Thursday, October 15, 2009

How I turned into a grinding moron

Did you believe that Larísa is one of those players who think for themselves? Did you think that she wouldn’t behave like a mindless sheep? Did you expect her to stand above the faceless crowd of morons and slackers?

You lived in a lie. Gevlon, listen to the breaking news and get your illusions shattered. Larísa has transformed into, if not slacker, at least a moron.

Since a week back, I’ve joined the squad of Bar Addicted Players. And this is not a side effect of my membership in the Brew of the Month Club. I’m referring to another kind of bar – an old-school, hypnotizing reputation bar.

Yep. I’ve decided go ahead with one of the 33 things I want to do before I quit the game. I’m going to get myself the ultimate symbol of grinding and vanity in Azeroth: a completely useless and pointless Winterspring Frostsaber mount. The only way you can get it is by grinding yourself to death to become exalted with the Wintersaber Trainers.

Waiting for a PUG
What sparked this project was one of those lonely nights when I once again spent hours trying to find a 10-man PUG. While I know that there are players who don’t mind walking around in Dalaran in circles while waiting for something to happen, I’m not one of those. It gives me rashes all over the body - I have to DO something. I want to have a goal and a direction, something to hold on to.

A natural one would be to level an alt. Who doesn’t like to see the ding-sparkles all over the screen and then head to the trainer to see what yummie little gifts he has in mind for us? However, the LFG system doesn’t allow that. I can’t disguise my lvl 67 druid as a full-epic-mage looking for a 10-mangroup for ToC. So that isn’t an option. My main is always my first priority and she needs badges, period.

Another idea of things-to-do while waiting is to quest randomly, doing a huge bunch of quests that still remain for to do in Icecrown, Grizzly hills and ZulDrak. But for some reason I can’t find the motivation for it. Since I’m not heading for the Loremaster title, I don’t see any goal to strive for. It’s just a time-killer. And even though you can make some gold on it, there are more efficient ways to become rich.

Why not AH?
The most sensible thing would probably to spend the time at AH, trying to make some good deals. The advantage of this would be that I would still be in range to read the Trade channel, where some players (for a reason I don’t understand) prefer to announce their runs rather than using LFG.

I normally don’t need to gather gold to keep myself fit for raiding. By simply transmuting an epic gem every day I’m online, I get enough to cover costs for repairs and consumables and I’ve been steady around 5k gold for as long as I can remember. However – if I doubled my fortune I could buy some crusader orbs and get myself a new shiny dress before I manage to acquire enough dkp to get it from the guild.

The only problem is that I hate, simply hate the AH grinding activity as such. I more or less fall asleep every time I try to go through the lists for business opportunities. I’ve never cared about the stockmarket in real life either. And that’s why I’ll never escape into AH while looking for a group.

The final alternative of what-to-do could be PvP – and it happens from time to time that I do it. But it lacks something – the feeling of progress, either towards a goal, or skillwise. I just don’t get anywhere with it.

And this is how it comes that I ended up looking at my 33-list and decided to go for the frostsaber. I wanted to do it at some point, why not now? I’ve always liked the crispy winter landscape, and since I was in a lonely mood, it seemed fitting to physically move myself to the most empty and remote area of all.

I imagined there would be no one there except the trainer and his pet, forever at watch high up on the rock. And so I set out for my lonely mission out in the wilderness.

An altered state
Somehow this grind isn’t quite what I expected. The burnout and sickness of the whole thing which I had thought would arrive after just a few runs is still missing.

Admittedly, I’m doing the same thing over and over again – currently two quests, which require me to kill bears, those butterfly-like flying creatures and two sorts of guys in a village. However, something strange happens after a while: I slip into an altered, meditative state of mind. I come at peace, void of troubling thoughts. It’s soothing. And even if I still want to find a group I’m not quite as frustrated as I was before. I’m not in any hurry.

