Friday, April 4, 2008

The urge to collect things

I've never had the mind of a collector. Of course I dutifully had a box of worn bookmarks as a child, that I changed with my classmates with quite an unpredictable exchange rate, where glistening angels always were attractive. And certainly I, like any other kid in the 70s, had a couple of stamp albums, full of miniature images of Franco and the UK queen in all sorts of colors and glaring pictures of exotic animals from non existing countries. But my colleting efforts never went further than that,, and I honestly can say that my home is absolutely clean from armies of goblins, dolls, smelling rubbers and elephants in all sorts of shapes. Meaningless, dust collecting rubbish, according to me.

That's why I get a bit surprised myself when I kind of involuntary, in a sneaking way am building up a little pet collection in the bank. In spite of the constant lack of space I notice how slot after slot is occupied by little creatures, whose only task in the game seems to be to take up place.

To say that I'm a passionate pet collector would be to exaggerate. So far I've neither bought any game cards or thought about getting the collectors edition of the game just in order to come over some exclusive little pet that no one else got. Now, so far Larísa's got the standard pets in her menagerie. But just because they're common it doesn't mean I haven't got a relation to them. There's the cat, the first pet I met in the game, by chance in a cottage in Elwynn, where I bought it for a few silver coins - a fortune at that level.

There's the chicken, a memory from Shimmering Flats, that make me thing about the quite hysterical mage quest Get the scoop. You're supposed to find a mage apprentice in cover, and if you haven't looked it up at Thottbot or similar places, it's quite impossible to on your own find out where he is: disguised as a chicken that you're supposed to tell "beckon" in order to complete the quest. That chicken has become one of my faithful companions. I don't know why I like it so much, maybe it's just the fact that the size goes much better with a gnome than the rabbit, that is so big that it as well could be a mount. And the chicken is so obviously in the wrong place when you're about to face a tough end boss in an science fiction inspired instance. It's absurd and disarming, impossible not to like.

Then I have some gift pets, memories of friends from the game. There's Snowshoe that I got from my old companion Pjusk once when we were running around in Don Morogh, me boosting his little alt mage... And there's my moth that I had as Christmas gift from Kazzandra and the dragonhawk, reminding me of Wishart, both of them pala friends that I said farewell to when I left the Kul Tiras server.

The last addition in the family is the little miniature Larísa dressed in a bikini and a smallish reindeer (thanks Gurraberra!) Both need snow balls to be activated, but thank's god I've got two stacks of it left over since Christmas, so I think they'll get the chance to come out and get some fresh air now and then in the year to come. And of course I've got my beloved turtle Speedy, that I think came along with the think-about-the-orphan-children-festivity.

My little rouge alt Arisal has already got her first pet, the green parrot from Deadmines. And I like that one so much that I'd surely would like one on Larísa as well. But the drop rate is supposed to be low, so I guess I'll have to arrange quite a few boost runs in order to get it.
Well, giving it a deeper thought I think even I carry some collector instincts. And they're getting trigged a bit extra by the recent 2.4 patch. In MrT there's a lovely fire bird, Phoenix hatchling, dropping both in normal and heroic mode. So far I've only seen it once - but of course I lost the roll. I'll just have to keep running there until I've put my little greedy paws upon it.

The new daily fishing q also give you the chance to get your very own little spotted crocodile, Chuck. Of course I've got to get it! Where to put it is another issue, but I'll simply have to make an effort, systematically getting sorting out old unused quest items and strange "good-to-have-one-day"-things that now fills my bank all in vain. I'll make place for more pets.

What is the point in having pets? Actually there is non, and I think that's what make them so full of charm. The only idea about them is to offer entertainment, to spread little smiles around them, giving comfort and hope when you're in a bad mood. And to fulfil a little of that need of vanity that I guess that we all have, although we stubbornly deny it.

Well aware that I risk to seem out of my mind I actually want to claim that a well chosen pat even can fill its roll as company, brightening the darkness during long, lonely grinding sessions in godforsaken places.

At last, I just have to recommend a gold mine for all of you that like me have weak spot for pets, an Eldorado for all pet lovers: Here you can indulge into fantasies about all the pats you've ever dreamed of - and of the ones you until this day even didn't know existed.

For instance there's a guide about how to systematically farm your own Paddlefeet (something that sadly enough is only doable during the Valentine period of the year). It will take you about 20 hours of gaming time, but it's well worth it, according to the writer... Well, my pet fever hasn't gone that far. Yet.

No comments: