This year as usual we visited the Pumpkin Festival so Alex could pick out the perfect pumpkin. He chose one that is this mutant pumpkin thing that grew lying on it’s side. So, the top is what is normally the side, and it ended up having this wierd stretched shape with big ears.
We asked Alex to sit down with a piece of paper and draw the design he wanted his pumpkin to be carved with.
Yep. Seven eyes, three noses, three eyebrows. “I could do the wide face that I’ve always wanted because we got a wide pumpkin.”
Who says kids can’t engage in forward planning? I know he was planning on that face from the moment he saw the big pumpkin. “Finally, a pumpkin big enough to take all the eyeballs I’ve ever wanted!”
So, Happy Halloween, everyone!
Speaking of Alex, forward planning, and of spooky things….
Well before Mists of Pandaria came out, the revamped Scroll of Resurrection process was revealed.
At the time, my family had all the fun we could handle, but we were lucky enough to have a few people accept Scrolls from us and pay for game time, resulting in free mounts we never use.
Those rewards if you were the recipient of a Scroll were pretty amazing, though. They made me think.
If you had an inactive account that had once been paid, and it had been inactive for over a month, someone could give you a Scroll (to your email account) and you could apply it, giving you…
- An instant free boost to your registered expansions to include everything up to and through Cataclysm.
- Seven free days of full game time, instant, without needing to provide payment info.
- One character on your account, of your choice including newly made level ones, that would be instantly boosted to level 80 with full 20 slot bags, 75 gold, reasonable level 80 starter gear, and 280% flying speed pre-trained.
- A server transfer to the server of the person who gave you the Scroll, free, if you so choose.
That’s… that is pretty crazy.
In the back of my head was the thought that, if Alex ever showed a lot of interest in a character class, this might be something we could do. Someday.
Thanks to the sometimes Byzantine billing and account systems Blizzard uses, Alex does have more than one account. He began with the starter account that had free game time that we gave him to see if he liked the game.
That first account was the one he had made his former favorite character on, the character that he worked so hard to level just to get the Creepy Crate pet that I once blogged about.
Well, when the time came and we agreed to get him his own account… because that account had already been created, we could not convert that to a paid account ON THE RECRUIT A FRIEND PLAN.
As I blogged about at the time, to have a RAF account, it has to be created from the RAF invite. You can’t convert an existing account, even if that existing one was a free one or gifted one in the first place.
Also, the RAF plan does not have the option of being Recruit a Family.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an option for the invitee to accept more than one RAF at a time, so two sponsors (or more) could all be linked together, where all three (or more) would share the rewards?
But then I suppose that would unleash the floodgates, and you’d find people with multiple kids all wanting to do RAF together, or groups of teens all wanting to start accounts linked as a group of friends so you’d have 10 brand new accounts all wanting to share instant teleporting and enhanced leveling and all that stuff, and oh my God the horror, so much money and so many new players all with those rewards the cranky old people in the Forums didn’t get to have back when God was a corporal and Naxx was in Vanilla, it would be terrible!
I can see why Blizzard would never do such a thing. The horror! /lol
Anyway, we got Alex his own account through Recruit a Friend with me. that is where his Druid and, eventually, our Death Knights came from.
Then I activated his original account, for the grand sum of $5 thanks to a previous bundle sale, and paid to transfer his Shaman who had the Creepy Crate, so Alex had everything on one bloody account.
Such a convoluted process. Silly, really. When I log into his Battlenet account, he’s actually got three sub accounts, WoW1, WoW2 and WoW3. WoW1 was the free starter, WoW2 was the one you could gift to a friend to give them a full access account as a trial, and then WoW3 was the RAF account that is now the full paid account.
I called and asked once if I could have WoW1 and WoW2 deleted, since, you know, why? And I was told no, suck it up and deal with it.
