So there I was. Sunstriker, Blood Elf Rogue, just departed from the Undercity, where he’d just got training following a successful campaign of dispensing justice with holy might, and plain cold steel, with the beautiful Halcyon, who’s retired for the night now. Back to Hillsbrad, and Durnholde Keep, where apparently there are boxes waiting to be picked to improve my lockpicking ability.
I’m level 36, so I can wander through the place at will, barely having to kill anyone, except the occasional group of 3 around my box.
I’m making circuits of the place, upstairs and down, looking for new boxes to pick. It seems that whenever I’ve cleared an area, more are waiting to be found in short order. Joy. And then I see that yellow glint.
Gold? You think I’m getting gold in those boxes I’m picking? Copper, the poor man’s gold, maybe. No. It’s some gosh darned Paladin. Alliance, Hewman. (Ptew.) And he’s flagged. And he’s level 35. He’s got no business in Durnholde Keep. Except, he’s aching for a fight.
Oh, I’ve got your number Hewman Pallyman. Come into my territory, into my place of business, coming in all flagged and just begging for attention. You got it. Happy to oblige.
To be honest, this is the part of any game where my adrenaline really ratchets up. It’s been like that since the first days of Doom, chasing friends around hellish zones, machine guns blazing, rockets launching, and hiding in wait, waiting, fragging. I was on a PvP server through halfway into Blackwing Lair. It’s heady, but it’s not something I enjoy on a constant basis. To be honest I like winning. Alterac Valley has desenstized it for me for some. It’s just a video game in there, unlike the up close and personal fights in AB and Warsong Gulch and the Eye of the Storm. Which means I don’t mind dying in a fight when it’s all impersonal and such. But one on one, I’d better win, or figure out how to do so.
Anyway, back to Durnholde. I approach the Pally and go into stealth mode. Now, if it were *me* and I knew *I* was flagged, and I was in the opposing faction’s territory, my radar would be up and spinning, I’d be tracking all four corners, tracking all enemy targets, all the time. Habits of growing up on two PvP servers. (Once to 40-something, once to 60, when 60 was the cap.) I am very aware that I’m vulnerable, and tend to minimize threat to my heartbeat. (My 40-something was a Nelf Rogue. My 60 was a Tauren Shaman, as big as a barn, and unable to hide in the largest of shadows. Walk tall, and carry a huge, windfury buffed, mace.)
This Paladin is not reacting. Me, as I said, I’d be doing something. I’d move away, move to a ledge, move on. Unless, as I said, he must have been aching for a fight.
(Knock, knock.) “Who’s there?” “FTD.” “Ah, hello.” “These are for you.” (Box of cigars, a fifth of bourbon. Guy FTD.) Card reads: “Come try and gank me.” Well, okay then.
I walk up to him, he consecrates, I chase him around and kill him.
Well, man. I feel bad. Maybe he accidently flagged himself. You know, healing someone who’d just attacked Tarren Mill. And then he got lost and wandered into Durnholde Keep, and just started killing Humans in his confusion. Between Darwin and Nietzche, however, all the arguments were in my favor.
I go back to looking for boxes to lock pick. And then he’s back. His name is red now, since I’m flagged as well. And, well, red is dead. Consecrate, runs around, chase him down, kill him. That was less fun than before.
He could have HoJ’d me. He could have bubbled and healed himself. He could have bubbled and hearthed.
Later, curious, checking out his armory profile, I see he was using a blue axe out of Razor Fen downs, one-hander, enchanted with Fiery.
And, and here’s the kicker, he had a PvP tabard on.
I look forward to meeting you again, Mr. Hewman Pallyman Run around like a Girlyman. Alterac Valley perhaps, Northrend? You flag yourself, I’ll come look for you. Until then, thanks for the cigars and bourbon.