With a holiday week and truncated Warcraft time, with 4.2 on its last legs, the last week of the PvP season, the missing guildies away to visit family, I'm left feeling nostalgic, so rather than my usual ranting, I'll take this opportunity to give my thanks to a few people in game that I don't say thanks to often enough.
Since my son was born nearly 14 months ago, time has become a precious commodity for me. With Warcraft taking up as much time as it does to play, I often think about what makes me commit my time to this game instead of something else that would be, frankly, a great deal less stressful as a relaxing hobby after very full days of work and handling the baby.
The main reason for that, of course, are my friends in game. I came close to leaving the game once, and then I met some people who're still keeping me here, and grounded, and when I log in to see them, I know I'm with friends and as long as they're here, I'll keep logging into Azeroth because it's a second home for me, not because of my loot or raids or achievements, but because that's where some of my dearest friends reside.
So, this is thanks to them.
Thisle, Issacc, Riley, Elrahd, Nettle - I've been raiding with you guys for over two years, through three guilds, across two factions, through rage-quits, through rants and raves, through fallen guilds, missing raid leads, weeks of no progression, no shows, all in pursuit of the euphoric highs of many, many, many kills.
Lava and Vesti - without you guys, the Turtles would never have been successful and we're lucky to have met you in our early days. Maara and Verm - you guys are like the missing chunk of our guild that we didn't know was missing till you joined us this year. I can't imagine the Turtles without your presence anymore.
Thanks also, to all the friends who moved on after raiding with us for so long - Rasc, Brusin, Hal, Ryan, Jiri, Suly, Bhambi, Raiku, Siandris... too many names and too many voices that have fallen silent but I'm happy to have known you while you were here.
Thanks to the people who got me here in the first place - Shinorah and Ehr, who were the leaders of my first guild, who trusted a plucky little bear to run his own little Kara group, to Elionene and Lal and Zeo and Marilee, who took over when I moved on and then formed their own guild. To Rish and Lailie, who were the core of my first 5-man heroics group and the first guildies I traveled to meet, late at night, in a diner in Baltimore.
Thanks from the bottom of my heart, with nothing but love, to Loch and Atvia, to Tel and Lafaera, to Nes, and Sheri - and all those people know exactly why, I hope.
To the guildies I've met in GenCon to play table-top games with, to the guildies I've met and walked the streets of Philadelphia with, to the guildies I went to a Renaissance Faire with, to the guildies I drank beer in a pub with, to the guildies I drove across Scotland with.
And to the friends I have yet to make and meet, and to the adventures we have yet to undertake.