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The Great Race

Holy $&%#! This hotel has the freakiest bellhops... it's like Hugh Hefner meets the Island of Doctor Moreau.

Before I get started, I've got a couple of Shout Outs.

If you haven't watched Joa's Zul'Gurub Clear Video: Foray into Madness, check it out! It's a long download, but well worth it. You'll see all five aspects and Hakkar bite the dust, you'll hear music from around the world, you'll smell whatevers near your computer that happens to smell! It's an experience like no other!

If you liked it, drop a comment in the thread here.

Congratulations to Xanefius for finishing his Nightslayers, Lorraine for getting his/her Prophecy Robes, Dorant and Branwenn for reaching Exalted in Alterac Valley, Croydenn for his Bloodlord's Defender, Lucent for breeding a black n' blue chocobo, and me for finally remembering to congratulate folks for all of that.

And now I give you... THE RACE!

Click on image for a larger shot.

The police reports show that on Monday afternoon, Gary ate at Taco Del Mar, got his car washed, and then took out expensive life insurance policies on a half dozen Watchers, including:
    ~ Schummy, Team Caillech
    ~ Minimem, Team Lostris
    ~ Carwinhaximo, Team Zerol
    ~ Yosemite, Team Maledictus
    ~ Ane, Team Shishi
    ~ Horunsbro, Team Dracoz
    ~ Questley, Team Carwin
    ~ Brannie, Team Branwenn

Gary called this motley crue to Teldrassil for the first ever Darnassus-to-Silithus newbie race! Jorren, a friend/co-conspirator, agreed to referee the event. To make the "race" seem more authentic, and less like a retirement plan for Katala, Gary handed out door prizes in the form of colorful shirts and assorted weaponry. Normally I wouldn't recommend handing weapons to people who are about to be cast into a hellish gauntlet of ravenous dingos and thunderlizards while you ride around on your horse photographing their various (and hilarious) ends as proof for an insurance company... but Gary was careful to give us equipment that we're too dumb/clumsy to use at level 1. Sharp guy, that Gary.

And so the Great Race - which had about as much in common with a traditional race as that "Swim to the North Pole" show on Fox - began.

For anyone who's never crossed Kalimdor on foot at level 1 before (ie: everyone), it doesn't play out quite like you might expect. So here's a zone-by-zone play-by-play post-with-words to explain-and-inform.


TeldraTreeTop was easy as pie.

Ane got aggro right at the start, and Carwinhaxximo [editor's note: not imo!] valiantly rescued her, dying in the process. Don't you think that's brave and noble? Yeah, well THAT'S HOW LOSERS THINK! If you're not praying to the nearest diety that a sabertooth chimpanzee will suddenly devour those racers ahead of you, then you're not playing hard enough! He did get hugz for it, though... some might say that's the greatest prize of all.

Everyone rushed to the Rutheran Village dock to catch the boat and... waited... and waited. It kinda eliminated any advantage you might have gained in Darnassus, though as you can clearly see in Minimem's picture, Questley is still in first place.


Darkshore was pretty safe, for the most part. At one point Questley was running along the beach listening to all of the people on the main road screaming about flying chicken skulls slaughtering them, or some madness, and laughing happily to himself, when a bear ate him. He would later say: "That was a total buzz kill."


This is where things started getting messy. Did you know that Ashenvale Spiders have a special AI script that causes them to hide behind branches, bushes, and flowers right along the side of the road? Yeah, me neither. But they totally do!

You'd be running along, swinging your camera back and forth looking for red names, when suddently the [entering combat] tag would appear over your head.

"Wtf?" You'd say, "I don't see anything!?"

Then a giant freakin' hairy spider would leap out from behind some tiny little blade of grass, slap a web on you, and then much your little level 1 face into pulp.

Here's what Gary had to say about the situation:

Trivia: Gary would later be forced to spend all of the profits from the race on laser surgery to fix this horrible retinal deformity.

The Barrens

Generally speaking, the barrens caused less trouble than Ashenvale. As you can see on the above map, a few people (Yosemite, Questley and Schummy) got hung up in "Hidden Spider Hell Valley" along the southern border of Ashenvale and fell waaay behind at this point.

