Stormsong Valley and On Accident – Blaugust 25

494 wc

Moonshade Highlands, I mean, Stormsong Valley

The Azshara short was the weakest of the three Warbringer videos, as self-contained short films go. (Sylvanas being the strongest.) My reaction before watching it: Who is Azshara? And after watching it: Who is Azshara? As far as I could tell, it had no connection with the game of World of Warcraft that I’ve been playing the past week.

As I’m going through Stormsong Valley, I can understand why people rush to endgame in WoW. I have such an intense feeling of “what I’m doing here in these quests just doesn’t matter.” I’m trying really hard to pay attention and follow the storyline but for the most part, it’s not interesting,* and I tend to forget what I’m doing and why two steps after leaving the NPC. There aren’t any protagonists or antagonists. Almost every quest is either a kill 10 rats quest or a click 10 things quest. There’s no character progression taking place, there’s no learning new mechanics or skills. Every piece of gear you pick up looks identical to the last one (a problem that also existed in Legion). I feel like I’m just killing time until I get back to “the good stuff” (whatever that might be).

I had some hope that I might plow through the rest of Stormsong Valley this weekend, like eating a big plateful of broccoli, but this morning, after playing for precisely 34 minutes and reaching level 116, I think I’ve already had my fill.

* As an example of how I perceive WoW quest text, I came across this quest at the beginning of Stormsong Valley:

Was I intrigued at the prospect of finding a missing fleet? Exploring a monastery? Nope.

I was obsessed with the deeper meaning behind using the phrase “on accident” instead of “by accident.” What does it say about the author of the quest text? Was the author American or European? Was the author young or old? What was this author’s English teacher like? What can we infer about the evolving English language from this? Is this acceptable and normal in some geographical locations? If I’m writing fiction, should my younger characters say “on accident” instead of “by accident?” Will that endear those characters to younger audiences? Will it help to identify them as a resident of some particular region?

Or was it just a mistake from someone who isn’t very good at grammar? How does someone like that get a job as a writer of quest text in World of Warcraft, the biggest MMORPG in the world? Why isn’t there an editor or two involved in writing these quest texts? Did the writers and editors have the same grammar quirk? What does that say about the evolving English language?

It led me to a Grammar Girl article on the subject: On Accident Versus by Accident. Apparently, younger folks do say “on accident” with complete confidence that it’s correct, but why is a mystery.

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