31 October 2011

Day of the Dead: It's good to visit with friends and family again.

¡Felicidades! Are you ready for the short and sweet Day of the Dead? Immediately following Hallow's End, this short holiday spans November 1st and 2nd and features food and fun in...graveyards! "During the Day of the Dead, the people of Azeroth gather in graveyards to celebrate and cherish the spirits of those they have lost." The in-game celebration is very obviously a representation of the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos. 

Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is an interesting holiday, in that it is a blending of traditional indigenous celebrations and forced association with Catholic holidays. November 1st and 2nd are significant in Catholicism as All Saints' Day (aka Solemnity of All Saints, All Hallows, and Hallowmass) and All Souls' Day (aka Feast of All Souls or The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed). The original Aztec festival honored the goddess Mictecacihuatl, the Lady of the Dead. When Spanish conquistadores encountered indigenous peoples' celebrations for the dead, they ended the month-long celebration and moved it to coincide with the Catholic holidays in November. Now, Mexicans celebrate Día de los Inocentes (aka Día de los Angelitos; Day of the Innocent/Little Angels) on November 1st and Día de los Muertos (aka Día de los Difuntos; Day of the Dead) on November 2nd. 

Prior to these holidays, families will prepare ofrendas, offerings of toys, food, alcohol, and other trinkets for both the graves of the deceased and their own homes. Azerothians will need to visit the graveyard nearest their race's capital city to participate. Once there, families will clean and decorate the grave, then picnic, dance, share humorous stories about the deceased, and even spend the night! Many people will wear skeleton costumes or masks, or even dress up as the dead. It is considered good luck to own something of the departed's. When dancing, some people will attach shells to their clothing, believing that the noise will attract the dead.

In the home, families will prepare food for the celebration. The still-living celebrants can snack on candied pumpkins, pan de muerto, sugar skulls, and traditional liquors. For the visiting spirits they will prepare fragrant food such as moles or tamales, in addition to the deceased's favorite dishes. Strong-smelling incense is also used, as it is believed that the incorporeal spirits will draw their sustenance from the incorporeal scent of the items displayed. That is why even when the living family eats the food prepared for the dead, it is said to have already lost its nutritional value. In addition to food and drink, families will also leave out water, pillows, and blankets, as creature comforts the spirits may need after their long journey to the realm of the living. 

Denizens of Azeroth will find Cheerful Spirits hanging around their capital's graveyards, along with a dancing Catrina and the vendor Chapman. The spirits are cheerful because according to the Aztecan belief, the afterlife is happy and souls don't want to be mourned. Cheerful Spirits provide the one quest for the holiday, the text of which alludes to their merrymaking and having eaten too much! They ask you to whip up some Bread of the Dead out of milk and flour. The real-world equivalent contains lots of egg and has many shapes and sizes. In order to see the ghostly revelers at the graveyard and turn in your offering, you will need to purchase and use an Orange Marigold. Mexican marigolds (cempasuchitl), sometimes called Flor de Muerto (Flower of the Dead), are commonly used in decorating graves as it is thought that they help attract souls. This quest rewards a temporary (CRYING FOREVER) Macabre Marionette minipet. The word choice here is interesting, as in the actual celebrations, cute or playful representations of death are not inappropriate or macabre at all. 

After you have honored the dead's request, you may want to join in the rest of the celebration! Chapman sells single marigolds and a whole bouquet, a Spirit Candle should you want to help decorate, Candy Skulls for snacking, and a Whimsical Skull Mask if you really want to get into the groove. Calaca, a colloquial word for skeleton, is used to refer to the skeleton costumes and figurines associated with the holiday. Their unique style is attributed to the artist José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913), a political cartoonist and illustrator who often drew the unpopular cohorts of Porfirio Díaz in satirized skeletal form. His best known print is La Calavera Catrina (The Elegant Skeleton), a skeleton representation of an upper class lady. At the time, Posada's works were quickly forgotten, but following the Mexican Revolution, French artist Jean Charlot revived them. This resurgence of images forever associated Posada's cavorting calacas with Día de los Muertos.

[As a quick aside, I took Spanish throughout high school and university, and had to watch a classroom telenovela known as La Catrina. The way the main character said that phrase has always stuck with me, so I find myself hearing it over and over as I read about LA CATRRRRIIIIINAAAAA.]

To get the one achievement associated with the holiday, players must /dance with La Catrina in the graveyard. This will also give them the buff Honor the Dead, which makes them look like a skeleton. Being walking skeletons already, the Forsaken are uniquely suited to represent this holiday. However, it's interesting in that they themselves are denied what those being celebrated have: the blessed afterlife!

30 October 2011

In this town we call home, everyone hail to the pumpkin song.

Are you in the Halloween mood? Crank some of this Nightmare Before Christmas and enjoy the screenies I took while flying around the world collecting candy! Behind a cut due to many pictures. Best viewed on the actual site rather than a reader because of Blogger's lovely built-in lightbox!

28 October 2011

Lady Pandas | 行ってきます!

We got Ragnaros down after weeks of excruciating difficulty in the second transition phase. The attempt went so well I was still expecting the hard part when he went down! I'm so proud of my guild :)

Obligatory kill shot
Post-raid amusement
Now I can relax about having to miss Sunday's raid; the reason being that.....I'm taking a week vacation to visit guildies in Australia! We will be tooling around Melbourne doing all the good drinking, eating, and touristy things. I have posts queued up for the week, but please be aware that I will be unable to respond to messages until after I return :)

Finally, I have a special present for you behind the cut!

25 October 2011

The Leatherworkers [Tier 12]

The tauren made a quiet whuffling sound in the back of his throat, which the orc recognized as a snore. They had been up very early for their first appointment, acquired after weeks of rituals, paperwork, and more rituals. The druids of Hyjal would sing wood for armor, if the leatherworker was dedicated enough to undergo long ceremonies praising and thanking the tree. The pair had done that, and finally been approved for the singing ceremony, which had taken place that morning while the sun rose.

It was a beautiful ceremony, the orc mused. Just time-consuming. The pair had waited awkwardly while a team of druids sang in the pre-dawn coolness. For a while, it had seemed as though nothing was happening. Then, bark began to peel away from the tree in thick strips to coil heavily at the druids' feet. When they finished singing, the leatherworkers had a formidable pile of bark, and the tree looked as though the bark had been removed weeks prior.

The druids had helped to pack the bark away after another lengthy ceremony, and then seen the leatherworkers off. And that wasn't even the hardest part of the day.

