Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Achievement nodes

Today, Gevlon is once again reasoning about node ninjaing. Well, actually he's reasoning about social norms, but he uses node ninjaing as an example. Thus I will tell you a story I wanted to tell you anyway. Makes sense, no? Okay.

Some time last week, when my favourite druid's arrival was delayed by snow (and recovery from having bested it), I used the time for some domestic tasks. Flying down to Azjol-Nerub to hand in the watcher quest, then a few relaxed rounds of ore-mining through Icecrown (yes-yes, I know, only morons farm, but I actually like doing it for a bit now and again, so, sue me!).

On my way through Dragonblight I spotted a cobalt node. Descending upon it, I noticed nearby fighting. An orc rogue, level 73, was busy with a couple of mobs. Now, I do not nurture any particularly warm feelings for the Horde, or orcs in specific, and a case can always be made, that cross-faction meanness is very much in the spirit of the setting. But we're not on a PvP server. What? Oh, no, that's not what I mean. I did not intend to say that on a PvP server it is okay to steal ore, and on a normal server it's not. No-no.

What I meant is that on a PvP server the situation could have been settled with game means. I could have attacked him with all my Prot-OP'ness (not to mention a 7 levels advantage), or simply taken the ore and then stood there in a "don't like it? come take me" pose. Or, assuming I'd be stealing from someone potentially more powerful (there's always a bigger fish), risk being retaliated through force. This is not an option on a non-PvP server. Therefore, my actions would not have been directed against the character, but the player behind it. Players, in most cases, all belong to the human race, and, despite what Gevlon thinks, deserve human treatment. Long story short, I did the usual drill, hovered next to the node on my gryph and waited for the rogue to finish. She then hastily mined the node and /thank'd me. I /salute'd back, continued on my way .. and suddenly felt good inside. I think I even smiled.

Roughly half an hour later I was in Icecrown, flying my usual path. One of the nodes in the "ghoul field" was up - and it was titanium! Now, I shall remark a couple of things. These days, I don't really mind what metal I mine up. I farm mostly because 30-60 minutes flying from node to node, listening to music, can be quite relaxing when not done too often. It does earn me some money (especially when sold as Belt Buckles), but I could be just doing dailies instead - sometimes I do. Saronite is useful for the "everyday business" stuff, titanium for the rarer occasions. I'm always happy to see the blue-ish glow of a titanium node, but not getting all hot and bothered about it.

The other thing to remark is that I particularly enjoy going after those "troubled" nodes. Not those with just one mob or so next to them, but those in seriously tricky places, for the simple reason that I could not have dreamed about fetching many of those 2-3 months ago, even in the company of my favourite druid, so it's a bit of a challenge and a comparison with my past capabilities. So, I get down to the ground and to work with those ghouls. The really nasty part are the casters, because if I charge them, I get too close to the next bunch, and my ranged silence is on a minute cooldown. This particular fight goes a little pear-shaped, it takes me a while to get into "efficient mode" and get full control of the situation. I don't know exactly how many I pulled in total, but I did more than 160k total damage in the process (first fight after Recount reset), so, it must have been something in the 12-15 household. Oh yes, and midway through it, a blood-elf paladin (it's always blood-elf paladins) flew in and grabbed the ore.

So, I mounted my trusty gryphon, ascended into the air, looked down at the pile of corpses (they .. were dead before anyway .. I know) I produced and smiled again. Gaming is all about achievements. Achievements are gaming's vehicles to fun. You rescue princesses (from another castle), you kill dragons, you're having fun in the process. Scoring a /thank from the opposing faction is an achievement. Clearing out a dozen ghouls around an ore node is an achievement. Cunningly grabbing a node someone else was after is .. an achievement as well .. in a way. I guess.

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