Shamus Plays WoW #4: What Happens in Goldshire…

By Shamus
on Sep 25, 2016
Filed under:
WoW
Norman “Dethbringerr” Warlock and Gobstab his faithful demonic companion have just finished Northshire, the newbie human area of World of Warcraft. (Pre-Cataclysm.) No matter which race you pick, the game will start you out in a little penned-in area for your first five levels. Then it cuts you loose in a larger area for levels 6-10. Outside of the newbie areas the game stops coddling you. Monsters will attack you. You’ll have lot of quests going at once. You’ll probably be doing some professions. Lots of running.

For Humans, once you’re done in the newbie area you’re sent on to Goldshire.

This is just a short trip. The walk takes maybe a minute or so.

This is just a short trip. The walk takes maybe a minute or so.

“So what’s so bad about Goldshire?”, I ask once we’ve left the church behind. “Is it haunted or something?”

“Goldshire is an insane asylum.”, Norman says grimly.

Behind us is the Northshire, where we spent the last two entries. I`m betting the baffle wall is there because it was needed In 2004 to limit how much stuff the computer had to draw. Probably not an issue today.

Behind us is the Northshire, where we spent the last two entries. I`m betting the baffle wall is there because it was needed In 2004 to limit how much stuff the computer had to draw. Probably not an issue today.

“You mean they got a bunch of nutjobs all locked up?”

“They don’t need to lock them up. They come here on their own. From all over the world. They come here to fight each other and talk nonsense.”

I’ve written about Goldshire before. And here is a perfectly unsurprising bit of news from Goldshire.

Horde-side players will tell you that players act like nutters in Barrens Chat, but having seen both on multiple servers I can tell you that Barrens Chat is like the Council of Elrond compared to the Nutjob Sundae they serve in Goldshire.

Just for fun: In this entry, all of the dialog between other players will be in bold, and will be actual stuff I overheardEven though it was typed. You know what I mean. other players say while roleplaying in Goldshire. The names have been changed to protect the insane.

Having not played WoW 2011 or so, I do wonder if Goldshire is still like this. I don’t see any reason why it would change, but it’s always hard to predict the changes to an online culture.

“So what made them crazy?”, I ask.

Norman shrugs, “Nobody knows, really. These are powerful adventurers. Sometimes they go out to Northrend and come back like this. Maybe they get out there to the edge of the world and realize there’s nothing there. Drives them crazy.”

I can feel the ground shaking a bit and there’s the smell of something burning. I can see flashes of light on the road up ahead.

“Anyway, watch yourself. This place can be dangerous.”, Norman warns.

“No big deal to me. I’m immortal.”

“Well then watch out for me, because I’m not.”

The banner with two crossed swords appears between two players when they begin a duel. Which means that in this image there are at least three different duels going on at the same time.

The banner with two crossed swords appears between two players when they begin a duel. Which means that in this image there are at least three different duels going on at the same time.

We arrive to find all-out war. Fire is raining down from the sky and robed figures are flinging exotic flavors of magic from their fingertips. There is the thunder of man-sized swords striking shield and hewing armor. Battlecries echo above the tumult.

“Looks like the town is under attack.”, I say.

It`s impossible to follow a duel. It`s just a fountain of particle effect from two people as they dash through a crowd of other players.

It`s impossible to follow a duel. It`s just a fountain of particle effect from two people as they dash through a crowd of other players.

“No”, Norman replies, “It’s always like this.”

We pick our way carefully through the crowd of warring crazies, ducking sword blows and skirting around things which happen to be on fire.

Suddenly a man in glowing plate armor steps in front of us. His body is sheathed in lightning. In one hand he holds a hammer which a more sensible person might hold in two. The tip glows red as if it had been pulled from a forge only a moment ago.

There’s an awkward pause as the two men look at each other, Norman in his beggar robes and Hammer Guy in his epic regalia.

“Pardon.”, Norman manages to squeak as he steps to one side. “Just passing through.”

“FIGHT ME!”, Hammer Guy screams.

“No. No thank you.”, Norman says as we dart away.

Norman looks down at me, “They do this all the time. They won’t attack unless you agree to the duel.”

Hammer Guy pounces in front of us with a clank. “FIGHT ME!”, he bellows again.

“Still not interested.”, Norman says.

“FIGHT ME!”, he calls after us as we head to the inn.

Q: What’s the second-most funny thing in the world?

A: A level 80 guy asking a level 5 guy for a duel!

Q: What’s the MOST funny thing in the world?

A: Asking him 50 times!

Bonus points if you accuse him of being “chicken” for refusing. I want Blizzard to add a feature to the game: Auto-ignore anyone who offers to duel me in Goldshire.

