A Near Miss
The last two days have been an explosion of Blizzcon stories on Twitter. Aside from enjoying all the different tales of who met whom, this has resulted in an intense desire to share my thoughts. Lucky for all of us, I have this blog thing!
I can't tell the tale of Blizzcon without covering the days leading up to the convention. If you follow me on Twitter I'm sure you have at least a vague idea of the story I'm about to share. If you don't, then pull up a chair and enjoy.
Reverse scroll to three or four months ago (whenever Blizzcon tickets were sold.) I wasn't planning on attending the con. I tend to be weird about money and I just didn't think a convention was something I wanted to prioritize for. Things changed shortly after my girlfriend broke up with me. I was probably feeling lonely or impulsive (probably both,) but I decided that it would be fun to get out of my box and experience something new. Meet some new people. Travel alone. Exciting things.
I started poking around to see if anybody close to me and a spare ticket. Low and behold, I remembered one of my guildmates mentioning something about having one. This guildmate happened to be (what I thought at the time) a good friend of mine. He went by the name Illumi, but his toon name back then was actually Brosideon. His real name is Quinn Morrow. Ilumi was the other ret paladin raiding in Apotheosis back then. He and I had this amusing almost frat guy type of friendship. I know for a fact that we bothered people in raid with what came to be known as "bro-ing out." He sort of enabled me to tap into this caveman-like portion of my personality. It was stupid, but also fun. He and I would compete as DPS. I was always the better paladin (his words, which I silently agreed with,) but it was a close enough race to be exciting most of the time. After my dad died he even extended the kindness of giving me his phone number. He would text me once in a while to see if I was doing okay. As far as Warcraft goes, it felt like a friendship.
Ilumi and I spoke about Blizzcon and came to the agreement that I would buy his extra ticket and split a room at the Hilton with him. Months passed. I occasionally checked in with him on the plans, but I never really got around to hashing out things in detail. Fast forward to 2 or 3 days before my flight. I started trying to get in touch with Quinn to finalize things. I didn't know which day he was arriving or if my name would be on the hotel room or anything. I also didn't know how much money I owed him. This is where the story goes south. As these days passed it became increasingly difficult to get in touch with Ilumi. At one point my phone wouldn't send his a text message. I don't know if it was a random coincidence or not, but it made me nervous. He always seemed unavailable on RealID as well.
My flight was scheduled on Thursday. Come Tuesday I was extremely concerned. I had a date planned that evening (which went GREAT by the way,) and I decided that after I would jump online and bug Ilumi. I knew he'd be on raiding. Before my date I tried to ping him. All I got at that time was a message that said "sec." After the date I got back on and spent 4 hours trying to get a response from him on RealID. He just ignored me. It was unbelievable. When I was reasonably certain that something shady was going on, I just started asking him to be straight forward. I needed to know what was happening, even if it was just an explanation that I was getting screwed. No abusive language was used. I refrained from threatening him. Still, he just didn't respond. I couldn't believe it. Needless to say, I was hurt and angry.
Starting late Tuesday night I started frantically tweeting about my situation. I got a lot of responses from people. By the time I went to bed I was hopeful that I might be able to salvage my trip. Most of Wednesday morning was spent on either Twitter or the Battle.net forums. So many people came to my rescue, I can't remember them all. My first break came when two players from my guild, Kal and Chronis, tweeted that they might be able to split a room with me. That did indeed pan out and I can never thank them enough. Not only did I get a comfortable queen bed to myself in a room with two people I knew I could trust, but I also got a ridiculously good deal for the stay. I hope my gratitude was evident. They saved my ass.
Once I had lodging secured I started digging through the the Battle.net forums for tickets. There were several threads, so I jumped in and fired off a few emails. I ended up finding a couple that were looking to sell on the condition that they could give the goodie bag to the original buyer. That was my only option at the time and I was eager to get something locked down. In retrospect I kind of wish I had been more patient. Those figurines would have looked super cool in my cube here at work. I wasn't looking to press my luck so I agreed. The couple lowered the asking price and we made arrangements to meet. The girl seemed to be earnest and forthcoming. I felt good. By around 1PM on Wednesday I was set.
Trusting people you've met through the Internet is always a guessing game. Obviously I had to take a leap of faith with the people I was buying my ticket from. Technically I still had to trust Kal and Chronis (although I never doubted their honesty for a second.) It still floors me that Ilumi betrayed my trust. He didn't even have the balls to say anything to me when I asked what was going on. He is an incredible piece of shit. If he even ended up going to Blizzcon, I never saw him. That's probably good for both of us. Right now his paladin is named Iluminatez. He's playing in an Alliance guild called Game Over on Proudmore. If you read this and have the chance to chat with the little weasel, tell him to get fucked.
To all the people who helped me get to Blizzcon, I can't even begin to thank you. The response I got from twitter when I started looking for help was incredible. Lots of big hearts out there. I am forever in your debt. Knowing now how awesome Blizzcon was, I would have been crushed to not go. Thank you all so much for rescuing me. Kal, Chronis; you're amazing people. Thank you for letting me room with you. You were two of the nicest people I met the whole trip. I appreciate you very very much and hope we meet again. So many feels.
Since this turned into a wall of text, I'm going to share my tales of the 'con in a separate post. Thanks for reading!