After everything else, appearance is everything

| Friday, October 11, 2013
One of my greatest instance runs ever was back during Burning Crusade. I was headed to Shadow Labyrinth, tanking on my paladin. I don't recall the class of the healer, but I do remember the DPS: three warlocks. It was an extraordinarily pretty run. The warlocks would shoot out some seeds of corruption and my AoE tanking would trigger them, and then they'd trigger the next round, and the end result was that every pull was an explosion of shiny graphics.

I don't know how effective SoC was compared to other attacks. Maybe destruction with rain of fire or a cleaving, whirlwinding warrior would have done the job better. But would they have looked cooler? Would they have sounded cooler? No! When all the game mechanics have been nullified by gear and practice only one thing remains: looking awesome while you do it.

This is why transmog in WoW was so awesome. This is why my greatest dangerous temptation in GW2 is the many amazing-looking guns on the trading post. Better gear is nice to have, but cooler gear is a necessity. In fact, I blame this for my first time quitting GW2. I'd gotten a new back slot that replaced my purely cosmetic starting item. It was better, but it didn't look cool. I was nothing without my backpack filled with comically dangerously unstable jars of potions and explosives. When I tried GW2 again my first priority was to go to my bank and switch the items. Game saved.

So let us ask, why is Prayer of Mending the best spell ever, as Liore asserts? In fact, it is not. Seed of Corruption was, though PoM was pretty great. I wasn't a good healer, so I can't comment much on its effectiveness. But I can comment on it sounding cool. Hearing that ping ping ping and seeing it dart around like a crazed healing Tinkerbell was a delightful thing. It was the music to go with the flashing radiance of a raid's worth of spell effects. It said that things were working, at least to some extent. Someone, somewhere, had more health every time I heard that sound. It also meant they were taking damage, but I was rarely concerned with such things as people getting hurt. I was busy getting hurt even more, so having that reassuring ding sound meant that someone else was concerned and I loved them and their bells for that.


Phelps said...

I haven't played since WotLK, but I've always played a dwarf priest since vanilla, and PoM was OP then. Every time it would make it through a patch without a nerf, I was shocked. It is incredibly mana efficient -- so efficient that it compares to a Heal even if it just heals the original target and bounces to someone who never takes a hit.

About the only thing I can think of that was more OP was the Inner Focus -> Divine Hymn combo (the ultimate OH SH!T button).

Liore said...

Oooooh, obviously my heart belongs to PoM, but Seed of Corruption is a pretty fine challenger for Best Spell Ever!

Kring said...

But they destroyed SoC back when they changed it to no longer explode through walls and floors. :-(

Ephemeron said...

I would say that the most awesome WoW spell is Charge.

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