Tonight I was reminded of one of the less fun aspects of raiding that I had more or less completely forgotten about: the bench. It's been so long since I last had to sit it, even back when I was still raiding in WoW, that it felt rather... uncomfortable. Of course it didn't help that I didn't actually find out that I had been benched until my PvP pet tank suddenly took his leave with a comment about being needed in Terror from Beyond. Wait, weren't we in the same group yesterday? What is this I don't even...
Of course the reasons for it were all pretty sensible, so I tried my best to be a good little minion and accept my role gracefully. Still, I was kind of bummed when I was left to PvP with no guard (I know, I've become so spoiled) and a slightly grumpy dps as my only company. I wasn't sure how this could possibly shape up into a fun evening.
Then I zoned into Novare Coast, turned around the corner... and suddenly saw a familiar name.
About half a year ago I happened to record a random warzone that turned into one of the funniest PvP pugs that I've ever had, simply because it consisted of seven troopers and a gunslinger on Republic side, which everyone agreed was a hilarious group make-up (in fact, I even made brief mention of it on here). Even better, we completely steamrolled the Imperial opposition in that game, rushing to the datacore on the attack round and then not letting them past the first door in the defender round. I edited the video footage that I got out of it and uploaded it to Youtube, and throughout the editing process became quite familiar with the names of all the players on that particular team. To this day, I always smile when I see one of them in a random warzone, but unfortunately those occasions have been very rare. The guy who guarded me and earned my MVP vote in particular was someone that I never even saw again afterwards.
Until - you probably guessed it - that game of Novare Coast. It was just one of those moments. I couldn't help imagining some cheesy music playing in the background as I recognised him and gleefully went: "It's him! He lives! Six months later and there he is! Can you believe it? He's even wearing the exact same gear still!"
Of course he had no bloody clue who I was.
It didn't matter. I did a /cheer emote at him and two seconds later he responded with a hand gesture that was followed by a familiar thrumming sound and me being surrounded by a comfortable blue bubble. Squee!
The cherry on top was that the Imps put up one hell of a fight, but my new/old friend tanked them like a boss, I healed him as if my life depended on it (because it did) and we managed to achieve a hard-earned win. We made for an amazing team considering that we didn't really know each other at all. I whispered him afterwards to thank him for the great game and we ended up queuing for another couple of matches together. We did just as well in Civil War, though we lost at Huttball - but after all, misery loves company too.
I had only just found out that he was Italian (since me habitually typing "ciao" instead of "bye" led to me being mistaken for an Italian for the umpteenth time) when a call went out from guild that the ops group had finished their run and that they were going to put a second run together, consisting of some of their alts and us benchwarmers if we still wanted to come. Of course I did!
I was only almost sad to leave my new friend behind... after all I had reason to add him to my friends list this time, so hopefully we will see each other again. But to think that I wouldn't even have run into him if I had been in the first ops group... I love it when a disappointment turns into a nice surprise like that.