Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Greed, or "Everyone Wants the Best Toys"

Legendary items are the rarest items in the entire game. They are holy grails, gained through the extensive, repetitive effort of many people. Everyone wants them.


I told my husband tonight that I wish we had a quantifiable way to measure how much a person wants something. If such a measurement existed, I would push two simple rules for who could roll on Legendary items or rare status items the first time they drop in a guild:
  1. Loyalty to the guild insofar as he or she would never leave (measurable, though not infallible, by tracing strong personal connections and how invested those connections are in the guild).
  2. True desire for the item, not just as a status symbol or to complete a collection but for the item itself. This is partially measurable in how much a person is willing to go through to attain the item.
The problem with #1 is that it wouldn't be fair to members who perhaps aren't as invested in the guild as we would like but who meet all requirements to roll -- there's no way to restrict a roll to the people we trust never to leave, not without destroying our reputation.

The problem with #2 is that there isn't any way to measure who wants something more. Desire for an item can come from ignoble sources such as competitiveness or the high you get when you can lord something over the people around you, though that is not the kind of desire I would ever want to reward. I want to see the people succeed whose desires are pure, who truly love the item they're after and who love it above all, no matter its rarity or commonality.

For example, everyone and their brother has a Phoenix Hatchling, but it's the only pet I use on Dusty. Because it fits her. On the other hand, nobody on my server has an Ashes of Al'ar, but it's what I've wanted most in the game since I heard it existed.

Ashes is like a Tickle-Me-Elmo in 1996 -- something people will break bones, banks, and hearts to get. Some people want it because of a true, sincere love for the mount itself, its beauty and grace and extensive RolePlay possibilities. Others want the status of owning one, want the completion it adds to their collection, or the ability to sneer at the little server peons who don't own one.

Do I think that people who want it less or want it for ignoble reasons don't deserve to get it? Yes. Simply put, it takes a year and potentially a 10-man group (we'll see) to farm just one. I can't block people from putting in the effort to acquire it and getting rewarded with a chance to roll, but I do believe that anyone unable to meet my criteria doesn't deserve it. At least, not the first drop.

And while, yes, it's true I don't want other people rolling on "my toy," and that factors into my feelings, I don't think those feelings are wrong. I don't think it's wrong to want to keep something I want so much within the family. It would physically hurt to see a Legendary weapon go to someone who doesn't have a lot of guild loyalty, or who rolled for it on a lark, when you would cut off your right arm for it. Likewise, it would hurt to farm an Ashes for a year just to see someone who has farmed every other rare mount in the game come along for the ride, meet the minimum requirements to be able to roll, and then yank it out from under my nose.

It would physically hurt.

But, alas, like with Legendary weapons we must be fair. There are no quantifiable ways to measure either loyalty or desire, to put them into solid numbers, which is perhaps a good thing, since the people with the lowest numbers would just give up, figuring they didn't have a shot to begin with.

So, in the end, I'll just have to pray, take a sedative, and /roll like everyone else.


  1. I don't think the /roll option is neccessary let me explain for a few reasons and you'll have to excuse the big wall o' text.

    I was recently Holy Paladin healing Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle for a PuG. This was my 7th attempt and my 7th time explaining to people who had no idea what to do. I was the only one who knew about the mount dropping off Skadi. I really did indeed want it, not for status, and not to sit all day in Krasus' Landing. I wanted it to fly about the game world. I love dragons you see, and in many regards the netherdrakes just don't cut it. The time-lost is random, the green is random, the red is taking time cause I don't have a hardcore guild to go to heroics with, so the blue was viable in a sense despite also being a random drop.

