Life in Azeroth: Letters to Shadowsithe Ghoststrike
A Look at Some Letters Mailed to My Main in World of Warcraft
Sometimes, I need a pick-me-up. Or a crap-ton of them….
Fortunately, in my years playing World of Warcraft, I’ve accumulated a number of letters from other players - often thanking me for good or kind deeds or gifts and giveaways. I hope I don’t come off as a humblebrag; I just want to share something that warms my heart on a rough day - and there are plenty of those in a year. I'm sure I'll be looking this article up in the future on bad days since I can look at many of the letters at once - without having to log into the game or looking all over my computers for the screenshots!
Also, just for the record, the original screenshots were taken months and months ago. The game versions - over 60 letters - take up a lot of bank space, and I’m trying to keep them, but on the off-chance that I find myself having to eventually delete them from the game, at least I have the screenshots. Since the originals contain character names that can be looked up, the ones here are copies, edited to conceal the names for privacy and to save some space.
There are more than I can reasonably include in a single piece, so the following are cherry-picked from a spread of over 60 letters sent to my main over the last 3 years or so. Even then, I loved so many, and included quite the number of them! I hope they warm your heart as they have mine!
It started off simply enough; Blackwater Raiders and Shadow Council - two NA RP (Roleplaying) servers that have been merged for years - is where my main, Shadowsithe Ghoststrike, has called home for years. But these servers were - and are - quiet, even after two more realms have since been merged with them (in 2020).
As one of the consistent item farmers on these servers, I had begun accumulating a large number of the aquatic mount, the Subdued Seahorse. I got the idea to start sending some of these mounts to people I’d find in certain zones in the game, or who were kind in Trade, or were otherwise seemingly having a bad day themselves. I've had more mounts than I can reasonably sell, after all, so why not?
I’d use a website to look up the characters beforehand, to see if they first had the mount; if they did, I might send a pet they didn’t have or gold instead. I’d take the time to craft a small, friendly message, sign my main’s name, and often included a few digital drinks as well. I enjoyed that sending someone something of this nature made me feel better, particularly on a bad day. That feeling of course felt much better when many would respond with their own kind letter - sometimes with gifts for me!
It’s been a humbling experience to see just how touched some folks have been by my random gifting. One even went so far as to post a screenshot of the mail I sent them on Reddit for the holidays!
Above, a player mentions how nice it is to see something kind in the game.
After as many years as the WoW community has been around, it is well-known that the overall community is rather... toxic. Older players involved since the game's release long for the "good old days" and loathe what the game has become, years of "useless" or "unfavorable" changes have left many across the board jaded, and even the "fan groups" on social media like Facebook are full of more complaints than favorable or kind words. I, myself, am in two such groups, and frequently wind up putting the groups on hold for 30 days due to how much negativity they spew; even I can only stomach so much.
After all, I enjoy the game. But, I also enjoy and do things many don't focus on in the game, and dislike many aspects other players love. For example, I am a solo player - I loathe the group aspects many enjoy. It's so odd to most, that it isn't uncommon for people to ask me why I even play the MMORPG, which is largely group-based for game progression. But I collect pets, mounts, and farm items to sell for others who do play in groups. I make my own adventures, and I generally love them!
Above, a person I reached out to responds. While I covered the name, this person made characters with names from the Anime/Manga "Yu Yu Hakusho" (Ghost Files) by Yoshihiro Togashi, which happens to be one of my favorites - and why I started chatting with them! None of the seahorse mounts in-game can be made via professions, so they were very excited to receive the mount after I responded to this with that information. They were also kind enough to send me items back - I think potions?
Below, a person returned their gifts! I had sent them the items after witnessing them doing a good deed, but they were adamant that the deed did not need to be rewarded, and should be expected. While I can agree and respect that, I still enjoy sending folks doing good things a nice gift and encouraging folks to lend a helping hand to fellow players!
Below, I saw a person looking for a particular item in Trade: King's Amber. There was none on the Auction House, and I didn't even have any - I wound up running an old Dungeon on 2 or 3 characters until I got one and sent it, because I felt up to it and wanted to help out. Though I didn't ask for gold, they did send me some, equal to the value had it been on the Auction House!
Below, I likely sent a new player (or at least new to the server) a "care package". Or it could have been someone who had just formed a guild and I sent gold to get them started - guild banks cost a bit to get more storage spaces. Given they "scoped [my] toon", I lean towards the latter. It's difficult to keep them all straight at this point.
Below, someone warmed my heart by saying I was making World of Warcraft a better place! I don't know about that, but I appreciate the kind words!
Above and below, prime examples of why I love sending out these random gifts; it's always a treasured letter that mentions I made someone's day much better! In the one above, she was part of a wife and husband duo I met at the Darkmoon Faire while hanging out on Atlas, my Mighty Caravan Brutosaur mount. Her husband's letter is also included a little later on, and we still chat!
Above, I sent pets to a fellow player after we got into a huge bidding war on the in-game Black Market Auction House, in which players can bid on rare and otherwise now unobtainable items. I won the bid, but they put up such a fierce fight for the bid, I felt they deserved a little something.
Below, I signed a guild charter with a different character (to start a guild, a Guild Master needs 4 signatures). I sent a follow-up gift - probably gold and drinks. As they say, it was, "easily the most remarkable act of kindness [they've] ever received in ten years in [the] game"! My goodness, that's a nice one!
Above, the husband from the duo at the Darkmoon Faire sends his thanks for sending them each a Subdued Seahorse. Turns out, they'd had a stressful day. Given that I was tooling around on a mount worth 5 million gold when we met, he expressed that he didn't think he could give me anything I probably didn't already have, and offered his abilities should I need them!
Above, another new guild received one of my care packages! Below, a Guild Master I sent a Subdued Seahorse to asks which guild member requested I do so!
Above, a player I sold a toy to sent me a bonus after learning I too was saving up for my Mighty Caravan Brutosaur - AKA a Long Boy/Long Boi!
Below, another satisfied giveaway winner!
Above, I sent a gift to this player for announcing a rare mob's location for others! It's always nice to see those words, "You've made my..." - it's just so nice!
Below, someone returned the gold I sent, offering it up for someone else.
Thank you for sticking around with me through my stroll down memory lane! I just wanted to share some of the heartwarming encounters I've had in a game that largely sees a lot of negative and toxic behaviors. I hope they serve to cheer up others as much as they do me on my bad days, and encourage folks to still join World of Warcraft despite the trash-talk from other players in-game and on social media. It's not all bad; I promise.
I'm certainly not the only one to do things such as those mentioned in the letters here, and I know I'll be visiting this article in the future to remind myself of the good I have done in my favorite game over the years! I could dedicate another article to the mounts I've helped others get, and maybe I will....
I hope you've enjoyed my first installment of "Life in Azeroth" - if you enjoyed, please keep an eye out for the next piece! I can't wait to show folks more about what I love about the game!