Other than one portion near the southern edge of the Barrens where Thunder Spitting Thunder Lizards would Spit Thunder at you (usually causing death), once you made it into the Barrens you were basically clear to Thousand Needles.

Ane was the first to get there, winning herself a kitten! But then she died.

Thousand Needles

I don't have a single screenshot of Thousand Needles where I'm alive.

That statement should give you an idea of how much money Gary made in this zone.

Basically, you would rez, run three feet, and then be killed by:
a) A hordie guard.
b) A wild dog.
c) A flying snake with lazer breath.
d) A wild dog... with spots!

Any lead anybody had accumulated before reaching the Thousand Needles pretty much evaporated instantly. It all came down to whoever was able to make it the furthest in their three seconds of what I like to call "alive time."

Minimem was the first to reach the Shimmering Flats, if I recall. Brannie was second. Then the rest of us all kinda poured in after.

Well... "the rest of us" excluding Ane and Schummy. Hot night elves with plunging necklines and a swagger in their hips apparently make the best puppy chow. That type is always a big hit at meat markets, after all. Oooh!

But they didn't even have the worst of it! Horunsbro managed to get his ghost stuck inside a pole... somehow. The specifics are a little fuzzy to me, but long story short he had to forfeit after spending literally 45 minutes sitting in one spot waiting for a GM to answer his petition. Sorry man! :'(

Shimmering Flats

The flats were a little slice of heaven. Open, clear, safe. It's like lazily drifting on a foot-powered canoe through a placid, waterless lake.


Tanaris reminded me of one of those carnival games where you launch the little pinball and it hits a bunch of pegs as it falls down, so you can never guess which pocket it'll land in at the bottom. Now replace each peg with a rabid, carniverous animal and replace the ball with your face. At the bottom is the Un'Goro Crater cliff line. GO!

Basically, you either got on a good path and therefore you made ten steps each time you died, or you got on a bad path and therefore made zero steps each time you died. The amount of forward progress one makes with "zero steps" doesn't add up very quickly, and some people permanently stalled out here.

Minimem blasted straight through the zone like it was no thang and leapt into Un'goro far ahead of anyone else. Yosemite made it second, and Questley third. Essentially, the order you made it out of this zone determined the order in which you placed, because...

Un'Goro Crater

Here's something I never would have guessed: Un'Goro is possibly the safest zone in the whole trip. Most people didn't die even once passing through this usually nightmarish place. All you have to do is follow the river... which is sorta a no-brainer when you're a level 1 gnome surrounded by level 60 elite dinosaurs with names like "King Mosh."


Another surprise: Silithus was about as dangerous as Darkshore, as long as you stuck to the road. Easy as pie. Questley crossed the line in third place, did a back flip, and reaped his rewards.

And, uh, Ane and Schummy were still stuck in Tanaris. Something about that

0 feet
+ 0 feet
+ 0 feet
+ 0 feet

doesn't quite add up.

Everyone DID finish eventually, though, with no help from the 60s. So grats are deserved all around! The prizes were great, and included 90g and 10 stacks of runecloth!

Carwinhaxximo name removed due to a pending lawsuit from Carwindonthaxxsrsly, inc.

Silliness ensued:

Questley's Panda Mount isn't looking too well...

Croy totally smashes Questley's skull with his horse. Baby Pandas everywhere rejoice.

Even the Hordies turned out to celebrate with us!

And so everyone died. The end.

Want More? Check out Gary's post here.

Thanks for an AWESOME event, everyone! It was tremendous fun. Thank you Gary (Katala) for doing such a great job putting it on. Thanks for coming everyone, and if you missed it: You missed out.

The insurance company confronted Gary, asking him to elaborate on how he could legitimately claim the same Life Policy on Ane 46 times in one day. They pointed out that Life Insurance is intended to assist the family of the deceased if the unthinkable should happen, and really doesn't apply if someone "dies," but then gets back up and goes to work the next morning with a headache.

Gary struck a bargain in which he would get credit for 28 of the "most extremely bad" semi-deaths, and would see to it that at least 18 more people died in the next few weeks so as to balance things out.

He's a scary guy, that Gary.
04 Oct 2006 by carwin

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