Over at the Pink Pigtail Inn I expressed some sympathy for players who are going for Insane in the Membrane but who are suddenly informed that it's going to be gone very very soon. Perhaps too soon. But after my post I'm having some second thoughts.
For the most part WoW isn't a particularly exclusive game. By that I mean, what you have doesn't deny me the same. We all get the badges and reputation. Gold, shards, and all manner of trade materials are plentiful enough that the nodes that I get before you don't deny you all ore, because there are a hundred more nodes that we've not gotten to yet. Even quest mobs will respawn soon enough. Bosses are mostly in instances where each raid gets its own, so there's not really such thing as a "kill steal".
There are a few exceptions to this lack of exclusivity, such as certain extremely rare materials and raid-based quests. For example, not everyone can get Shdaowmourne because there just aren't enough shards and for many guilds, possibly not even enough raid resets. Or not everyone can get the old legendaries since eyes of sulfuron and bindings of the windseeker and extremely rare and they cannot be farmed endlessly; so luck will deny some. Sulfuron ingots and elementium ore may claim more victims. But this isn't about those feats of strength. Instead there are the pristine black diamonds; an exceptionally rare drop in the late vanilla range; something of which you may only see a few in your entire time playing, far less if you're skipping late vanilla content like most players. These place a very clear limit on the number of players who can complete Insane in the Membrane. Gold cannot make more appear, at least not in any reasonable quantity, since farming them would mean literally just grinding instances for hours with possibly no results. The result is that in the remaining month, very few players will get the diamonds they need.
Should we feel sorry for them? I certainly think so. It's a horrible feeling. I can say I share it, as I was more than a little bit concerned that Kingslayer might vanish in 4.0, though thankfully it was not. But that sense of extreme rush is not a pleasant one.
But should it be any different? Not everyone can be insane and I don't think everyone should. Not everyone would even if they could, merely due to lack of interest. But on top of that there is the rarity, the RNG which dictates how many there will be. Is that good? I didn't think so with the Hallowed or Love Fool; the RNG shouldn't arbitrarily deny people that which they for which would otherwise be fully capable and willing. And yet...
I have a Scepter of the Shifting Sands. It will never work, because every gate is open. I will never be able to ring the gong. I performed the task of grinding reputation and gathering materials and dealing with various insane dragons and one extremely dangerous minnow. Why should I not be able to be a Scarab Lord?
Because I was too late. It's a sad, unfair, frustrating reason, but that's that: I was too late. And soon, the partially insane may also be too late. That's just how it is.
And yet, I still cannot understand why there is not simply a new hostile pirate group? Maybe another expansion of insanity would be too long. Maybe that spreads it out too far, makes it less of a grind, would flood the cities with Insanes. I could be a cold-hearted asshole and ask why they needed more than two years to do it. But I wasn't the first insane on my server, so clearly I'm the slow one too. I wasn't the first Bloodsail Admiral all those years back either. So I guess how slow is too slow? Six months ago was not too slow. One month from now is too slow. I guess that's where the dart landed on the timeline.
But insanity isn't a title anyway. It's a lifestyle. I was a Bloodsail before I could be a Bloodsail Admiral. I wear silly hats. I tanked Arthas with Thunderfury last night, and it worked. I'm the official story-teller in my guild, responsible for the three voices needed for Uther to inform Arthas that he was glad to make it. I've received compliments on my Jaina voice.
To my fellow insane, to my future insane brethren, let us ask, let us ask the questions that no one else is asking. How does mental disease magically stop spreading? How? Mind control. Don't you see? Hitler, Stalin, Blizzard. They all wanted to tell you what and how to think. First they're going to come for the people who didn't even start the Bloodsail grind and we'll say nothing because we're farming Dire Maul. Then they'll come for the people who are working on goblin rep and we'll say nothing because we're searching for blood of heroes. They'll come for the people turning in their last few librams as the servers go down. And finally they'll come for us and there will be no one to speak for us because everyone will be a damn Kingslayer.
Am I the only one saying that putting a time limit on achievements means that Blizzard is going to mind-control players? Am I just crazy or... yes.
Tomorrow: The Butchers of Maraudon: How Blizzard is destroying Azeroth.
For further reading, here's an insightful take on the gathering of titles or other 'cosmetic' additions to a player's WoW persona.
In Defense of Massively
13 minutes ago