Thursday, May 19, 2011

Small Target Audience Alert- aka Geekery ahead!

As Ameranth planned her trip she thought about what she wants to accomplish. Her goal evolved from a coast-to-coast jaunt to wanting to explore the back roads and find interesting people and places as she wanders westward. I mentioned before that the Rockies combined with bears has convinced her that she doesn't want to walk that part of the map. Not that she couldn't, but that she doesn't want to. I totally support that conclusion.

After she decided to find quirky, famous or historic sites to visit along the way, she thought it would be fun to record them as accomplishments as in an MMO(massively multiplayer online) game with quests and waypoints on the way to the completing the mission or endgame.  So Ameranth has her website set up with her mission and her character sheet. She has some beginning quests and is open to suggestions as to other places she should visit. She'll collect a souvenier or take a picture at each quest marker, and record them in her journal as well as online.

I mentioned that it made me think about comparing her trip to Guild Wars, the game we both play. There are some similarities in the GW landscape and the areas she will be walking through.

Guild Wars starts off with a tutorial set in a beautiful pastoral setting. This area teaches new characters how to use their skills, travel and level up.

I figure the Erie Canal trip serves as her pre-searing area and that she is ready to hit the 'real' game now. In Guild Wars the first area is an arid, ugly, burnt version of pre-searing and it's a shock to end up there after the lovely beginning of the game.
Since Ameranth really has no desire to walk through highly populous southern New England, and even less desire to hit NYC or Baltimore, I'm considering that area Old Ascalon, and she's getting a 'run' (being run through a game area by another player instead of fighting your way there yourself) to western MD.  Here she'll be crossing the Appalachian Mountains, which would correspond to the Northern Shiverpeaks in GW. 
(Although we certainly expect that there will be no snow) After swinging by Pittsburgh and touching base with a cousin there, she'll head west and in game than means she would be hitting Kryta, another green part of the Tyrian world. We hope that the flooding will have subsided by the time she gets there, and that she doesn't end up under water.
It will depend on her route and quests how far south she gets. Since she and Anna don't like the heat, she will probably not get to an equivalent of the Maguuma Jungle, although there are arid parts there too. Though the mission chain in GW goes further west, it is possible to skip that part of the game and walk to the jumpoff mission to get overseas to the desert areas.
Here you will probably hit level 20, the highest level and complete your attribute points. You're a seasoned player, but the hardest gameplay is still to come. As in 'real' life, it's much easier if you have learned to play well with others and cooperate to reach goals by this point.

The game hits the mountains again and finishes in the Ring of Fire islands. Ameranth has yet to decide how and where she'll finish up- but she's got plenty of time!  A quest she would like to achieve would be to visit the office of Arenanet, the company who made Guild Wars, in Bellevue, Washington. (How geeky, eh? But we've been playing this game for 6 years and counting, and are impatiently waiting for Guild Wars 2 to be released.) It's just those darn grizzlies and those very high mountains that stand in her way.

I may have stretched this analogy a bit, but I'm having fun with it and look forward to adventuring vicariously with her, as a commenter said earlier.


knitwit said...

What a fun way to approach it!! The idea of picking up a souvenir at each site reminds me of the time I went geocaching with a friend. Didn't think in a million years it'd appeal to me, but man was it a lot of fun!! Hope Ameranth has a great time, and you have some vicarious fun along the way too!

Brita said...

The Rockies are a most favorite area of the country for me. I hope she gets a "run" across them. They are beautiful, even seen just through the window of a moving vehicle, with occasional side-trips.