Their windriders touched down in a curious grove sporting a whirling portal to the Firelands. The orc nudged her companion awake, and he snorted. Together, they led their mounts through the portal and trudged to the steam geysers. The Firelands were oppressively hot, but they waited until they had reached their destination before donning their fire-resistant gear.

Thick aprons and gloves, a face cover, and long-handled tongs completed the ensemble. They flipped a coin to see who would go first. Sighing in defeat, the orc lowered her mask and grabbed the tongs. Several minutes later, she was gingerly holding a strip of bark over a bubbling vent. Every so often it would emit a bubble of noxious smelling gas. Soon, it began to pop and hiss, and the orc steeled herself.

"I hate this part," she whispered like a mantra. "I hate this part I hate this part I hate this-" the geyser erupted in a pillar of flame, charring the proffered bark. When it subsided, the bark glistened blackly, and the orc's flame-retardant gloves were on fire.

She roared wordlessly, and the tauren put out the fire in short order. She placed the still-smoking bark into a thick, inflammable bag, where it would remain hot until magically quenched and affixed to leather. That finished, she settled down to rub a cooling salve into her hands.

The tauren took up the tongs for the next piece. He decided to say nothing about his companion's missing eyebrows.

22 October 2011

Mists of Pandaria

I know, I know, everyone and their sister has been reporting on Blizzcon! And to be fair, I know this blog isn't really a place people come to get their "news." Instead, please allow me to react to a few specific things that jumped out at me in the pile of information we got this weekend.

The day began with my university friend announcing he was playing WoW again. The reason was that he wanted Diablo 3 for free, and a year of WoW was a good deal. I've been thinking about that same deal myself, even though I have very little interest in Diablo, simply based on the WoW-reasons I might like to keep playing.

The xpac announcement itself was a bit of a disappointment for me. "Mists of Pandaria" just doesn't seem as compelling or epic as "Cataclysm" or "Wrath of the Lich King" or even "World of Warcraft" itself. "Mists of Pandaria" just seems like a light-hearted romp through a panda playground. I dwelt on this as I was touring my candy buckets today and, with the help of some other blog commentary and screenshots of the new zones, I have tentatively come to like this. I think I can be ok with a lack of a central villain, playable humanoid pandas, and what appears to be their very lovely home.

I do have a couple concerns, however. First, that the race itself will be incredibly stereotyped, both by the developers and the playerbase. It's obvious that the new zones are modeled very closely on real-world Chinese architecture and include Jade in their titles to emphasis just how Chinese it all is. I hope that the NPCs and questlines offer more than Kung Fu and Wise Asian Master archetypes. More importantly, I hope that this does not lead to even more awful gold farmer jokes or character names!

The second concern is...lady pandas. When I saw "The female model is not finished" my heart sank. I'm not really surprised, considering Blizzard creates male models with ease, and then often forgets to include the other 50% of the population for their nonplayable races. However, I am apprehensive that this will end up like the worgen female fiasco, where designers create a feral, ferocious, hulking male worgen, and then whip up a twiggy, furry blood elf with a great rack. The current male pandaren are wide and fat, and I like that about them! I hope that the female model is fat too, to be perfectly honest, but since I know that's unlikely, I'll settle for a dwarf female-type body. Big hips, big shoulders, big boobs, big everything! I'm curious what they will do with the "hair" on the models; I think they could get away with bangs or little mohawks, but I'd be skeptical of hair much longer than that. Maybe the pandaren can have piercing, or fur pattern options instead.

But it's not all bad news! Although it at first seemed like an elaborate hoax, it appears that vanity pets will no longer be "non-combat," as they are upgraded to pokemon-like collectibles that players can now use to train and battle with. Some of you may already know that I am a huge pokemon nerd, so this is honestly the most intriguing draw for me at the moment. The weird thing is that I don't particularly look forward to actually battling with my vanity pets, but I do love the idea of naming and training them.

The new specialization concept interests me. I know people get upset about relearning their class after major overhauls like this, but I guess it's happened to me enough times that although it bothered me once, I'm now only looking forward to it. The druid community has a great many technical bloggers who will test and critique the changes until they are satisfied, so I'm relaxed about whatever may happen.

The sheer amount of information about activities other than raiding warms my little explorer heart. I'm eager to explore the new zones and try out a monk. Pandaren, being another humanoid animal race, seem like a people Aka might want to get to know. When are they going to announce more character slots per realm? That is perhaps the only thing more important to me than my new battling minipet army.

What have you guys been reading? What are your thoughts on the new expansion and its features?

19 October 2011

Trick or Treat!

It seems that I am not done talking about Hallow's End yet. As my favorite holiday, I am positively loving the changes that have been made to the holiday. To begin, extra achievements were added to acknowledge the new candy buckets in Northrend (old news, I know) and the Cataclysm zones. This will make it easier to track my progress, at least the first time around on a toon.

In keeping with their drive to lessen the need to constantly be on WoW, the hourly trick or treating component has been entirely removed, in favor of three special currency vendors who sell masks, pets, and other items needed to complete the associated achievements for the holiday. There are also some extra goodies for those who have bought all they need and have currency left over. The currency is actually a candy, which can be looted from the Handfuls of Treats at each inn's pumpkin basket.

The last achievement I've been waiting on is A Mask for All Occasions. Before, this was a frustrating RNG-dependent achievement, but now I am looking forward to raking in my candy and cash from this year's candy buckets and buying the last few masks I need. Those who are fond of wearing their masks will be pleased to note that using a mask does not replace your helm but still displays the silly face.

The vanity items have expanded, from the Sinister Squashling and Horseman's Reins to a new Feline Familiar and Creepy Crate. The cat is purchasable with 150 of the new candy currency, and the crate comes from the simple new quest chain added this year. I wasn't a huge fan of the crate until I spent some time examining it. It makes cute creature-y noises when you click on it, and whatever is inside the box will occasionally poke out a hungry tongue or peep from the darkness with glowing red eyes.

As I expected, the Southshore series of quests has been replaced by rival dailies attacking Stormwind and Undercity, respectively. One quest taxis you around while you drop stink bombs on the opposing city and flags you for PVP when you dismount. You won't want to wander away after you dismount, because another daily sends you into the rival city to crash their Wickerman fun.

