Minipost: Wolfdruid (Zen'Kiki's spiritual brother)

A while back, Big Bear Butt wrote a funny recap of how his young son played a druid:

"I haven’t said anything, but as I watch him, I see him flip into Kitty, use his Mangle and Rake, flip out to caster and Moonfire Spam the SHIT out of something, flip into Bear and smack it, go back into Kitty for a Mangle when it’s dead, and then on the next mob just stand as a caster, sneak up and blast the crap out of it with Starfall, then Moonfire Spam again, and then a Wrath." (BBB, Bears and Cubs)

I found this quite funny at the time, and cute. He's a kid, playing! Use all the abilities? Of course! So great.

Well, I was leveling my dwarf shaman a few weeks ago in Stranglethorn Vale (level 25 at the time), and came across a level 28 druid poking around the Kurzan bandit cave. He saw me, watched me easily kill a bandit, and then said this:

I shrugged and said sure. To be honest, the "wanna be friends" was enough to earn at least a few minutes of my time alone, but the name Wolfdruid was also pretty great. (Note: He was a night elf, not a worgen.)

Little did I know what I was getting myself into!

I quickly realized two things about my buddy Wolfdruid. One, he was very new/inexperienced, and two, I strongly suspect that, like BBB's son, he was quite young. His combat strategy was...erratic, to say the least. He was a feral druid, but like BBB's son, he'd start off in cat form, switch to bear halfway through, pop out to blast off some Moonfires/Starfires, then go back into cat, etc.

He would also occasionally shift back into night elf form and start meleeing with his polearm! Priceless.

I didn't mind, though. I found it hilarious and charming. And to be honest, I was glad to help him out, since he would have had a lot of trouble in that cave.

We finished up the quest I was on (kill X bandits), but it turned out he had a few more which I didn't have. I hung around anyway though. This was really amusing, and much more fun than leaving to continue questing would have been. the time we were finished, I had to stop questing with him. Because my armor was all broken. Because we died. A lot.

After about 10 minutes of murdering hapless bandits and being entertained by Wolfdruid's manic shifting, he started working on the final quest in the area, to kill the Kurzan chief in the back of the cave. No big deal, right? Well, it wouldn't have been...except instead of making our way through the cave, killing mobs as we went - which is what we'd been doing all along - he just started...running through the cave, headed for the back. Picking up 4, 5, 6 mobs who just started wailing on him as he went.

What makes matters worse is, he'd arrive at the back part of the cave, half-dozen mobs in tow, with the chief in sight...and then he'd turn around and start running back toward the entrance! Right into his angry pursuers. I tried killing them individually, tried healing him through it, tried kiting...but my shaman is pretty awfully geared, and I'm pretty bad at shaman to begin with.

We met with crushing defeat about four, five times before I finally managed to convince him to proceed through slowly and not via kamikaze dash.

Our adventures ended with a desperate dash out of the cave, trying to shake angry respawning bandits. I ran into the brush and managed to lose them. Wolfdruid ran straight into a cage full of angry panthers and was immediately devoured. (I did go back and rez him one last time, with a chuckle.)

The next day I looked him up on the Armory, and oh, poor Wolfdruid. Half of his gear was cloth. Half of it was grey! No wonder he'd been having such a hard time.

A few weeks have passed, and I see that he's now level 41 (see the Armory screenshot at top). And he's still sporting a few grey items. Oh Wolfdruid. But how can you get annoyed at a player like that? This isn't LFR, where you're hitting enrage timers due to low DPS. It's just STV. Repair costs are like four silver. And he's just new and loving the game. What's not to love?

(Note: This might seem like I'm making fun of Wolfdruid, or inviting people to go mock him - this could not be farther from the truth! Wolfdruid is AWESOME and honestly, this little adventure was the funniest thing I'd seen in WoW in ages.)

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    June 18, 2012 at 11:12 AM

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    I have had a few of those adventures myself, and enjoyed every moment of them :)

    We, as experienced MMO and specifically WoW players, forget - we were once that "young" too.

    I am not ashamed to admit that I was once chased around the Moonglow bank in Ultima Online, and then vanquished by my foe, the dreaded pig, which I foolishly attacked ^ ^

    June 18, 2012 at 11:15 AM

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    I think it's sweet, you were helpful and understanding of Wolfdruid.
    Also, he's almost playing as an ironman, haha! I am telling you, on my ironman character (a mage) I couldn't kill the bad guy at the back of that cage until I was several levels higher. You probably made Wolfdruid's day.

    June 18, 2012 at 11:16 AM

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    Cerylia Dawnwing

    I've met quite a few players like that. In dungeons it is rather frustrating, but when you're out and about questing, it IS quite cute. I do like helping them, but boy does it take a while. xD

    I wonder at the dedication and patience of these players, that they don't get frustrated and quit because of the difficulty they are having due to their playstyle/gear. Instead, I see them leveling this way all the way to endgame. I'd probably rage and quit the game long before that!

    I'm glad you had a fun time meeting Wolfdruid. :)

    June 18, 2012 at 11:24 AM

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    I've run into a few people like Wolfdruid, but never anyone quite so unique.

    Thanks for sharing that one, Rades!

    June 18, 2012 at 12:01 PM

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    Great story there. Poor kid in greys... maybe you can send him a mail and even a freebie item to help him out :P

    June 19, 2012 at 12:26 AM

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    PVE Rogues

    It is precisely for this reason I can't stand it when people get angry and start swearing at people they don't know because they haven't played the way they think they should. I know a few kids in my family that have played since they were very young and even my very young nieces and nephews love visiting me and playing wow with me, so i feel very protective of them when they are playing.

    You don't know who is playing, how old they are, what their mental age is, how emotional they are, etc. They just want to play and have fun and do their best so leave them be and try to relax a bit yourself. :) Your idea of playing the game is not everyone's idea of playing the game.


    June 19, 2012 at 12:40 AM

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    Hm it reminds me of my first druid :<

    June 19, 2012 at 3:15 AM

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    I've always found it quite heart-warming to help out a new player, and just as heart-warming to read about players willing to take the time to do so. /salute

    This brings back a fond memory of one quite simular to your Wolfdruid while I was running a new alt of mine through the Ratchet quest zone. After running quests with him, showing how to open mailboxes, work professions etc., the satisfaction came when he parted with his first mount.

    The sad part: he was guilded. Although they didn't seem to have the time to help him out.

    June 19, 2012 at 8:43 AM