Shamus Plays WoW#11: What? More Work?

By Shamus
on Nov 27, 2016
Filed under:
WoW

I’m just a humble demon. I don’t pretend to know how humans live, but I do think it’s odd that they call this place the Eastvale Logging camp, despite the fact that it’s larger and more populated than the town of Goldshire.

The red flag in the middle of the scene marks the griffin roost, which is your player taxi service. This one was new in Cataclysm. Before this, fast travel points were fewer and much father between.

The red flag in the middle of the scene marks the griffin roost, which is your player taxi service. This one was new in Cataclysm. Before this, fast travel points were fewer and much father between.

The logging camp has three houses, stables, a lumber mill, lots of inhabitants, and even a crowd of delicious-looking children.

Supervisor Raelen is in charge of this little corner of the insane asylum that people call the “Eastern Kingdoms”. Norman introduces himself and gives her his usual self-destructive offer of help.

The supervisor here is miles away from the folks doing anything resembling actual work. Verisimilitude!

The supervisor here is miles away from the folks doing anything resembling actual work. Verisimilitude!

“I’ve got a real problem on my hands,” she says, “I have a deadline looming for an order of lumber, and I’m running out of time. The wolves and bears north of here have forced my workers to run away from the bundles of wood that they’ve already chopped.”

“Your workers ran away from piles of wood?” I ask. Norman usually kicks me for remarks like this, but this time he lets it slide.

“I need someone to go collect the wood for me,” she continues, “If you could collect eight bundles of wood for me I might just make my deadline!”

Norman sighs, “I see where this is going. Let me guess: you want me to go out there by myself and get torn apart by bears and wolves so that your gang of men with axes will remain safe?”

“I’ve already talked to the guards about clearing the animals,” she adds.

“Oh? Well, then, splendid!” Norman says with surprise. “We’ll wait until they’re done.” He sits down and makes himself comfortable.

I don`t want to go on the cart!

I don`t want to go on the cart!

I shake my head. “Hey genius. That’s you.”

“What is?” Norman asks.

“The person clearing the animals. Remember earlier? Guard Thomas asked you to kill a bunch of wolves and bears? Obviously she asked him to do it and he passed the job to you. You’re waiting for yourself.”

“Blast it.”

We hike into woods and begin killing wolves.

This quest used to really irritate me, pre-Cataclysm. See, originally they asked you to kill “prowler” wolves. The problem was that prowlers only appeared in this one spot. All around were other wolves that looked the same and were the same level and were just as close to the camp, but only the prowlers counted. Often people would drift a little too far and end up killing the wrong animals for half an hour, wondering why they weren’t making any progress.

When Cataclysm came out, they removed silly restrictions like this. They also added a nice feature where important mobs have their names always appear over their heads. This makes it easy to sort out the stuff you need from the stuff you don’t.

Good changes, all.

Burning fur is not my favorite smell, but after a couple of hours you kind of get used to it. We go through the woods and end up bumping into the Murloc village again, then we turn around and work our way back.

Just a heads up: This quest is going to be hard on the animal lovers out there.

Just a heads up: This quest is going to be hard on the animal lovers out there.

“Okay, so we’ve killed the wolves. We just need to kill five bears and we’re good,” Norman says.

“I haven’t seen any bears.”

“Me neither.”

We take another loop through the woods looking for bears, and end up killing another eight wolves.

“Are you sure this isn’t a prank,” I ask. “Like, are bears made-up? Did those idiots send us out here to kill a mythical creature?”

“Bears are real!” Norman insists.

“I don’t believe in them. I certainly don’t believe there are enough of them around here to be causing problems for this camp.”

We make another loop through the woods. We find the remains of a bear someone else has killed.

(Insert bear pun here.)

(Insert bear pun here.)

“See! Bears exist!” Norman says triumphantly.

“This could be a hoax,” I say suspiciously. “I bet someone just put wolf hair on a cow or something.”

“It’s not a hoax. This is a real bear. We just need to find one that’s still alive. So that we can kill it. And then four more.”

We do another loop around the camp and kill another half dozen wolves. Then we go to the edge of the forest and end up getting too close to Murlocistan, which is a bad move all around.

“There!” Norman shouts. He’s pointing at something brown in the distance.

Quick! Kill it before another player gets it!

Quick! Kill it before another player gets it!

“What? You mean that brown cow?”

“It’s not a cow, it’s a bear,” he argues.

“I’ll believe it when I smell it roasting. Whatever it is, we’re going to have to kill some more wolves to get to it,” I point out. And then we end up doing exactly that.

YES! Uh. I mean, shit. I killed a bear and now I feel like an asshole.

YES! Uh. I mean, shit. I killed a bear and now I feel like an asshole.

“See? Real!” Norman says once we’ve killed the thing. “Bears exist in this world.”

“Not anymore. You just killed the last one.”

“There are plenty more around here, I’m sure,” Norman says hopefully.

“Soooo… at the going rate we’re going to need to kill about ten thousand wolves before we can kill five bears,” I tell master.

“This is stupid,” he admits.

This is a really gorgeous place to have a nervous breakdown.

