Just to be clear for those visiting from search engines… the post title refers to an article about playing World of Warcraft.
MMO Champion dropped a feral bombshell on us this last weekend, showing a video of a wonderful item effect for Feral Kitties.
There will be a staff in the next expansion, Fandral’s Flamescythe, that, when equipped, will cause your Druid Cat form to transform into a gorgeous flaming cat when engaged in combat.
The video highlights this item in use… and it’s stunning.
How do we get this incredible item? Is it a quest chain, or a crafted Legendary for Druids, or some such thing?
No, my friends, it’s not. It’s an epic drop from a raid boss in Firelands, Majordomo Fandral Staghelm, and therein lies the heart of our discussion.
I’m not going to act all stupid and incite a flamewar between raiding players and those who focus on other aspects of the game. Every aspect of the game has it’s own special rewards, and if you want the reward, then you play that part of the game. I’m not looking to ask who is excited at seeing this item go to raiders only or something like that.
PvP, Crafting, Archeology/Fishing/Cooking, Raiding, Exploring, playing together as a guild, killing critters… there are a lot of special items that you can only get by taking part in activities outside of questing. If I were to ask a raider vs non-raider question like that, it would be pandering for pagehits on a polarizing position, a pathetic ploy to pursue.
People who raid and want it are excited, people who don’t raid and want it are disappointed, but hopefully looking forward to the day when Firelands is old content that non-raider 5 person groups can farm for the fun toys they want.
Where I’d like to go with this instead is to muse on how working hard as part of a group to get something while it is still viable adds spice to the game that long outlasts the item itself.
There was another item that was arguably designed for Ferals that I once lusted after. It was also an item you could only get as a raid drop, except at the time Druids couldn’t equip polearms. This particular item was a staff.
I’m talking about Terestian’s Stranglestaff, which dropped from “that demon guy what you used to kill in Karazhan behind the secret door, the one with all the imps that you needed Seed of Corruption for”.
Yeah, you know who I mean.
I was a Feral non-raiding Druid, a fresh member of a guild that DID raid, and I wanted that staff. I lusted after those tentacles writhing on that pole. Err, this went in an uncomfortable direction all of a sudden. Hold on, swerving to avoid gratuitous tentacle sex references.
I wanted that staff not only because it was awesome for Ferals, not just because it looked freaking wicked… but also because wearing it would have been a readily identifiable tentacle-waving symbol that I had entered and experienced Karazhan while it was current with a bunch of friends.
I’d have a visible reminder of having done something fun with the guild, a shared experience with souveniers.
A fun part of the MMO experience, for me, is simply talking with other players and swapping stories, reminiscing about the fun we have had along the way.
Over the years, even though I’m not a raider, I have been fortunate enough to have friends who either formed raid groups with me, or who invited me along as a hired gun. Er, borrowed claw.
So, I’ve raided Onyxias’ Lair, Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, AQ20 and ZG 10 when they were current. Not 5 times a week, and not every week, but I did enter them and see them when they were what people had to talk about for current events. I was part of the conversation, and to this day I can bring forth my own “Do you remember when…”. I carried away the only thing you really own with a video game; the memories of fun times.
Same with Burning Crusade, although for the most part my time there was in Karazhan, Gruuls Lair, Magtheridon’s Keep and a very teensy bit of Serpentshrine.
With Wrath of the Lich King, I got to see Naxx, a good bit of Ulduar, some Trial of the Crusader and Icecrown Citadel. Not on the leading wave of raiding, not consistently and certainly not all the way through, but I got to take part and build those shared experiences with friends.
Does that make me leet in any way? No. But what it does do is bring to mind all of the good times, and when looking back on things, a whole lot of the good times was taking on difficult challenges, and getting drops for overcoming those challenges that I was proud to wear.
I knew at the time, the same as you, that wearing Tier gear or having a Stranglestaff didn’t make me special, I wasn’t posing in front of the Ironforge AH hoping some0ne would gawk in admiration, tears of awe shining on their faces.
What they did was serve as visual cues, little reminders that, “Yeah, I did that, and I remember when we killed that son of a bitch Curator for 3 months before the Tier piece finally dropped that I wanted.”
This staff from Fandral Staghelm will be very cool. It’s a sweet idea that I love Blizzard for adding to the game, a neat goal for Ferals to look forward to.
I’m a little sad knowing that a lot of players who would dearly love having a flaming kitty form will not get to experience it until a long time after Firelands has been out, because they just can’t raid, or they can’t raid on their Druid. I’m likely one of them, getting my Druid raid worthy is a seemingly impossible task. Maybe one day.
At the same time, and even knowing that I likely won’t be able to get it myself, I like knowing that part of the pleasure of having it will be the satisfaction of overcoming a challenge as a group, and having something to chat about in the future. When you see someone pop kitty and flame on like Ghost Rider, you’ll know that they saw Fandral and took part in killing that worthless, traitorous, sniveling little bastard.
I love the items I have earned from questing, from exploring, from Archaeology and crafting, the pets I’ve found and the mounts I’ve had drop.
But there is something to be said for items that you can only get at the conclusion of kicking the hell out of a challenge as a group, and seeing that purple you want drop while you’re still riding that adrenaline high.
Plus, hey, remember when?