Friday, December 26, 2008

The gift of imagination

Today a thought crossed my mind: the things I enjoy most in the real world as in Azeroth actually don’t cost anything. Or rather: they don’t wear a price tag, telling me to pay x dollars or y gold. I’m thinking about the ideas and experiences I share with other people. Actually Gevlon, of all people, commented on this the other day. He put it beautifully, when he answered a commenter the other day about why vanity mounts really is a useless way to try to stick out in the crowd:
It's the new and unique thoughts that make us unique, and not mounts.
How true isn’t this, especially in this time if the year, when the goblin people of the world tare trying to persuade us to waste a fortune on pretty pointless gifts and items of pure vanity?

A Christmas gift
The best Christmas gift I've heard about didn’t cost the giver a cent and yet it was beautiful and priceless. In his family (with grown-up kids, I guess it would be harder to make such a thing with children around), they had agreed not to exchange any Christmas gifts in a physical meaning. But that didn’t stop them from giving away presents. In stead they were all supposed to give an imagined gift of any kind and to write a rhyme about it. This guy had decided to give his daughter “1 000 pairs of shoes”. I bet she enjoyed them, especially since her father is a writer and the poem probably was witty and entertaining.

I haven’t sent or received any Christmas gifts this year in game. Last year I sent a tonk to a boy I knew on my former server (he was much into duelling, and constantly asked me to fight him, partly because he enjoyed outclassing me, partly because he had a hope that he could teach me a few things). I gave it with a promise that I’d run tonk duels with him as much as he liked, and I had bought one for myself too. The gift was very much appreciated. This year I never came up with any good idea about gifts to my friends, so I skipped it.

However, I recieved a thing a little while ago, which was as good to me as any Christmas gift. It was a link, sent to me by Zakesh, my lazy co-innkeeper, who knows pretty well what kind of game related things I love.

Events in Darrowshire
The link went to one of the most beautiful machinima videos I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a small and simple music video, made by the machinima maker Cranius. He tells the story of a few events in Darrowshire, Eastern Plaguelands in pictures, music and lyrics.

You probably can recall the quest giver, the little girl Pamela, who’s lost her doll and her family. You’re supposed to help her find it. This was one of those quests that stayed in my memory, since it wasn’t about collecting boar intestines. But yet, I never thought much about the lore content when I did it, it was just another quest to along the way, something to “get done” as soon as possible, to move on to the next one.

When I did the quest once upon a time I probably did it the normal way – I checked on Wowhead/Thottbot/Lightheaded/Questhelper to get the coordinates, killed whatever I had to and delivered the items, my mind already set on where to find the next quest objective. I never reflected about what I was doing. Not until now.

Seeing this movie I suddenly saw the story in it, thanks to the imagination and creativity of the people behind it. This little quest came alive to me and I know for sure that if I ever roll a DK, I’ll definitely savour it in a way I never did before. Pamela has touched my heart. What a gift isn’t that?

The best things Azeroth can offer us don’t cost anything, neither gold, nor dollars. Don’t forget that.

There’s nothing bad in using Auctioneer in order to get rich. But if you use your imagination every once in a while, I promise you’ll get even richer.


Samodean said...

Very nice post, Larisa, well said. Darrowshire is by far one of the best machinima music videos I've ever seen.

Rich said...

for the xmas presents under the tree in ogrimmar, i received three 'pets' that kinda took me a sec to register.

One was a 'jingling bell', the other a little snowman, and another was a little santa helper. I had seen the santas helper things before, and the little snowman, too... but the jingling bell thing was new, and all three items were BOE, which was shocking to me.

So often, items like a 'once in a year jingling bell vanity pet' are things you need to do some special questline for, or grind something or other out to recieve, and then once you get it, it's BoP... only you can have it. the fact that I could choose who received these items out of the 6 or 7 alts i have (or just give them to a friend) completely took me by surprise in a game where it's usually so rigid in terms of things like these.

Tiny examples like this show me, personally, that I think blizzard is really coming around. it's becoming more of a 'hey cool thing, who should I give it to?' and less about 'oh! i want one on my priest, looks like I know what I'll be doing all night to get one on her too :('

Beth said...

I'll have to watch that video.

Insofar as mounts and pets, I force all of my family and friends to pick a different pet than me (and each other) when we're instancing. I can't stand to see two people with the same pet right by each other. There's no variety, no art. I hate it when two characters look exactly the same, I can't ride beside anyone who has the same color mount as I do, and God help them if they choose a name that's too close to someone else (a friend had to delete his 32 hunter because a boy in our guild thought it was funny to replicate the name with a single letter change).

I use the phoenix pet for my raiding main for RP reasons, but also because most people used to have it out all the time when it was new, but now no one bothers with it. So sometimes the least used items are the old, worn-out ones.

Anonymous said...

@Samodean: thanks

@Ixobelle: Oh yes, the diversity of the gifts could have been a bit bigger in my opinion, but still I appreciated them a lot. Larísa had a fun time in the crowd in Ironforge, as excited as everyone else about the gifts...

@Birdfall: oh I hope you've levelled your cooking? If not, do so and get hold of some critter bites! It's a pity they last for such a short time, but oh what joy when you have them! I tamed a rat for a little while the other night, the cutest you ever saw, and I guarantee I didn't see tons of other people with that pet!