Sometimes the grinding coma is interrupted by the presence of other players. Obviously I’m not the only one who has gotten this bug. When the peace is broken by horde players, I usually grumble a bit to myself, wishing I could teleport them to any other spot of Azeroth by pure willpower. KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MY SHAMANS, WILL YA!

When the other guys are alliance, things become more complicated. It definitely pays off to group up for the kill x amount of mob-quests. The respawn timer is horrendous, not at all like the one associated to the Son of Hodir quests, which adjust depending on the amount of present players.

You have every reason in the world to keep competition to a minimum and join your forces. But on the other hand: if I do so, I will lose my spot in LFG and no one will know that there’s a mage who is willing to bounce into ToC any minute. In a group, this mount grind will turn into my major activity instead of a sidekick while I’m waiting for the real stuff. And I’m really not that insane. Not quite yet.

But I’m on my way. The bar is steadily growing. Just two more rounds and I’ll be honored. It makes me feel strangely good about myself.

Say hello to Larísa The Moron!


Klepsacovic said...

Everyone is a moron at some time. You are a moron now. You have been before. I have been a moron before. I will be one again. Gevlon has been a moron and was kind enough to record those moments for all of us. My friends have been morons. My family have been morons.

Everyone has been and will be a moron. It's nothing to be ashamed of. It's a cold that gets passed around and you just do your best to get through it and not spread it too much.

Sadly, some people are born morons and stay that way and spread it all around. The saddest part is that they refuse to eve admit that they are morons and may instead point fingers everywhere else.

Elnia said...

You can be in LFG on an alt. I do it. The only groups you miss out on are the groups that only check the looking for more tab. But in my experience those groups are rare. Most of the time groups spam the LFG channel or trade and have no problem when I say, "hold on; let me get on my main. In one minute invite Elnia."

Jormundgard said...

And when you hit revered, you're only *halfway done*

Anonymous said...

eh it's not that bad. i did it at 70 on a resto shaman and smashed it out pretty easy, probably only took about 18-20 hrs /played.

need music, patience and strategy. show no mercy when competing for quest mobs in the village.

Laura Gallagher said...

The Winterspring Frostsaber mount isn't totally pointless and useless! It's a beautiful creature, and my very very favorite mount. I love it.

Tessy said...

I have that mount on my gnome warrior, and the reason I decided to get her the mount was that I thought it would match her pretty pink pigtails :P

It is also a good opportunity to meet people actually, since it takes a fair few hours I often met the same people up there in Winterspring and we used to group up and grind together, so I got a couple of new additions to my friends list.

I found that once the Frost Giants quest became available it was fastest to do that one and the furbolg one, and totally skip the bear/chimera one since the droprate on those things are so abysmally low, and also the q item is not a grp item which sucks when you are grouped.

Shintar said...

I don't know where this idea that grinding makes you a moron comes from. It's a legitimate part of playing the game, and if anything, playing the game in a way that you enjoy is smart!

Darraxus said...

I lurk in LFG on all my alts to see if someone asks in the LFG channel for something in particular.

Gevlon said...


BTW when you'll have it, you won't enjoy it since it's pointless. THEN you'll regret it.

Larísa said...

Haha, a very liberating way to see it. I’ve definitely caught a flu. And staying in Winterspring is quite a good way to make sure noone else will get infected. :)

@Elnia and Darraxus: my experience is that all runs aren’t announced in the channel. There are some groups that are formed by people looking in LFM and once there’s enough of different classes they take the initiative and start inviting. So I think you risk to miss an opportunity if you’re just lurking on your alt. and since the 10 mans are rare at the late hours I play, I can’t afford to risk that.

: If I remember it rightly they’ve nerfed it a little bit as well. So far I don’t feel any big pain, but it may arrive in some later phase. I’m afraid I’m a bit weak when it comes to the competition. At once point I had competition from a lvl 55 PvP flagged horde player. I could have killed him but I didn’t, just waved cheerfully at him… I’m such a carebear.

