Bah humbug

Elizabeth Harper, over at Blizzard Watch, has a short piece today about her being pretty much over WoW holiday events. Not only do I agree, but for me I would have to say I have never been very interested in them. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying Blizz should get rid of them, just that they are really not my thing, never have been. To me, they are like pet battles — cute, of passing minor interest when first introduced, and many people find them fun and absorbing. Just not me.

I tried to participate in every world and holiday event the first year I played WoW as a leveled player. They all seemed to cause a lot of excitement among my guildies, and I wanted to be part of that. (This was during Wrath.) As I recall, the first event I really tried to experience was Noblegarden. After about two hours of madly searching for rabbit turds or whatever we were supposed to collect (eggs?), I gave up. There was such a mob of players all over that the only way to collect them was to find one tiny spawn spot, guard it like you were sitting on the Crown Jewels, and grab the thing as it spawned. This was not compelling game play to me. Nor was “eating” chocolate, or turning people into rabbits, or any of the other activities. I could see that they might be fun for some, but they were not for me.

Side comment: I have a thing about having someone else altering my game appearance. I hate it. If it is possible to undo it by right clicking on the buff, I always do so immediately. I am not sure why I have such a strong reaction to it, but I do. Maybe it is the idea that someone else can control the most basic part of my character (my ever-brutally-honest spouse hints that I tend towards extreme independence in all things, and he does not mean it as a compliment). In large groups like raids, changing my appearance actually makes a difference in my performance, since I identify myself — and thus my positioning — visually, and I do not use a self name plate because it clutters up my UI too much. So if I do not look like me, it means that I often do not know where I am, whether that is me standing in the red area where the fireball is about to land, etc. Hey, if I wanted to look like a skeleton pirate or a tiny bunny, or have a big ugly pumpkin head, I would, okay? I don’t need someone else making that decision for me!

I think the next event I tried was Children’s Week. Go find an orphan, check him out of the orphanage like a library book, take him with you while you battle vicious monsters, buy him some stuff, then return him to his life of hopelessness. Nope, don’t think so.

Brewfest — drink until you puke, ride a goat back and forth around Ironforge, go kill some guy who pops out of the ground in the hallucination room of a pub, kill some pink elephants? No. This past weekend, thinking I was being unfair in my harsh judgement, I made another attempt to do some Brewfest activities. Nope, still not fun.

Part of my immediate boredom with world events, I am sure, is the fact that I am not especially interested in achievements, or in collecting mounts or pets or toys. I do some achievements for titles I think are cool, and once in a  while there is a mount that I covet. And if a pet or toy happens to fall into my lap, I accept it. But, in general, these pursuits do not interest me much. I was lucky enough to get the Headless Horseman mount my first time through the Halloween (Hallow’s End?) instance years ago, and to this day it is my favorite and most-used mount on all my characters. For a while, until mounts became account wide, I ran the instance on every character every day of the event to try and get it for all, I thought it was so awesome.

For a couple of years, I liked participating in the activities for Feast of Winter Veil. But I stopped when other players decided to have their fun by interfering however they could with those who were just trying to enjoy the event. (As I have often said, I do not understand what sort of sad twisted people derive fun from messing with others. They must  be truly wretched, powerless, insignificant little worms in real life.) At any rate, after last year’s horrible mess around the Winter Veil tree — and Blizz’s arrogant and untruthful declaration that blocking access to it was “legitimate game play” that they could do nothing about — I swore off the event. Whatever fun I had found in it was gone.

Still, I like that Blizz has such events. They are a nice reminder of the whimsical part of this game, of the time when all of it seemed like a great fun adventure, before the devs got all crabby and defensive and sullen, before the community turned so selfish and mean and toxic. Besides, if lots of players are participating in them, that gives me more chances at gathering mats, camping rare pets, etc. Everyone wins.

I hope Blizz keeps the world events and holidays, although they will probably need to update most of them pretty significantly or risk drastically lower participation. However, I fervently hope that they do not make them any sort of real or implied “requirement” by attaching actual gear to them (unless it is BoE such as the Darkmoon Faire trinkets), or by making event achievements part of larger perks like they did with the “optional” pet battle sub-game as part of garrison completion. Or like they did with the “optional” Brawlers Guild achievement as a gate to current level jewelcrafting.

World events and holiday activities should remain completely whimsical, fun, and optional. They are a little diversion gift Blizz gives the players, and even if I choose not to participate in them, I think they enhance the game.

About Fiannor
I have a day job but escape by playing WoW. I love playing a hunter, and my Lake Wobegonian goal is to become "above average" at it.

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