Sexy Santa costumes in WoW? Whatever. I`m sure these were some holiday event item at some point.

Sexy Santa costumes in WoW? Whatever. I`m sure these were some holiday event item at some point.

“Here’s what we’re looking for.”, Norman says.

“We’re looking for twins dancing on a fence in their underpants? I don’t know what you’ve got planned, but I like it already.”

“No. I mean the inn.”

Boss leads us upstairs and begins nervously peeking into the rooms.

This particular inn is used again and again, all over the game. I`m pretty sure the entire building is a single model. The only real change is that different places have different furniture inside. And once again, there`s a baffle wall between the inside and outside because that was needed back in 2004.

This particular inn is used again and again, all over the game. I`m pretty sure the entire building is a single model. The only real change is that different places have different furniture inside. And once again, there`s a baffle wall between the inside and outside because that was needed back in 2004.

“What are we doing in here?”, I ask.

“I’m trying to find my Warlock instructor”, he hisses back in a stage whisper. “I know she’ll be around here somewhere. Probably hiding from all the crazy people.”

“What crazy people? You mean the weird guy peeking into all the occupied rooms and talking to his pet demon?”

“No. Crazy people like them.”, Norman nods at a nearby room.

Inside, a woman named “Morrrigan” is giving a pep talk to some other adventuring types.

You’ve got to listen!“, she shouts. “Always!

The other adventurers seem to react randomly. One salutes. Another laughs. Another breaks into dance.

Morrrigan continues, “Always unless they are utterly wrong follow the orders of your leaders. ALWAYS.

One of her charges stops dancing to ask, “What leaders?

I have none.“, another says.

Don’t worry.“, she assures them, “You’ll find some.

“Hey”, Norman whispers as he nudges me with his foot. “Let’s go. My instructor isn’t up here.”

“You sure you don’t want to stay for the rest of this? You could learn a thing or two from this lady.”

“Don’t be a smartass.”

Class trainers for rogues, warlocks, and other classes that are thematically seedy and underground-ish.

Class trainers for rogues, warlocks, and other classes that are thematically seedy and underground-ish.

We eventually find the Warlocks in the musty, dimly-lit basement of the inn.

Norman talks to his teachers for a minute and then storms upstairs.

“So what new trick did you learn?”, I ask.

“Nothing.”, he answers dejectedly. “I can’t afford the training.”

“So? Kill one, and torture the other until she tells you what you want to know.”

“That would be wrong.”, Norman says with a shake of his head.

“It’s the law of evil: That which does not kill you is a complete wuss that totally had it coming.

“Uh. Thank you. Very profound.”

“Now get in there and burn her down.”

“No. I know where to get some money.”

Obviously you couldn’t ACTUALLY attack class trainers.

The problem of running out of money can actually happen to new players. You may find yourself too broke to afford new abilities in the first few levels. It’s not a huge deal (this part of the game is still pretty gentle) but it means your first character will be the hardest. Later on you might start another character, but be able to use money and gear from your established one. Just a single gold piece – peanuts to even a mid-level character – is enough to vastly improve your gear and pay for every single upgrade for the first dozen or so levels.

In old MMO games this dynamic would lead to “beggars”. A newbie realizes that one minute of effort on the part of a high level character (which is how long it would take them to earn a gold) could save them an hour or more of time by easing the leveling, reducing the number of trips back to town, and saving them from a few corpse runs.

In WoW this isn’t a very big deal as there are other ways to get your character rolling. Keep an eye out in trade chat or guild recruitment chat. Often someone will be starting a new guild and will need signatures on the guild charter. These people don’t actually want you in the guild – they just want your signature. You can sign and then quit the guild as soon as it’s formed. High level characters will usually pay between one and ten gold for this service, which ought to be enough to launch your career as a budding adventurer.

In the meantime, don’t forget to collect and sell all the stupid little rubbish items you find on monsters…

The guy named Inkeeper Farley is... an inkeeper? Who would have guessed?

The guy named Inkeeper Farley is... an inkeeper? Who would have guessed?

“Okay, here is a broken fang from some kind of animal, an old boot, a couple of shreds of cloth, and I think this is a bit of skin from a diseased wolf.”, Norman says to the innkeeper.

We’re standing in the busy dining area of the inn. There’s a roaring fire going here and a few adventurers have gathered around it to warm themselves despite it being the middle of the afternoon. And summer. Other adventurers are sitting or walking about, having energetic and disjointed conversations.

“A pleasure doing business with you!”, the innkeeper says as he hands over a few silver coins and accepts the armload of random crap.

“What in the name of completely awesome are you doing?”, I ask once the transaction is complete.

“Ah.”, Norman says, “The trading? Yeah. Something I figured out a few months ago. Apparently all the shopkeepers in Azeroth are barking nutters. They’ll buy almost anything you’ve got on you. It’s how I paid for tuition for mage school.”