Right before I scheduled this post, I ended up reading Navimie's much more colorful version! Be sure to check that out here. Also, I happened to be poking around blogger and noticed my pageviews had exploded again thanks to a link from WoW Insider, causing me to fall out of my chair and field some awkward questions from coworkers ("Aka-sensei, are you...having trouble?") So hi to you all, hope you enjoyed the holiday post!

16 October 2011

Hallow's End: Prepare yourselves; the bells have tolled!

Trick or treat! Are you in the mood for Hallow's End? "When the decorations of Hallow's End light up Azeroth's cities, you know there's mischief afoot!" This two-week long holiday offers atmosphere, dailies, achievements, a boss fight, fabulous loot and vanity items, and more sugar-sweet candy than you can shake a stick at! It's based heavily on the real-world Halloween, but has some interesting points from Azerothian lore.

For instance, you may be surprised to know that back in the day, before Arthas had given himself over to killing close friends and binding the dead to his indomitable will, Hallow's End was a harvest festival celebrated by the humans of Lordaeron and Stormwind. (Didn't we just have a Harvest Festival? you may ask.) This goes back to the roots of Halloween as the Gaelic harvest festival Samhain, meaning "summer's end." This autumn holiday marked not only the end of the harvest, but also the ending of the light half of the year and beginning of the dark half. Azerothian humans threw branches onto a burning Wickerman to symbolize their past troubles being burned away in preparation for a brighter future. Similarly, Samhain celebrants walked between bonfires and threw the bones of slaughtered livestock on them as a cleansing ritual.

October 31st, Hallow's End, marks the day that the undead were finally able to break away from the grip of Arthas and become the Forsaken. They now burn a Wickerman as a symbol of their freedom, smearing the ash from the effigy on their faces in their fervor. Actual wicker men were used by Celtic druids as effigies of human sacrifice. Caesar and others supposed that living men were bound inside and burned along with the wicker man, but it is debated. Interestingly, the Wickerman in-game presentation is based on Burning Man, an event for radical self-expression in Nevada. Originally a summer solstice bonfire and wooden effigy, the creator claims to have known nothing about The Wicker Man film and in fact changed the festival name to Burning Man to distance himself from it.

Celtic revelers were said to wear costumes or masks in order to either copy or appease the spirits during Samhain. In Ireland and Scotland, children wore (wear!) disguises and went from house to house begging for treats or money in exchange for entertainment in a practice known as guising. This is most closely mimicked in the quest Treats for Spoops! in which the adventurer travels to inns in their major cities and must flex, kiss, cluck, and dance for candy on behalf of a sick orphan. In previous years, players could do more trick or treating at inns to receive a Treat Bag. Rather than the trick-or-treater, the bag would choose to either perform a trick or provide a treat. Treats could be one of the many flimsy masks, a selection of candy, one of the 8 transformation wands, or the coveted Hallowed Helm or Sinister Squashling minipet. Tricks came in the form of costume buffs or 30-second debuff transformations. Now, those tricky RNG items can all be purchased from vendors, and the currency obtained from visiting an inn's candy basket.

Inns also offer the opportunity to go apple bobbing, one of the popular seasonal activities like divination or turnip-carving. Apples feature prominently in the Halloween traditions of Earth, proving themselves a versatile fruit in many romantic rituals. Cutting an apple at night and looking into a mirror, a maiden may see the face of her future spouse. Rather than cut the apple, she could place it under her pillow to dream of him instead. Or, she could cut the peel off in one long strip, throw it over her shoulder, and behold the first letter of his name in its shape! Other romantic divinations were performed with chestnuts and egg whites.

There are plenty of candies to be had this holiday. Tigule's and Foror's Strawberry Ice Cream, Moonbrook Riot Taffy, Styleen's Sour Suckerpop, Bellara's Nutterbar, and Hallow's End Pumpkin Treat can all be bought from a Hallow's End Treats vendor. Players collect local specialties of gumdrops, nougat, mint, and marzipan for an orphan. Each inn's candy bucket will set you up with a handful of G.N.E.R.D.S., Pyroblast Cinnamon Roll, Chewy Fel Taffy, or Soothing Spearmint Candy, along with the new candy currency and other vanity items.

Although the North American-based Hallow's End decorations feature pumpkins, did you know that the original Jack o'Lanterns were carved from turnips and other vegetables? They were placed in windows to ward off evil and illuminated with candles at night. Immigrants to North America began to use the native pumpkins, which were larger and easier to carve. They were first associated with the harvest, and later became representative of Halloween. The earliest references for the name jack o'lantern were night watchmen or will o'the wisps, but the more recent legend stars a man named Jack, who bargains with the Devil. His sins keep him out of Heaven, and either his bargains or tricks on the Devil prevent him from entering Hell. Forced to wander for eternity, he is given an ember from hell (or a vegetable lantern) to light his way.

In addition to grinning jack o'lanterns, you will see clouds of fluttering bats and black cats around town. Killing a black cat will give you Bad Luck as punishment. Black cats have a conflicted history of reverence and revulsion. Although they have been seen as granting good luck in Egypt, Great Britain, Ireland, Scotland, and Japan, rising superstitions in Europe and New England lead to them being associated with witchcraft and misfortune. They are connected with bad luck for gamblers, but good luck for sailors and fishermen. Azeroth appears to consider them good luck, since killing one punishes the killer. "In Egypt, it was once believed that the life-giving rays of the sun were kept in a cat's eyes at night for safekeeping." How sweet!

The adversary of Hallow's End is the Headless Horseman, who spends most of his day setting fire to the small villages of Azeroth. When he's not riding around cackling maniacally in the skies of Brill, he's being summoned and mercilessly slaughtered in the Scarlet Monastery Graveyard by max-level adventurers. In game, he is the former Sir Thomas Thomson, a knight of the Silver Hand turned Scarlet Crusade zealot after witnessing the traumatizing downfall of Lordaeron. He was finally put to death after turning on his own Scarlet Crusade members, then raised by the hidden demon Balnazzar as a Death Knight. His signature loot, contained in the once-daily Loot-Filled Pumpkin, is The Horseman's Horrific Helm, most terrifying because it likely contains his severed head! You might also receive The Horseman's Reins, so you too can be a harbinger of death on a steed from hell. The pumpkin also has a chance at level-appropriate rings, a sword, the Hallowed Helm, a Sinister Squashling, and a temporary Flying Broom!

