Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cataclysm Bucket List

I’m hoping today will continue being a slow workday. @Druidmain just reminded me of a blog post I’ve wanted to do for a while now. Bucket lists have become rather popular of late, which makes sense since we’re nearing the end of this expansion.

As a person, I’ve been called a completionist. I know that’s not a real word, but I think it’s easy to see what the label entails. I love tangible progress and completion in life and gaming. It’s probably why I enjoy mowing lawns. You can stand back and see exactly where you’ve been, where you’re going, and how much you have left. I also enjoy the simplicity of putting in my earphones and taking a walk out on the lawn for a while. Despite being a fairly avid gamer, spending time outside is still extremely important to me.

Anyway, as a completionist, World of Warcraft is an extremely suitable game for my personality. I have all these neat tangible modes of progression and achievement right at my fingertips. Completion is at the core of my WoW bucket list. If you’ve played WoW long enough, you understand that there really isn’t a way to “beat the game” in a literal sense. MMO’s just aren’t wired that way. Still, as a player I have some goals in my sights that will go a long way in making me feel that I’ve completed, or “won” in this expansion. A few of the other goals are just things I’d like to do before the world of MoP opens up for me to explore. The fact that they’re secondary goals doesn’t devalue them in any serious way. They’re just not in the same vein as my “beating the game” aspirations.

-The first, and probably most predictable item on the list, is to kill Heroic Madness of Deathwing. This is far and away my most important bucket list item. In all the years I’ve played this game, I haven’t ever achieved something akin to clearing content to the highest level. To any of my readers who aren’t familiar with what content is, here’s a grossly simplified synopsis:

In WoW you make a character that you use to travel the world with. This character has an age of sorts, based on how much you’ve done in the game. The maximum age or level is currently 85. Once your character is at level 85, one of the ways you can play the game involves a progressive ladder of encounters that are generally referred to as “content” or “raid content.” These encounters serve to be the means through which your character acquires progressively better items. The better the items your character has, the stronger they are. As such, the further you get into raid content, the more enabled you are to move onto the next tier of more difficult encounters. It is also worth noting that within the game is also a story line. These encounters serve as a way for you to interact with and destroy key villains in the story.

These villains are called “bosses” in the context of raiding. My girlfriend likes to refer to bosses as “dragons” as it simplifies the concept to her when I talk about raids. They’re obviously not all dragon, although many ares. Each tier or level of content is a group of raids, or “encounters” where you and a group of players venture into a place in WoW to kill these dragons. Again, the (literal) end goal of raiding is the acquisition of items for your character. Once a boss dies, the group receives several items that can be distributed to the players in that group.

Content, as a concept, is finite. In the current expansion of WoW, there are three tiers of raid content. Heroic Madness of Deathwing is the name of the last encounter in the last tier of raiding for this expansion. It is, ironically, not the most challenging boss fight, but it is in fact the end of the tier. Deathwing is a dragon who is considered to be one of the biggest bad guys in the game. He used to be a trusted guardian of nature, but he was corrupted by ancient evil and has been trying to more or less destroy the world ever since. He’s a dick and when you kill him your character gets a title (that displays next to their name as they walk about the “world”) that says “Savior of Azeroth.” Azeroth is the name of the planet in game. I’ll be Jacklalanne, Savior of Azeroth.

Now, although I noted the literal goal (gear acquisition) of completing content, that isn’t why I want to kill Deathwing. Aside from the tangible benefits (the title, and potentially a giant purple sword that spawns tentacles that destroy your foes,) I want to do this for the personal achievement. Prior to a few months ago, I haven’t ever been the caliber of player who clears all the content in the game. Ever. To be able to do that is cool. It serves, for me, to validate the time and effort that goes into playing this game. I also can’t understate the importance of being able to be a part of my guild’s first Heroic Madness kill. I love the group I’m in and it’s important to me to feel like I contributed to this grand achievement.

-My second, and far less important goal, actually goes hand in hand with the first. I’d really like to have an actual “best in slot” set of items from this expansion. I haven’t ever, and I just think it would be cool to have the best gear I can possibly obtain. I’m well on my way at the moment, and I’m looking forward to hopefully achieving my goal.

-Thirdly, I’d like to be good at pvp. Actually, let me rephrase that. I’d like to find one of my characters where I feel at home when I pvp. I don’t currently have that on my druid. I’m actually hoping that my elemental/resto shaman ends up filling this gap, but we’ll see. Pvp is extremely fun for me, but it almost has endless potential for frustration. Feeling like I’m “good” at something in pvp is definitely a bucket list item.

-Finally, I hope I can get my main, Jack, a cool high level mount before the end of the xpac. Up to this point, I haven’t acquired any rare or difficult to obtain mounts for him. Mounts serve as somewhat of a status symbol and it makes me a bit sad that Jack doesn’t have anything cool to ride around on yet. Hopefully we can do the Dragon Soul meta achievement soon. You get a fancy dragon from that, which will suffice.

I think this is a pretty simple and attainable bucket list. My guild, Apotheosis, is amazing. We might kill Heroic Madness tonight. I think, excluding goal 3, the others will come in time for MoP. I’m definitely hopeful. This expansion has been fun and even if I don’t get any of the above things done, I’ll still feel like my time was well spent.

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