“You went to mage school?”

“Eh. For a couple of months, until I flunked out. Mother thinks I’m still there.”

“You flunking out of mage school certainly explains a lot.”, I observe.

“Oh hush. So I have to save the kingdom with demon power instead of arcane. Big deal. It’s all the same to me as long as the place gets saved.”

“That’s a very open-minded viewpoint.”, I tell him, “I’m starting to really hate your guts a lot less.”

“Well, it’s only a good plan as long as mother doesn’t find out.”

I tilt my head to one side, “What is this about your mother? You keep bringing her up. How old are you, anyway?”

“Twenty eight.”

I point a gnarled black finger at him, “Don’t you think you’re old enough at this point to pick a career without asking your mum first?”

“It’s complicated. The important thing is that she never, ever finds out.”

“What’s so dangerous about that?”

Norman opens his mouth to answer, but he’s drowned out by a human warrior who yells, “I’m going to rape her!” He’s pointing at another adventurer to indicate his intended victim.

It’s a bit odd, since she seems to be at least a match for him. Nevertheless, she cowers at his feet and cries out, “No! I don’t want to be raped!

If you rape her I will kill you!“, booms a voice from outside the inn. Someone obviously feels very strongly about this situation, but isn’t quite worked up enough to come in here and get involved.

A grim looking night elf who is warming himself by the summer afternoon fire observes, “In the future, rape is a felony.

Norm sprints outside with his hands over his ears so that none of the crazy leaks in.

“So where to now, boss?”, I ask once we emerge into the lazy, late-afternoon melee of Goldshire.

“We need to find Marshal Dughan.”. he replies.

“Who?”

“The head of the militia here in Goldshire. Marshal McBride gave me this document.”, Norman holds up a letter. “It’s addressed to Dughan.”

Well, hello handsome!

Well, hello handsome!

“Congratulations!”, Marshal Dughan says after he’s looked over the documents. “It says here you’ve been awarded acting deputy status with the Stormwind Marshals.”

“Splendid!”, Norman says.

“And good luck!”, Dughan adds. “Keeping Elwynn forest safe is no picnic… what with most of the army busy doing who knows what for who knows which noble!”

“Will I be getting some official armor or anything?”, Norman asks.

“No.”

“Oh. Well, do I get any sort of insignia to denote my new status? Maybe a badge or a document to verify…”

“No. Nothing like that.”, Dughan says.

“So… do you actually plan on telling anyone I’m a deputy?”

Dughan thinks for a moment, “Probably not.”

“So what do I get?”

“You get to investigate the Fargodeep mine. I’ve got reports of Kobolds there. I’d like you to go and confirm this.”

Next Week: You. Must. Be. Joking.

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Footnotes:

[1] Even though it was typed. You know what I mean.


201636 comments. Hurry up and add yours before it becomes passé.

From the Archives:

  1. Chris says:

    This is giving me real flashbacks to the two months or so where i played WoW. Its been years and i still cant figure out if i actually had fun.

  2. Rodyle says:

    What I still find interesting is how there was no real Horde-analogue of Goldshire back in the old days. Yeah, some funny shit went down in the Crossroads, but little to no ERPing, it was mostly just warlocks fucking around with Doomguards and Infernals. Later, when TBC came out, some of the madness started happening in the Blood Elf capitol, but still at a much lower level than what happens in Goldshire.

  3. AndrewCC says:

    I don’t know how to feel about this series. 5 years is an eternity in a MMO and the game has changed so much since then, it’s like posting reviews for movies from the 80s. Just feels like, sorry to say it, worthless filler.

    • ToastyVirus says:

      Just feels like, sorry to say it, worthless filler

      I feel this is a bit harsh, it’s still interesting to talk about and discuss things as they were at a particular time, it’s interesting to take another look at what WoW was like back then.

    • evileeyore says:

      Because you weren’t there kiddo. To those of us who marched to these drums, fought in these trenches, suffered this madness? This is pure nostalgia comedy.

    • Shamus says:

      1) People do review movies from the 80’s. Retro reviews are an entire genre to themselves and have legions of followers. Nostalgia Critic has an entire channel dedicated to them.
      2) This is not a review, so a comparison to reviews doesn’t make any sense. If your friend tells you about riding Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disney World, do you tell them to shut up because the ride no longer exists?
      3) With regards to it being “worthless filler”: If it’s entertaining, it’s not worthless. If it’s not entertaining, then don’t read it.
      4) Really? THIS is how you decided to introduce yourself to me and the community?

    • Bubble181 says:

      It may not be useful as a gauge to see whether or not you might like WoW, but that was never the intention of this series, anyway. It’s making fun of some game choices, tropes, habits. I still find it funny, just like, I’m sure, many other people.

