Playing World of Warcraft and “escaping” into Azeroth has helped me through some challenging times in my life. My father’s passing in 2009, my divorce, adjusting to only seeing my daughters half the week instead of all the time, moving twice within five months, and trying (and failing) to date as a single mom in her 30s and now 40s. World of Warcraft is always there for me no matter what and it’s always happy to see me.
Yesterday (Friday) I was feeling inexplicably sad, lonely, forgotten, and invisible. My daughters are off camping with their father this weekend and people I used to call friends are also camping with them. When I became the “evil ex-wife” I lost those friends, even though I knew them before my ex.
At this point in my life, I only have a few close friends, all of whom live in a different states and even different countries than I do. Some of them I’ve met in person and some I haven’t.
I seem to be the kind of person that only has a few loyal friends and I imagine that’s due to my unique personality. I talk a lot (probably too much), am too blunt for my own good sometimes, have peculiar quirks, and forever feel like the people who I call friends are just my friend because they feel bad for me or something. I’m a people pleaser and I love to be helpful and to see people happy. Not bad traits I think, but unfortunately people have taken advantage of my trusting and open nature more times than I can count.
Fortunately for me, I’ve found great fellow Warcraft players through Twitter and we get together in game sometimes just to hang out or run a dungeon or clear invasions. One such Warcraft player was having a gathering in Dalaran yesterday evening to celebrate their birthday and it sounded like just the thing to lift my spirits and help me feel less alone and invisible. Turns out, I was right! We had a great time in Dalaran and earned the attention of many confused players who passed by.
As the gathering started to break up the Warcraft player celebrating their birthday said they needed to run Mechagon to finally unlock Mechagnomes. I’m always up for a dungeon with friends, so five of us headed off to do the dungeon. I’d never done Mechagon before so I didn’t know what to expect, which was probably a good thing because if I’d known, I might not have gone…
Our fierce group of five tore through the dungeon relatively easily and then we reached the area that will give me nightmares for the rest of time, the stealth puzzle with little robots that zap you if they see you and send you back to the beginning. I’m not good with stealth puzzles and the rogue quest for the class mount had a section where I had to stealth past guards that I failed miserably. I finally asked my daughter to do it for me because she doesn’t get as stressed out as I do during such tense endeavors. In fact, I’d seen her doing the stealth section of Mechagon a couple weeks ago and commented that it looked awful and I’d be horrible at it. I guess I was predicting the future.
After a few tries (maybe several, I don’t really remember) everyone else in the group made it to the other side of the robots from hell but I was still getting zapped and sent back. It was ridiculous that I went from feeling too invisible at the start of the day to feeling not invisible enough at the end of the day! I proudly admit that I didn’t actually break down crying during my failures (like I did during the rogue class mount quest) but wow did I feel incompetent and frustrated. I felt so bad holding everyone else back and I offered to bow out so they could finish without me.
But much to my surprise and pleasure, they were very patient with me and encouraging and stuck with me, leading me through, and reminding me to breathe. I have no idea how many times it took me to go through, but I did finally make it and I was so relieved and riled up I wanted to switch to survival spec on my hunter Sri so I could beat things up close. I didn’t though because I don’t have a good survival weapon. I’m working on fixing that though…
We had no trouble with the rest of the dungeon and I was quite happy to kill the last boss and help the birthday player finally unlock Mechagnomes.
Despite the stealth puzzle from hell, I had a great evening and definitely felt much less alone and forgotten. I know online friendships can be tricky and it’s easy to make too much out of nothing, but I am extremely grateful to last night’s dungeon crew for making me feel like I’m worth going through zappy robots for.