Couples Who Slay Together – Solo and Gruff

Welcome to our Community Project of 2017 (you can see our last one in 2014 here)!

We propose to do a series of – fun and lightearted – interviews which help us learn a bit more about our awesome community, and hopefully unravel some juicy details about our readers. 

If you would like to get involved, contact us

Hello! Can you introduce yourselves?

Hello! Luke (Gruff) here. I’m the one that’s been nominated to write the response as I’m English so hopefully my written English will make a bit more sense (!)
We are Luke (Gruff) and Helene (Solo). Both of us are in our 30s, although I’m technically Solo’s toyboy by 6 months 😀 I’m originally from Birmingham, UK (hello from Shropshire!) and Solo from Bergen, Norway. We both now live together in Bergen with our awesome Dachshund, Apollo. Solo’s a dentist and I’m a stay at home dad to Apollo until I find a job and whilst I learn Norwegian. My background is in IT though.

Could you share a picture of you together?

You two are so cute! How long have you been together, and where did you meet?

In June 2017, we’ll have been together for 2 years. Those two years have flown by though, as most of it was spent flying back and forth between the UK and Norway.

We met playing WoW. I’d played since mid-late Vanilla, but stopped just after MOP launched due to raiding burn out, RL friends not playing anymore and my ex hating me play video games. Solo began playing WoW at the start of WotLK and got completely hooked. The addiction was still in full effect for MOP where she was raiding 4/5 times a week on two different characters.

Our paths met at the launch of WoD – I’d split with my ex, some RL friends had started playing again and the call of WoW came to me. I had no guild, but a RL friend mentioned he’d joined a friends guild and they were after people, so it seemed like a good place to go. This guild happened to be the home of a Hunter called Solovala.

We didn’t really talk to each other at first – just the usual “grats” or “hello” in guild chat. It wasn’t until later that I found out that Solo thought I had a nice voice when I spoke on Vent. Apparently it’s the first thing that drew her to me.

I can’t remember exactly how, but we got talking more in-game and this progressed to questing together and doing stupid stuff. The guild set up a WhatsApp group for us all to talk outside of the game and Solo and I used that to start talking to each other. The true sign that Solo was smitten with me though, was the fact that I (an Ele Shaman), became the misdirect target of choice during pre-pull tactics. The number of early wipes that got blamed on me thanks to Solo is too many to count.

After a couple of months. I ended up taking my first trip to Norway to visit Solo, what followed was another 18 months of long weekends, short holidays and rushed visits to see each other. I even ended up taking a flight from London to Barcelona to get a connecting flight to Norway as I missed the last direct flight that weekend.

As of march this year, I packed up my stuff (mainly my PC!), quit my job and moved to Norway. Thing have been great since 😀

Show us a pic of your set up – is it all cute and cosy?!

Not the super cozy setup, but we just moved in and have plans. Many plans 😉

Do you tend to play the same games together, or prefer to keep gaming life separate?
Solo tends to be a one or two games at a time type person. If she likes a game, she REALLY gets into it. Whereas I will have one or two main games whilst also trying various other things, I particularly like smaller indie games etc. We play some of the same games together – mainly Overwatch at the moment. I’m still playing WoW, but Solo took a break for a couple of months as she is well and truly hooked on OW, but claims she’ll be back for the next WoW expansion.

With the current political situation, it’s only right we ask your affiliation: HORDE OR ALLIANCE?

For Solo, it’s simple: FOR THE ALLIANCE!! YES /highfive 

For me, its more complicated. I like dwarves and I like orcs. I’m currently playing on Alliance, as friends all faction transferred at the end of Cataclysm, but deep down I’ll always be FOR THE HORDE. It just doesn’t feel right if your Shaman isn’t an orc!

Spill the beans: what’s the most fun activity you like to do together? GAMING ACTIVITY. Naughty!

Raiding together was always great – the guild we were in for WoD made a lot of good progress in Mythic BRF and HFC, and it was always fun trying to best each other in DPS meters and rankings for the different fights. It’s great having someone to share the excitement of a new boss kill or getting an awesome piece of loot. Right now though, we have the most fun playing Overwatch cooperative matches together, I play Tank (mainly Reinhardt) and Solo is a Mercy main. We play with a couple of friends we met through gaming and it’s always great after a long day to come home, hang out together and have a laugh whilst playing games.

Solo trying to woo Gruff on a quest.

As a couple, do you find sharing your gaming hobby helps your relationship?

Definitely – our relationship wouldn’t have existed if it weren’t for gaming. At the same time, it’s not the only thing about us either. Gaming as a hobby just ties things together nicely and enhances what we have.

Last December, we attended our first LAN together (Insomnia Gaming Festival in the U.K.) and that was so much fun. This sounds awesome! We met up with a group of about 10 other friends and just played games, hung out, drank and did a pub quiz together. It was great to be with someone who shared the same excitement and enjoyment of being at the event.

Not our main characters, but we levelled the others main class together (so Solo did a ele shammy and gruff did a BM hunter) which was a cute thing we did together in the early phase of our relationship. Here we had just dinged 100 💚

*ahem* who rides who on the two seater mount?

I stayed up all night farming the mats to make Solo the Vial of the Sands as a surprise gift, so I end up riding her most of the time. She has no sense of direction (both IRL and in game) so it often ends badly.

Who is the Raid leader in your relationship?

Both of us can be really indecisive. However, I’ll often end up being the one trying to take a lead in things only to have Solo shout at me and tell me off as it’s the wrong thing.

What’s been the biggest tiff whilst gaming together?

Our gaming disputes often come from the fact that I get very competitive about things and dwell on them, Solo is really chilled though and quickly forgets. This can lead to minor disagreements should we lose 2 or 3 Overwatch comp matches in a row.

One of you has to kill 100 Kobolds and one has to collect the 100 shiny things they drop… who does which task and why?

Solo’s answer: I’d do the killing as my DPS is so much higher than Gruff’s.

Gruff’s answer: Solo would do the killing as she has a slightly compulsive nature for stuff like this. She’d often spend a Sunday afternoon killing the same few mobs whilst watching a series on Netflix just so she got exalted with a faction. I’m often the one looting the corpses as I can’t stand to see an unlooted corpse just lying there on the ground – I have stupid compulsions as well.

Where do you see your future in gaming?

As long as there’s a game that holds our interest, we will both keep gaming for a long time, this will probably be easier for me, as I can always find something to play or try. Solo is a one or two game person: previously is was WoW, now Overwatch. If she gets bored of OW (not going to happen) and there’s nothing else that takes her fancy. It sure if she’d still game or if she’d be that bothered.

The gaming culture and the friends we’ve made through gaming will always be part of us though. I think it’s try of lots of people our age. We are a generation that grew up with C64, Atari, Nintendo and Sega so is always been there more or less.

The million pound question to finish off… you’re gaming a rare mount, neither of you has it and it drops. Who gets it!?

Solo. I love how there’s no need for explaination here 😂

Thanks so much for taking part guys! Find Solo on twitter here and Gruff here

One thought on “Couples Who Slay Together – Solo and Gruff

  1. N’aww how nice to get a little background story leading up to the beginning of your relationship too, made me smile, thank you so much for sharing, Solo and Gruff 🙂

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