Thursday, July 15, 2010

In vino veritas

Recently I commented on a great post by Larisa from The Pink Pigtail Inn an excellent mage blog. The post was about loot in WoW and the changing values we place on it, as well as the emotional attachment/baggage that comes with it. My comment related to a story from TBC when I played a resto druid and it brought back a strong memory - or lack of - involving red wine that I'd like to share.

I never really obsessed over gear. 

In TBC I did my first Karazhan at level 68 - back when you couldn't do it before 70 - it was a druid hax. I leveled up and and had a shiny set of Tier 4 waiting in the bank. I bypassed SSC and TK something I always regretted and went straight into Black Temple. I was there for every progression night, every wipe. I healed. I ressurected. I repaired.

At some point I developed an odd paranoia over my shoulders. You can see in the picture how they had these giant glowing globes on them. They stood out a mile away, screaming Kara noob. Karazhan, at level, by the way, is my favorite instance by far of anything in this game. Having bypassed T5 content, I was the only person not equipped in it and was holding out for T6 which I shared a token for with warriors (main tanks in my guild) and priests (preferred healers).

So I continued to wear my newbie shoulders as we ventured into Sunwell which meant less farm nights in BT.

New players joined the guild and started mocking me for my gear. WTF. I didn't care about gear. I just thought these shoulders were the ugliest things I'd ever seen. I'd stay perpetually shape-shifted so noone could see my giant globes of noobness.

I continued to lose the roll on the shoulders. Back then we didn't get any DKP on progression/wipe nights. I was losing them to people who only turned up for kills. I got some lovely upgrades in between but who cares. The old gear looked fine. Meanwhile the same two jerks in vent kept mocking my shoulders.

It sounds like I care about loot doesn't it?

I got fabulously drunk one night on a bottle or more of red. Can't remember why I was drinking or how I ended up on vent. Cannot remember the vent conversation at all. Woke up feeling great, logged on in the evening and started getting whispers. And noone would tell me what I said. Somehow I threw a major fit over those dumb shoulders. In tears apparantly. Why wouldn't they tell me what I said? They just changed the subject.

Of course the token dropped next run. Silence in vent. Everyone passed. I got a bit frantic (still feeling paranoid over what I might have said). I kept begging everyone to roll on them. Noone did. I got my shoulders. A brief silence again. A whisper from a guildy saying I was alienating people who cared about me.

Oh geez. Does noone else ever drink?

I was so ashamed. No idea what I was ashamed of since everyone was avoiding my questions. I had beautiful new shoulders and was too embarrassed to wear them. I stayed in permanent tree form for the rest of TBC, no joke. And everything went back to normal and the jerks left the guild which eventually broke up. And vent was fine. But I could never convince anyone that I didn't care about gear. I know deep down it was more a sense of feeling under appreciated. It became this whole symbolic thing for me.

Kind of dumb, eh?

And the funny thing is, I do care about gear now. Wrath did something to me where by the time I began leveling my shaman I was already planning what she would wear at 80, and what she would do next and the whole progression thing. In TBC I was so excited to reach cap and get to raid. I never raided in Vanilla. I think I quit when my druid was 45 or so which took forever then. My TBC druid was a new roll on a new server with friends. They didn't end up raiding and for me it felt like an achievement (this is before achievements). Now to me raiding is just about the gear. That makes me sad. Maybe it's the residual burnout from TBC raiding. I just can't get excited about it.

Cataclysm on the other hand, I'm really looking forward to, especially raiding. And not for the gear.

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