Meeting and greeting the awesomest people!

Is awesomest a real word?

And if it was created in the ’80s, am I still allowed to use it?

It’s time to poke my head out of the Bear cave, and begin to admit that, yes, there is a world outside of WoW.

I pretty much cut myself off from the digital world since Wrath got into my grubby little meathooks (to use my Mom’s favorite expression), and it’s been family time and WoW ever since.

But now, now I need to rejoin the land of the blogging. Because if I wait until tomorrow to write, you’ll all figure I only blog when I’m bored at work. And to quote another fine lady, Granny Weatherwax, “I can’t be havin’ with that!”

What seems like an eternity ago, but was really all of last Wednesday, I met a lot of great people at Buffalo Wild Wings in Maplewood, MN.

I was stunned by how many folks showed up at BWW.

I was expecting maybe one or two people to show up, and instead, eleven foolhardy souls braved the late evening chill to stare at the tame Bear.

And wonder of wonders, every single one of them was cool and fun to meet and speak with. Every. Single. One.

I really liked talking with all of you, so it’s not really fair to single a few of the folks I met out, since everyone was really nice, and smart, and funny and a joy to talk to. But, as I knew a few of them from the internet before the event, and you might recognise them also, I think it’s fair to mention them by name.

First, of course, is Xathras, who was the first person to specifically tell me in the comments that, no, I wasn’t gonna be sitting in a bar all alone if I held a meet and greet. Which is funny, since he plays a Hunter as his main.

And for the other pair you may have seen before, I had two internet celebrities stop by and visit; Jive the Resto Druid, and her partner and pet Prot Warrior tank of the blog Bringin’ The Wood, came by for a visit. And they are just as nice in person as they are on their blog. Well, her blog, since Jive is the only one that writes there. 

We all talked, shared stories, and generally had a blast. The night flew by, and before I knew it, it was already 11:00 PM, and hey! Wasn’t I supposed to go to this big shindig at a Gamestop or something? Aww… but this is fun!

I told some insider behind-the-scenes blog stuff to the folks there that no one else knows, and during the course of the rambling conversation that followed, I mentioned how much I enjoyed a certain Paladin song that a friend in the guild had started singing in vent one fine day…

And lo! This being the technology age, someone at the table whipped out their iPhone, did a web query, and found the bloody song within 1 minute. I shall reproduce it here, as I promised I would;

The Song of the Paladin
“I’m a little Paladin, short and stout,
Here is my hammer, here is my mount,
When a fight breaks out, I scream and shout,
Pop my bubble and hearth me out.” 

Ahhh, that was hilarious to hear coming across vent. I believe it was Garolan the Pally that sang it for me, I’m pretty sure. It’s been a long time.

The meet at BWW was actually a little, teeny bit fail on my part. It was tons of fun, but I was unprepared for people to actually show up, so I was sitting in the middle of this long table… and people of course sat at both sides of me. So this Bear tank had poor positioning on the mobs, and if I taunted or swiped at one side, the other side was being ignored. Silly old bear.

I’m afraid, even though I tried to talk to everyone, that there were still some folks that came that I didn’t take the time to talk with as much a I would have liked to. I know that if I had traveled across a city to see some dude, I’d hope to be able to chat with him for a few minutes. One lady in particular, at the far end of the table to my right, I swear I turned to specifically talk to her since I hadn’t done so yet, and she was gone. Poof. I felt horrible, because there I was chatting with folks, and maybe she got tired of watching someone else have a conversation, got bored and left.

I’ll relate a story about this… I’m a big fan of Henry Rollins, Spoken Word performer, former lead of Black Flag, Rollins Band, and general intense guy. I love his writing, his “the First Five” are pretty insane, and I admire him for his ability to be so outspoken about himself and his feelings. He just let’s it all hang out.

I went to see him a few years back, when he appeared at the U of M for a Spoken Word show. He did a thing that I have, ever since, been completely astonished at. During the show, up there on stage, he mentioned that, after the show was over, anyone that wanted to meet him, have something signed, or just say “Hi!” were welcome to stay behind and come visit him in the back of the stage. And, I swear, he said “I’ll be hear as long as some of you are still waiting to see me.”

