standing at the back in my sissy robe

July 28, 2009

the cold weather flying wheeze

Filed under: D'oh,Real Men Wear Purple — Tamarind @ 11:17 am

After all that, we didn’t buy any rubbishy geriatric mounts (and, accordingly, the patch didn’t go live this morning – that’s my fault, I’m sorry, if we had splashed out, it would surely have happened).

The intention was there but M’Pocket Tank suggested we pick up our mounts in Northrend, so we didn’t have to take a long detour to Shadow Moon Valley. It seemed sensible so we threw ourselves on chicken-back and began the long hike to K3.

Except: flaw in the plan.

Although there was a goblin willing to train us in the ways of expert and cold weather flying, were we to grease his little green palm with gold, there was nobody to actually sell us a damn mount. There was only a seriously dodgy second hand mount vendor. So the long and the short of it is, we have temporary free flying mounts from the dodgy guy and 2.5k gold burning holes in our pockets. Thank God the prettiest elf is still in Outland, otherwise I couldn’t answer for the consequences.

I also took a brief inventory and my finances are not in the best of shape. I have a steady stream in incomings from enchanting mats but I also have a steady stream of outgoings in pointless frivolity. I haven’t really put much effort in cash-grinding though so I only have myself to blame. On the other hand, it’s not as though money is ever a problem in the game. One of the things I like about WoW, actually, is the way that pretty much anything becomes achievable if you set your mind to it and you’re high enough level to have access to the necessary resources. It’s a very satisfying feeling, and a pleasant antidote to the real world, where very basic things, like hiring a car in L’Aquila for example (he says with bitterness and bile), can take up to a morning of frenzied negotiation.

I can’t believe I’m going to make this reference but there’s an episode of Sex and the City… Yes, yes, I have watched it. I was very ill for a few weeks before the advent of WoW in my life and, confined to bed, bored, listless and full of wrath, I was pretty much willing to watch anything anybody put in front of me. Sex and the City performed an extremely important role in the recovery process, in that I hated it so much it kept from despairing. Anyway, so there’s an episode of Sex and the City in which the Sarah Jessica Parker character discovers she has spent somewhere in the region of $40k on shoes and, therefore, can’t afford to buy, like, her flat or food or something. Now, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely support a woman’s right to shoes but you don’t get to whine about it afterwards. You’re a grown up, you made the choice to spend all your money on shoes, you don’t deserve censure for it, but you certainly don’t deserve sympathy.

(I really disliked the Sarah Jessica Parker character, by the way – I don’t understand why she had such cool friends)

However, a brief discussion with my WoW Financial Advisor indicates that I have been guilty of pretty much exactly the same thing. Not shoes, certainly. But the Profligatest Elf is toting around at least an epic flyer or two of things that sparkle and/or look cool. I’m not whining about it. Mainly I’m sheepish.

Baaaaa.

Anyway, this post was meant to be about cold weather flying. Seriously, what is with that? Yes, I know, it’s as much as an arbitrary hoop as anything else in the game and I suspect the imaginative reasoning behind it is something like “you need special training to stay mounted in high winds and cruel temperaments of Northrend.”

But that’s bullshit, isn’t it. It’s blatantly some sort of scam, a goblin scam. Your naive character rocks up at Northrend and you’re about to take to the skies when Lustig the Goblin sidles up to you, and he’s like:

Lustig: Have a care mate. It’s dangerous up there.

You: I’m level 77, thank you so very much. I think I know what I’m doing. Stand aside.

Lustig: Well, all right, if you say so, it’s your corpse-run.

You: What do you mean?

Lustig: It’s the weather, in’t it? You can’t go flying around up there like it’s Outland. You need special training.

You: Special training?

Lustig: That’s what I’m trying to tell you, mate. You need Cold Weather Flying. Help you deal with, um, the cold weather when you’re mounted.

You: I’m wearing gloves and a helmet, and I have, in fact, flown over Winterspring on several occasions. I think I’ll manage.

Lustig: Whatever you say, me old chum, whatever you say. And I’m sure you’ll be saying that when the high winds and freezing rain knock you straight into the side of a mountain. You see that stain on the snow over there? That’s a gnome that is. Well. Was a gnome.

You: By the Light! What happened to him?

