Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Bean-counters and mojo: What if?
So, I was posed this question yesterday: "What if gear and other things in WoW gave you no additional stats or performance enhancements--would you still play?"
Knee-jerk response: Yes. Unequivocally yes.
Now, in the longer response, because heaven knows I can't just say one thing, I shared the long saga of my play history with this poor soul. He knows me very well, but hasn't spent that much time with me recently to know I never give short answers, especially to questions I spend a lot of time, passion, and energy doing. It's not like he asked if there was any more beer in the fridge, and I gave him the history of brewing. I mean, I'm chatty but I'm not an asshole.
So let me give you the short version: Play. Fun. Pretty. Level up to 80, 3 months. Next year spent crying, trying, dying. Making friends. Joining guilds. Not having a clue. Getting a clue. Starting other classes. Fairly stable play world.
BUT -- that damn gear. I admitted a few posts ago I had become quite the litle gear tramp. Because of the pre-determined destinastic nature of WoW, players are required to use the framework of the game. Better gear + Better skills = Better play performance. And it is nice to go into old content for transmog runs, where obviously the gear means nothing stat-wise, and just play for fun and pretty.
Did you read that? Play for fun and pretty.
We both brought up a car analogy. His was a Ferrari. Granted, they are sexy beasts of cars. Would I want one, really and true? No. I couldn't afford the insurance or upkeep, and for my lifestyle just wouldn't be practical. I remember years ago Volvo pissing me off by making me feel like I didn't love my loved ones if I didn't put them inside of one. I was inferior and inadequate. Apparently, rich people only get to protect their progeny and kin. He asked me how I feel when I'm in a situation and see others with much better gear than I have, and I said the most part, I don't notice, but sometimes I will notice someone's stats for DPS/Damage, and that pushes my "inspect" instinct, and sure enough, 90% of the time they have the sh*t. But---not always, hence the formula you see above. I did tell him that the only times I get irked is when I see someone with a raid mount or legendary I really have no way of obtaining unless I wait for old content, and furthermore, I think it is cool they have it, and if you have orchestrated your play time to be in a raid environment, there is a grand, beautiful, wonderful magic about setting yourself up for a chance of a great, rare mount (not professional crafting items though--we talked about this people. My position is firm. Unheard. But firm.) then godspeed, young raider, godspeed!
My in-game friends make me--happy. Really really happy. As do my real life folks, too. My new guild is super cool, and I get the sense that none of us are in it solely for the potential of gear. In fact, today a guildmate who had to stop for personal reasons posted on the thread he hoped he could get a spot, too. In my opinion, the more the merrier. I know there are only so many seats in the Volvo, though.
I used the above screenshot of Zep to illustrate this point: she is wearning a replica she obtained from the Darkmoon Faire. I saw it, wanted it, and worked for tickets for it. I think she looks beautiful. Does it add to her mana, or haste response times? No. It's all pixie dust and "we can fly" spitshine.
So for my own calculations - the time I spend in Azeroth is not spent counting beans or tally-marks, but the unaccountable, the extraordinary factors. And if I can't find it there, I'm sure there are some goblins and gnomes who are hard at work in laboratories now, too. Keep working little guys, but as long as I see a friend, I'm cool.