Orange Text

2 Jan

A long, long time ago a group of friends stepped into Molten Core together. They invaded the sanctum, and ran rampant through the hallowed core. Along the way they found a curious item with orange text. No one really knew what it did, but it said it was for a warrior, rogue, or hunter. Since a rogue was one of the leaders of this group, they gave it to him. Quite awhile later, when they had Molten Core on farm and had started working their way through Blackwing Lair, the other half of Thunderfury dropped. Now by this time everyone knew what it was, and what it did. The rogue was master looting when the other half dropped, so he decided to give it to himself without asking anyone else. He felt since he had the other half, and the best chance of finishing the weapon, it was logical for him to receive it.

A veritable shit storm ensued.

People were angry. Really, really angry. The rogue didn’t think he was in the wrong, and refused to give it up. One of the main tanks threatened to leave the guild if the rogue didn’t see reason; after all her hard work, the main tank felt she deserved the item as much as he did. Other rogues were angry that he was the one to get it. Why did his status as an officer automatically give him the right to that orange text? In the meantime the officers were angry with him too, and talked of demoting him, but they didn’t want everyone to know there was mutiny in the high ranks.

In time, the rogue completed his Thunderfury, and he was very proud. In the process he lost a good deal of gold, popularity, and friends.

WoW TCG Thunderfury Card

By the time I raided Black Temple, I’d switched mains and became a healing/raid leader for my guild. There was discussion of who’d receive the twin blades, and eventually a consensus. When we gave those twin blades to the chosen person, there was another shit storm of drama. People griped that they weren’t chosen, the recipient acted like an asshat, and eventually left the guild. Later, there was drama for Thori’dal. In Wrath, I got to see drama for Shadowmourne.

I was a tank back when the Thunderfury drama happened, and my stance on the situation has reflected my feelings on Legendaries ever since: stay the hell away from it. Every time we raid in World of Warcraft, we defeat pixels in order to gain other pixels that help us defeat new pixels. Every expansion, there’s a new set of pixels with orange text. As someone who’s raided every instance since Molten Core, I’ve never seen anything positive come out of it. I’m sure there are people out there with nice Legendary stories; I’m just not one of them. I have a suspicion that for every nice story, there are more than a few rotten ones. I don’t know what within those orange letters fills people with so much desire that they forsake the people who brought them to it. Yet it happens.

Sometimes we miss the point of raiding. Pixels get us there; but when the instance is on farm and our banks are full, they usually get sharded or vendored. What remains is the experiences we had. When I think back to Molten Core now, I never reflect on the loot I received. I remember how intimidated I felt the first time I tanked a molten giant, or being a ceiling corpse because I stood in the wrong spot the first time I offtanked Ragnaros. When I think back on it, I remember all the hilarious and cool people that were there with me.

Shortly before Burning Crusade, the rogue who made Thunderfury quit the game. He realized that he couldn’t chat on vent with his Thunderfury, and no one else seemed interested in spending time with him. It was before the days of paid server transfers, and once no one wanted to be around him he didn’t want to play anymore. Now, his Thunderfury does nothing. Creating a Legendary is a great achievement, one that takes a lot of time and often group effort in order to achieve. They also rot in your bank when the expansion is over and your friends are gone.

I can honestly say that I hope I never get one.

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5 Responses to “Orange Text”

  1. Anna January 2, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    There was drama in my raid, oh so long ago, when the Thunderfury parts dropped. The Ancient Leaf and Rhok’delar caused a shitstorm of its own (and caused me to not play my hunter for almost two full expansions). But, I can say with some enjoyment that the Legendary that came from Ulduar – Val’anyr, Hammer of the Ancient Kings – was actually one of those moments of raiding that I remember fondly, and with a giggle.

    Our healing team got together, we discussed who might be good candidates for the mace, and it was put down to Zalbuu or myself. We solved who should get it by a naked fistfight on the steps of Ulduar, the whole raid watching. When that just took to long, we /rolled for it, he won, and that was that. (For the record, Paladins come with an innate strength around 50, and Priests around 22, so it wasn’t even CLOSE to a fair fight. Hence the rolling.)
    And you know what? I don’t remember what I rolled, or even really care that I lost.

    But I will remember my paladin, wearing nothing but a tabard and a pair of boots, absolutely pummeling Zalbuu (also wearing nothing but a tabard and a pair of boots) in the snow, with our raid looking on and cheering.

    • Verdus January 2, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

      Wow, that’s pretty amazing. 😀

  2. Claire January 2, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    THAT is an awesome legendary story. I just wish the commercialism and desire to have more stuff that plagues our society didn’t translate over to World of Warcraft so well.

  3. Anna January 2, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    Oh I absolutely agree, and I definitely think part of why the Val’anyr story was such a happy one was that it was really only going to conceivably be split between 6-7 people, all of whom were close and many of whom had raided together since the days of Molten Core.

    With such a small, close-knit group, it was a lot easier than with Thunderfury or any of the other legendaries. The larger the group of potential “takers”, the more likely the Drama Llama is going to follow you home…

  4. Verdus January 2, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    Perception of rarity is a weird thing. It’s very easy to see something shiny, especially something that’s both shiny *and* rare, and give in to your irrational desire for it. Even normally rational people, including myself, sometimes fall prey to it. Even though I was chosen to receive Val’anyr fragments from Ulduar (which our raid never finished), I’d like to think that I would have been okay with it if I’d been passed over for someone else. Truthfully I’ll never know, but I want to believe that I’d value my friendship and camaraderie with my fellow raiders over a transitory collection of orange pixels.

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