The argument against getting worked up about in-game items mostly boils down to “It’s just pixels.” Well, yes, of course it is just pixels, but if there was no emotional attachment to those pixels, there would be no point in playing the game. Epic gear is just pixels. Rare mounts is just pixels. Even dead Internet Dragons is just pixels. Realm first titles are just pixels.
But sometimes obsessions arise that don’t really make any in-game sense. That even within the somewhat crazy mode of emotional attachment to “just pixels” are stupid.
The stupidest thing I’ve ever obsessed about is pocket lint, a gray item that drops from some mobs in Dire Maul. While attempting to work on Loremaster, I found that gray items were piling up in my inventory, and so I found a “sell all grays” macro, and vendored all my gray items. If I was a lot smarter I would have realized what would happen, and written in an exception. If I was a little bit smarter I would have caught my mistake right away and bought the items back.
But I didn’t realize until the next day when the spot next to my Hearthstone was empty. That spot, that ever since level 30, when I was just a noob druid on Darrowmere, was occupied by my lucky pocket lint. Someone jokingly had linked it for sale in Trade Chat and I thought it was the funniest in game item ever, and offered to buy it in all seriousness. An hour later I had it in my mail, 50 silver, C.O.D. I had that pocket lint all through leveling, my brief stint in the level 70 endgame, and all through Wrath.
And now it was gone. A pocket lint shaped hole in my heart.
I put in a ticket but the GM was not sympathetic.
One of my guildmates, sympathetic to my plight, and farmed me up a pocket lint while working on Dire Maul reputation. I know it’s just pixels and it’s the same item, really, only it’s not the same item. Just because it’s fungible doesn’t mean that emotionally it’s the same pocket lint.
The new pocket lint means a lot to me, because it’s a reminder of the old one and a sign of friendship, but it’s not the same pocket lint. In the way that a new kitten soothes the loss of an old cat but does not replace the cat shaped hole in your heart, so the new pocket lint is only a bandage over my wound.
For the last year, I’ve had a bee in my bonnet about the green-quality shirt, Precious’ Ribbon. It has dropped a couple of times for my guild, but I have never won it. Since it’s a soul-bound green, it’s not even trade-able. I attempted to convince our raid leader at one point that we should use DKP for the ribbon, but he was against it with the philosophy that DKP is for advancing the progress of the whole raid group and by spending my DKP on a vanity item I would be harming the raid. I guess that’s true but there is not a single item I have wanted more than that ribbon in all of Icecrown Citadel.
A ribbon dropped recently and again I didn’t win it. The person who did win it attempted to trade it to me, but of course, could not. I knew that would happen but I guess he did not. I was broken up over it really out of proportion to the importance of the item.
Some days later, I logged on and found I had official GM mail. I was a bit confused since I hadn’t put in any tickets.
It was the ribbon! My fellow raider had opened tickets to get the soul-bound ribbon assigned to me, and, I learned from other people, had to petition multiple GMs before he found one that was willing to do it.
I’m still not sure how I can properly express my gratefulness to my guildy without totally embarrassing him. I’d offer naming rights to my first born child, but I don’t plan to have any kids. Perhaps I’ll think of something one day.
For now, every time I look at the buff “Best in Show” I am reminded that it’s not just that people don’t all suck--some people are really awesome.
Da Voodoo Doctor is In (Advice 5c)
- Stupid Obsessions