There were problems with the Emerald Dream server last night. Initially I logged in with no difficulty to find myself at the Goldshire inn. I had a bunch of wolf flesh in my pitifully small bags and I went into the kitchen to grab a few points on my cooking skill which sat at a measly 16. This lump of dead wolf would take me almost to 40 so I set it to create the whole bunch of them and sat back and watched the server go to pieces. Not really understanding what was going on I made the amazingly stupid decision to go outside and it was there that my connection was terminated. All attempts to re-enter the portal were to no avail.

It’s quite seductively irritating that login portal when you can’t get in. The little beams of light swirl in a lovely vortex into the opening where you can see a tantalizing glimpse of the world beyond. You don’t even look at the thing when you normally log in, just typing in your name and password as fast as you possibly can so you can get into the world. But no world for me, no matter how many attempts I made. I had a look at the Emerald Dream forum and discovered a multitude of threads lamenting the state of the server. Oh well, I thought. At least nobody else is having a good time either. That always makes me feel better. But then I read something that chilled my heart:

“At least I managed to get to an inn for the rested XP bonus before it threw me out. The last downtime lasted for days.”

Now you can see why my decision to go outside was up there with invading Russia. I tried all manner of times to get back in but eventually I went to bed in disgust at the world of private servers for which I pay nothing but goddam them for ruining my fun with their petty server issues that they provide for me of their own goodwill.

I woke up early and tried to log in again. Success! And I was in the kitchen! Silly me, I should have realized that I had already been thrown out when the cooking went to the doghouse. I finished my tasty wolf steaks, sold them for some measly copper, (I have 53 silver at the moment!) and headed off to Westfall. My favorite place in the game since like for ever. I was killing some Fel Reavers in whatshisname’s pumpkin patch farm when I got an unannounced invite to group up with another rogue. In the past I would have dismissed such bad manners with a haughty press of a refusal button, but I was in such a good mood after getting back in the game that I decided to accept. The rogue was only level 11, far beneath my own lofty station of 13, but I decided to help the poor chap out. Everything was going fine until we hit the defias mobs in the farmhouse and I discovered that he couldn’t play. At all. So we died, and we died, and fuck it why don’t we die once again just for good measure.

Then he did something very smart and invited a level 12 druid to join our group. Healing! Brilliant move, old chap. And then we ran smack bang into the Fel Reaver 4000 and both of them died while I ran away when the big bad level 20 elite wasn’t looking. By now the rogue’s damage bill was high and his equipment was buggered so I sent him off to Sentinal Hill to get repaired while the druid and I cleaned up the other field of Fel Reavers safe from the nasty elite. The rogue came back and joined us but then complained that his dagger wasn’t effective seeing as there isn’t a blacksmith at Sentinal Hill.

You don’t need a blacksmith, I said. Just go to the two little caravans and get it fixed there. He was adamant that this could not be done as they were not blacksmiths and then he invited two more people to join our group, a hunter and a warlock. So now we were five. We killed a Fel reaver and what with the high numbers of our party I think I got something like negative 34 XP. Finally we got the Fel Reavers down so everyone had killed 20 for the quest and I dragged the clueless rogue over to the Bowyer at Sentinal Hill where he was amazed to discover that people other than blacksmiths could fix stuff. You haven’t played this game before, have you, I said. He responded by shoving an empty guild charter in my face. I declined to sign. At this point some level 60 horde blew into Sentinal Hill and released some nasty demons that killed everyone except the druid and I, and we managed to scarper over towards the river. The druid was polite, skilled and a healer so I added her to my friends list. I whispered her this news and she did likewise. Then I bowed to her, and she did some respectful druid thing, and I logged off after hearthing back to the inn at Goldshire ready for the next server outage.