Already sick of the damn moose

Patch 6.2.3 is not really even close to going live yet — I think we are at least a month out — and for some reason I feel just cranky and annoyed about the whole thing. I am not sure why, after all it seems to have some very decent features. I am looking forward to the Cata Timewalking dungeons — I really liked all of them (except Throne of Tides) when they were current, and I did them so often I feel like I could still almost do them with my eyes closed. Valor will be a good addition, too, even though as I said a couple of days ago it has some fundamental problems and likely also some unintended consequences. And who could be uninterested in the possibility of better gear and a new heirloom from Mythic dungeons?

So with all these cool new things, why am I so annoyed already about the patch?

I think it’s the moose. Not the mount per se, because I am not a big mount collector and honestly could not care less about whether or not I get it. Almost the only two mounts I ever ride on any character are the headless horseman mount and the chopper, anyway, even though I have tons of others. I really can’t see the attraction of riding around on a big old lumbering smelly moose, much less fly on one.

No, it’s not the mount itself, it’s more that I perceive Blizz is gleefully dancing around and rubbing my nose in the fact that I have almost zero chance of getting it. By making it a reward for killing Heroic Archie, they are in effect doing a neener-neener-neener to approximately — this is a guess — 90% or more of the player base. They are saying that — even though their WoD design policies have been in large part responsible for the demise of guilds and raid teams, that even though this entire xpac has been about the elitification (yeah, I know there is no such word, but it seems to fit) of raiding, that their RNG policy on all gear means people finally just give up in disgust — even in the face of all this, everyone should be raiding at the level of having Heroic Archie on farm. And if not, well then too effing bad, haha the joke is on you, we got you good didn’t we.

It is breathtaking chutzpah, even for Blizz.

Moreover, they are giving their favored elites virtual keys to Fort Knox by opening the gates for carries that many players will pay thousands and thousands of gold for. I won’t, but I guarantee you many will. This will put the elite raiding guilds in even better position to start Legion, as they will easily be able to buy the best gear early on for their raiders. Don’t have the gold to pay for a carry? No worries, you can get game tokens from Blizz and sell them for the price of a carry. My God, how the money rolls in! The rich get richer, and the poor get — moose mounts.

I don’t blame the guilds who are able to schedule carries — after all, they are just providing a service that is in demand. It is simply a market force, a smart commercial move, the essence of capitalism. But I am disappointed that Blizz has seen fit to shape the game in such a way that this is the inevitable result. The thing I always loved about WoW is that it was driven by skill and commitment, not by in-game commercialism. If you wanted some reward in the game, you worked at it and got it by dint of your own labor or by team effort. The game made it possible for almost anyone to do this, it did not play favorites like it seems to now, it did not glorify elitism, it championed the cause of the “middle class” player. The moose represents the end of that fantasy, and I don’t like it. It makes me sad for the game.

The only good thing I see coming from this is that shortly after the patch goes live, you won’t be able to throw a stone in the game without hitting a moose. It absolutely will not be a rare mount, those who want it mainly to lord it over others will have all of about a minute after the patch goes live to do so. The true mount collectors and those who just think the moose looks cool will still have fun with it, but the inevitable I-got-something-you-don’t-got crowd will be deflated in short order. Good.

So, although 6.2.3 will probably be a decent patch, the damn moose and everything about it just makes me mad. Luckily it’s Friday, let the weekend begin, I need a beer.

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.

2 Responses to Already sick of the damn moose

  1. Grumsta says:

    As I understand it, the moose was originally intended as a store mount, and there was something of a backlash (isn’t there always?) against this decision.

    So fair play to Blizz for making it available in game. Those who would have happily paid for it from the store can now spend money for a carry.

    I’m hoping our raid team can earn it for ourselves, if not I can live without it, just as I have to live without the Garrosh mount because we didn’t get the kill in time. Our raid team simple wasn’t (and still isn’t) that good – still don’t have Archie Normal down yet, and only 6/13 HC HFC.

    I’ve just bought two months of game time using gold, and I’d rather use my gold for that than buying a carry.

    It’s just a mount.

    • Fiannor says:

      Very true. And I, too, can easily live without the mount. But what does it say about the game when a popular, coveted-by-many item is only within the reach of the vast majority by paying a raid team to carry you? If Blizz had done everything they could in this xpac to promote the formation of lots of raid teams, if they had done their design jobs and made raid tiers truly scaled at normal for small groups, if they had held to their promise of normal being old flex (harder than LFR, easier than old “normal”), in short if they had given a damn about 90% of their player base — then making the mount a reward for Archie-N would be a reasonable move.

      But they didn’t. They catered to the whiny hard-core wannabes, they caved to their own devs who themselves think raiding should be beyond the reach of all but elite players, their design policies directly destroyed guilds and raid teams, they changed their business plan to focus on how difficult the game is so people will pay money to watch pros play it.

      From a bottom line point of view, moving the mount from the store to a game carry was a brilliant move. They will still realize significant revenue from it, because many people will buy tokens to get the necessary gold for a carry or will extend their subs by a couple of months. But in addition, the move will increase the game-success metric of average time played per account, which is a featured number in every quarterly earnings report for all of Activision-Blizzard’s games.

      Brilliant, manipulative, and disgusting.