This is a really gorgeous place to have a nervous breakdown.

“I suppose just saying you killed five bears is out of the question?” I ask hopefully. “Better yet, just go back and say you killed every bear you saw. That’s not even a lie.”

“No, the job said to kill five bears, so we’re going to kill five bears. But I have an idea. I remember seeing bears around the Stonefield’s farm.”

“That’s on the other side of the forest. Those bears are not threatening the logging camp.”

“Neither was this bear. But it will let us fill our quota,” Norman shrugs.

Technically I could ride the griffin from the logging camp to Stormwind and then walk the rest of the way. In fact, maybe I DID when I wrote this. But riding on griffins is a little too awesome for sad-sack Norman.

Technically I could ride the griffin from the logging camp to Stormwind and then walk the rest of the way. In fact, maybe I DID when I wrote this. But riding on griffins is a little too awesome for sad-sack Norman.

So we travel to the other side of the forest, and kill five bears around the Stonefield farm. While we’re there, Ma Stonefield waves us over for help.

“Let me guess,” says Norman. “You need help with all the bears crawling around your property?”

The name of the quest we`re about to do is "PRINCESS MUST DIE". Yes, in all caps.

The name of the quest we`re about to do is "PRINCESS MUST DIE". Yes, in all caps.

“No.”

“Oh,” Norman says, disappointed. “Let’s hear it, then.”

Ma yells to us, “The Brackwells have a prize-winning pig, Princess. The sow is HUGE, and she got that way from sneaking over here and eating my veggies! It just so happens that she’s here now! Princess must die! Bring me her collar as proof of the deed and I’ll give you something for your time!”

Norman says, “You know about fencing, right? That’s what most people use when they’re trying to grow a garden and they’re surrounded by wild animals. A fence keeps animals out. And fencing is cheaper than hiring adventurers to assassinate creatures one at a time.”

“PRINCESS MUST DIE!” Ma yells.

Oof. Princess is actually kind of a badass.

Oof. Princess is actually kind of a badass.

Norman and I walk ten steps into her field and light Princess on fire. She’s a big pig. She’s still wearing her first-place ribbon.

“Done,” Norman says. The pig is still sizzling a bit as he says this. Ma pays us the cash.

“You sure that was the smart move?” I ask as we walk away. “I mean, you killed a prize-winning pet. This could come back to haunt you later.”

PRINCESS HAS DIED.

PRINCESS HAS DIED.

“I thought you’d be happy,” Norman says with surprise. “We killed something. You’re always trying to get me to kill things.”

“Don’t get me wrong, I am one hundred percent in favor of killing. But I’d prefer if we weren’t idiots about it. Kill stuff in secret. Blame other people. That kind of thing. If done right, killing that pig could start another feud. Imagine, a three-way feud! It would be hilarious. What you want to avoid is having everyone unite against you.”

We head back to the logging camp and Norman reports our five dead bears and seven dozen dead wolves.

“Great!” Norman says as we march back into the logging camp. “We’ve killed the animals, so now the woods are safe for… us. So we can collect the wood for the workers who are too scared to enter the woods on account of the dead wolves and the bears that nobody can find.”

“Don’t try to think about it too much, boss.”

These bundles of wood are scattered around. You just have to click on them to pick them up. Of course, to click on them you have to kill the ten thousand constantly respawning wolves swarming around them.

These bundles of wood are scattered around. You just have to click on them to pick them up. Of course, to click on them you have to kill the ten thousand constantly respawning wolves swarming around them.

So we go out into the forest, pick up the bundles of wood, and, just for good measure, end up killing another dozen or so wolves and a Murloc.

We bring the wood back to Supervisor Raelen and she sends us on our way.

We check the job postings. An interesting offer catches the Master’s eye:

Read it and weep, doubters.

Read it and weep, doubters.

The part of the poster that really grabs our attention is this:

He is also a suspect in the kidnapping and disappearance of the Brackwell’s prized pig, Princess.

“Word travels fast!” I observe.

“This makes no sense!” Norman protests. “We just did that!”

No, really. The game sends you to kill an NPC who is (wrongfully) accused of doing something you did in an earlier quest. How many people even realized they were murdering someone to cover up their own crime. I’ll bet most players have no idea.

James Clark is one of the precious few homeowners in the entire zone.

James Clark is one of the precious few homeowners in the entire zone.

It turns out James Clark is living right inside the logging camp. He has his own house and everything. Well, door-less shack, but that’s the only kind of house anyone has around here. The point is, he’s not hurting anyone. He’s just standing around.

“Why would they put this man on a wanted poster?” Norman asks. “I expected they wanted us to hunt him down, or fight through his gang. But he’s right here in town and everyone knows it. The guards could deal with him anytime they wanted!”

“You do not want that. This is a stroke of luck for you. Now get in there and give him the business.”

“What? Why? Why is this good luck?”

“Imagine if the guards came and tried to arrest him. They would read him his list of charges, and he might provide some alibi that proves he wasn’t the one that killed the famous, expensive, beloved family pig. Then they might go looking to see who else might have done it. As strange as it may sound, they might even get it right.”

