By October 22, 2005

Trick or Treat in the World of Warcraft

I’m back into World of Warcraft again, as some of you know. For those of you who don’t know what WoW is, it’s an online role playing game set in the realm of Azeroth, the setting for three previous offline computer games. Basically, two factions — the human-led Alliance and the orc-led Horde, battle against each other and the virtual game world for power, territory, and wealth. It’s a lot less epic than that, but for those of you disinterested in the game it won’t make much difference to you anyway 😉

So anyway, one of the great things about WoW is that the game developers will slightly change the game world during major meatspace holidays, such as Christmas and now Halloween. During Christmas you could eat virtual candy canes or throw snowballs at other players. For Halloween, certain computer-controlled non-player characters will trick or treat you once per hour. The effect is random and has no real bearing on gameplay, but considering that Blizzard didn’t have to implement this at all I’m majorly impressed.

The tricks and treats I’ve seen so far include “floppy” latex-style masks in the visage of the different playable races. Here’s my character Tarhoof, a bovine-like Tauren hunter, with a floppy female orc mask on:

After my first hour with the orc mask was up, I ran back and got my second trick or treat — this time I turned into a gnome pirate — notable for two reasons: 1) I’m a fucking pirate, BOOYAH! 2) gnomes are part of the Alliance faction, and as such are my enemy. Talk about a spooky costume indeed!

I set out of town with my lion companion, Tsavo:

I happened to have a magic lantern and a pick-axe for a secondary weapon. Now I was not only a pirate gnome, but a grizzled old prospector pirate gnome!

A frontal view:

Ready for action and drawing my bow:

Time to shake my prospector pirate gnomish booty after slaying a renegade Tauren:

The attention to detail is what makes World of Warcraft the most advanced and superior online game I’ve ever played — and boy have I played a lot of them. Stilts wondered what his favorite game, Dark Age of Camelot, had planned for Halloween. I think last year the moon had a witch flying across it. Better than nothing, but don’t you want to be a rump-shaking privateering, gold-rushin’ gnomish adventurer for Halloween?

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