      Actually, I’d be interested in a modern retread – compare-and-contrast with how the beginning is now, or perhaps Norman and Dethbringerr’s reaction to developments in the meantime – Legion, Cataclysm, etc and a Demon’s point of view.

    • MrGuy says:

      I don’t think it’s entirely unfair to say that reposting existing content is less awesome than getting even more original content, and many of us would probably welcome a series like this on a current game than something that’s a bit out of date (and that many of us have read before). We’d also probably like a pony. Or, better, two ponies.

      That said, there are capacity limits for creating content, and I don’t feel ever feel cheated by coming here (especially since it’s free and not ad-based, and if anything my patreon contribution probably underestimates my enjoyment of the site). I’m thrilled by the amount of new, original enjoyment I get every week on this site. And if some of it is re-runs, it’s reruns of stuff I like. :)

      The choice here isn’t between re-visiting existing content and getting even more awesome new content. It’s between re-visiting existing content and, well, nothing happening in that timeframe. If it’s not your cup of tea, skip it, but don’t expect anything else to fill the timeslot. I rarely listen to the diecast, simply because my day tends to lack the hour-or-so of passive listening time it would need – I much prefer the video content. But I know I’m in the minority, and I’m glad the crew here spends their time producing things other people really enjoy.

      Personally, I really enjoy some of this retro stuff, the same way I enjoyed the gradual reposting of the old viddler content in its new YouTube form. But, then, I’ll sometimes just binge old seasons of Spoiler Warning or re-read some of DMoTR or Stolen Pixels on my own. So having a new, fresh discussion on some of the retro stuff with the “whole gang” here is a treat.

    • natureguy85 says:

      I can appreciate it. Sure, it might not be relevant right now, but I don’t play WoW, or any MMO. I’ve heard a lot about them and this is the first, or at least the first big one. I like Shamus’ writing and humor, so reposting this is basically him saying “hey, I wrote this a long time ago, but you might enjoy it.” And I am enjoying it.

  4. MrG says:

    Maybe they get out there to the edge of the world and realize there’s nothing there. Drives them crazy.”

    I just realized this was a Firefly reference…

  5. KarmaTheAlligator says:

    From my experience, the first hub town in any MMO is a gathering place for the crazy, with duels and weird RP going on 24/7. Maybe WoW started it, but every other game seems to keep the tradition going. One of the reasons why I spend as little time there as possible (other than those places sinking my FPS).

  6. Yup, that’s the Winter Veil female costume. And yes, Goldshire. The major reason all my Alliance toons are night elves and space goats, because then I could be sure there was an entire ocean between me and the crazy.

    I’d find it quite interesting to read an article on how the starting zones in WoW have changed and how that relates to the overall trends in the MMO marketplace. When I rolled my first toon, all the yellow mobs in the 1-5 zones were red and would attack if you got too close. I died, a LOT. Didn’t help that I’d rolled a hunter and you didn’t get a pet till level 10 even though you were balanced around having one making you very squishy. Of course once you got the pet, you were in easy class city.

    I know lotro’s made some of the same changes as WoW, including the mobs in the starter zones.

  7. *launches WoW to check a server where I’d just started a character post-Legion’s release*

    There’s no rape-talk or anything that’d be rated AO, but it’s still a den of muscle-headed duelists, even with the new expansion having just come out recently. It looks like the people that were there hit the level cap then went back to Goldshire like a Counter-Strike player taking refuge in Dust 2.

  8. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

    *clicks through the lings about Goldshire*

    *jaw drops*

    You know, I think the only way to stay sane in this city would be to put “Macho Man” and “Kung Fu Fighting” on infinite loop in your brain. Just embrace the madness. It’s the only way to stay sane.

  9. PatPatrick says:

    Great job! I can’t wait to see next chapter.

  10. MadTinkerer says:

    When I played WoW for a month back in 2011, I played on a server where most of the players were high-level and the starting areas were abandoned. Goldshire seemed like a perfectly nice Trinsic style small town, with a giant pig that came back to life after I killed it, but the guy who asked me to kill it didn’t care that it was still around.

    No crazy players in Goldshire. Other than me, no players in Goldshire at all.

    I decided not to continue my subscription when I realized why RPG had been dropped from “MMORPG”, and that I might as well play classic CRPGs or online shooters instead.

  11. Content Consumer says:

    Still waiting for Shamus to end a post with:
    Next week: Stop me if you’ve heard this one…”

  12. ThaneofFife says:

    I feel like I really missed out. Goldshire was almost entirely-empty on my first server, and Barrens chat wasn’t very interesting, either–except when you ask where Mankirk’s wife is.

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