    The battle was hard fought, until eventually just the tank and myself 2-manned the final 35% or so of Skadi's hp. We in effect saved the fight, if we'd have given in we'd have had to re-do the gauntlet event. The mount dropped. The group asked, 'What do we do?'. I suggested, 'Well guys you know seen as myself and the tank just saved the run can us two just roll on it?'. Did they accept that? No. So I thought, well take it like a man they DID afterall FINALLY manage to get the dragon down and they did avoid the whirlwind on Skadi for the most part till 35%. So, we all rolled need. I lost by 3 points. The fact I can remember shows I cared about winning it ;)

    So I thought, oh well, theres always next time. So I asked the female blood elf warlock who won it: 'Wow congrats!, can you show us the mount outside when we leave the instance?'. *Silence*. 'You DO have the epic flying skill required to fly it don't you?'. *Silence*. 'Erm, no, sorry i'll show you guys another time'. /cry.

    There are people in this game who will roll and take things that they cannot use. They will take items of EPIC proportions and never fully appreciate what the item they have actually means to a lot of people, or could mean. A friend of mine on Horde on my server really wanted the Deathcharger from Baron Rivendare. I agreed to farm it with him and promised to pass when it dropped. 8 nights of 5 x run farming later in Stratholme and it actually dropped, even before we saw the runeblade. I passed and was happier to see somebody actually appreciating the mount than having it myself. He uses it as his ground mount to this day despite having such other delights in his stable brought about from Wrath as the Black War Bear (sorry allies) and various expensive mounts.

    Farming the Ashes of Al'ar is much harder than 2-manning the whole of Stratholme. Farming Utgarde Pinnacle is harder than Stratholme. To viably get either run off the ground you have to let others roll on all the gear and pray for the best. It doesn't have to be this way though, but it's just finding 5 or 8/9 or so other people to agree to pass on the damn thing when it drops. When crunch time came for my online friend I could have easily selected need, /ignored and ran around on my shiny death blue charger. In real life however that is just not my personality and way of doing things. Im not that mean. Im a good person, for the most part (we all make mistakes). What you therefore need, is some nice people behind the keyboard and you may find yourself in the not too distant future on the phoenix of your dreams :)

  2. Needless to say for the other guys in your guild who go with you, it is one hell of a status item for one of your guild members to have the Phoenix mount. If you became guild recruitment officer or something and sat in Krasus Landing with that thing you'd have a 200% increase in applications by the end of the week :P

    However, with such a mount as that and from the passion about it in your post, I highly doubt you'd waste time idly in Krasus' Landing and I for one certainly would not blame you :)

  3. I have a few people willing to pass for me -- most of the team, really. I'm too obsessed with the mount to tell them "No, no, you should roll too" but I won't blame them if they want to, as long as they want it for the right reasons and aren't being greedy.

    One player signed who made the officers a little nervous with his Hallow's End holiday mount farming -- nothing unethical, he was straight-forward with group members that they could take anything but the mount -- but that's something we wouldn't necessarily do ourselves since we don't know whether or not it could hurt the guild's reputation.

    And he wants my baby. /cry

    But I am fair. *reminds self* I am fair. I am not obsessing, stressing, or drinking caffeine. *nod nod*

  4. One proposal - start a dedicated farm group for mounts and set some initial ground rules.

    The thought I had was that for each member of the group to designate a particular drop they were after and no member could designate the same drop as another member (at least at the outset).

    So, for example you would designate the phoenix, I would designate the raven lord (assuming a druid was in the group), another would designate the zulian tiger, etc.

    Each member would agree to participate for a month at a time (to prevent people from dropping out of the farm group immediately after getting the mount they wanted).

    Then, you would just pick a time and a rotating schedule of farm locations and see how long it took.

    If it was successful enough you would get people designating new mounts they wanted after they got their first choice. If they wanted a mount that another had designated they would not be allowed to roll on the mount until the first person received their mount.

    Given the new 100 mount achievement I bet you could find five people to agree to such a proposal. I certainly would do it. (Lvl 80 mage on Zuluhed)

    Just don't invite your guild member who wants the phoenix to your subgroup of mount farmers.


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