the ukrainian dwarf
The other day I spent an hour with a Ukrainian. I think. He didn’t respond when I talked to him (in character as my dwarven warrior) but when I waved goodbye and was promptly attacked by three giant spiders simultaneously he helped me battle them off. Encouraged, I asked him again if he would help me find incendite ore, but he wouldn’t reply, merely hanging around silently, staring mutely at my character. I left; he followed. After a while he invited me to group with him (a click an icon kind of command, not verbal) and when I accepted (click yes) and went on into the caves to search for incendite ore he happily accompanied me and helped me fight spiders so I could mine the ore.
Now I have a nine-year-old who enjoys playing World of Warcraft, so when I meet players who don’t seem to like typing, I assume they’re nine years old. There’s another reason not to type though, or at least not to type in English, as I realised when my new found friend (a dwarf like myself) after about half an hour of pleasant spider-killing and incendite-mining said his first word: “???????” Aha! Even I know enough Russian to know that that meant he was Russian! I replied with a smile (an emote, though reported in English so presumably less effective than the more trans-lingual wave) and typed “nastarovje”, hoping that meant cheers. Ten minutes of spider-killing later, my mute dwarven friend typed “Ukrein”, which I presume meant he was from the Ukraine. Unfortunately the attack of four spiders simultaneously distracted me from writing the “Norway” I had intended.
We died in the end, of course. I had completed my quest anyway, and typed, as simply as I knew how, “I home now”, following my oral experience where those with little English, no matter what their mothertongue, understand a fake, thick, Norwegian-accented English far more easily than my native Australian. Then I had my dwarf say goodbye in a voice emote, which meant that she waved and merrily said “so long now!” in a Scottish accent (I hear trolls speak with a Jamaican twang, but I haven’t heard that any species speaks Australian). I don’t know whether my Russian friend understood me, but he waved as well, and when I took out my hearthstone to return to my dwarven home, he took out his, as well.
I probably wouldn’t have met a Ukrainian on the US servers. Not that I really know anything more about Ukrainians than I did last week. Other than that they’re just as good at killing large spiders as I am.