Now that’s class. I was just amazed… here was a guy that was, seriously, a famous man, done a ton of things, and yet he was willing to put himself out there, because, as he said.. “If you are willing to spend some of your valuable time just to meet me… I am awed, and I’ll certainly be here to see you.”

It just seemed surprisingly, insanely nice for any famous person to make themselves accessible to fans like that, and maybe that says more about how self-centered I expect famous people to be than anything else.

Now, I’m not anywhere near as famous, and I’m sure I never will be, not even remotely… but I totally feel the same way, if someone is willing to go to the trouble to come out and say “Hi”, then I want to say hello back, darnit!

Oh, and yes, I stayed behind afterwards, and I just… ahem… “happened” to have a copy of “The First Five” with me, and just MAYBE I had Henry sign it. Could have happened. **shiftyeyes**

Anyway, it was a lot of fun to meet everyone, and when it was 11:00 and we broke up so some could go home, some could go to other stores for their copies, and we could shuffle out in the cold to get in line.. well, I bumped into another reader just outside BWW, who had pre-ordered at the other Gamestop.

Whoops.

See, in the first post, I mentioned there were two Gamestops, and stressed the importance of going to the right one… but I didn’t keep doing that for the subsequent posts. Damnit. So, to my one reader who came to see me, and got to say Hi for, like, 2 minutes before going back to the other store… “Damnit! Sorry, man.”

Okay, now, you know there is gonna be at least a little crankiness, right? At the Gamestop… this big pre-release party thing?

Yeah…. ummm, not so much. Unless your idea of a party is standing in a line. In the cold. No music, food, tent, nothing. A line. Waiting. In the cold. No costumes. Nada. A line.

Now, credit where credit is due. That was the smoothest, most orderly, well organized and well-prepared event I’ve seen for a midnight release. Everyone paid and settled in advance, inside the store, and then got in line outside. When midnight hit, they shuffled you in, handed over receipts, and got handed a game (or 3), and out you went. Within minutes after midnight, everyone was gone. DIS-perse!

So they let everyone get their trade-ins, credit card hassles, returns and other drama out of the way BEFORE it was time to hand over the games. Bravo.

But… come on, that was not how it was represented to me. It was a line in the cold to get a game. There was no event.

And I wouldn’t care, really, since I was grateful to have had the main meet and greet in Buffalo Wild Wings in the warm, where I could quaff a Guinness in peace.

But when I went in the store to get my receipt for the pre-order?

I handed over my pre-paid proof of pre-order, and as the cashier handled the transaction, he gave me a well-rehearsed spiel… “Would you like to buy a guide to the game? If you buy now they are 10% off cover price. And while you’re here, why not place your pre-order for Left 4 Dead, for when you take a break from Warcraft?”

Seriously. I’m standing in line to get the expansion at midnight, instead of waiting for the next day… and instead of a celebration of Warcraft, an enthusiasm for Warcraft, or even a “faking it” for Warcraft…which is what I was expecting, I get asked to drop money right that second, before I even get my hands on the expansion, on a pre-order for some zombie game I’ve never even heard of before?

WTF?

Now if they were asking if I wanted to drop money for a pre-order of Starcraft 2, well, hell… that would have been fine with me. Commendable, even.

But Left 4 Dead? The damn game has a number in place of a word! That alone screams crap to me! Geez, people, have some class.

Anyway, I want to say, for everyone that came out to see me, thank you very much for making it such a fun time. I enjoyed meeting you all, and I hope you email me, if only to say hello.

For those of you locally that wanted to come out, but pre-ordered somewhere else, or simply can’t go gallivanting around late at night in the middle of the week… I missed you guys.

What I want to do, assuming there is any interest, since that was sooo much fun, is to have another meeting, just for fun and to say hello and hang out. Perhaps not in a bar, next time, for those that do not care for alcohol. And certainly not late at night in the middle of the week. Not immediately, since, well… you all got an expansion to play. My bet is, nobody is reading blogs over the weekend unless you’re at work, so I won’t get feedback until tomorrow. But I would like to know if the choice of a BWW is the wrong venue, if it made anyone uncomfortable, or if that kind of thing is fine.