The headless horseman archetype appears in many different cultures. In Ireland, he is a dullahan, a headless fairie who carries his head under his arm and spurs his black horse onward with a whip made of a human spine. When he stops riding, the person whose name he has called immediately dies. In Germany, one legend has a woman out foraging witness a gray-cloaked man riding a gray horse, and in another, the "wild huntsman" sounds his horn warning hunters not to ride for fear of misfortune. Azeroth's Headless Horseman, however, probably calls up memories of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow for most players. In this 1820 story by Washington Irving, the headless horseman is a nameless Hessian soldier beheaded by a cannonball and buried in an unmarked grave in the town of Sleepy Hollow. Local residents Ichabod Crane and Brom Bones vie for the hand of the lovely lady Katrina Von Tussel, until one night Ichabod is menaced by a headless horseman on his way home from a party. He mysteriously disappears, leaving behind only his hat and a smashed pumpkin as evidence, and it is believed that the Headless Horseman carried him away. However, the ending of the story strongly suggests that it was foul play from Brom.

The complete destruction of Southshore by Forsaken troops makes me curious about how the holiday will change this year. In previous years, the Horde engaged in its own little bout of competition by Stinking Up Southshore and filling its kegs with Rotten Eggs. The Alliance responded with The Power of Pine and by Crashing the Wickerman Festival. Both sets of quests are PVP-centric and recall the bitter battles between Tarren Mill and Southshore. 

There are a total of 19 achievements awarding 210 points for this holiday. There are now achievements for Northrend and Cataclysm zone candy buckets! Learn about the quests, rewards, and achievements at Wow Insider and Wowhead!

13 October 2011

The Funeral

After this post, I had to write some sort of response. Many thanks to Kamalia for her very comprehensive insights into tauren funerary rites.


Akabeko handed the missive to the banker, who barely glanced at it before leading her to the appropriate vault and unlocking it. "Let me know when you're finished," he said sleepily. She heard his hoofsteps move away but didn't look up from the name on the door.

The inside of the vault was tidy. There would not be much to attend to. In one corner stood a dummy outfitted in a complete set of druid leathers. As she looked, she saw them on the bull himself, looking proud, bright, confident...

"I'm glad you could make it," he said with a grin. His electric blue shoulders looked completely out of place in the molten realm.

Akabeko fanned herself ineffectually against the heat. "I wouldn't miss this for the world."
"Listen up!" called the leader, a snarky, green-skinned goblin. "We will soon be entering Beth'tilac's lair."

She blinked, and the feathers were once again dull and unmoving. She packaged the gear in a ceremonial bag and moved further into the vault.

A trunk along the wall revealed engineering paraphernalia in relatively good condition. She catalogued each spanner, widget, and lockbox before sorting them into neat piles for guild use, auction house, or donation. At the bottom of the chest, she found a tome that made her throat constrict painfully. Although completely illegible to both of them, its magical enchants kept it eternally free of dust and age.

Akabeko watched with interest as her friend lugged a bulging rucksack across the floor. "What do you have in there, rocks?"

"Better!" He looked very pleased with himself. "I have something that your shady friends at Ravenholdt will like."He pulled open the bag, revealing a huge collection of battered junkboxes. 

Akabeko gasped.

"Just don't try to open them yourself," he cautioned. "They get suspicious."

Three months later Akabeko was dragging her own bag through the guild hall. 

"Don't tell me...bricks?" he said when she reached the bar.

"Much better. This should make your moody Shendralar smile."She opened the bag, and colorful, glossy books spilled onto the floor, each looking as if it had just come from the printing press.

The book she neglected to write down, and instead slipped it into her pocket. It was completely worthless now anyway, seeing as the Shendralar had emerged from their hiding place in Dire Maul and pledged themselves staunchly for the Alliance.

She moved on and found a box of ore and gems too heavy to move, labeled it as "guild" and moved on. A small chest of drawers contained some extra shirts, a festive winter hat, and a collection of tabards. Each was folded carefully into a ceremonial bag, but she saved the guild tabard for last.

"There's talk that our favorite bear will be retiring before long," he said conversationally.

Akabeko shot him a look. "Who told you that?"

"She did herself. Says it's too much to keep doing week after week." He shrugged at Akabeko's resulting glower. "You were in the same place for some time, as I recall. I myself pulled you out of a few drunken brawls, did I not?"

"At least I got over it," she muttered.

Some people never do." He stared into the fire. "The cataclysm, Deathwing's return, Cairne's murder...some people may never move past it."

The material was smooth with age. She traced the crest on the front before closing it in the bag.

Last was a small set of shelves covered with knickknacks. Akabeko found keys, trinkets from archaeology, dungeon spoils, and a crusty handful of preserved hops among the myriad of things she transferred to a ceremonial pouch. She hesitated when she came across a stone of Elune.

"I'm going to Moonglade for the ceremony of Cenarius. Will I see you there?"

He met her gaze. "As much as I just LOVE those druid gatherings...I have to go and talk to some people in Thunder Bluff. Important people."

She rolled her eyes. "Is it a new quest or something?"

He gave her a wry half-smile. "Yes, you could say that."

Akabeko stood and looked around the room. With everything packed away, it looked lonely. Ready for its next occupant. She called the banker and instructed him on what to do with the sorted piles. The personal items she carried out herself.

The next day dawned clear and crisp. Akabeko had helped the crew build the bier and arrange the quilted ceremonial bags that contained the possessions of the deceased. She now waited quietly with a host of other guild members, friends, and family. She glanced at the elderly tauren leading the ceremony, who was flanked by Hamuul Runetotem and Baine Bloodhoof himself.

"Today, we honor the life of our departed brother Dahakha," said the woman, and four tauren carried his body to the bier. It was swaddled in a blanket embroidered with symbols denoting his clan, class, and rank. A guild flag had been draped across his midsection. "He died in service to his people, honoring justice as he knew it." The tauren move to light the kindling at the base of the bier. "We recommit his body into the arms of the Earthmother. May his spirit fly to her swiftly; may the winds carry him gently; may the grass whisper his name. Let him look down on us with joy, through the eternal gaze of An'she and Mu'sha, until we too join him in death." The fire sprang up around the quilted bags.

"It's not right," he said angrily. "He's not the true Warchief. Any fool can see that." Some orcs from a nearby table looked up sharply.

"Would you keep it down?" Akabeko hissed. "If Thrall thought he was worthy, what more proof do you need?"

He raised an eyebrow at her over his drink. "Do you really believe that? Do you really believe that an aggressive, warmongering..." he struggled to find a word, "butcher is fit to lead the Horde?"

