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Pre-Expansion Rewards and Exclusivity

Classes have started, so I haven’t really had time to play. I’ve stopped all raiding also since last week, so I probably won’t be writing about personal progression stories anymore.

I met a new friend yesterday who I found out played WoW. I had been telling him that I occasionally play Starcraft with my apartmentmates. We then proceeded to talk about Warcraft III and Defense of the Ancients. Before you know it, he was telling me how he used to play World of Warcraft before Burning Crusade and grinded for 2 months the Grand Marshal title.

I don’t know what grinding for a Grand Marshal title entails. But I also don’t know how hard it is grind the Wintersaber Trainers reputation.

After talking about people who will be starting fresh as new World of Warcraft players in the last several posts, it made me wonder about the people who won’t be returning for Wrath of the Lich King. My new friend told me he couldn’t handle any more grinding after achieving the Grand Marshal title. At the time, he told me that there were only three people in Singapore who had achieved the title, and he was one of them. I’d say that’s a pretty impressive feat.

But consider the current situation. People are “buying” or attempting to obtain the [Amani War Bear] mount left and right. I have a feeling that this perhaps is the Burning Crusade equivalent to the Grand Marshal grind. After all, there’s always one ultimate prize for every expansion.

But what happens after you get that bear mount?

I’ve seen people who run Zul’Aman faithfully every three days just so they can improve the raid group and hope they can make the fourth timer to get the mount.

Take the analogy of a person at a carnival fair who play those carnival games over and over again just so they can win a prize. In the process, they consume a lot of time (and money) in order to achieve that goal. That’s a similar kind of grinding.

But it makes me wonder. Is all that grinding for that ever-exclusive prize or title worth it in the end if you only burn yourself out? How would that impact your gameplay and your outlook on the game since you first started playing?

Personally, I’d rather not find out because I don’t want this to turn something I love into an obsession.

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4 responses

  1. It happens to many people: they start playing for some kind of abstract reward (Bears, Titles etc.) instead of seeing the game and the enjoyment of playing it as such. It is so easy to loose track of why you are playing. The game is very much about the rewards and always have to remind myself that I do not want to spend my time on game-activities just for the sake of some reward. Personally I do not think any reward worth my time if it doesn’t provide fun on the way to the reward.

    On the other hand … what some people consider fun may just be different. Some people just love PvP, others like raiding, some like gathering stuff, collecting pets, questing, exploring …

    And obviously there are people who think even the rewards hardest to obtain are worth their time if the reward fits with who they want to be in the game/community.

    What is sad is that it happens again and again that people only recognize after spending the time that the reward was not worth it.

    29 August 2008 at 09:12

  2. RE: the comment above mine.

    Agreed 100%. The experience of playing is, by itself, its own reward.

    29 August 2008 at 10:10

  3. I don’t think the bear will be that thing. I think instead it will be the titles. “Champion of Naaru” is fairly easy to obtain and can even be pugged by those who care. (Even my farm alt that does nothing but dailies almost has his) “The hand of A’dal” on the other hand is something that very few people have. It means that you have complete what is possibly the most epic fight of our time. You my friend have killed KT.

    I have not seen the Illidan fight, but from what I understand if your group has the talent to down KT, and to a lesser extent Vashj, then with some gear upgrades through raiding BT and MH, you will down him.

    I have friends in the expansion who say that bears are everywhere. Even on my normal server, they are all over the place. The #1 guild on the server is boasting a GB, (with screenshots), of 375k from selling T6 at 2k per piece, and bear mounts for 5k. It was special, should have been special, but has been cheapened by the selling.

    What I find interesting though is that this guild who sells BT runs and Illidan kills, will NOT sell a KT kill. They refuse to help someone get that title.

    29 August 2008 at 11:15

  4. Grinding Wintersaber Trainers now is very easy, the rewards have been increased a lot compared to old ones. Mi girldfriend did all the way to exalted in a weekend and she’s riding the purple tiger since then xD

    Achieving the Grand Marshal title was an epic and incredible job to do. The old PVP system was fully oriented to do just PVP all day. Every week a ranking was calculated among all players who did pvp that week and points were distributed. If you didn’t pvp one week, your points decreased. Knowing this is easy to understand, that becoming a Grand Marshal was… nearly impossible.

    1 September 2008 at 05:29

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