But if there is interest, then yeah, I’d like to do that again soon. You folks are wonderful. I was expecting… I dunno, WoW Insider commenters, or something, and instead I got a tableful of folks I’d love to hang out with anytime. Anytime at all.

Thank you everyone, and I hope you are having a lot of fun in the game. I know I am!

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14 thoughts on “Meeting and greeting the awesomest people!

  1. Hey BBB,

    I think the reason that they use the number 4 instead of the word is because it’s main characters are a group of four survivors.

    Anyways, wish I could have made it out to the meet up but I don’t live even remotely close to your gamestop. Enjoy Wrath.

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  2. Left4Dead is a shooter game, one of those super fast paced things where millisecond reaction time is the most important asset you have. If you like that style of game, Left4Dead is one of the best games out there for that.
    As it stands now, L4D stands to become just as successful as TF, or even CS.

    If you have no idea what I just said, best to ignore those sentences entirely.

    Only 10% off the game guide? Pathetic. 30% up here. 🙂

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  3. Eh, I know what Team Fortress and Counterstrike are, doesn’t mean I enjoy twitch gaming all that much. Unless it’s team and headset based, head to head with friends… please note the part where I say friends. I’ve found, in my few forays into the random world of matchups online, that the anonymous asshat rule is strictly enforced on FPSes.

    Rile… so you’re saying, they are like the Fantastic 4? Oh wait… they spelled that comic the Fantastic Four, didn’t they?

    Hmmm….. nope, still not seeing the need to replace the word for a number. Kinda strikes that whole note of corporate marketing sticking a big X on everything, to let you know it’s Xtreme!

    Extreme Beach Vollyeball…. ahhh, those were the days!

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  4. This was an awesome blog. oh… I meant, awesomest. Seriously – I can just feel how you had a great night out and I guess, it surprised the hell out of ya. Funny how RL can catch us off guard like that sometimes. Sadly, I’m too far away to make it to your next get-together of awesomest fun but I certainly wish you more awesomest times to come!

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  5. I agree that the 4 in Left 4 Dead is pretty silly (probably some marketing guy’s idea) that fact that it’s from Valve means I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.

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  6. I so would have been there. Had the route up there picked, verified which Gamestop it was… and then realized we had a timing conflict.

    There was this little Shindig called VGL (www.videogameslive.com) in Chicago just a day or two later, see? And we HAD to go. We’ve had the tickets for two months now.

    Next time. We’ll be there next time.

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  7. Love, Love, Love the pally song!

    Its a bit derivative, but I made a druid song for you:

    I’m a night elf druid, tall and fat.
    Here is my my bear form, now I’m a cat.
    When a hunter comes round, I scream and shout
    Leave me alone, I’m not a mount!

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  8. Don’t write Left4Dead off due to the name. You can download the demo now on Steam and try it out. It’s a great co-op shooter, one of the best. It’s not you vs. another team of players, it’s you and 3 friends vs. hordes of AI zombies trying to eat you. Much more enjoyable.

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  9. OK, I’ll grant you that I know nothing of the game Left4Dead… if, in your opinion, it looks to be a fascinating game with lots of substance, excellent quality, and a huge potential for fun, I shall certainly not stand on a bucket of ignorance and say thee nay.

    I have always enjoyed the ‘Valve’ mark of quality, so I’m sure you’re right. Valve has made some truly excellent games.

    I still think there is a marketing dude somewhere that ought to get smacked, though.

    Okay, okay! I’m letting it go! Sheesh.

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  10. You can obviously tell that the “Upsell the Strategy Guide” was the corporate mandate at Gamestop, I had the same pitch… though at ZERO percent off. You can tell the guy who worked at our suburban mall, though, believed in them as much as I did. He asked me with this look in his eyes that was like “You are a 30 something gamer and intelligent and experienced, and I know dang well you know better places for information than this but I am going to ask you anyway.” And when I told him that is what blogs are for, his eyes lit up and he extolled the virtutes of GameFAQ (and I refrained from mentioning how 2004 that was! 🙂 )

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  11. XD you got me on that one. I was going to defend myself with some of the promotional stuff from the movie, and then I realized how very silly I would have looked. /bow to you sir.

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