Yesterday a brand new pet became available for players in World of Warcraft!
To quote Ming Ming, THIS. IS. AWESOME.
What, Wonder Pets rock, man. Get off me.
The pet, named Graves, comes from an achievement linked to your Battle.net Heroes of the Storm account.
Yeah, Heroes of the Storm. I dunno, some other game that I guess launched recently or something. I hear it’s a Blizzard game based on another game that was based on… a Blizzard game?
It’s always nice to have an example of when to use the term ‘incestuous’ in a family friendly setting. “Heroes of the Storm is the incestuous offspring of a Starcraft 2 mod and League of Legends, conceived while Infinite Crisis watched from a chair in the corner.”
Okay, jokes made, moving on.
Heroes of the Storm released on June 2nd for open play, which is very cool.
I’ve had access to the beta for a while now, and while I have not personally played it myself my son played it a lot in the early days of access.
He decided he loved Sgt Hammer, so I bought that character along with may others in beta bundles, and snagged some skins as well.
According to my Heroes of the Storm account information, the Cub played Sgt Hammer to level 7 and won 32 matches. He also got Arthas to level 2. He raised our overall player level to 12. And none of that means anything to me because I don’t really know if that’s good, bad, normal or amazing.
I’ve learned a few things thanks to my friends on Twitter this morning. Yes, friends on Twitter had to teach me about how a game I’ve had long time beta access to works.
Apparently, your individual characters max out at level 10, and you get the WoW pet once your overall player account reaches level 20. So you can play whatever characters you want in matches, and all of your playing contributes to your overall player level.
Thanks to my son, I’m already at 12 towards that new pet. That’s pretty cool.
Here’s the thing.
I want to want to play Heroes of the Storm, but I don’t.
If you understood that last sentence, you may have had too much coffee, just like me.
Please understand, I am NOT knocking the game. This isn’t a ‘ooh a cool new game came out, let’s be a prick and bash it’ kind of post. No!
I think it’s a great looking game. The character designs are awesome, the graphic resolution is vibrant and alive, I wish that World of Warcraft has the beautiful visuals this game does. It’s amazing. I like to relax and watch Twitch streams of the game in action, and the game itself even has a ‘watch a match’ feature so I can EASILY watch the games in action… while someone else plays it.
But… I don’t actually want to play it myself. I dread the very thought.
There is no excuse for this. I even bought my own character and special skin months ago just for me to play, that I thought looked fantastic. I bought Illidan, and his Spectre skin that is just amazing. I’d LOVE to make a cosplay costume for that skin appearance, it is the first design of anything I would actually want to build and wear to a convention. As long as I had internal cooling, anyway.
I can’t push myself past whatever mental hurdle is stopping me from logging in and playing it.
In fact, in some ways this post is a self-shaming attempt to goad myself into playing. In the back of my head is a little Spectre Illidan saying to me, “If you just yell at yourself in public and get people to tell you that you’re an idiot for not playing, maybe the peer pressure will shame you into playing . Judo throw, hiyaaa!”
As if peer pressure has ever made me do anything in my entire life. Hah. Spectre Illidan don’t know me very well, do he?
Now with the release there is a pet on the end of a string, being dangled in front of me just out of arms reach. An incentive meant to strike where I am weakest. If I just get in there and, here’s an amazing concept, PLAY A FUN GAME, I can get a free pet in WoW.
The free mount got me to play Hearthstone, the free pet should be just the right tool for this job as well.
Still and all, I’m dreading doing this. I can’t even figure out why.
It’s similar to that feeling when there is something that you’ve heard is really cool, a TV show or whatever, and the initial buzz sounds good, and your friends gush how great it is, but the longer you go without taking action the less you want to actually see it. It’s almost as though all the positive stuff heard about it goes in the brain and becomes actual weight, having mass and substance, one comment at a time. Eventually, just thinking about seeing the show feels like you’ve got to lift this heavy load of comments out of the way to do it. Exhausting.
Or am I the only one that ever gets that feeling?
My son liked Heroes of the Storm. I should like it too. It looks cool, I like Starcraft and this is kinda like Starcraft only without the building bases or resource management or single player storyline or… hmmm. Come to think of it, most of that is why I like Starcraft. Heroes of the Storm is a game where the stuff I like about Starcraft is removed and all that is left are the named characters bashing away at each other in a click frenzy.
No, that’s not it. That’s a simplistic description that hides the truth. Heroes takes the charming character of Starcraft and puts in a faster-paced action-filled game that does have deep strategy, aimed at moving your butt from start to finish. No slow build up, no fear of a zerg frenzy, no turtling, just go go go. I can get behind that.
But I still dread playing it.
This came out in the open when I tried to enlist a substitute player over dinner the other night.
“You know, son, there is a really cool new pet in World of Warcraft that you can unlock by getting to level 20 in Heroes of the Storm. You like pets, and you like Sgt Hammer a lot. Why not maybe play it some more and you could unlock that pet for us?”
He nailed me right to the wall.
“If you need to ask someone else to play a game for you to get a pet, there’s something wrong.”
Maybe this post will get my butt moving, and get me past this mental block I’ve got. Maybe, once I start playing Illidan (or Sgt Hammer, why the heck not, apparently the Cub isn’t going to anytime soon), I’ll develop a newfound love of the game and get hooked.
Maybe. I watch other people play the game like Kiye Berries (@kiyeberries) on Twitch, and it sure looks like they’re having some fun.
Then again, maybe not. I guess it’s not you, it’s me, but just knowing that isn’t enough to get a relationship off the ground.
How about you? Are you a Warcraft player that intends to play HotS JUST to get yourself a new pet? How do you feel about it?