Larry Groznic

I have had enough, Paul. It is no longer worth the gold it costs to fly to the Ghostlands if my soldiers are going to fail me halfway through and leave the party running for its life, quaffing expensive potions, and dying before we've seen the second boss.

This is not my usual "raid postmortem" e-mail to the whole team. This is specifically directed at you, Paul, and will address the increasingly serious range of problems that have manifested themselves in the four months since you began raiding with the Destroyers of Infinity guild.

We usually feel like we're babysitting you on our raids, but in this particular instance (pun not intended), you seemed far more interested in role-playing than in little, peripheral concerns like finding and killing Zul'jin, or teensy tiny little perks like not dying! I was mad enough about the Molten Core incident in March, and the time you accidentally healed the dire troll, but your behavior last night has driven me to throw down an ultimatum: If you're going to be welcome on our future quests, you must at the very least own up to the monumental errors you made in Zul'Aman and take responsibility for the humiliating failure of that raid.

Right now my IRL rage bar is about 98, but I'm going to equip a ring of calm long enough to specify the major problems you have consistently brought to our raids. Please read and understand the following in full:


Your five-year-old Mac G5, still on OS 10.4 and with its hard drive nearly full, is incapable of running a legendary RAM gobbler at the velocity necessary to keep up with our raids. Waiting an hour for your antique collection to download and install the new patch is not a fun Friday night for any of us, and you are frankly cheating yourself of the full in-world experience by having to scale back so much on the video menu. All problems that could have been avoided if you'd used your birthday money to get a quad-core Mac Pro (like we suggested) instead of going to science camp and missing the game for two weeks.



Taking a full week to get your characters to level 23 and then deciding you don't like their attribute spread is trying our patience. You wouldn't even qualify for the expansions if Glen hadn't power-leveled your guys while you were at camp—a time-saving maneuver that I am beginning to regret ever having suggested.


There are lots of sci-fi MMORPGs with liberal instant transportation methods if you don't want the immersive feel of a 3-D world with actual distances between things. But that's not the real problem, is it, Paul? Because, hey, if you finished a mission every now and then, you could afford to fly! Or, if you stayed with a character long enough to hit level 30, you could get a mount and move much quicker. Yet another good reason to just pick an orc and stick with it.



It is bad enough that you don't have the official strategy guide bolstered by a decent unofficial one, but refusing to even check the wiki for help is absurd. We are sick of telling you it is not cheating to use the wiki. The wiki tells you what you need to know so you don't have to spend hours figuring it out. That's why our characters are smacking around the Knights of the Ebon Blade while you're still crisscrossing Gnomeregan hunting for Bink's gizmonitor.


Did you put all your talent points into Beast Mastery in hopes that the zoo in Stratholme will reopen, or because that's the tab that's showing when you open the window and you haven't figured out that there are two other talent trees? We needed a solid marksman on that raid, and you might as well have been snapping rubber bands at those crocolisks. Maybe it's my fault; when I said, "Show up with at least 1,000 high-quality arrows," I forgot to add, "Also, do not be insane." I'm not going to rewrite the blood-elves-are-crummy-hunters-to-begin-with e-mail (though if I were, I could provide numerous additional links to support my case), but could you at least invest in some serious battle skills before you jump into the Burning Crusade?



I believe your experience with dungeon crawlers has tainted your appreciation of the vibrant, living world of Azeroth. Paul, we are no longer in fourth grade, scumming through Angband 2.9. You can't just poke around until you find Calris and then kick ass. This is a densely layered game of honor, reputation, and complex allegiances among living characters. A game of wondrous fantasy scenarios like wielding profound mystic powers and earning the respect of others. But if grid-based dungeon-spelunking is the apex of the gaming experience on your homeworld, I suggest you invest your time in PhatLewt for the iPhone. I hear they've got a hobgoblin infestation you might be able to help with. Or, hey, has a nice, leisurely pace that might suit you better. But if you want to strive for immortality, then pay me heed.

I could, of course, go on for pages, but Onyxia's Lair is resetting shortly. In closing, I've been working a long time on this tauren druid, and I would like to fly into Orgrimmar without people thinking, "Hey, here comes Othgar, the tauren druid who leads lame expeditions that pick up a couple silver pieces for a night of work." As it is, I can't even talk to Cairne Bloodhoof without wanting to hide my face behind a Shadoweave Mask. And I was hoping to show up to BlizzCon this year with some accomplishments besides winning a hoodie in the Mountain Dew Game Fuel promotion.


The Destroyers of Infinity have lofty ambitions, and we have gotten Leeroyed by the likes of you too many times to let it go. Please choose where your allegiances lie, Paul, and have the decency to unsubscribe if you're not going to exert the kind of commitment that creates legends.

And I trust you will return your tabard and deposit all acquired wealth in the guild bank first.

Larry Groznic is a noted fan-community luminary and sought-after expert on the topics of British television, spy-fi memorabilia, cosplay, RPG adventuring, and limited-edition collectible maquettes. He lives in Cedar Rapids, IA, and is single.