I thought long and hard before I paid to move his Shaman just because, you know, pet. What it came down to was, I had the money in my savings account at the time, and I have paid for pets (and a mount) from the Blizzard store for myself before. When it came time to consider this move, I had to balance how hard Alex worked to get the Creepy Crate and how much he loved it against what I would be willing to pay for a pet. Put that way, it felt worth it to me that he have the critter-munching monstrosity.
Even though, now that I sit me down and describe it, the idea of spending $25 so he could have a Creepy Crate pet seems hard to explain. Ah well, one more thing Cassie gets to use when she takes me to court to show my ‘fragile’ state of mind.
Fast forward to this week. Alex just happens to have, through all this complicated concatenation of account shenanigans, a formerly paid account that has been sitting inactive for many months.
Since Mists of Pandaria came out, Alex has done very little in the game. He has done pet battles, and gotten a team up pretty good, but he barely entered Jade Forest on his Death Knight before it just got too complicated and frenetic with all the crowds and kill stealing and crap.
Basically, he doesn’t want to spend any more time in Mists on his DK until we can do it together.
He did get far enough into it to do the Alliance chain where he played as a little dwarf who encounters a few raccoons along the way. That part he liked. I guided him to Halfhill where he learned to farm, and enjoyed it. He even was the first of our family to find an Ominous Seed and grow his own Terrible Turnip pet.
He started a Panda Hunter, and leveled through the entire Turtle Island chain, ending up as a level 12 Panda outside the gates of Stormwind, and eventually laying a good one on King Wrynn.
He’s done a good bit of stuff, but nothing has had any staying power. It’s all cute little vignettes instead of a single engrossing novel that would draw him in.
He’s spent more time doing other things, and more power to him. That’s the way I think it should be, with him trying all sorts of different stuff in real life instead of getting hooked into only one thing. I want for him to have a broad range of interests and the chance to do it all. Let him wait until he gets old before he settles down into one hobby.
At the same time… he kept coming back to the game to log into his Warlock, the alt that we had made and were playing together. He started playing it by himself, and having fun. He was full of excitement at how cool the stuff they could get seemed to be.
He really got fixated on wanting to get to the level as Demonology where he could ‘upgrade’ his pets to their super-powered versions.
I had originally thought you got access to that at around level 40 or 50, and he was putting forth a pretty good run at reaching that goal.
I happened to look at the Talent list one day, and realized… oh shit, you don’t get that Talent until level 75. Oh, damn. He was really looking forward to that…
Two nights ago, I asked him out of the blue, just to test the waters, “If you could have any character race or class instantly at level 80, what would it be?”
As a rhetorical question, not linked to anything at all.
“WARLOCK!!!! A worgen warlock!”
“Really? You wouldn’t want, maybe, a warrior or your druid or a mage?”
“No, I would want a warlock!”
“Well, maybe we could do something that would let you try one out for a week.”
That was a very exciting idea.
So, I sent over a Scroll of Resurrection to his old account, and told him that he could create any character he wanted, any at all, and once he was really happy with it, we could make it level 80 instantly to enjoy for one week and see what it was like.
He spent at least an hour fussing with the character creator. I love seeing it when he takes the creative process seriously. He gets into imagining things, it’s so cool.
I thought he was going to go Gnome for a minute there. He also played around with the Blood Elves, which surprised me. He really thought about it.
Then he went back to big and looming with a worgen, and was all set.
Last night I made sure he was positive that was the character he wanted boosted, and then thump, up to 80 it went.
Holy crap, people.
So yes, the characters do get 75 gold and four 20 slot Frostweave bags just given to them. I’ve got characters I’ve played to level 85 that don’t have bags that good. And the gear set he got as a level 80 warlock looks really cool, too.
Here was my first major shock; when he went to look at his mounts, he had access to ALL of the mounts from his OTHER, ACTIVE ACCOUNT.
Yes, his mounts were not just shared on all the characters of one sub-account but on all the other accounts attached to that one Blizzard Battlenet account!
