Thursday, February 17, 2011

Let the Amani War Bear rest in peace

A thread on the US forums has exploded in a heated discussion about a possible future reinstallation of the Amani War Bear.

In case you started to play in Wrath or Cataclysm and have no idea of what bear I’m talking about, it’s a mount with a rather exclusive aura that dropped as a reward for raids that managed to clear the 10-man raid instance Zul Aman back in TBC within a certain time limit. This was quite a challenge back in the days, even if you spotted a full set of T6 gear.

The poster suggests that the bear should be brought back since “it’s such a cool one and I’d love to have one.” He argues that this mount never should have left the game. He admits that doing a chest run in Zul Aman at level 85 isn’t exactly hard these days, but neither is downing LK heroic or Yogg+0. And since those mount rewards still are in the game, it doesn’t make sense that the bear isn’t. According to him there should be a small chance for it to drop from the fourth chest.

Vague statement
Needless to say, there are quite a few people who disagree with him, but he also gets some support from players who mock the upset Amani War Bear owners for being equally childish and elitist and that they should get over it and stop wanting to be a unique and beautiful snowflake.

Until now there are about 1000 comments and the thread is still growing. I think what has made this thread so big and infected is an obscure comment from the blue poster Zarhym, who wrote:
“One never knows what might happen with Zul'Aman and the treasures of old found therein...”

This statement isn’t even worthy of being called a statement. It could mean anything and nothing at all. But I can understand those who interpret it as if there is a chance that the bear will make comeback. It could refer to a planned revamp, tuning up the mobs to level 85, on par with what they’ve done with Deadmines and Onyxia in the past. And this talk about “treasures” could also lead the thoughts to archaeology. Have they plans on making Zul Aman into a dig site?

But maybe this doesn’t actually mean anything. Maybe it’s just a slip of the tongue. Blue poster Tigole was very clear about Blizzard’s position back in 2008, and Zarhym would have made it easier from everyone if he had referred to it:

”Once Wrath of the Lich King goes live, you will no longer be able to obtain the Zul'Aman bear mount by saving all 4 prisoners in the timed run. The Bear Mount will be replaced by a very good, epic item that is level appropriate for people doing the zone. To be clear, the Zul'Aman bear mount is supposed to be an item of very high prestige. We want players who have earned it during the appropriate era (aka before the level cap gets raised) to be recognized for their accomplishment. We have absolutely no problem with higher level players (above level 70) going back and doing Zul'Aman after Wrath of the Lich King is live. We just want to preserve the accomplishment of having saved all 4 prisoners at the intended difficulty level.”

Stick to their guns
For my own part, I hope Blizzard will stick to their guns.

No, I don’t have a bear of my own. I completed Zul Aman a number of times and I think it’s a wonderful instance – short and yet intense, with some really fun boss encounters. But I never did it within the time limit and I don’t think I’m entitled to have one of those mounts. The players who did the bear runs put a ton of pain and effort into it - or gold, for those who bought a spot in the raid, which wasn’t uncommon towards the end of TBC. And I think they’re perfectly entitled to show off a bit with their mounts.

The game moves on. Old content is removed and new content will arrive. That’s the natural evolution.

The newcomers to Azeroth should make themselves a service and stop crying over missed opportunities in the past. Then they might notice that today there are other challenges in the game, challenges that have replaced the ZA bear runs, challenges that come with equally exclusive rewards that grant you bragging rights.

Let dead bears rest in peace.


Perdissa said...

Back in the day, the best attempt my 10-man guild got to was 3 chests. If I remember correctly, we got pretty close to the mystical last chest a couple of times; but we never managed to do it.

Would I have liked to get the bear back then? Hell yes. Do I want to get it now? The answer is probably no.

I look at it this way.. We spent months wiping on LK heroic during WotLK. Never managed to get him down. Last week, we went back and facerolled Arthas (granted, most people knew what they were doing, and those who did not wiped us on defile several times).

I now have the title for killing LK in H mode. But I'm probably never going to use the title, because I don't feel any pride in it. If anything, it reminds me of the months of failure I endured back in the day.

