It’s been almost two months since patch 3.1 went live and the memory most vivid in my mind is my first go at jousting. It was a frustrating, painful, annoying experience that brought me to the verge of saying that I won’t play anymore at all as the rewards are not worth the sacrifice. It took a few days for me to realize that like everything else in game, just because it’s there, does not mean I have to do it. And so my immediate response was simply to pretend that the Argent Tournament did not exist. I didn’t pick up any of the dailies, didn’t do any of the quests and moved on to other things. Avoidance is not my style though. Friends offered to teach me how to joust, Chris offered to do it for me on my character and although I was thankful for a virtual lesson, I still didn’t think the Argent Tournament was for me. I quit. It took a while longer for me to gingerly return to some of the quests. I picked up the dailies that did not require any jousting. I finished the Black Knight quest chain. Finally, I returned with my lance. Initially, I spent only a minute or so having a go at it. One single round, whether I win or loose, and that was it for the day. It hurt, but not that much. It was awkward, but not that much. Fun, it was not.
It was a painfully slow progress that mostly felt like standing still. It hurt. It was frustrating. It remained a dubious activity that was on the border of badness. Maybe I should have stopped before it was painful or before I dislocated my wrist, but that’s just not me. I can’t prevent instability from going wrong. If I stopped before it hurt, I would be able to do less and less. I accept that life will always hold a certain amount of pain and I know that challenges will always be accompanied by dislocated joints and I’m okay with that. It’s a tough learning curve, but it’s one that takes me forward and opens up doors that otherwise would always have remained shut. Today, I did seven rounds of jousting to complete two quests. My hands hurt afterwards, my wrist did not stay in place the entire time, but it was all within limits that are tolerable. I was happy. I am happy. I’m not sure just yet how repeatable it is, at the moment every second or third day is working well for me, but it’s a sustainable activity. I can joust. It’s still not really fun, but the gap that dailies fill for me is not one of exhiliration. I like the predictability of having a route of quests that I am intimately familar with and can carry out as my repetitive task of the day. I can listen to music, unwind and relax whilst it occupies my mind somewhat, but not completely. It’s fun, it’s solitary and although I still curse Blizzard for ever adding the Argent Tournament, what were they thinking?, still, I can joust.