Thursday, May 23, 2013

Long-form meta-gameplay

[I'm re-enabling the capcha for commenting on this blog. I'm willing to accept a certain ratio of noise to signal just to encourage conversation, but the amount of spam comments I've been getting recently has become intolerable.]

Happy Patch Day to all! My guildies are all super jealous of my spiffy new flappyhawk, which is pretty cool since those guildies are some of the best players on the server. I feel like I've already found a reputation in my guild as the hardcore mount collector, which I'm pretty okay with.

Did I mention I changed guilds? I guess giving up an officer position in a fairly large and well-established guild is a pretty significant thing worth mentioning. Long story short: player churn with no active recruiting left us with very few active players. So I joined <Relinquish the Loot>, mainly because I know the guild leader is a nice guy who plays the game seriously without taking the game too seriously. He's also Australian and mains a Protection Warrior like I do. They also have the number one raid on my server, and the possibility of applying is not entirely unattractive. I've found the guild actually has an atmosphere very similar to my old guild, back when we had a competitive progression raid-- Friendly and mature, but not overly chatty most of the time.

But I digress. The Armored Blue Dragonhawk is probably the highest mount prestige* I've achieved so far in the game. The blue dragonhawk awarded for 100 mounts was old hat by the time I got one, and when the green kite was added, 150 mounts was already far too common, not to mention the mount itself was unattractive and unwieldy. Having literally only reached the magic number of 200 a week or two ago, this achievement could not have been timed better for me.

More than anything, I feel like this is the reward that I didn't know I was working towards for the past two years of collecting mounts.

This kind of thing is a perfect example of what makes the MMO genre compelling to me: long-form meta-gameplay; this idea of achieving something epic over a long period of time and many individual play sessions. Mount collecting is about eighty percent meta-game, and I found solving the most efficient way of getting more mounts extremely satisfying, especially as I eventually collected all the low-hanging fruit and found myself in epic quests for the rarer mounts left over. Like "one-hundred-percenting" a single player game, this stuff is there for the people who already did everything else in the game but still want to keep playing.

I'm far from done with mounts. I wasn't done pre-Mists and I'm even further from done now. Now I feel like challenging myself to stay ahead of the game itself-- to have 250 mounts before that achievement is added. I hope it's before the next expansion.

*if you've been following my blog for a while you may recognise my use of the word "prestige" to mean "epeen"

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