"He's done some things to redeem himself! You remember what happened in Stonetalon."

"Does that make up for what's become of Ashenvale?" he cut in. "Someone has to do what needs to be done."

She faltered and couldn't meet his eye. She knew he was right, but she wouldn't lift a finger.

A gray-furred hand gripped her arm just above the elbow, bringing her back to the present, and she smiled.

"For we are all born of you, Earthmother, and shall all return to you," they chorused.

The fire was raging across the offerings now. A gentle breeze blew the smoke into the valley. Voices carried faintly on the wind. "We know you, Dahakha. You are welcome at the hearth of the ancestors." For an instant, she could see an outline in the smoke: a tall bull in full regalia, bowing to his chieftain...

10 October 2011

Dahakha's Finale

I mentioned that many of my guildies had left the game. One of them is my Insane buddy, who you will recall from basically every post I ever wrote about that achievement. He has written a lovely piece to honor his druid Dahakha, which I am pleased to share with you now!


I can't open my eyes.

The only sound is a faint roaring. Distant, but I can feel it thundering through me. It presses me down like a physical weight. I struggle to move, but it is too much. I am too heavy.

As I struggle against the weight, barely able to breathe, I become aware of another sound under the roar. It is...familiar. I have heard it's like before....but where? Oh yes.....

His hands clenched the rail before him, and Dahakha was unsure whether he was bracing himself against the wall of noise created by the crowd around him, or holding himself up as his world dropped away. He stared in disbelief as below him, on the arena floor, Garrosh Hellscream raised his axe and, turning away from the body at his feet, screamed out his triumph to those looking on.


Dahakha had seen many things since the Cataclysm had torn Azeroth apart. Deathwing's return had caused untold suffering for all races, not just the tauren, yet Dahakha had made it his personal mission to visit the new settlements and revisit the old, extending his help wherever possible and wreaking vengeance when grief overcame compassion. This was Cairne's way as well, and Dahakha had followed his chieftan's lead in trying to heal the wounds of the shattered world. He had heard with growing disquiet of the widening breach between Cairne and Garrosh, and was almost relieved when the challenge of honour came. Garrosh had led the Horde away from an honourable future, undermining or rejecting much of the work Cairne and Thrall had begun both before and during the Northrend campaign. It was time to correct that, and if his chief saw no other way to do so than single combat, so be it.

Cairne had been right. He had been true to his people, to his honour, and to the Horde. Yet, as he faced Garrosh and – clearly in control of the fight - moved to finish it, he had faltered. It was unbelievable. The acting Warchief, though, had not hesitated, and Dahakha's true leader, Cairne Bloodhoof, was dead. How could this be?!

Though most of the crowd was shouting its approval of the spectacle, the pocket of tauren around Dahakha was more muted. Many, like him, were silent, staring at their chieftan's body in stunned amazement. Some, however, had joined in their voices to the crowd's. The deep tauren bellows were filled with grief, and here and there, with anger and suspicion.

Dahakha had spent months moving around Azeroth, dealing with the many problems faced by the Horde in the new, devastated world. But as he gazed down at Cairne's lifeless body, he experienced his own personal Cataclysm......

The weight lessens slightly. I force my eyes to crack open, though all I see is a blurry light. Then shapes slowly form in my sluggish mind, faces. Many tauren faces, far off. I fix on one....I know it.....Cairne! But, Cairne is gone?.....no, his son.....

After Cairne's death, and the Grimtotem uprising, Dahakha was busy with his duties both to the Horde and to the Cenarion Circle, but he still found time between these missions to journey back to Thunder Bluff. The mood in the tauren city was changed greatly. While the revelation of Magatha Grimtotem's betrayal had calmed things somewhat between Thunder Bluff and Orgrimmar, resentment and lingering suspicion remained among many tauren. Baine Bloodhoof, the new chief, worked tirelessly to hold the Horde together, despite urging by many young braves, and a few older advisors, to avenge his father.

Dahakha sought to gain his chieftan's ear, but after the first meeting he was dismissed as another troublemaker, and Baine would not spare more time for him. He asked to be appointed as the Cenarion Circle's representative in Thunder Bluff, but the Archdruids assigned him other duties, more 'suitable' tasks. While these duties were in fact important, Dahakha could not help but feel that he was being deliberately blocked from Baine's council.

So he spent his time in Thunder Bluff speaking to the braves, young and old alike, gauging their sentiment and loyalty to their people and to the Horde. Slowly he became acquainted with a number of tauren who felt, like he did, that the Horde was losing its way. Plans were made and discarded, each more fantastic than the last.

Finally, he returned to Thunder Bluff to be met with restrained excitement. They had a chance, at last, to make a difference.

My gaze shifts slowly, up to the sky. The clear blue is unbroken, except for a lone hawk circling lazily above me.....

Dahakha drifted through the air high above Mulgore, lazily spiraling around the path his quarry was expected to take. As he instinctively sought the warm air currents, his mind went back over the plan he and the rest of the malcontents had hammered together over the previous days. Satisfied that they had taken every precaution, he allowed his attention to be drawn back to earth. Spying a large and brave, if foolish, rabbit in the grass, he aligned himself with it and prepared to stoop.

There! At the edge of his vision, he caught movement on the path. Aborting his strike on the fortunate rabbit, Dahakha drifted toward the group that had appeared in the distance. After a few minutes of observation he was sure, and casually changed course towards a copse of trees.

As he landed and shifted, Dahakha was met by low greetings and questions from the braves gathered. “They are coming. Now we wait for them to pass.”

A veteran of many a campaign, he rested with his back to a tree trunk, quietly letting the peace and harmony of life fill him. Soon enough, the sounds of booted feet, clinking of mail and creak of leather grew easily heard, and he flowed into lionform, padding to the edge of the copse and settling in amongst a thicket.

Approaching along the path, a group of orcs. Garrosh and his entourage. Interspersed with them were tauren soldiers, tribal markings and armour identifying them as the guard of the Chief of Chiefs. There was Baine, striding back to speak to a guard, then making his way to Garrosh's side again, pointing out various landmarks.

Dahakha growled, low at first, but building strength until his roar echoed around the hills. The group stopped, hands going to weapons and looking about with care. As time passed, slowly they relaxed, and started moving again. A pang of worry went through Dahakha – that had been the signal. Why were his colleagues in the guard not acting? He looked more carefully.....it was difficult to tell from here, but at least one of the guards he had been assured was going was missing from the escort. Something was wrong. Very wrong. Behind him, he heard agitated whispering, questioning the delay. He crawled back to them.

