Thursday, April 24, 2008

Byte: Okay, I promise I'll shut up about WoW now

Shareth is penniless. I blew FIVE THOUSAND GOLD in one click last night, when I went to Wildhammer Stronghold in Shadowmoon Valley and bought my Artisan Riding Training. So, despite being broke, I'm bloody ecstatic, as I'm now flying about on a Swift Purple Gryphon. I admit that I cheated a little with the money - after completing my dailies last night, I was still about 100 gold short of the magic 5000, so I got my Hunter alt, Yonn, to forward Shareth the difference, because I didn't really want to wait an extra day. Though this is just debt-settling, really, as it was Shareth who paid for Yonn's Striped Frostsaber and his first set of riding training - which coincidentally cost... 100 gold. So I don't think it's that much of a cheat.

Buying your swift flying mount is one of those key milestones for a character in WoW, and it's nice to feel that I earned it, rather than running off to a gold-selling website and simply buying it - I really feel like I've achieved something, even if it's totally meaningless to about 99.9999999% of the world's population. It might not sound like that big a deal, but when you get your swift flying mount, it's not just a way of saving money on gryphon taxis, but it's a real status symbol within the game, saying "I've really put in the hours on this". Okay, so the rest of my gear might be vendor trash to everyone else running around in PvP or Raid Epics, but at least I've got the mount. Which will be totally rendered obsolete by the time people reach level 80 in Wrath of the Lich King, probably, but at least I'm not alone in that. And I can console myself that I haven't spent weeks grinding the reputation to get one of the Netherwing Dragon mounts...

It's slightly surreal now that I've finally got it, though. It's taken nearly a year of casual(ish) play since I hit level 70 to get it, and I'm now left with the question, "what the hell do I play for now?" I suppose I could do the Druid quest chain for the Swift Flight Form now, if I can ever find where the quest starts from (to the Thott-mobile!), or I can just spend my time helping power-level guild chums. Of course, I've still got no less than five alts to level, particularly Yonn, since he's now in Outland, but I do need to raise some more cash for Shareth... maybe I'll sell some of the primals I've been saving in the Auction House - I'm sure I could get a fairly decent price on the four Primal Fire I have lurking around in my leatherworking bag. Anyway, now that this epic goal has finally been achieved, the true endgame really begins for Shareth now.

Since my main aims in the game have now been achieved, I can concentrate more on the social side of the game (since I've practically soloed the entire way in the game up to this point), and do some raids and high-end instances, as I'm not too fussed about reputation grinding (which is dull-dull-dull). It is kind of ironic, though, that what's most likely to happen is that I'm just going to play with my alts now. You spend so much time grinding and grinding and grinding to get up to level 70, raise thousands of gold to get all the super-duper-sexy flying mounts and all that, and then you stop playing with the character because there's a greater sense of progression and achievement from levelling alts... But we'll see - I think there's a bit of an expectation in the guild that now that I don't have anything to really aim for with my level 70 that I should help other people out more, and I suppose that will be fun. Anyway, this is certainly good news for Richard, since I can now spend the time I would be using for dailies to boost him instead...
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