I must have had too much tea this morning because this post has gone on an epic emotional journey before even having been written.
It began in a melancholy fashion. “I confess,” I said, in a melancholy fashion, “I am slightly concerned.”
Things are pretty stagnant for M’Pocket Tank and I in WoW at the moment. Tam is 78, with 80 looming if only I’d put my head down, stop avoiding Northrend and get there, he’s wearing stuff he found lying on the ground in Sholazar Basin (mango leaves and animal furs, I suspect) and he’s waiting for the patch to come out so he can buy bargain basement flying.
In the short: the poor bastard is Waiting for Godot. Everything he does is subsumed into the act of waiting. And that’s taking a toll on our morale. There are only so many bowler hats we can pass around.
We’ve also pretty much run out of instances. This weekend we embarrassed ourselves in the Black Morass yet again. Poor Medivh, his heart must sink when we appear through the instance portal. I imagine it rather goes like this:
Medivh: Look guys, I really appreciate you trying to help and everything but, uh, I’m kind of sick of being torn apart by infinite whelps.”
Us: No, no, it’ll be fine, we have more DPS this time. Tam’s learned mind sear, it’s gonna be a cake walk.”
Medivh: You said that last time.
Us: That was an error of judgment, we admit it. But third time lucky, eh? Wait till you see that mind sear, it’s going to change the tide of battle.
Medivh: *bursts into tears*
Not really very much later…
Medivh: *torn apart by infinite whelps*
Us: Maybe we need more DPS…
Me: *shaking head sadly* I can’t believe mind sear didn’t make the difference…
(In case it isn’t obvious, guess who just got mind sear – his first proper AoE spell, since Holy Nothing doesn’t count. M’Pocket Tank scorned it and derided it: “The shadow effects look totally lame” “Are you kidding, that’s fel power that is!” “It looks like wee.” “It’s fel wee, dammit!” But it still makes me feel awesome.)
Tails between our legs, we slunk off to try our hand at The Steamvault and The Shattered Halls, both of which went down with a whimper. I really like The Steamvault – another genuinely huge and epic-feeling instance. Also it’s crazy full of mobs. We spent an awful lot of time yelling “HUG THE WALL!” at each other, like we were in a 1970s cop show. There are probably better strategies but it worked for us. None of the bosses gave us much trouble, but after Grand Master Void Fetishist everybody is a bit of a let down. He’s totally our nemesis. Screw this Arthas dude. The Shattered Halls are pretty funky too. Although I wouldn’t call them Shattered so much as Long and Straight and Quite Well Maintained. Talk about misplaced hyperbole.
And this, of course, brought us face to face with an impasse. “Tempest keep, yay!” we cried eagerly, only to find the way was barred.
Between trudging back to Northrend and doing something stupid, we naturally opted to do something stupid. Hellfire Ramps Heroic!
My first heroic, in fact. Well, technically my second heroic, since the last time we had this idea we poked our noses in the door, fought valiantly to the Beast Master and then died horribly and repeatedly at the teeth of his eighty million beasts. That gave me a bit of a fright, I can tell you. Heroics, I guess, are full of surprises. Surprising deaths, anyway.
But last time we tried the God of People Who Don’t Like Northrend And Will Do Anything To Avoid It was smiling on us. And, somehow, we got through Ramps heroic. Again, I know we’re 8 levels ahead of schedule so it’s not the kind of mighty deed WoW-aficionados down the ages are going to sing camp fire songs about. But it was something new and exciting to try and it was actually pretty challenging.
I’ve also got to the point of level progression in which my healing looks visually pathetic. I remember how stunned I was, that time I accidentally went on a Raid, when I’d be casting heal spells and it would make a trivial amount of different to the health bars. These days, flash heal on M’Pocket Tank is the equivalent of an elastoplast on a severed limb. The only reason I cast it at all is to proc Serendipity. Of course it might have something to do with the fact M’Pocket Tank is wearing, y’know, gear, whereas I am clad in crap the Nesginwary expedition didn’t want.
By the time we’d finished, we were rolling in stuff that would have been awesome 8 levels ago by the end of it. It was utterly tragic. In fact … God … another first … I disenchanted my first epic. It broke my heart to do it.
I’ve kept every other epic I’ve found, because I’m still enough of a sentimental noob to conceive of them as being incredibly rare and valuable.
Let me see, I have not one but two ardent custodians, both BOE, both random world-drops. I’m saving them for a character who could duel wield them. Mwahaha.
And I have a Glowing Brightwood Staff, which was a present from a dear friend. Again, it broke my heart to swap it out for some random Outland shite with infinitely better stats.
An Eye of Flame, for the Prettiest Elf, which I am NEVER NEVER NEVER replacing because it so utterly fabulous. A monocle. On fire. Oh God yes.
And, yep, that’s it. And there fell the Feltooth Eviscerator into my graceless hands and I crushed into a void crystal as if it was nothing.
We also pulled in a metric sack of epic gems. Gemming rarely seems worth it during leveling because you trade up gear so regularly but I guess waste not want not … oh wait … I’ve got nowhere to put the damn things because I’m dressed in Nesingwary’s hand-me down trousers.
“Woo hoo! What’s next?” I asked.
And it was at this moment that I succumbed to melancholy. It suddenly struck me: what on earth am I going to do when I hit endgame. No, seriously. What is someone like me meant to do? Run heroics over and over and over again until my eyes bleed? Grind daily quests? Raid? Achievement whore? I don’t think I’m interested in any of those things.
I ran UK about 10 times when I was the appropriate level (if you count all the times I FAILED to run UK) and I never want to see the damn thing again as long as I live and breathe. I just can’t see myself running the same heroics repeatedly. I can’t see myself rep-grinding. I’m really not sure WoW will have anything to offer me at that point.
I know I could start leveling alts but there’s an extent to which “80” serves as a set of goal posts. It’s not the end of the game, it’s not even a victory condition, but it’s something to aim at. If it’s just a mirage, then, why aim for it at all?
But there’s a saying in family: we’ll jump off that bridge when we come to it (yeah, we’re a cheery lot).
And I guess there’s about as much point in worrying about what I do when I hit 80 than there is in worrying that I might wake up one day with nothing to say on this blog (I do, as it happens, worry about both, pointless though it is).
Back to the present
And in the spirit of this: it is officially Fuck The Patch day.
I could afford artisan + cold weather flying maybe (big maybe) if I put all my gold together, bankrupted all my alts and deprived the Prettiest Elf of his vanity fund (he is my single biggest WoW expenditure, I’m embarrassed to say).
But the cost of that isn’t changing, so let’s not bother, and let’s not worry about it. Money accumulates in WoW. Unlike in real life where it seems to … just disappear.
What is changing, however, is the effectiveness of your Bog Standard Flying Mount but that’ll kick in when the patch happens regardless of when I purchase the damn thing. And, actually, when you get right down to it, although the costs for ground mounts, and the training to ride them, are going through the floor (was there a job lot of substandard chickens or what?), the difference in cost of Expert riding + Thing To Ride between now and the patch are in the region of 250 gold, not counting faction rep bonuses.
250 gold? That’s nothing, right?
So I’m resolved. Tonight, M’Pocket Tank and are going shopping.
We’re going to get our hands on a pair of crappy, geriatric flying mounts, fit them with thermal underwear and ride them in slowwwwwwww triumph over Ice Crown.
Azeroth is, once again, at our feet. The world is ours.