“This is not good. Our guards are not there. We cannot proceed, not with Baine at risk.”

This was met with exclamations of dismay and outrage. Confusion.

“We did not come here to fail, Dahakha. We must try!”

“No. We must wait. There will be other opportunities.”

He went back to the thicket, ignoring the low arguments behind him. Sharp disappointment – another chance like this would be a very long time coming. Suddenly he became aware that the arguments had stopped. He glanced back and found the braves gone. Alarm turned to shock as a cry went up from around him, the braves bursting out of cover towards Baine and Garrosh.


In desperation he dashed after them, barreling into legs to trip them, but most continued unchecked, bellowing warcries, not least among them “For The Horde!” and “Cairne!”. Baine and Garrosh stood together, weapons ready with their guards ranged about them. Garrosh laughed at the oncoming braves, roaring his own challenge.

There was no hope. Dahakha watched in despair as the guards met his braves, orcs mowing them down with ruthless efficiency, tauren aiming to neutralise rather than kill. Baine waded in, clubbing braves to the ground, whilst Garrosh leaped forward with abandon, clearly relishing the opportunity to fight. Dahakha did what he could, healing the worst of the injuries, but he was not as attuned to the tree of life as many of his fellow druids, and his efforts were only enough to prevent some deaths. Tears blurring his vision as the battle raged about him, he never saw the strike that turned the world black.

The weight comes crushing down on me again, and this time with the pain. Ah, but this pain is welcome, for it drowns out the pain I have carried for so long. The pain of betrayal, the pain of loss, the pain of grief.....

As consciousness returned, Dahakha groggily became aware of someone standing over him. Slowly his vision cleared, and in the firelight of the tent he saw Baine's sad face before him. He started to rise, but the clink of metal brought awareness of the weight of chain at his ankles and wrists. The instincts of the wild, the fear of being trapped and caught, took over and he shifted into catform – or tried to. Something blocked him....the chains were enspelled, locking him into his tauren shape.

After a moment of panic and struggle, with great effort he calmed himself and focused on his chieftain once more. Baine sighed.

“What did you hope to accomplish, Dahakha? Why risk splitting the Horde with such a foolish action? You had to have known that the orcs would never rest until they had vengeance for such a betrayal.”

“We only planned exile, my chief. We never wanted to kill anyone.”

“And yet many were killed. My people. Your people.”

“Yes. I could not stop them....I wanted to abandon the plan. Our people were not in place, we needed you kept safe – wait. You knew. That is why the guards were changed. How long?”

“Long enough, Dahakha. I tried to talk Garrosh out of continuing with the tour, but he insisted on drawing the rebels out so he could crush them at once. I had hoped that by changing the guards you would see sense and not do anything stupid. I share your responsibility for these deaths, I'm afraid.”

“I am sorry that we caused you such pain, my chief. It was our hope that a new Warchief would be more like Thrall, if he could not come back. More like your father.”

“Garrosh was appointed by Thrall himself. Do you doubt his wisdom?”

“Then why did Cairne challenge Garrosh, if not to save the Horde, to stop the descent into savagery that we are seeing with the new Warchief? You know that we are losing our honour, our chance at peace with the Alliance by being a part of such a Horde. We can only guess how long Thrall will be needed by the Earthen Ring. What if he comes back to find a Horde as merciless and destructive as it was before Mannoroth was destroyed? Can we afford to wait until that happens before we act?”

“Even so. But your way was not the right way. We cannot prevent that by becoming it ourselves. You will be judged tomorrow.”

With another sigh, Baine left Dahakha alone with his responsibility and failure.

It is hard to breathe. I seek Baine again, slowly...everything is so slow. Finding him, For the first time I notice my spiritual leader next to him. Archdruid Hamuul......his face is impassive. I do not regret defying you, Archdruid, only that you must be witness to my failure......

Before they took him to face the council that would judge him, Dahakha was visited by Archdruid Hamuul Runetotem. The old tauren said nothing for a long while, regarding him solemnly. Dahakha remained silent, patiently waiting for the remonstrations, the disappointment and shame that he had already taken upon himself. After a time, as he looked at the floor between them, the Archdruid spoke.

“I am to sit on the council.”

His head jerked up with shock and, as little as he deserved it, hope.

“Yes, Archdruid.”

“I am not here to plead your innocence. I am here to determine your punishment. You have caused major diplomatic conflict within the Horde, Dahakha. This is not a thing to be treated lightly.”

“Yes, Archdruid.”

“Not only that, but the Warchief's trust in the Cenarion Circle has been dealt a blow as well. A member of the Circle does not, can not, become involved in the internal politics of either the Horde or the Alliance. You know this, it has been a part of your training from the beginning. Has our faith in you been so misplaced?”

“No! Archdruid, Garrosh does not respect the Circle like Thrall does. He resists any counsel that could slow the spread of the Horde, even though it destroys the wild places, the sacred places. His relationship with the goblins of the Bilgewater Cartel is a foreshadowing of the future! He allows them to pillage the forests and destroy the wildlife, leaving nothing behind. If he has his way, Ashenvale Forest will be felled to fuel the Horde war machine. Where will it stop? When the Alliance is defeated? When the Horde is defeated? When he has conquered all of Azeroth? What of Draenor? No, Archdruid, I am convinced that Garrosh Hellscream is – or will be soon – an enemy of the Circle.”

“So. You took it upon yourself to determine what is best for the Circle.”

“Archdruid, my people – our people – revere nature and the elements. Where we see life, to be tended and cultivated, the goblins see only profit. Garrosh only sees fuel, war materials, and enemy hiding places. I do not deny that I did what I did because I feel the Horde is losing its nobility and honour, but I also cannot see any other way to avoid the undoing of the Circle's work than by replacing Hellscream as Warchief.”

The Archdruid studied him intently. Then he nodded to himself and turned away.

“Archdruid?” He stopped and looked back at Dahakha, bound and chained. “I do not regret what I tried to do. I did not have murder on my mind.”

“So be it.”

My mind drifts.....I laugh as I remember the look of shock on the faces of the council, only the laugh is more of a gurgle now.....

