To Boldly Nerd…

Video games, pen&paper RPGs and other nerdery

Day 5 – My favorite item in an MMO

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Yeah, I know this is a couple days late, and I can tell you what’s to blame. Mass Effect 3. I am as always a slave to Bioware games, and I can’t quite believe I am taking time away from my preciousssss right now to blog. Now more than ever I would like to tell everyone in the world that even if you do not enjoy shooters at all, you should give it a try. Get Mass Effect 1, bear with it, don’t give up if you get stuck in a corner in the damn Mako once again. If you hate the Mako, stick with the main missions and enjoy. Play Mass Effect 2 as well, and then get the conclusion. I don’t care that the last 3% suck, if it’s made me love three games that much. It’s a fantastic story.

Buuuuut, back to the main subject. My favorite item. Again, this will be based on WoW as I never played another MMO to such a degree that I would have a favorite item. Now, I have to be open with you. I am not a collector. I am…maybe not the average WoW player. Maybe something’s wrong with me, but I seem to be missing a switch. In my American guild, I was pretty much the only girl who did not a) collect pets, b) collect mounts, or c) collect achievement points. That’s not to say I didn’t do achievements. I did the ones that I thought were neat. I racked up a total of 6520 points, which is nothing to write home about, but still, I did some. I am a sucker for reputation grinds, so I got the Exalted, for example. Still, not a collector, so a whole part of the game seems to zoom past me. I quit my US account before 4.3 dropped, and so I never partook in the craziness of transmogging. I marvel at blogs like Go Mog Yourself. It looks fun, no? I don’t think I could be crazy enough to collect transmog gear for the perfect outfit. I always liked gear upgrades and displaying them, and I have a long history of never turning helmets off. Until Cataclysm. The blue tanking helmets were unbelievably fug, so I turned them off for the first time in my 5 years of playing her.

And yet, I was a bit of a packrat on Kadomi. Every expansion I carefully selected which items would stay, and which would go. I had an amazing collection of shoulders. What defines an orc warrior more than shoulders? I don’t know. Same with shields. Same with very very select tanking weapons. If I were still to play Kadomi, I know she would only be using one particular weapon, my favorite item in the game:

I come from a time when epics were nearly impossible to achieve for the casual player. You had your dungeon set in vanilla, plus very rare world drops, and for everything else you needed to raid. I did some VERY light raiding in 20s, two bosses in Zul’Gurub and four bosses in AQ20, and never scored any loot, so I did not have any epics before. Then came The Burning Crusade. The final bosses of heroic dungeons dropped one epic. Heroic dungeons were hard, and so often, especially if you had no gear from Karazhan, you didn’t actually make it to the final boss. There were a few heroics that were easier than others. Slave Pens. The Botanica. And the place that became my daily home, The Mechanar. You see, the Mechanar was special. The final boss, Pathaleon the Calculator dropped three epics, plus one more epic with a brutally low drop rate. It was around 4% back in the day. The Sun Eater.

It was special. It was a tanking epic. It had an epic name, and flavor text. It had a model like none I had ever seen before and to this day there is no other sword using this particular model. It looked like grabbed right from the heart of a dying sun, indeed. I wanted it. The Mechanar was one of the more popular heroics, because it was a relatively short instance, with a good badge to effort ratio. It had two gatekeeper mini-bosses that also dropped Badges of Justice in the beginning. That was later removed, but as it was so easy to get to them, people farmed those two easy badges. Then you had the impossible middle-boss, Nethermancer Sepethrea that was usually skipped because she was really difficult. I mean, I have been there dozens of time, but we killed her maybe three times tops. From her room you had a gauntlet event that was fairly harrowing, especially as warrior. Thunderclap did jackall in the day, and you had to be really fast about picking up stray mobs or your healer was toast. Pathaleon the Calculator himself was almost a breeze in comparison, he was not very difficult at all.

I have such clear memories of this instance. I can still hear his voice in my head. ‘We are on a strict timetable! You will not interfere!’ The Sun Eater was Kadomi’s first real epic, and I felt I had earned it, the hard way. In those early heroic runs when my gear was still crap, and my skills were fairly limited, I learned to use all of the warrior skillset. How to apply sunders to multiple mobs, line of sight tanking, quick reflexes when mobs ran off to the healer (and healer aggro was a big deal), everything. All in all it took me about 20 runs of the instance to get that drop, but that made it all the more special. I screamed so loudly that the cats hid under the bed in fear. I spent a fortune on getting a Mongoose enchant on it. It was hard to find an enchanter for it, as the enchant itself was a raid drop. For me, The Sun Eater is the symbol of a time when the game was vibrant and fresh, the difficulty was challenging and rewarding, and you had active goals to work on. That such difficulty and hard work ethic is now reserved for hardmode raids, and that the game itself has moved on from those days makes me sad, but probably also a bit of a curmudgeon. People don’t want this kind of gameplay nowadays, and I have to respect that.

But damn, I wish there were more Sun Eaters in the world. Something to strive for, to work for, and then to gloriously wrest it out of the hands of the RNG boss, even when you’re not a raider. Something that’s cool and has a great look and just makes you feel badass.

Any other special items out there? I’d love to hear your stories.

3 Comments

  1. I feel exactly the same about Dragon’s Call (the super rare epic 1h sword drop from Eranikus in Sunken Temple) as you do about the Sun Eater. I saw a few people using it, or saw it in pictures, and ALWAYS wanted it, but didn’t get the chance to really farm it until Transmog was announced. I then farmed it every day for one round of “too many instances” resets, and eventually got it. Now if only I had an actual 1h sword to use, so I could transmog into it!

    • I think I saw that sword once in my life, and we used to run Sunken Temple A LOT when it was still a freaking maze. I don’t know, I never once minded that stuff was a rare drop. At least you had a shot at it! Good luck getting a sword so you can mog it. I demand screenshots already, if it ever happens. 🙂

  2. I can’t believe you picked the Sun Eater.

    I’m with you, 100%.

    Of course, in my case, I absolutely hate that it took you such a comparatively small amount of time to get it. For me, it took just over two months of daily farming to pick the damn thing up and when it dropped, it was the first time I used a PuG player… And he was a rogue that rolled on it.

    I’ll never forget the utter disgust I felt at him, but also never forget the unbridled joy I felt at finally nailing it. You’ve already covered the reasons why, so I won’t go into it anymore. Funnily enough, this wasn’t the first time I’d desperately wanted a sword and saw it stolen. The first time was the Hellfire Ramparts runs I painfully went through for the Shadowrend Longblade, only for the healer (a BE priest named “Stikkie”) to win the roll so that he could shard it.

    And it’s an incredible shame that now no games are designed the way the Burning Crusade was. It was the best time I’ve ever had gaming, and it pains me that such days won’t return to World of Warcraft or any other game of its type. That said, Guild Wars 2 is solely concentrating on five-man content which implies that it could finally be what I’ve been chasing since those heady days of the Shattered Halls.

    Fingers crossed.

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