Lustig: Didn’t have cold weather flying, that’s what.

You: I say! How can I learn this cold weather flying?

Lustig: Well, err, I wouldn’t do this for just anybody, you understand, but, err, I can teach you.

You: You can?

Lustig: A thousand gold, though I’m cutting me own throat.

You: Very well. Here you go, my good man.

Lustig: Thanks a bunch, mate.

You: Now what.

Lustig: *hands over some ear muffs and runs away giggling*

You: …

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33 Comments »

  1. Cold weather flying? That’s what we call a “gold sink”. It’s an easy way for Blizzard to remove money from the economy to stem the otherwise rampant deflation that plagues Azeroth due to the fact that money gets created out of thin air every time someone loots a mob.

    So far, mounts, riding skill and repair bills are about the only effective gold sinks they’ve come up with. They need more. Or they just need to deflate the prices of this crap along with everything else. Pretty soon epic flying will cost 20 silver.

    Comment by Zaphind — July 28, 2009 @ 4:08 pm | Reply

    • Yes, I know it’s a gold sink – but I prefer the goblin scam theory 🙂

      Vanity items make good gold sinks too – as I myself am living, walking, sparkling proof.

      Essentially players will always pay through the nose to keep their sword working, to travel faster and to look cool. It’s just a matter of priority.

      Comment by Tamarind — July 28, 2009 @ 4:16 pm | Reply

      • Ahh, vanity items. Astoreth’s entire fortune has been made on Dress Shoes and Tuxedo Jackets! I have a long ways to go, though, before I can afford the… erm… Mechano-Hog. 😀

        Comment by Astoreth — July 28, 2009 @ 5:08 pm

      • Ah yes, the compensation-hog for people concerned about the size of their mammoth 😉

        (I totally want one)

        Comment by Tamarind — July 28, 2009 @ 8:26 pm

    • Also I’m no economist but isn’t this the wrong way round? I don’t believe the WoW economy is suffering from deflation: this would be the case if there was a systematic fall in the cost of goods and services, due to a scarcity of money. If anything the opposite is true: because, as you say, money is created from nothing every time somebody loots a mob, the gold piece is becoming increasingly de-valued. Acts of Blizzard (arbitrarily making mounts cheaper) is neither a symptom nor cause of deflation.

      Comment by Tamarind — July 28, 2009 @ 8:35 pm | Reply

  2. For possible future reference, if you are able to visit Dalaran at this point, that gal who sells the bears and mammoths is now selling fliers as well (there’s also a flying trainer on the nearby landing pad).

    Comment by Garinow — July 28, 2009 @ 4:10 pm | Reply

    • I can visit Dalaran but my computer breaks down and weeps if I spend too long there. Basically I can get from the flight point to the Horde city portals but there will be no passing go, no collecting £200 (or in this case spending 1000 gold), no tourism and no cheese shopping. If I’m really lucky I won’t stutter into a wall or inadvertantly molest a mammoth. I may, however, pop along to grab m’self a flier. The one I have on loan looks like it’s 2 wingbeats from the knacker’s yard.

      Comment by Tamarind — July 28, 2009 @ 4:19 pm | Reply

      • I can appreciate where you are coming from. A computer ago, before there was a Dalaran and I was high enough level to get to Shattrath, Orgrimmar was my framerate nemesis. I used to silently curse revelers therein who seemed to only have time for jumping wildly around, taxing the local environment and impede my already slow motion crawl through the city. For this reason, despite playing a blood elf warlock, I will always love Thunder Bluff as a quiet haven where I could exist normally and comfortably.

        Kamoromon of Thunder Bluff!

        Comment by Garinow — July 28, 2009 @ 4:37 pm

      • I’m rockin’ Shattrath these days – poor ghost town that it is. I like how lively and real it feels, with all the warring factions, and the bickering NPCs, despite the, err, remarkable lack of player characters. But it’s a cool place to have all to yourself 🙂 I do love TB though, especially because my main is a Tauren. Once you get the concentric layout sorted, you’re laughing. Otherwise you”ll be chasing your tail for hours at a time. And, being a belf myself, of course I feel a certain affection to the floating plantpot suffused gorgeousity that is Silvermoon. Framerate and bouncing morons aside, I’ve never felt anything much for Org.

