So I was thinking of yet another post on the jewelcrafting market and how it’s shaping up in Pandaria, but then I got to thinking a little more meta-cognitively. Why has my interest returned to a topic so economic and so mundane? Do I have any great insights into how things are shaping up, why primary gems seem to be in the toilet while secondary gems are holding their value well? I hope so. But the relative value of the Primordial Ruby and the Vermilion Onyx is a rather wonky thing.
If you’re still reading this blog after all this time chances are you like wonky things. But lately it’s been all jewelcrafting and not much of anything else.
So where are we now?
Jana’s on a raid team, which is more or less the same team as the one that downed heroic Deathwing. Our arcane mage traded in his wand for the bow of a hunter (I’m not sure what spec), while our bear druid traded in her fur for a brewmaster monk. It’s still the same people, but our raid balance is actually a lot better.
We cleared Mogu’shan Vaults tonight, downing Elegon and Will of the Emperor for the first time this week. We also got the first boss in Heart of Fear this week before calling it a wrap. We raid for about 6 hours a week; 2 1/2 on Sunday and 3 1/2 on Monday, although often someone’s late or has to leave so we don’t get the full time. We’re a raid crew of exactly ten. We have no subs, no replacements, and if one person can’t make it, we don’t go.
Raiding’s pretty good on Jana and I can’t complain about that. Her gear is up to ilvl 483 now and she does decent damage. If everything goes right and the fight is favorable, she’ll top the damage charts. If not, she doesn’t. So I think I’m doing all right.
I like the crew I raid with, but I sometimes feel a little distant. I joined them in January and I’m still the newest member of the team. Technically, one person is newer than me, but he was the good friend of someone already in the group so I still think of myself as newer. I would not be horribly shocked if at some point some person from the past that everyone else knows came back, decided he or she wanted to raid, and I would be asked to step aside for them. I don’t believe such a thing will actually happen, but it’s just an expression of that I think the bonds between the other people in my raid are tighter than the bonds they have with me.
This is not necessarily a reflection on them. It is far more likely to be a reflection on me. I think for the past six months or so, and possibly for the last year or beyond, I’ve been more reluctant to form strong relationships with people. Those with whom I’ve had strong relationships with, I’ve definitely pulled back. I don’t say this to judge it, but merely to record it. It may be good. It may be bad. There have been times in this game where I would log in and hope for or look for one particular person. The game would be fun if he or she were there. If he or she were not there, the game would be less fun.
I once called such people “The One” and I could rattle off a few character names of people who were those people. Helia. Seral. Pook. Avestar. Selthera. Sina. Valeri. Aleiah. Leafie. Anivile. Naturestra. There were a lot of people who at one time or another fit that bill, and I think a fair portion of my Warcraft experience has been where the presence of one person molded my game, just by them being there.
But now? There are only three people on that list who I talk to with any frequency. Two others I could probably get in touch with if I wanted to, but where would that lead? Everyone else? I would have no idea how to get in touch with any of them, nor in many cases would I really want to. Years have passed, and those years were not terribly bright.
And now, is there someone who is “The One” out there? Possibly. There are two or three people who, if they decided to focus their attention on me, could fit such a role. (I make no effort here to imply that they should.) I don’t expect that will happen, but it’s a measure of my respect and admiration for them that I think they could be the person who makes WoW fun for me.
Other than that, perhaps something will come out of left field. There’s one person with whom I’ve had some pretty fantastic RP, but he or she is rarely online and I feel guilty about monopolizing his or her time. Chances are that he or she is RPing with me on a rarely played alt and doesn’t want to tell me the main, which creates a gnawing sense of distrust.
I’ve had some fun RPs with new people. For me, there’s a certain thrill to going after people with whom you’ve never RPed. These are the people who don’t know the candle trick, who are going to be amused at how you tease a dwarf, or similar things. Eventually that ends and you move on. I haven’t achieved many satisfying friendships that way, but here’s hoping.
Which brings me back to jewelcrafting. Jewelcrafting is analytical. Gem sellers may be stupid, but they’re not randomly stupid. Rather, they depend on tools that don’t have safety catches to prevent you from listing gems at below vendor cost, or push the cost of primary gems down too far. These things are analytical, and I can take them out and observe them and hopefully understand them.
The relationship stuff? I’m not sure. I don’t know where things are going there. There’s this ever so slight sense of unease of being the newcomer, being the one without the strong ties. I don’t know.
I guess that’s where it concludes. I’m uneasy about where things are now. I don’t feel like there’s another person out there who’s my best friend in the game and who will make things fun or at least provide security. I don’t know.