Same for the bear.

Prelimar said...

i totally agree. i lusted after the amani bears, and never got one myself. i am so jealous when i see people with them now. but i think (like some achievements) their rarity is what makes them special... it's the whole freakin' POINT of stuff like that. i hope they don't bring them back. they deserve to remain special, and part of WoW's history.

Magma said...

Why people still think ground mounts are relevant I'll never know.

Klepsacovic said...

I'm with Prelimar on this one. Let them keep their rare bears. I do wish they hadn't been removed quite so soon, but they're gone and should stay that one.

@Magma: Good point, just give an offhand dismissal of the perceptions of others. That always works.

Magma said...

@Klep, it's not about perception, it is about fact. Flying>Ground. They just aren't relevant anymore. Sure if you like one, doesn't matter to me if you get it, I'm just saying in the scheme of WoW, ground mounts don't really matter much anymore.

Shintar said...

Augh, I do hope they let it rest in peace. Really, we don't need everyone to have everything and be exact clones of each other; we already got close enough to that in WOTLK.

Someone in the thread brought up that the mounts from Alone in the Darkness and heroic Lich King are also still in the game... to which I would actually say yes, that's a shame too. I have neither of them but I like the idea of having a little something to reward people who did that kind of content when it was really hard. It's actually a shame that Blizzard stopped removing rewards after how ticked off people got with the Naxx drake removal... the problem with that at the time was only that it hadn't even been around for six months and people only found out that it was going to go about a month beforehand.

Cigaras said...

I did the timed run, but I lost the roll on bear...

Elele said...

Count me in amongst those who believe it should remain a part of WoW's history, never to return. I don't feel that such an option has sufficient advantages, considering that it would destroy what made the mount special.

Ran across a similar thing this last weekend. It was the 6th birthday of our guild, the Ashen Rose Conspiracy, and as something of a party finale, we planned to go and smack Kil'Jaedan for skinny dipping in the Sunwell, as one of the original founders put it. Two folks just didn't want to go back, fearing they would spoil the memories of the effort they put into the place back in the day.

Saithir said...

@Magma - Oh, they are fully relevant still. I use my ground mounts on a daily basis.

You can't fly in Tol Barad or the Battlegrounds.

@topic - I haven't got the Amani bear, we were close to opening 4th chest but never managed to do so before they nerfed the level 70 bosses before Wrath.

I would kind of want to try getting it again, but certainly not in the level 70 Zul'Aman. Level 85 Zul'Aman on the other hand... Same thing goes for the two Zul'Gurub mounts.

Tzufit said...

While it may be true that we can still get the mounts from doing the ICC achievements, or from downing Yogg +0, we can't get the heroic tribute chest that dropped the mount in ToC anymore. Granted, that may be more because the limited attempts system no longer exists than it is because Blizzard didn't want everyone to go farming - but I agree that this is the way it should be. I'd rather see mounts that were rewards for very specific achievements like that be removed when the achievements are no longer relevant.

It's frustrating to see that asking for special mounts from exceptional challenges remain, well, special, gets several of the posters in that thread called elitist. You can't acquire heroic tier gear without doing the work in a raid to be able to get the tokens for it - why are mounts so different? What's wrong with having a few cosmetic items that are only ever attainable if you and your group have managed to clear some of the hardest content then available in the game.

I'll admit, this hits an already sore spot for me because of the way Blizzard changed Anzu's summoning in heroic Sethekk. The druid flight form quest was a really fun challenge, and being able to summon Anzu and have a chance at the Ravenlord mount was an amazing reward for that. Was it so bad that non-druid players had to find a druid friend to help them out if they wanted one? I'm waiting for the day when Blizzard removes the attunement to get into that dungeon on heroic, since that's really the only form of a gate in place anymore.

Selyndia said...

While I agree that the bear should remain gone (I don’t have one either), Blizzard has changed a lot of its policies on “prestige” items since WoTLK.