They let him appear before the council unbound, undoubtedly due to the Archdruid's influence. It was a short hearing, with the guard who had confessed the plan to Baine standing witness against Dahakha and the surviving braves. To his credit, he did emphasize that the plan had been to take Garrosh alive, not to assassinate him. Dahakha understood the guard's embarrassment at admitting his betrayal, but he had forgiven him even before he knew who the 'spy' was. After the initial burst of anger and shock, he had to ask himself, was I not also betraying those around me to do what I thought was right? Can I judge him for doing exactly what I did?

Garrosh leaned forward. “If I had my way, you would be summarily executed,” he growled. “But since you attempted this cowardice in Mulgore, I have decided to allow Bloodhoof to set your punishment. I am assured that it will be very, very unpleasant.” He flashed a nasty grin. “But if I don't think it is unpleasant enough, I will have your head!”

Dahakha looked to Baine. The chief of chiefs sighed again before he spoke. “Dahakha, you have breached the trust of members of the Horde, but also that of the Cenarion Circle. Archdruid Runetotem and I have discussed the matter, and the decision we have come to is this: you will be taken to Moonglade, never to return. Your presence outside of that sanctuary is upon pain of death. All Horde commanders will have orders to that effect.”

With visible effort, Dahakha choked back a groan of anguish. Then the Archdruid added, “Your rank within the Circle will be revoked permanently. You will be be required to serve, to meditate, and – perhaps, in time – to teach new druids. If you leave Moonglade, you will be forever outcast, and all Circle members will be empowered to hunt you down.”

Garrosh had been following this with impatience, his face growing more and more thunderous as the sentence was revealed. Clearly about to intervene, his outrage slowly faded as he noticed Dahakha's obvious distress. A smug smile appeared. “I hope you do decide to run, Dahakha. I will enjoy having you hunted down like a dog.” A gesture to the guards. “Take him away.”

“Wait.” It came out as a croak. “I have one request.” A little stronger.

“What is there to say? You have been sentenced, worm. Unless you would like to beg for death?” Garrosh laughed at his own joke.

“No. Just what I should have done from the start.” Standing tall, gathering what pride and dignity he had left, Dahakha looked into Garrosh Hellscream's eyes. “You killed Chief Cairne through treachery, though most believe it was not your own.” The Warchief roared to his feet, and the room was filled with tension and rage. Dahakha raised his voice to be heard over the noise.

“Garrosh Hellscream, I challenge you to an honour duel.”

The orc's eyes gleamed, as his fury turned to anticipation. “To the death?”

“To the death.”

Now the roar of the crowd has gone – is it quiet or am I unable to hear? But no, I hear the crunch of boots on sand as Garrosh approaches. My bane. I see his feet and legs at the edge of my vision as I look to my true leaders. “You fought well, tauren.” Grudging. He can afford to be magnanimous in his triumph. “Maybe you deserved this death after all. At least you weren't a coward.” I ignore him, lift my arm – so heavy, so slow – to point at Baine and Hamuul......

The duel is held in Orgrimmar. Dahakha uses every trick of the wild, every part of his druid training, every skill he has learned throughout his campaigns in Draenor and Northrend as well as against the Twilight's Hammer. Yet it is not enough. Garrosh anticipates most of what he does, and the rare occasions that he is surprised, he reacts with lightning speed. Slowly, Dahakha weakens. In a last, desperate flurry of attacks, he launches himself at Garrosh. But this was anticipated as well. The axe that, so long ago now it seems, killed his beloved chief, is buried in his chest. With a twist, the Warchief rips the weapon out, and Dahakha slumps to the ground. Through the roar of the crowd, Dahakha hears the Hellscream howl of victory.

I clench my fist. Bring it back across my ruined chest, a salute to Baine Bloodhoof, Chief of Chiefs, and Archdruid Hamuul Runetotem. For our people, for the Horde...

I try to shout my last words, but I can't tell whether anything comes out or if my mouth is moving silently....




07 October 2011

Friends? In my internet?

Players often talk about the community that keeps us hooked to WoW. One of the most common things I hear from players is "even though there's nothing I really want to do in the game, I stay for the people." Players who quit often lament leaving behind friends, or losing friends who have quit.

I was pondering this recently after reflecting on my own relationships in game. My history of online interactions begins with AIM, chatting only with other classmates that I regularly hung out with. This continued basically until college. It was only after I started playing WoW that I became used to the idea of talking to random people online. My first guild had some really wonderful people, and I chatted with them regularly. I went to my first anime convention with them (it was certainly...an experience, but we did see a girl in a totally rockin Alexstraza costume), took some to Universal Studios, even met one for a movie during the throes of a particularly ill-advised e-crush.

Since moving to Japan I have essentially lost contact with all of them, except for the guy I was closest to, who sometimes messages me from his phone before going to work. I would blame this on the time difference, since I know it's also affecting my meatspace relationships something fierce. But I also think it's a uniqueness of virtual interactions as well. I realize that many people are capable of having very deep and meaningful relationships via the internet, be they friendship or romance, and I don't doubt or scoff at that. What I've realized is that I personally have a hard time connecting to internet friends.

It's not necessarily a bad thing. I'm becoming more and more of a loner in meatspace, too. I have a few very close friends, lots of close acquaintances, and the patience to meet them every other week or so. I often prefer the quiet of my house to all-night parties, although I've found green text an immense comfort when farming in the solitude of alt-land (AKA everywhere but Org). I try to remind myself of adages like "friends for a reason, friends for a season" and take a more laid-back, Japanese approach to interaction. So even if I can only talk to my favorite hunter every 2 weeks due to our schedules, I still make the most of that time by catching up.

The game is enjoyable all on its own to me - just look at all the stupid achievements I've grinded! Even without a vibrant community to be part of, I would still play my alts and pimp out my main, and probably mourn not being able to raid. There is, however, a certain comfort in green text, especially if I can just read and only occasionally participate. Even being online with only 2 others, questing in companionable silence, is comforting in a way.

Blogging reflects this playstyle, I think, in that it's static communication where I can post only to amuse myself, and get the occasional comment that reminds me I'm not alone. I can read other blogs and feel community, and participate when I feel like commenting. Twitter is similar, although I think it allows for more interaction. It is my new project - I'd like to have real conversations with bloggers I admire. Dare I say it, I'd like to make some more ~internet friends~!

