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A World of Warships Odyssey

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7,635 battles
A lot of you say that this isn't an intellectual game. To that I say, belay that order; you can create really good renditions of battles with the English language. This is my best attempt.
It's been a while since I've written a proper essay. The last big piece of "literature" I wrote was probably my college dissertation, a very very thicc book not measured in pages but in pounds of paper. It's been a few years. Ironically, despite dissing out the intellect-bashers in the first line of this text, I'm asking you for clemency -- my writing is admittedly not as good as it used to be.
With literary queries (hopefully) addressed, let us proceed with this wall of text.
I recently re-installed the game after three months away. I distinctly remember the game that made me uninstall the game for the rest of the summer; I was sailing Josef Stalin's finest tier eight battleship, the Vladivostok. I had already been on a 22-game losing streak, and in that fateful twenty-third game, I became involved in a brawl with a Freddie DG; the battle had come down to the two of us and an enemy Yugumo. As the two massive ships lumbered closer and closer to each other, I lined up my three 406mm gun turrets; all nine massive shells sat in their gun breeches, ready to burrow themselves deep in the bowels of the enemy ship. Beneath the roar of raging fires on my deck and the crashes of shells shattering on my belt armor, I heard a distinct, piercing sound: the double-click of my mouse. All nine guns came to life as a full salvo of the USSR's finest lead was flung at the german behemoth. I watched eagerly, hoping for a shiny red ribbon, but in horror, I realized my mistake. The shell tracers were yellow. I watched in disbelief as the shells splintered and came undone harmlessly on the Freddie's casemate armor. Bemused that I had spared him a trip to the Gulag, the Freddie captain sent me a message after he had perforated my citadel with Krupp steel: "LOL nice HE"
That was it. Exit to port. Exit game. Uninstall. Recycle. At that point, I hit my limit. I snapped, uninstalling WoWs in a fit of rage that not only resulted in the releasing of 23-games' worth of anger but also (regrettably) the destruction of a razer keyboard. I shelved WoWs for the next three months, taking time to reflect upon that single salvo for the next ninety days or so. Every morning, I'd wake up from a nightmare full of 16-inch yellow tracers. Every night, I'd go to bed remembering how I could have deleted the low-HP Freddie with the turrets that I'd so carefully positioned.
This is, of course, a slightly dramatized version.
Before I'd left, the game had hit some rough waters for me. I was strapped for credits, having just bought and fully upgraded a Cleveland, Benson, and a Vladivostok. I also bought and sold a Baltimore repeatedly out of sheer indecision and stupidity. My 30-million reserve pool melted away over a few days, and I was forced to start mounting expensive flags to boost my credit earnings. I didn't mind the flags much, but I did mind the losing streak I hit. I don't know what happened, but I got hit by a rush of solanine to the brain. Instead of opening up with my guns on a weary target in the dying minutes of a match, I was dying in the opening minutes of the match. This trend continued: getting slapped by a wall of torpedoes, getting slapped by a salvo of AP, getting deleted by an APDB squad, etc. It was all a little too much, and I stopped playing clan wars out of fear that I'd get kicked out of my clan for poor performance. It was the decisive time for us to move from Gale group I to Storm group III, and I didn't want to be the anchor holding us back. So I left, out of frustration and rage, after that fateful mistake of ammunition choice.
I recently came back to rejoin the game after a three-month hiatus. I decided to leave the game mainly to pursue my relationship, and also to focus on moving from Worcester, MA to Boston (please don't stalk me, no I won't buy you tickets to the USS Salem.) Now that things are settled down, I came back to the game mainly as a pass-time. After re-familiarizing myself with the game, I went to the clan tab to seek out my old friends. After an arduous three minutes of searching for the search bar that had been in front of me the whole time, I typed up my clan's tag, messaged the recruiter, and joined up once more. I don't know why I decided to return to the clan. For all they cared and knew, I was the quiet farmer who brought in a steady trickle of daily oil; they'd only ever talked to me once through a very laggy voice chat, in a clan battle where I managed to die in the opening 3 minutes of the game. I don't know what my motivation was; I'd only known them for three weeks at the time, yet I somehow grew connected to them. When I sent in my application, the recruiter messaged me and simply said: "to accept or not to accept?" I froze, distraught that the clan had already forgotten about me, erased me from their memories, eradicated me from their records. I had to resist the crushing temptation to send my rant: "PLS PLS I WAS A REALLY GOOD OIL FARMER FOR YOUR CLAN REMEMBER HOW QUICKLY YOU GUYS GOT ENOUGH OIL TO UPGRADE THE DESIGN BUREAU YEAH THAT WAS ME ILL BE SUPER GOOD IN CLAN BATTLES AND I WONT DIE IN THE FIRST THREE MINUTES... etc. etc."
Knowing that I'd surely get rejected, I simply typed: "pls"
I was already thinking about what I would do without a clan or friends to division with. And came the message: "Already have. :p"
Oddly enough, there came no sigh of relief. I sat there, staring at the little :p that sat on my screen. I checked my profile tab and surely enough I was once again a member of banshee warcry, the golden tag gleaming under the skies of the new lighting model. Once again I would be screaming like a mountain goat through the microphone, again dying in the opening minutes of a clan battle, again soaking up all the torpedoes with my Vladivostok's torpedo belt. I simply smiled and cried a few man tears. They weren't sad tears, or tears of nostalgia. I don't know what they were. I was just... happy*.
This is not dramatized.
When I finally hopped back into the clans chat, I started wondering: what brings a bunch of boomers, millennials, and cringy 9-year-olds together? Not only that, but brings all three groups joy at the same time? It seems that World of Warships does. It's really amazing to me that such a varied group of people can be brought together. It's that connection to the game; WoWs really does become part of you, in a way. But it's not the contacts function or the sketchy WG friends list that brings us together, it is the thousands and thousands of shells, torpedoes, chat messages, rants, karma reports, HE rainbows and devstrikes that brings us all together as a community.
Tl;DR i have no friends
*yes it's hard to be happy
Sorry for slamming you with a wall of text. I'll make it comic sans to make it less painful next time.
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