Mr. Shakes: The Rogue with The Brogue

Earlier this year, I was in a serious crisis. See, I like reading sci-fi/fantasy books so much that if I encounter a lunch or plane trip without a book at the ready, I get the willies. I was just about done with the series I was reading at the time when I asked Melissa if she knew where I should head next. She referred the question to Mr. Shakes, who told me to delve into the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett and not look back.

And I haven't. In fact, I got so hooked on this series that I keep buying the next three so there's never a gap in the reading (currently in the Death arc, which I consider my favorite at the moment). I'll probably need to start or join a support group when I'm actually done.

At some point along the way, I recognized that it was Mr. Shakes' job to lead me, not just to the dark side but all the counties therein.

After Mr. Shakes let me chew on Pratchett for a little while, he pulled out the next gem from his bag of tricks: MMORPGs.

First, Mr. Shakes recommended the newly released Lord of the Rings Online, which he was trying out and which I immediately purchased, because I couldn't say no. I mean, the dark side is so damn great. Problem is, LOTRO wasn't. It definitely had its moments as I tried playing a couple of different characters: a champion (cool psycho fighter guy) and a lore master (mystical spell casting dude). I was initially excited about all of the cool possibilities for the lore master, but that fizzled within a few weeks when I just wasn't feeling the LOTRO love anymore. Mr. Shakes sensed this, Jedi-like, and just told me to forget that crap and follow him immediately to the Bronzebeard server, back in the universe of his first MMORPG love, World of Warcraft. And so I did. A level-70 Rogue can command that kind of respect you know.

(Liss is, you may not know, a WoW widow. On certain days, the feeling could be shared by Mrs. Cowboy, though I'm more of a console gamer freak as opposed to PC.)

Anyway, OK. So I signed up for the 10-day trial and downloaded the game. I created a druid (awesome), warlock (nasty) and a hunter (sassy) in the much richer and compelling WoW world. I'm totally digging my warlock who can summon a demon, my hunter that's got a bitchin' shotgun (pet to follow), and my druid who's on his way to shapeshifting school (he's also got the coolest forward flip jump). But over the last few days I had been getting a little frustrated at not being able to complete quests with my druid because of his ass getting handed to him. Last night, Mr. Shakes offered to assist.

I was standing calmly in a field near the quest that needed to be completed. Out of nowhere, I see this huge red-faced rogue with bitchin' armor riding a huge tiger galloping towards me with the awesome majesty and power of god himself. The cavalry had arrived! And the tiger-mounted rogue gave me a jaunty wave to signal his arrival. "Och aye there, druid!" (he seemed to say). Such an entrance I can't even deal with. But wait, it gets better.

I follow him towards the cave entrance, where there are plenty of evil dudes that need-a-slayin'. Initially, Mr. Shakes goes for the 1-2 slash, as in 1) You're fucked and 2) You're dead. That's right. Two slashes, and dead. As opposed to my version of combat which usually means a nonillion number of strikes with my crappy level 7 wooden staff that ends in 1) I'm fucked and 2) I'm dead. So, we're running through this cave and I'm watching him get into a rhythm where he gets even more efficient and uses (his words) "an epic level 70 Night Blade" that basically obliterates any foe on contact. Imagine my hysterical laughter as I watch him run through our opponents without stopping - not something you get to see every day.

After the annihilation and subsequent gratitude, I thought I'd call it a night. Well, far be it for a level 70 Rogue to exit without flare. Mr. Shakes summons back his tiger mount, gets on, and proceeds to roar like a beast before he gallops off into the Azeroth sunset.

Now that is style.

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