So he’s on an account with only two level 8s and a level 80 warlock, with the mounts from Glory of the Raider and stuff all available to him. WTF?
Then the second surprise was all the abilities warlocks get.
I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t know anything about warlocks. I really don’t. It is the only class I have never, ever leveled past 30. And I don’t PvP, so I’ve never had to learn about them to defend against them. I don’t plot their destruction, I leave that to Gnomer.
Almost nobody I know or play witha ctively even has a warlock, so I don’t get to see them in action, either. It’s wierd.
But I thought I knew the basics… at least, up to the last great patch 5.0 revamp.
He loves the Dreadsteed, but even more than that, he’s got the ability to drop a circle on the ground and then run around, instantly teleporting back to it! Yeah, that was a hit.
And the upgraded demons? I thought he was going to spend an hour just summoning each of them and gushing over what they look like and what their names are. He is very impressed that his blueberry is now a Void LORD. it’s not just a Voidwalker, it is a LORD of Voidwalkers.
Basically, he is now able, for free, to try out the abilities at level 80 and see if it’s really something that he loves.
So far, I’d say it’s a big hit.
A few things he said last night included wondering why he bothered making a hunter when the warlock pets are so much cooler. And teleporting!
When I showed him the two special guardian pets he can summon once every ten minutes, he was just amazed. His first question? ‘When I get to max level, will I be able to have one of my pets look like the huge fire rock guy permanently?”
I have no idea. I doubt it, but really, who can say? Someone who knows more about warlocks than I do, clearly. I was shocked that Death Knights could Glyph a new appearance to their Ghouls to make them Ghasts, and Army of the Dead to be different undead critters, so hell, maybe?
Here is the funniest thing. I didn’t even show him that he can now bind other NPC demons to his will. But I’m going to take him out to Nagrand and show him the demon infested area out to the west of the zone, and let him go nuts.
Warlocks have so many fun toys to play with, it’s scary.
His biggest thrill? He can cast a spell and breathe underwater. FOREVER.
So funny. Who would have imagined he’d have found a home in the eeeeevil side of town?
Scroll of Resurrection. It’s not just for friends anymore.
My biggest surprise? I mean, just really surprised?
I expected his Warlock on the other sub-account to be a ‘play it now and then forget about it’ thing, because the Scroll only levels your account to Cataclysm levels. I assumed, before you could pay to transfer a character from one account to another, both would have to be at the same expansion level, and no I was not going to buy a fourth MoP expansion box just so i could then pay to move a warlock. Not just no but KISS MY BUTT.
The surprise is, no you do NOT have to have both accounts at the same level. I have checked very thoroughly, and yes, I could pay to transfer the warlock from a Cataclysm account directly to one that already has MoP on it without upgrading first.
Think about that. You could buy the Warcraft Battle Chest for $5, activate it and then let it go dormant and inactive for over a month, and then for $25 boom, you’ve got a brand new level 80 on your main account.
I know people who pay more than that on appearance changes. IN A MONTH. Baddmojo, I’m looking at you.
You just never know.
Kids these days, and their evil warlocky ways.
Next thing you know, he’s going to be showing me all the demons in the entire world that he could control, and drag them around behind him.
He’s already a menace in ICC, every time we go to fight something, it’s “Don’t fight the frost whelp, it’s my pet!”.
“But Alex, if you keep it as your pet, the wave never ends and we can’t activate the Sindragosa fight.”
“Oh, all right. I wish I could have one of those Frost Whelps as a real pet though, they’re cute!”
Thank GOD he didn’t hear the person in our ICC raid vent who announced that you could, if you’d bought Wrath as the Collectors Edition. I have enough of a pain explaining why no, he can’t have his own pet Deathy.
At some point, enough is enough. And I draw the line at having ancient uber-powerful world-shattering metal-jawed or undead frosty dragon whelps as pets.
He can stick to his pet-eating box, and just deal with the occasional cloud of green fart smoke.