Monday, July 21, 2014

BETA: Open Up

Now I understand.

In my early days of Alpha questing, I was amazed to find that what I thought should have been a normal quest reward had dropped into my bags as Epic quality. On closer inspection it became apparent that this was the same item, but it was 'available' as a rare 'option' and would be awarded in the same (frustratingly) random manner as your Draenor Perks are from 90-100. I say frustrating not because I think everything should be purple, or indeed that all my abilities should be more easily assessed or awarded. I say it because I'm frankly fed up of people judging other people in game on what they wear, and Blizzard using items to 'award' status to players when what it really ought to be focussing on is making people better players.

I'll wait until you've stopped laughing before I continue.

I can see why this is taking so long.


Ironically, if I asked you to stop judging me by my colour and my looks anywhere else than in Warcraft, this would be an ENTIRELY different argument. It would also seem fairly incongruous considering there's an entire section of my website that is devotes to making people look different via the medium of Mogging. Well, yes, I am here and I make a particular effort to alter the way I look from the armour that I am provided with by the game, and I'll freely admit that the motivation for this on several occasions has been to hide the fact I'm wearing gear that is less than optimal. That is because I really grasp the fact that people know what certain gear looks like and will make assumptions based on whether you are wearing it or not, even after 10 years. It is only the equivalent of Gear Score back in the day or that twat stuck on the Ironforge Mailbox on the Meta Mount that no-one else will own until the next Expansion.

Then, of course, you can label me as jealous that I can't do that content right now, and today you'd be absolutely right.

Shiny. Well, yes it is.

I'd love to have six weeks off where all I could do was play the game. I'd be able to get every Achievement done I'm missing, go farm for gear on a multitude of alts, and collect things that I'd go and show off to anyone who noticed. However, I don't live in that world. My world has two young adults who I still wish to put before the game, and responsibilities that I feel are more significant than the pixels that persuade me to stray from the path of Good Intentions (TM) But yes, absolutely I get why this gear looks better thand the other Tier Sets in game, because if you're advertising Mythic you are an aspiration, and without THOSE every single MMO on the planet ceases to have an allure. The problem for me I suppose is understanding only too well that there are many sides to the issue of judgement, and even if I maintain that I mog because I want to dress a certain way and NOT the way in which Blizzard gives me, that's still playing the 'game', just in a more unconventional manner.

Oh, and for the record, if I earned Top Tier gear when current I'd STILL mog it to something else. That's MY point.


I will admit that I ascribe to the Millennium Falcon School of Looks and Usefulness: don't judge me on what you see, know I can do the job when it matters. I'm not mogged like this for your benefit, I'm wearing this because it makes me happy, and that pretty much extends to most of my reasoning for playing. There are days when I let negative desires get the better of me, I'll freely admit, but I'm pleased to report that I'm making some lifestyle changes in game on that front and it's been much better recently, thank you :P However, and this is important, the only way you liberate yourself from the negative is to understand WHY there is an issue to begin with. That means identifying the issues at a more basic level, and for MMO's that is actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. Often, it is finding the right word to describe the feeling or to identify the problem. After a bit of a ranty spat yesterday on Twitter, someone very kindly provided me with the answer.

Monty Python 'God 'Spot Moment #214

Of course, this is the word that eluded me. The Purple Bracers are a trophy, just like the Achievement for 200 mounts or the Mythic Gear. To keep them relevant is probably as important as having them to begin with because they represent the need to keep playing and the desire to pursue the end goal. Although I may vehemently deny the need for something that defines a playing skill I still continue to crave some meaning to the things I do: 1,000,000 gold is a Trophy. Getting to the next Mount multiple for an achievement is a Trophy. In fact, hitting 17000 Achievement Points makes me no better in my own way than anyone I am critical of for deliberately flaunting their bleeding edge content. We are just as committed as each other, but the goals are different. Therefore I ought to apologise to the person I had an argument with about this. He thought I was doing it as part of an agenda, but I would beg to differ. What matters most, at this point, is me grasping something that Blizzard are clearly going to make considerable capitol of in the next expansion.

This game is absolutely all about the trophies.

This is my Trophy.

This now presents me with an interesting dilemma: depending on what 'Monuments' Blizzard provides as subjects for your plinths in in the Garrison, will I consider displaying my prowess in Battle Pets as a 'mark of dedication'? If we have Feats of Strength being able to be displayed, which one would I consider as my most notable? Is the fact that when anyone on a Podcast asks me 'What has been you best moment in WoW?' I NEVER have one I jump to automatically because I don't look at the game in those terms to begin with? I can't sensibly judge other people's lives with mine as a yardstick to begin with, I'd be on a hiding to nothing if I did. The Beta is ample proof that however much information you provide for players, some aren't listening, many just don't care and the rest are off looking for the answers themselves anyway. It shouldn't JUST be about the prestige or the looks, that I think I'm still going to hold onto, instead what your trophies should do is mean something to you BEFORE the rest of the world.

I still maintain that if you're not playing the game to be happy before anyone else, you're not getting the point of playing at all.


Anonymous said...

"Oh, and for the record, if I earned Top Tier gear when current I'd STILL mog it to something else. That's MY point."

Even if you liked the set? I mog away from sets that I think are ugly or on alts who are wearing gear from various tiers which don't match.

Alternative Chat said...

Yes, Anonymous. I'm not interested in looking like everyone else. I want to look like ME :D