Yo, time for an old fart moment.
What makes an old fart moment? When you spend too much time reminiscing about the past, and not enough planning for the future, that’s what!
Tooling around on my Warrior for a few moments last night, negotiating the long ass Horde trip from Hillsbrad to Badlands to grab flight points, Cassie pointed out that at level 27, I was SO going to get my ass eaten in Badlands.
I sniggered, for truly, I can ride through the valley of the Badlands without fear, for I am the baddest mofo in the valley.
Once actually IN Badlands, however, “Holy crap, that’s a lot of leopards! And WTF are rock giants doing running that damn FAST?!? They’re made of rock!”
While riding my little wolfie hell bent for leather, it made me wish, truly wish that I had a “Sprint while Mounted” button.
It made me think, just for a moment about how things have changed in the game.
Once upon a time, the Carrot on a Stick was one of the rites of passage for a player. You knew you were growing up when you got yourself that Carrot on a Stick to increase your mounted speed just the tiniest bit.
It was a silly little speed boost, but we as players took that shit seriously. We even used item changing addons programmed to swap the Carrot trinket in and out automatically when mounting.
Carrots is serious business.
It seemed, in true old fart splendor, like a golden time in the game, a time of innocence whose like we shall ne’er see again.
Over time, of course, the game changed. Blizzard’s programmers noticed the incredible surge of demand for the Carrot on a Stick, all out of proportion to it’s actual effect. Perhaps out of a desire to give players more of a good thing, they added items like the Riding Crop, and talent changes and assorted other goodies to give us more options on the ‘mounted speed increase’ buffet.
Even later, perhaps realizing that the whole thing had gotten a bit out of hand, they simply nerfed all such items for max level players. You want a speed increase, then earn a better mount, or play a class with increased mounted speed in the Talent Tree, and shut the hell up.
It’s a sad, tawdry sort of tale of good intentions gone awry.
Please excuse my style of prose, today. I’m reading Terry Pratchett’s Unseen Academicals, and it’s doing things to my brain. Oh, and don’t blame the book, blame my poor, lagging brain chemistry. It ain’t up to snuff for the good stuff.
Where the heck was I going with all this? Hold on, time to change the chemistry with the addition of coffee.
The point is, back in the day we had no idea where things would someday go. All we knew was, there was a cool trinket called the Carrot on a Stick, at a time when there just weren’t trinkets much in the first place, and once you got it, you could go faster.
Faaster than the average bear, dare I say? Hey hey, Boo-Boo!
Barring having truly obscene amounts of gold to buy an epic mount at 60, a goal that seemed as distant as the furthest reaches of space, the Carrot was among the best items we were going to ever see.
And knowing there WAS such a trinket gave us hope that there might be other changes to mounted speed coming some day, as well.
If we could have a Carrot on a Stick to increase top speed, why not a trinket that would make the mount move hella faster for a short time, even if it were on a long cooldown? There were abilities like Sprint and Dash, and even Charge in the game, so why not an oh shit ”Hut hut hut” ability when mounted?
“Pop quiz, hotshot. There you are, getting chased by all the coyotes in Badlands, and they’re right on your butt… they’re getting closer, getting closer, and all it’ll take is one back attack to daze and dismount you, and you’re coyote kibble. What do you do? What DO you do?”
Why, you simply grab your stick and start whacking your mount, screaming “Hut hut hut!” frantically.
Admittedly, that works best if you’re Yosemite Sam, and don’t really love your mount. Poor wolfie!
Better that than seeing the alimentary canal of a coyote the hard way, all I’m saying.
Oh, and if you’re eating lunch when you read that and get the image… you’re welcome!
Somewhere along the way, I think we’ve lost some of the magic to be found in the simpler things. The charm of the mental image of a Carrot on a Stick. Heck, even the feeling that, at level 40, you were really making a lot of progress in the game. When 60 was the cap, 40 wasn’t that bad. You were getting somewhere. You were getting into the home stretch and fighting your way past some of the harder parts of the leveling curve.
No sense holding out our hands, though, and begging the tsunami of change to stop, is there?
Instead, let’s move past being old farts and look to the future.
Is there something in the original game, something from the very beginning that really grabbed you, something that you found charming and loved? Something that you think has lost some of it’s magic over the years of expansions?
What is it?
And now think for a second… what was it that really charmed you… is there anything that could be done to bring back some of that magic? Either by changing the thing itself so it grows with the rest of the game, or by bringing it back in an end game version?
“When I say whoah, I mean WHOAH!” *whack!*