@Laura Gallagher: well… it doesn’t exactly increase my dps. But it IS beautiful!

@Tessy: you’re right, it’s much more social to do this grind than I had expected. I have already got one addition to my friends list, something that happens very rarely those days. People just don’t socialize anymore, as I pointed out recently. And yeah: pink pigtail+frostsaber is definitely a win!

@Shintar: the moron expression comes from Gevlon, and I know how he detests those actions that don’t require any skill or thinking from the player, things in the game that a monkey could do as well. On the other hand – yeah, as long as I make a conscious choice to do it, as long as it gives me something in return, like peace in mind, I guess it isn’t a complete waste of time.


Actually I don’t think I’ll regret it very much. I’m not the kind of person who wastes time, effort and energy going around regretting previous choices. You can’t change the past. The only thing you can change is the present and the future. So regrets and bitterness is utterly pointless.

As long as I don’t fool myself that it’s all about the end goal, as long as I actually enjoy the journey towards it – the beautiful winter landscape, the meditation, the unexpected socializing, I think I could be worse off. After all it isn’t my main occupation, just something to do while I’m trying to find a pug.

Kromus said...

I myself can be very 'tunnel-visioned' hen it comes to grinding.

If there was a quest that requires you to just kill things, I love it- my tunnel-quest vision can handle that (I don't know why, quests aren't my forté).

I don't think your a moron at all, AH gets you gold but gold can't get you a rare mount :D

Admitedly their not as speical as other mounts, but its a achievement none-the-less-- and sometimes the cold hollow wilderness of Winterspring can provide a tranquil thought-process.

Why do I love fishing in WoW? Its so simple I can sit and think, and anything i've forgotten to do will come back to me....

You're not a moron, or if you are, I am too.


Leo said...

Just skip the bear/chimera quest. It takes way too much time.

When you get to Honored (or was Revered?) you'll the one more quest, to kill giants.

Then it is really quick: kill the furbolgs, head to the giants. If someone is killing furbolgs, just go for the giants first and come for them on your way back.

Hatch said...

A moron or slacker by Gevlon's definition wouldn't be compelled to put their time to some use, or even consider the AH. At least your doing something, and it even profits you some money from the drops and quest turnins!

Anyway, I know that when I pug a raid, I want someone else to be in charge so I don't have to worry about leading. But when I really want to go somewhere and no pugs seem to be forming, I'll give in and lead my own raid. If you simply can't find the run you want, you could try it. Maybe get a like-minded guildie to co-run it with you? ToC 10 is insanely puggable at the moment, it's ludicrous.

Dorgol said...

Frostsaber is a fantastic mount, and completely worth it (for some, not all).

When I did it, I also made sure I had enough Timbermaw rep to start getting Feather drops. By the time I finished with the Frostsaber Trainers, I only needed 30 or so feathers to hit exalted with Timbermaw as well (netting me 'the Diplomat' title).

Shirochan said...

Good luck with the grind - it's gonna feel so good when you finally get the mount! I've started on this grind several times but never managed to do the quest more than a couple of times then just fallen over of boredom. One day though, one day!

Iru said...

Larissa, speaking one of the M&S who already has one such mount & has now decided to get that mount for two more alts (altho I'm dual boxing that), I say don't sweat it. Just imagine your indulging in more winter sports and admire the pretty landscape

Boleuge said...

That's what I do when I'm changing to the night shift. Pick a grind fest achievement and go for it. It gives me something to aim for within a timescale. The frostsaber is up next.

Fish said...

I work in the securities industry in real life, I despise doing it in the game. I'm halfway tempted to DE or vendor everything just to save time and energy. However, I don't mind grinding. Lets be honest, we're playing a game, and killing tons of things at once is fun. Its like watching tom cruise dance at the end of tropic thunder, you'd think it gets old, but it never does. I never get tired of mass killing, maybe thats just me. . .