04 October 2011

Shared Topic: Best Grind

This week's Blog Azeroth shared topic is suggested by Kallixta of Kallixta's Notes.
Was there something that required sustained and prolonged effort that you found interesting or rewarding? Was there something that was not just a chore to work on?
I'm assuming most grinds are for Reputation, but maybe you have a novel definition?
The best...grind? How the hell could anyone have a favorite grind? Maybe it's just the Stockholme Syndome speaking, but I have had my fare share of favorite grinds. Kallixta suggests that "grind" refers to reputation, but I think that we do many grinds in game - leveling, professions, and gear, in addition to rep. Some are more voluntary than others. Even hardcore achievement chasers may love the final confetti and badge but hate the grind to get there.

For instance, I didn't particularly enjoy the grind to The Insane (what? really?). I did, however, enjoy grinding Brood of Nozdormu rep as part of the Scepter of the Shifting Sands questline. Although the quest chain had many grindy elements, the varied and often humorous quests made it worth it. The rep and the quests could be thought of as two separate grinds, but honestly I enjoyed them both. Of course, the rep consisted mostly of staring at my furry bear butt mangle-spamming those Anubis dudes, but there's a certain peace to be found in that. Somewhere.

I also enjoyed the lengthy grind towards tier.5, most of which was grinding for the damn gear before you could even do a quest! UBRS, I never want to see you again :) That I think I enjoyed more for the final quest chain than the gear-grind beforehand. Low level instancing gets on my nerves because the mobs don't pat and I have to force myself not to loot since my bags are always full anyway. (But I love looting ;~;) The final quests were really interesting, though, and I love the look of my new gear!

Netherwing was also enjoyable for me. I liked the progressing story and found the orc peons hilarious. Hunting for eggs never worked for me, though. I just did all of my daily peon-booting and flayer-murtilating for ages and ages, along with the totally nerfed flight race, and they gave me a dragon friend!

What these grinds have in common, looking at them, is that they have a story and I did them above-level. However, I also enjoyed grinding out all the Wintergrasp achieves. I have no idea what WG's story is, and the quests were only good for shards, but the battle was fun. I think that caring so little about PVP makes it easier for me to enjoy battlegrounds, even when I'm getting killed all the time.

What does "grind" mean to you? Do you have any favorites, and why?

01 October 2011

Protips for Pugs

[I wrote this ages ago - you can tell because Aka is still located in Dalaran at this point. For whatever reason, it kept getting pushed back for publishing. Now with the advent of LFR, I'm curious as to whether or not the sort of behavior described here will continue.]

I realize that there are a plethora of bad pug stories out there, and I'm sure I'll share some of mine with you at some point. This, however, is commentary on pug raid philosophy and behavior.

The scene: Dalaran. Akabeko is changing specs and gear in preparation for DM rep runs. Suddenly, over the trade loudspeakers she hears "LFM The Black Temple". Well, it just so happens that she is very nearly revered with Ashtongue Deathsworn and would love some more rep. (She picked up all of the Thunderheart tier tokens in one fell swoop on a previous run) "how many in group?" she whispers, to gauge interest and wait time. Instead of an answer she gets an invite. There are now four people in the group.

Well, I got time to kill. While they continue to recruit I clean my bags, check auctions, make a few purchases, and turn in some rep quests in DM. Nearly an hour later we have enough and head out to Shadowmoon.
Protip 1: If you join a pug raid, and especially if it is an old world raid, be prepared to wait. You absolutely cannot expect to join and immediately zone in and start pulling. If you find yourself impatiently whining "lets gooo" or "can we hurry?/" stop, because ur doin it rong. Consider advertising the achievement/rep/gear, getting a drink, leveling a profession, or chatting in guild.. It`s gonna be a while.
We try summoning at BT. Despite being surrounded by people, I can`t get anyone to help click. Mysteriously, I am summoned twice. People zone in. Out of 25, 3 or 4 are still scattered elsewhere around the world, but we have enough to start pulling, and frankly I value my rep over their presence.
Protip 2: Many good raids will summon. Unfortunately, not all raids are good. Especially in pugs, the likelihood of you being left behind is very high. It is always in your best interests to keep up with the group, especially when getting the the raid.
As it turns out, even the RL doesn't know where we are going, or even which bosses to kill (except for Warglaives and tier. OMG does this boss drop tier?! wheres the tier?! are we goign to the warglaives yet?!?!?!)
Protip 3: You don't necessarily have to have experience, but you better damn sure have a plan. Delegate an experienced raider to navigate, or look up a map yourself. DO NOT zone in and then complain "are we there yet?!" when you have no clue and cbf getting one.
We down a boss and the rolls are all over the place with needs and greeds. Immediately, players are up in arms about who is allowed to roll on what. The raid leader is finally harassed into providing some loot rules: Need for vanity/need, greed for anything else. It's what I prefer; strangely, I don't like letting at-level players roll on tier gear during an achievement run.
Protip 4: Get concrete loot rules. If none are forthcoming, don't let others shame you out of rolling on items you want or need.
A surprising number of people admit to being new to raids - period. I usually expect more WotLK raiders who are new to BC or Vanilla content rather than true beginners. In many cases this isn't a problem - the content is overgeared enough that it has a gentle learning curve, and many times you only need the barest of explanations since the mob dies faster than the strat can be implemented. Well, until we get to Reliquary of Souls. In my opinion it's a very cool fight, but alas it requires some brainpower, and pugs are constantly disappointing my faith in humanity. We pull gauntlet mobs down to the boss at the encounter begins. We wipe. An old BC raider explains the strat. We try again and wipe.
Protip 5: If at first you don't succeed, ffs listen to the strat and adjust accordingly.
I put several people on ignore for unexpected offensive outbursts regarding the boss's appearance/gender.
Protip 6: You don't have to be a saint, but not being a jackass is a good way to get invited again, rather than slapped on the ignore/DO NOT GROUP list.
After several wipes with no discernible improvements, people are jumping ship. I, too, am longing to return to DM, where the pulls are intentional and successful. At first the RL says we can return to trade to refill the group, but there are only 10 left and I am straight up tired of carrying the heals. The RL starts nerdraging - "if you join a raid you see it to the end" "wtf you cant just leave!!1" etc. I find it very telling that they are one of the true beginners to raiding. Especially when it comes to pugs, this rationale won't work. Even in guild/alliance raids a good RL knows to call it a night when complete lack of progress is wasting time and killing morale.
Protip 7: When it comes to pugs, have low expectations. It sounds shitty, but sometimes a random group of people with varying degrees of competence cannot come together to successfully execute an encounter. Know when to cut your losses and be glad for whatever XP, rep, loot, or achievement you were able to get. 
There will always be other pugs.