“But… I can’t just walk into a man’s house and kill him.”

“Why not?” I shrug, “You’ve killed other people. They say he’s guilty of murder.”

“They also say he’s guilty of killing a pig when he isn’t.”

“True. But you might end up on the wanted poster yourself if you don’t get rid of him.”

“Really?” he asks anxiously.

“Sorry boss. You gotta kill this guy. It’s basic self-defense.”

The pig head on the wall seems fairly incriminating. Maybe he killed Princess after all.

The pig head on the wall seems fairly incriminating. Maybe he killed Princess after all.

So we go inside James Clark’s house. He doesn’t seem to mind. All three of us are gathered in the middle of his single unfurnished room.

“So… hi there,” Norman says nervously. “I hope you don’t mind us coming in like this, but… er. Anyway. I’m really sorry about this.”

There is a minute or so of screaming and stabbing and James being hit on the head with Noman’s staff. After that he goes down.

Dear MMO author: How is this not murder?

Dear MMO author: How is this not murder?

“Sorry Jimmy,” I say. “But thanks for being such a good sport.”

“I feel queasy,” Norman says.

We slaughtered this guy like a... yeah. He dead.

We slaughtered this guy like a... yeah. He dead.

“Look boss. Don’t sweat this. You’re in the clear now and he might have been guilty of something anyway. And besides, now you get to report back to the guards and get paid for this.”

Norman stares at the floor for a while. Finally he says, “I think we should leave Elwynn Forest. For good. Maybe try to help people someplace else.”

Next Week: Let’s get out of town for a few days.

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17Just 17 comments.

From the Archives:

  1. Lachlan the Mad says:

    is object a bear?… yes

    deploy bear retrieval unit

  2. Disc says:

    Guess nothing would stop him from hauling the carcass from the field. You could then use some of the troll logic at work here and claim that he’s technically guilty for a dead pig’s “kidnapping” and “disappearance”.

  3. Nixorbo says:

    Hey, burgle-arson-arceny is a wholly owned trademark of Rodriguez Crime Concepts, Inc.

  4. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

    Wow. This got dark fast.

    • Taellosse says:

      Not really – this is part 11 of the series, after all, and Gobstab has been working Norman up to ever-escalating acts of evil. Murder-to-cover-up-your-own-crimes is just the next logical step.

      • Ninety-Three says:

        I read it more as “Norman wearily doing what the questgivers tell him to do even though it’s stupid”, and taken that way it works fine. But now that you mention it, it really does come across more like he’s doing it out of necessity than resignation, and that does happen too fast. Ten episodes of “Hey, you’re not helping and kind of a jerk for killing those kobolds” and then we jump straight to murder without Norman seeming to struggle much with it.

        Not that I really mind, this is comedy not a character drama.

        • Xeorm says:

          Well, he is still wanted for a list of crimes that don’t involve Norman’s initial crime. He’s wanted by the guard for good reason, so it’s not murder. He has the law behind him and everything.

          What really makes it dark is the insidiousness. Norman is nervous about killing the man and whether or not he’s really able to make that judgement. When the imp points out that, yes, he should kill him to cover up his own potential crimes, Norman accepts the argument fairly quickly. The argument is true, and relevant, but is likely not something he would have once considered when deciding to kill someone. That he’s killing someone for partially selfish reasons (that make complete sense) is telling that the demon is getting to him.

  5. natureguy85 says:

    Geez, I was about to ask if this game ever got beyond slaughtering animals, but then it got to slaughtering prize animals and straight up murder.

    There may have been a time in my gaming life where I wouldn’t have minded killing off all those animals or even people like Jimmy. Maybe they are super aggressive hunters like Deathclaws. Actually most game seem to make their predators overly aggressive all the time. However, things like that bug me more now. I revolted against FarCry 3’s stupid hunting quests, particularly when it told me to “hunt” wild dogs with a rocket launcher. Way of the warrior, my foot!. In FarCry 4, I quit the arena once I realized it was mostly killing animals, despite really wanting the gun you unlock for getting a certain level.

    The comp for Jimmy that comes to mind is stealing the Rap Book and killing all the people in the house in GTA: San Andreas, but at least being a criminal is the point of that game.

  6. Ninety-Three says:

    So I’m not really expecting anyone to remember, but is this “Murder James” quest actually part of a chain involving the pig-slaying, or is possible to do them out of order?

    • The farm quests are entirely optional and actually easy to miss without addons since the XP adjustment Shamus mentioned in an earlier post; however, the killing James quest is fairly easy to find, iirc.

      *checks wiki* From what I can tell, there’s nothing tying the two quests together except flavor text.

      • Nixitur says:

        Wait, so you could get the quest to kill this dude who has presumably made Princess disappear and then take the quest to kill Princess who is still where she’s supposed to be? What the heck.

  7. Pinkhair says:

    Could be that Princess wandered away (and into the Stonefield Farm) and Clark took the missing pig as a chance to try and extort some money.

    • Shoeboxjeddy says:

      Maybe he DID kidnap the pig and then either lost track of it or couldn’t get payment for it and just let it loose. That would account for the kidnapping charge and the location of the pig.

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