Hinenuitepo said...

This is an appropriate time to do a personal cost/benefit.

Gev has trouble with a benefit that's not shiny, but there are indeed other kinds.

If you like the grind, or at least aren't too put off by it, and that saber is worth the 'pain' of the grind, then go for it!

Personally, I suspect one of the 33 things you won't see me doing before I quit wow is grinding rep in Winterspring. :)

Roger said...

I did the Wintersaber grind while waiting for WotLK to come out. It is still my very favorite ground mount. I recommend doing all the quests and dont skip the bears and Chimera as you can do them running to and from the Furbies.

Larísa said...

@Kromus: Yeah, I guess the meditative wintersaber grind resembles a bit to fishing. The difference is that the outcome is less useful. Hm… I might mix up the mount grind with some fishing for buff food…

@Leo: Got honored tonight and got the giant quest, wohoo! It’s further away, but it’s another mob. I did slow fall down on a roof of a house where I was in perfect nuking position. Could even look them into their eyes as I killed them!

@Hatch: yeah, I haven’t checked out the current value of runecloth. Sometimes it costs a bit, although I suspect that magecloth crops would have been more profitable. Leading a pug raid is on my 33-things-to-do-list, but I’m not sure I have the confidence to do it… I’ll have to work a bit more on it I think. And look up the encounters more so I don’t only know about my own tasks in ToC and Ony, but also about how I’m supposed to instruct the tanks and the healers… You know… “interrupt this, taunt there…”….
I wouldn’t be capable of telling those things yet. Getting guildies for this doesn’t work since they’re normally occupied in 10-mans at that point. The reason why I need to pug it at all is that I log on too late to be able to participate in guild runs.

@Dorgol: Hm… I notice that my timbermaw rep is increasing, but no way that I would interrupt this grind to go to the timbermaw place and get it up. I’ve never cared much about titles. (except for “merrymaker”, which is one I really like!).

: Well you can take a little at a time. I’m wondering if it will still be there in the expansion or if it will be lost in the remake of the world…

@Iro: yeah, you really have to enjoy the landscape to cope I think. The grind doesn’t involve much killing. Basically it’s mostly about transport. I’ve got my hs bound to Everlook now, which gives me a free ride every half hour. That helps a bit. Sometimes it pays off to be a mage! (especially if you like me have the tabard for teleport to the AT grounds and ToC).

@Boleuge: really? Let’s see who will hit exalted first then! A bit of competition doesn’t hurt!

@Fish: Oh yeah, mass killing is fun! As a mage you have great tools for it with aoe. The only annoyance is that those bears and birds won’t follow you endlessly. Often if I try to bunch them up, riding around with my molten shield on to hurt them and aggro them, they’ll follow me for a while but then just give up. So currently I’m back to single-target, seems to go quicker after all.

: I guess he’ll forgive me as long as I at least do it with open eyes, reflecting over alternative ways to spend my time in game.

@Roger: My favourite has always been my alterac valley ram. Not exclusive at all, but it fits so perfect with my char. But I suspect that this one will replace it.

Shirochan said...

Good point, I'm not sure if it will disappear or not either. It would be sad if it did. Maybe I should do the quests more often. Luckily, its quite some time untill the expansion!

River said...

Frostsaber Mount grind, the only grind that use to have support groups on the blizz forums.

I don't think it's moronic. Actually I think it's quite Zen

Koch (Aszune) said...

There is technically a grind-free alternative to the Wintersaber mount - but it costs money and doesn't help your problem in the least bit:

Buy a faction transfer, go horde-mage (can trolls have pink pigtails?), do the Venomhide Ravasaur quest + dailies for 20 days, then transfer back.

The Venomhide transforms magically into a Wintersaber when you are Alliance.

But yeah, I'm with you. Grinding a reputation can have a magically calming effect.

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