The Naxx Glory of the Raider drakes showed the old policy, but you’ll notice that they never implemented them in Ulduar or Icecrown. Even the old titles from TBC (Hand of A’dal and Champion of the Naaru) which were removed can be compared with the ones from wrath (Starcaller, Kingslayer, Light of Dawn etc) and note that while the former were all removed most of the latter even still exist now (With a few exceptions like Champion of Ulduar, Immortal, etc). The fact you can still get a Rusted Proto is still kind of odd, considering how absolutely trivial Ulduar is at 85.

Does it suck that I’ll never own an Armani Bear and have its feat of strength? Yes, kinda (I certainly wouldn’t ride the thing, I think it looks ugly as hell) but there are some prestige things that show “Yeah, I was there” that we should keep. Allowing everyone to have everything sort of blends us all together, and continues to make us even more similar, when there is nothing wrong with having some individuality or being proud of accomplishments we actually did when it was challenging or even just rare. If they bring it back, does that mean they’ll bring back other “Limited edition” items, such as the Tabard from the TBC release event (Which was impossible for my Blood Elf to get) or the Undead Slayer armor from the Wrath Event (Reskinned Judgment armor set), the Quiraji Black tank or Scarab Lord, or Hand of A’dal?

Sean said...

I haven't read the entire "Bear" thread, but I was aware of it. I agree with you 100% that Bliz should stick to their guns. I hate it when they see-saw on stuff and this would be just another chink in their mortar, imo.

Thanks again for your great blog!

Tesh said...

Just a quick thought: For some, it's not about the bragging rights or the challenge. They just want the spiffy bear mount.

So... maybe a new war bear mount and leave the original alone as a prestige thing for those who give a crap about that sort of thing?

Edawan said...

I never got over the fact that I never got the bear.
We did the timed run 2 or 3 times (I lost the rolls, obv.) then people just stopped having any motivation to do it again.
To this day I still rage every time I see someone on an Amani Bear.

But it wouldn't be the same if they reintroduced it. It wouldn't mean the same thing.

That said, I wouldn't be against a new bear mount. One without the ugly goggles.

Darthregis said...

Simplified version of the debate:

I want something that other people have!


I don't want others to have what I have.

Larísa said...

: Indeed. Even if they brought it back I don't think I'd like to use it. Nothing at all to feel proud about. And it's not that good looking either, is it? Not compared to my belowed winterspring tiger.

: Yeah, I think not having that kind of unattainable objects is to take away one aspect of the game for no good reason.

@Magma: as others have pointed out, they're usable in some places. Like TB. And in HoO if I remember it correctly.

: I don't remember... but I think... they were removed at the point of some patch when we got ridiculously good stats?

@Shintar: yes, we look freaking much all the same as it is. No need to increase that. And I agree that they should have continued to remove mounts. But giving a long notice of course.

@Cigaras: Awww... /comfort

@Elele: I can actually understand where they're coming from I think. Even though returning to Archimonde at 80 never changed my memory of finally downing him back in TBC.

@Tzufit: Yes, I'm all with you. I can't see the point of everyone easily being able to get every freaking item in the game. It takes away incentives, making it less exciting and interesting. Honestly. It's a bit like silly tombola where everyone win every time.

: I really hope they won't walk that road and start reinstalling limited edition items. God forbid they do. But the blue answer is a bit vague...

@Sean: Thank you!

@Tesh: As long as it's different from the old one, no problem. But I'm afraid people like the original poster of the thread won't settle until they have exactly the same mount without any difference.

@Edawan: Aww. That's a shame. /hug

: Yeah, it's a classic one, isn't it?

Darthregis said...

Indeed, a classic conflict. One in which neither side is "right" nor "wrong" and your perspective is usually dictated by which side of the proverbial fence you're on.

Frank, I see both sides of the argument. Some people busted their asses for the mount. But there are plenty of other mounts still in the game that had to be "worked" for, but are now easy to obtain. Why is the Amani bear taken out? Why are the others still in the game?

