Thursday, July 17, 2008

The taste of exclusivity

For a couple of years I've been trying to educate myself about wine. We're a bunch of people who've been doing blind tests, where we always have to guess about grapes, countries, prices and such before we get to know what kind of wine it is. I must confess that I seem pretty uneducable, since I've hardly improved at all during those years. I could distinguish a Zinfandel from a Cabernet Sauvignon I guess, but that's about all. However I've found one pattern which makes me a bit embarrassed: there IS a connection between the price of the wine and the taste in such a way that once you found out how expensive a certain wine is - you'll find that it tastes so much better.

It's predictable but quite human I guess. That's how we work - whether we want it or not we're coloured by how exclusive we think things are. Once we think something is expensive it will taste better. Or look better for that sake. You could take exactly the same garment and sell it at 10 $ in a bargain store or at 100 $ in a brand store. I promise you - you'll think it looks so much better if you paid 100 $ for it.

From a WoW point of view I'm afraid it's pretty much the same. Even though you may appreciate a piece of gear for its stats or usability, you're likely to like it even more if you know it has a drop rate on 0.01 percent. That's why I just can't love my badge gear or quest reward the same way as I love thing that have dropped for me. They're not exclusive at all. Anyone could get them. The wine is too cheap.

The same thing goes with pets of course. There's no really good reason for it, but a pet which you know must have been either bought at AH at a fortune, or be the result of an endless hunt for it to drop, will absolutely look cooler than the almost identical pet which you can buy at a few silver or a gold at most from a vendor... No matter how hard I try to resist it and think for myself, appreciating my little ordinary vendor cats and birds, I'm drawn into it myself - into the spinning wheel of vanity.

What is it that makes us stop thinking, becoming helpless victims of the chase of status, suddenly loosing our willpower and imagination, starting to think that a wine tastes better just because it costs more, without trusting our own senses? It's kind of annoying. I hate following the masses.
Still there are things in the game that I love even though they aren't exclusive. I think it's fun to play with tonks every now and then - even if though they're available at just a few gold each. I like my little chicken from Shimmering Flats, bought at 1 g when Larísa was young and innocent (and at that time it was a fortune, I'll tell you). I doubt that I would have loved her more if she had cost me 200 g. I still think my Nifty Stopwatch was an awesome trinket, even though it was available to anyone by simple questing.

But I must admit I'd do almost anything to get the knowledge to polymorph turtle...
Goddamn it. It tastes so... exclusive.


Anonymous said...

I got myself a mechanical chicken.. actually had to go back and out of my way grinding the prequests for it.. my mates thought I was insane.. but I figured since I rode a mechanical chicken, I might as well have one as a pet.

But of course, I can't bear to get rid of my old "Cluck Cluck" flesh and blood one either...

My wife and I kept chickens until quite recently, and that one from Wesfall looked and acted just like ours.

Eishen said...

The westfall chicken is indeed one of those "ultra-rare" pets horde side (we hace to use bizarre ways to get it)

Most "exclusive" thing I have get by now was mounting an undead warhorse at level 40 (42 in fact)quite a deed at the moment, I hate blood-elf ostrichs

krizzlybear said...

if you love the feeling of exclusivity, you'll definitely enjoy the newly confirmed achievement system in WOTLK. just pray to elune that it doesn't soak up too much of your time, lol.

Larísa said...

Oh the westfall chicken... I know it's a bit different from the Shimmering flats one. I really should get one!

Currently I'm playing a bit with the thought of getting myself a Frostsaber mount. Double Bubble,, has written a couple of quite inspiring posts - the grind has obviously become nerfed a bit and they're quite rare this days.

Zupa said...

Is that the chicken that has a secret method of obtaining it as a non-combat pet?

I never got one. I might have to pop in to westfall and do that soon.

I totally agree with the exclusivity thing, my most prized possesions used to be my mageblade and dark whelpling!

These days I'm pretty happy with my MgT pet, but none of my gear is really that great :(

Larísa said...

yep. that's the very same chicken. I didn't know about it recently until I red at a swedish blog I'm linking to about it. "Vi bits och rivs" has written an inspiring guide how to obatain it, however it's all in Swedish.