        Comment by Tamarind — July 28, 2009 @ 8:40 pm

  3. I’m not sure you can ever justify watching Sex and the City, ill or not. Shame on you! 😉

    Comment by Sierro — July 28, 2009 @ 4:12 pm | Reply

    • I think I was probably delirious 😉

      Or if I wasn’t when I started, I probably was when I finished.

      Comment by Tamarind — July 28, 2009 @ 4:13 pm | Reply

  4. I don’t think there is anything wrong with hating sjp, and how that tramp got such cool friends is a mystery to all males all over the world.
    But not to girls, according to Mrs DW-redux SJP is the ephiff.. ehh apiffa..arg, eh the height of all that is cool, fashion-wise, sexy and just great!
    She *is* what women think we want… Honestly im suprised you didn’t get to the real conclusion of this: Just as the goblins has scammed us out of our well-earned gold, so has SJP scammed the whole female side of the world into believing in the fact that she is hot, and cool, and attractive. (and therefor deserve better pay).

    But, well, at least im happy with mt ear muffs, I’ve still not crashed horribly into any walls, so they *must* work.. Just as this rock fends of tigers!

    Comment by dw-redux — July 28, 2009 @ 4:13 pm | Reply

    • If women think we want SJP, the world is more fucked up than I realised.

      It’s not that she’s not moderately attractive and, yes, those are quite some shoes (for $40k I’d expect them to be) but she just strikes me as a fundamentally dishonest with herself about she wants and what she expects. That would drive me up the wall. I don’t expect women to be a picture-pattern of femininity or anything but Charlotte is terribly pretty, err, I mean honest. I mean she wants to do the family thang (*runs away screaming*) but at least she’s open about it from the get go.

      This is really embarrassing. I can’t believe I’m talking seriously about SATC with Mrs Dwarven Death Knight through the medium of you. My apologies. This is what SATC does the brain. Escape, escape while you still can.

      I’m glad the Cold Weather Flying Ear Muffs do the trick. I think, having paid 1000g for them, if you flew into a wall while wearing them you’d be entitled, at the very least, to sue.

      Comment by Tamarind — July 28, 2009 @ 4:27 pm | Reply

  5. Michael Caine played the part of the goblin in my head. It was delightful.

    Comment by Shayzani — July 28, 2009 @ 4:57 pm | Reply

    • Yes, I was thinking precisely the same thing 🙂

      (I think, in this context, ‘you’ is played by a young pre-House Hugh Laurie)

      Comment by Tamarind — July 28, 2009 @ 6:22 pm | Reply

      • Young pre-House Hugh Laurie from the good old days of Black Adder and Jeeves & Wooster! Now that is truly delightful. 🙂

        Comment by wildgrowth — July 28, 2009 @ 6:54 pm

      • Hehe, what really confuses me about Jeeves and Wooster style Hugh Laurie is that, being Hugh Laurie, he plays the piano (the rendition of Puttin’ on the Ritz / Regency is truly sublime). As does House. If I had any skill at video editing, I’d totally want to kind of mush them together into a programme that was half House / half Wooster, with lots of piano-playing obviously.

        Comment by Tamarind — July 28, 2009 @ 8:25 pm

  6. It was first and foremost a gold sink, but at the same time a way to force you to “enjoy” the content from the ground as it was intended, not from the sky as you would prefer.

    I’m just glad they’ll be removing that restriction from Outland soon. If 3.2 isn’t out by the time we hit 60, we’re stopping and waiting. It’ll probably be somewhere halfway through the next expansion when they decide they’ll let us fly in Northrend at level 70 as well.

    Comment by Kiryn — July 28, 2009 @ 5:58 pm | Reply

    • Actually it’s already planned for the upcoming patch… via a(n) heirloom item called something like “Tome of Cold Weather Flying”. My understanding is that it will be one of those nifty “Bind on Account” items that you buy for 1000g, then send it to one of your alts. The alt then consumes it and voila! They can now learn cold-weather flying at level 68.

      Comment by Zaphind — July 28, 2009 @ 7:43 pm | Reply

      • Maybe if they’d make the so-called bind-on-account items not actually bind-to-server-and-faction, that would help me. As it is, I’m stuck waiting until 77.

        Comment by Kiryn — July 28, 2009 @ 8:33 pm

    • Well, y’know, Northrend is so *epic* you have to experience ALL OF IT. SLOWLY.

      I can’t tell whether it’s just my knacky second hand flier but I’m rubbish in the air. I’m lurching around up there I’ve been over-sampling the kungaloosh.

      Comment by Tamarind — July 28, 2009 @ 8:43 pm | Reply

  7. Oh man Tam…you have forced my hand! I *almost* deeply regret what I am about to do >=)

    http://www.brainfall.com/quizzes/which-sex-and-the-city-character-are-you/

    I will admit that I am “Charlotte”.

    Oh, and it was shoes. $40k in shoes! And her apartment is going Co-op, but she can’t qualify for a mortgage because she doesn’t have a down payment. In the end Charlotte gives Carrie her old engagement ring for the down payment =)

    What, wait?!?! Wasn’t this post all about Sex and the City?! 😉

    P.S. Fun stuff rocks! Never be sheepish about spending your hard earned gold on things that make bring you a smile every now and then!

    Comment by Beruthiel — July 29, 2009 @ 3:30 am | Reply

    • This is in every way, shape or form bad.

      Apparently I’m Carrie. How can this be? I didn’t answer “buy shoes” once. I think I might have to go and drown myself (in shoes) right about now…

      That, my dear, was act of rampant cruelty on your part.

      (Even if I had a cleavage, I wouldn’t be anything like Carrie – gah!)

      Also, that episode illustrates my point exactly: check out Carrie being selfish and self-absorbed and check out Charlotte being awesome. Check out Carrie taking no responsibility for her life and expecting other people to solve her problems.

      Comment by Tamarind — July 29, 2009 @ 9:30 am | Reply

      • Now I am wishing for a Gevlon post talking about how M & S (Carrie) are ruining Sex and the City.

        Comment by Garinow — July 29, 2009 @ 9:38 pm

      • Ahaha. Well, you get to suggest it to him….

        Comment by Tamarind — July 29, 2009 @ 11:14 pm

  8. If it makes you feel any better, I can get epic flying for all of my level 70 plus characters, and get each of them a mechanohog 🙂 I am a scrooge about my money though.

    Comment by Darraxus — July 29, 2009 @ 6:00 am | Reply

    • And why would that further evidence of my financial inadequancy make me feel better? =P

      Seriously though, I’ve reading your accounts of your accumulating fortune – congratulations 🙂

      Comment by Tamarind — July 29, 2009 @ 9:23 am | Reply

  9. For some reason, after your Sex & the City, I read the entire post to myself (in my head, not out loud mind you) in the Sarah Jessica Parker-way of writing an article…

    Comment by Ercles — July 29, 2009 @ 10:03 am | Reply

    • I can’t tell you how much pain that causes me.

      😛

      I think in order to fully fit the bill I’d have to ask more pointless rhetorical / hypothetical questions, and include more cringe-inducing puns. I’d also have to type into laptop while sitting cross-legged on my bed (seriously? Who does that!)

      Comment by Tamarind — July 29, 2009 @ 12:40 pm | Reply

  10. It’s uncanny! I had a very similar conversation with Lustig, but he seems to have sold me a sliver of the Arc of the Covenant that looks suspiciously like a stick of chewing gum. I am supposed to be able to smite my enemies with it or, at the very least, freshen my breath…

    Comment by Sylly — July 29, 2009 @ 12:02 pm | Reply

    • Ahhh, he tried to sell that to me, but I saw right through him and, instead, purchased the 100% genuine magical beard of Landen Wrynn. Very handy.

      Comment by Tamarind — July 29, 2009 @ 12:48 pm | Reply

  11. goblin: “runs away giggling”

    you: “Come back here you mo***************cker, did anyone see that? I just got robbed blind!! Anyone? No? ….”

    This often crosses my mind when dealing with goblins, sometimes I think Gevlon and his merry band have a lot to answer for!

    Comment by Joe — July 29, 2009 @ 12:22 pm | Reply

    • I don’t see them as a “merry” band, so much as a grim-faced, backstabbing, cut-throat kind of band 🙂

      (and their album was totally naff)

      Comment by Tamarind — July 29, 2009 @ 12:49 pm | Reply


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