The Curious Case of Mirtai

Before you ask, the title is obviously not a rip-off of a story about a paladin blogger called Ferraro.

And so the story begins…

It was a dark and stormy night when I logged onto WoW yesterday, with cliches abound and bad storytelling running through the veins of the populations of Azeroth. Not knowing what was soon to happen, I merrily spoke into the guild chat channel, unaware of the dangers lurking around the corner. Mechanically, I asked my guild a simple question, but one which could have had many answers: “What are you all up to then?”

The fright of my life was soon to follow when a fellow guildie, a hunter called Mirtai, replied with “Not much, can we do some heroics?”

=== Story break for narrative passage ===

Now, before you all say “So what?”, perhaps I should explain the kind of person Mirtai is. *

The TLDR version would be ‘very casual’.

Prior to yesterday, she had only done VH heroic, out of all the Northrend instances, and her hunter leveled to 80 months ago. She never PuGs, has never seen the inside of a raid of her level, and isn’t wasn’t interested in gearing up or hit caps or the amount of dps she does. She also has about 4 level 80 alts, and tends to spend her time leveling yet more. Because of all these alts she also does a huge and excessive amount of dailies each day – oh, and she’s practically never stepped into a BG in her life, but that’s another story.

=== Resume story ===

So, you can imagine my surprise when the least hardcore person I know asked to run through a few instances. Anyway, I suppressed my fears about what could have prompted an answer such as this and agreed. We picked up a few other, equally shocked, guild members and friends, and off we went – only, where to go? Well, since it had been her suggestion to go, I queried Mirtai. And when the reply came, it chilled me to my core – she wanted to go to the places that dropped the best gear upgrades for her! I might have staggered backwards and clutched my heart whilst goosebumps broke out all over my skin; I don’t remember, it’s all a patchy blur.

After I recovered, and our companions found their lower jaws again, we travelled far and wide, from the Nexus to Violet Hold to Drak’tharon Keep and finally Utgarde Keep, throughout all of which I failed at dps’ing because my fingers were shaking so much from the circumstances surrounding the runs. The greatest shock was still to come, however.

Following the UK run, we decided that was enough for one evening, and I returned to the inn in Dalaran [to log out] for a much needed break – chocolate and caffeine were on the menu. To my surprise, as I passed by the EoH item vendors, who should I find lurking in a darkened corner looking at the items therein, but Mirtai! Tentatively I approached, but before I could utter a word she lashed out, holding up a necklace in a now unfamiliar hand and saying “I still need 7 more emblems for this! We have to run more instances!”. Stunned and gasping for air, I ran.

Down steep stairs, along windowless corridors, through dark alleyways and across tiled plazas I fled, ducking under forbidding trees, weaving amongst the placid crowds of shoppers, adventurers and explorers, knocking over gnomes and mailboxes alike, all the time with shouts of “I’m still 5% away from the hit cap, not good enough!” and “When is the best time to use Bestial Wrath?” ringing in my ears.

Eventually I escaped the city through the use of a device called a ‘Logout Button’, which I snatched from a goblin, and foolishly thought myself safe. This was not to be.

Upon logging in this morning I was appalled to be greeted with a seemingly sweet smile and the dreaded words: “Our friends will be on later this afternoon and are up for some more heroics then. Will you come? Be.imba says I’m almost geared for 10-mans.”

As I write this now I fear for my safety, for the safety of us all. In the wise and watchful words of one of my officers – “Nobody don’t know what Mirtai can do when she done gone got herself into theorycrafting, ‘specially not if she be going to the next town over. We best be watchin’ her closely with our peepers, mon.”

I don’t know what has brought on this strange affliction which has so affected her, and I don’t know where it will lead us. How can such a casual and relaxed player become so twisted that they care about being ready to raid and want to run instances of their own accord? Before this weekend I had no idea that Mirtai knew what an EoH was, let alone what they were for or how to spend them. The causes may not have been identified but the symptoms surely have. Mentions of Diablo – yes, another game outside WoW – alongside a tutorial in setting up a Battle.net account. Knowledge of itemization and, to an extent, min-maxing. The idea of looking for certain glyphs on the AH. Beware.

Vel.

*Everything in this article about Mirtai is said with the best of intent and I don’t mean anything derogatory by it. Love you Mir, and hope to see you in our raids before long, whatever your reasoning in your sudden change of heart!

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