Hell, Blizzard... let me pay you $25 and let me customize my own mount.
(I think I just hit paydirt with that idea.... world first, right here on your blog!)

Oestrus said...

Hi Larisa,

I have to admit that I'm firmly in the camp of "Do not bring back the Amani bear mount."

I have one and I have never been more proud of a bundle of pixels in my gaming life. Well, except for Val'anyr. Now I'm just sounding boastful.

It's not a matter of that I don't want others to have what I have it's that I worked hard for something that came with a huge reward and that reward was made even more substantial by the rarity of it. One of the recent trends that I have seen in the game is people thinking they're entitled to have what everyone else has, simply because they pay $15 a month, too. That is simply not the case.

People who achieve certain feats and earn the rewards for them did just that - they earned them. There are mounts and titles that I would love to have and I don't. I'm OK with that, because I didn't get to earn them. That's the way the cookie crumbles. I understand that I'm not entitled to have those things and I would never ask to be.

I was livid when I read that original post. You have no idea!


Ratshag said...

I were part of a group what was tryin' fer ta get bear mounts in the final days of TBC. Because we was a 25-man guild, most of us had not paid no attentions ta ZA, and so we was having fer ta learn the fights. After a couple weeks, we got ta where we was fighting the last boss when the timer ran out. Next week, we woulda gotten our first bear. But instead 3.0 dropped, and the bears went away.

Is I bitter? Not in the least. I's in it fer the journey, not the destination. Thems what earned it, it means sumthin' ta them. If the bears came back, I would get one, but it would be just another mount in me stable, not sumthin' ta feel good about. Shoot, me talbuk would have more meaning. So why bothers?

Khaas the Insane said...

Best reason to bring back the bear?

Death Knights.

We never got a chance to get the bear :(

Thanks for opening a discussion on this topic, I heard something about it from TotalBiscuit and was wondering what was going on.

Ngita said...

Has one, personally I have never ridden it much outside 20 man bear walls to show epeen outside sunwell,
an issue at the time was more the politics of it. Players regarded it as a right to attend bear runs and roll on the bear yet be amazingly quick to vanish once they had their bears, which meant recruiting more guildies who also wanted to roll:(

Let those who worked on things at the time keep their reward, this includes the bear as well as the zg raptor which despite a large amount of runs i never acquired.

Anonymous said...

I has it !!!

Cacknoob the god-like

Nikodhemus said...

I wasn't even playing back then... and I'm ok with 'retiring' certain rewards. In fact, I wish there were more things like this that had a limited time offering, and have since become unavailable, like the Memento.

I want to see more epic craftables like Thunderfury, where you have to go on LONG difficult quests in order to assemble the parts to make such an item. I wasn't even present during the days when you had to 'find' your highest level abilities in books... i think that would have been a very cool mechanic as well to have experienced firsthand.

Someone made a comment on here about WotLK clones, and I totally agree with that. While it IS nice to be able to 'buy' epic gear, what good is a horde of Windrunner equipped Hunters? Currently on my fresh DK, i've taken up the task of getting the Griffon mount from the Cenarion Expedition in Zagarand... as far as I'm concerned, that's about as unique as the bear, takes a lot to do, and not many folks will actually have and use it.

Darthregis said...

Because I feel like stirring the pot with another potential debate, how about this:

People who have the Amani War Bear have "earned" it. Fair enough, I understand the viewpoint that it took a lot of time and effort (plus a little bit of RNG love) to get one.

Well, some of us have very demanding jobs. Many people spend a lot of time and effort at their respective jobs. Such that they cannot always devote such time and effort to a game. (And they usually play a game for relaxation/entertainment and get a little discouraged when it begins to feel like "work".)

So how about letting people buy one?

William said...

I think the decision to remove the bear was correct, and the decision to keep the new WotLK rewards in the game... e.g. Kingslayer, Ulduar drakes, etc makes them completely worthless now. I got the Kingslayer title on one of my toons, back when it was actually hard, and now I see everyone around it who just went for a quick pug faceroll of him at 85.

Ended up switching it out for something else, since it means absolutely nothing.