy Hanukkah to you as well!” I don’t celebrate Hanukkah, but good manners says I should respect others and their holidays. This means not assuming that they know my beliefs or customs and not being offended when they are wishing me good things in their own way.

We need a little less entitlement and quite a bit more good manners, and some understanding that everyone is someone worth respecting, holidays and all.

Merry Christmas and BAH HUMBUG!

So I saw a quiz on Facebook that terribly concerned me.

Do you get offended when someone says Happy Holidays?

I looked at this and thought, wow, what an idiot. Who would make a question that was so obviously one sided? Then I read the results. Shockingly 20% of the people said Yes, they were offended when someone said Happy Holidays. Are you KIDDING ME? I am all for political correctness, but this isn’t about being correct or polite, or non-offensive. This is about Christmas.

Put aside your feelings on religion or commercialism and think back to being a kid. There is a reason “like a kid at Christmas” is such an apt comparison to people who are happy and excited. At the very basic level Christmas is about family, friends, celebrating, and doing nice things without the expectation of getting something in return. Christmas is joy, love, peace, and hope all rolled into one ball of well wishes. A beautiful tree, with brightly colored bulbs, bright lights, a cup of cocoa or coffee, snuggled under a blanket looking down at the wrapped packages knowing you are going to get to open them in the morning. Knowing you got someone something they will love and get to see the look on their face when they open it.

When I wish someone a Merry Christmas, or a Happy Holidays I am telling them, I wish for you all the best things this season. I wish for you to spend time with people you love, eating food you love, opening presents you love, and generally just have a wonderful moment in an otherwise normal year.

I am NOT saying you have to believe in Jesus, not saying worship at the altar of capitalism, not saying I think your religion is inferior. I am wishing you a Merry Christmas, in all of the Hallmark sense of the word. I usually respond with Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays depending on what you said to me. To me they are interchangeable and mean the exact same thing.

For those of you out there who get your panties in a twist over someone saying Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, shame on you. Get over yourself for ONE MINUTE and stop to consider the fact that someone who likely doesn’t know you from Adam, just wished you joy and happiness. How often in this day and age do you get a kind word from someone just for the sake of being nice?

Loremaster Joyia

Loremaster

In simpler terms, completing the Loremaster achievement means that a player has completed 90%+ of ALL the quests in World of Warcraft. It is 90+ because Loremaster doesn’t count repeatable quests, dungeon quests, or sometimes just a random quest.

Not a big deal you might say. You do alot of quests when leveling you might say. I decided to do Loremaster on Joyia, my main Warlock. I had leveled her through all the major Horde areas doing quests. I like to quest. I like the quest text and I don’t mind “killing x of y” and “gathering a of b”. It might have something to do with watching TV while I play WoW, but repetitive just doesn’t bother me most of the time. So of course, I chose Joyia because she was the one who was most likely to have done a large number of quests. When I started she was over 600 quests away from *just* the Old World quests!

(For those who don’t play WoW: Old World is Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor, the two continents that were the original game. Outland is the Burning Crusade area, added with the first expansion. Northrend is the Wrath of the Lich King area, added with the second expansion.)

Needless to say, I had quite the uphill climb ahead of me. So I turned on my Low Level Quest tracker and got to questing. As I slogged through dozens of quests I realized several truths right up front.

1. All the best quests in the game are hard as hell to find.
If you have ever played Alliance and done the Scythe of Elune quest line (both parts, one in Duskwood, the other in Ashenvale) you know what I mean. There are these utterly fascinating and wildly detailed quest lines coursing through the game, and yet, most start from some random item or odd place. As a game designer I am shocked they would hide their best work in such a way. To be fair, they have corrected this quite a bit in Wrath, but still.

2. Sometimes revenge is a dish best served at 80.
During my journey I traveled to Silverpine Forest. As I was killing spiders and bears, I saw out of the corner of my eye an Elite, Son of Argual. I started to move out of his path, without even thinking about it, then realized… I am level 80! This once fearsome creature may have been the bane of my existence at 18, but now… NOW is time for PAYBACK! I would be lying if I said I didn’t begin to think of zones that had particularly annoying patrolling mobs or groups with the thought of going there next to quest.

3. As you near the end of your quest for quests, you fall MADLY in LOVE with the “Go talk to that dude standing right over there. – Okay, here take this thingy to that guy right across the room for me, thanks.” Type of quests.
It is true, when leveling these quests are mildly annoying and even bothersome, as they seem like such a waste since you don’t get exp for them. But for the Loremaster wannbe, these quests are like diamonds, in truth not worth much, but so wonderful because of their rarity.

4. WoW Quest Designers were originally unorganized or needlessly shoddy.
Preface this statement with, and likely WILDLY overworked. WoW classic shipped with THOUSANDS of quests, thousands of items, a hundred or so zones, and dozens of dungeons. I am perfectly aware of the likelihood that they had dozens of designers working their fingers to the bone for this game. Also keeping a design team focused and on the same page is like herding cats in a rainstorm. However, when the ENTIRE Silverpine and Trisifal Glades areas are a part of Kalimdor despite being located in the Eastern Kingdoms… Really? Really? And so much so, that they simply classified quests as either Kalimdor or EK, so that you can’t have it broken down like the Outland and Northrend quests. On top of this there are at least a dozen non-dungeon, non-repeatable quests that don’t count for EITHER achievement.

At least with this one you can point to BC and Wrath where they improved. One hopes with Cataclysm this trend will continue.

5. Loremaster as an Achievement is WILDLY undervalued.
If you add up all the achievement points for getting Loremaster you get 50 total. 10 for EK, 10 for Kalimdor, 10 for Outlands, 10 for Northrend and 10 for the meta. For all the work, grind and sheer frustration for finding that last quest, this achievement should be one of the most rewarding in the game. That’s 50 points, just for the meta. 25 for each of the sections. Then we are approaching the level of detail and focus involved.

As of this point I have achieved Loremaster of Kalimdor, I am 2 quests away from Loremaster of EK, and I am about 30 quests away in Outland and about 100 away in Northrend. Here’s to Loremaster colors in the new year!