Buying a Bullshit-Ender in the Store

| Tuesday, September 24, 2013
This post is inspired by Rohan's post, Money is Not Time.

Bullshit is subjective.

Once upon a time a Binding of the Windseeker dropped. Being surrounded by friends who clearly harbored a secret hatred for me, they all insisted that I take it. I spent the next year struggling to put together half-competent pugs of MC, since said friends had thoroughly burned themselves out on MC or had quit.

Back in BC we only had ten extra levels, so soloing MC wasn't something you just did. You needed help. Yet the perception was that MC was old and therefore easy. The effect was rather like putting on a seat belt and deciding that it was therefore safe to drive straight into walls while completely sober; being drunk would actually help to relax and reduce the damage. We could still die, to trash, if people were careless enough, and they often were.

This all had the effect of creating one hell of a sense of entitlement. Surely after enduring all this bullshit I had earned my binding. I'd put in my time. I'd had some flow and fiero. Eventually I was a bit sick of it and torn between wanting the binding and the badass-looking sword and wanting to not have to herd cats through a land of lava and laser pointers.

I saw the appeal of a cash shop. Once I'd put in the time to feel the sense of ownership and reward, a bit of money wasn't going to ruin anything. Certainly just buying a second binding the moment the first dropped would have been rather lame. Yet after months of weekly runs, or more than weekly since they didn't always succeed and needed a second attempt, I was ready to trade some money for time. At that point the issue was not time, but frustration. I had already shown great willingness to burn time, and I still don't much mind grinds, regarding them as part of the genre.

Yet this was no mere matter of time. I got the first binding on my first ever run on a character that could use a binding. That was clearly not a time issue. Nor would the second one be a time issue. One year or a dozen, such a low drop rate cannot be dependably countered with time. I could only up the odds, never beat them. Ultimately it was out of my control and that's what made it bullshit.

I'd have gladly bought a bullshit-ender in the store. If anyone asked, I'd say that I got lucky on the first one and spent a year grinding for the next one. Those words. At that point I'd see no distinction between "getting lucky after a year of runs" and "not getting lucky after a year of runs and buying it in the shop" except for whatever the second binding cost. The mental earning would have already happened, but sometimes the RNG needs a few dollars to convince it of that.

But what if the second binding had been in the store from the moment I got the first? Might I have just bought it then, unearned, and consequently of less importance? There's the whole problem. For all my writing about how I'd played and struggled for the year to earn it, there is no way to track or prove that, so any cash shop can dispense ill-gotten gains. Maybe another player would feel that sense of earning in a month and would hate the implementation of a one-year/50 runs counter. Someone else would need two years and would be short-circuiting after the one-year purchase.

Leaving it up to us sounds insane. Surely you'd call someone crazy if they said that they were going to annoy themselves for no less than a year before using the cash shop. We'd tell them to just buy it and save the time. And then they would and not care in any way.


Anonymous said...

Ha, I had the same fustration trying to get the Hammer of Ragnaros. I just gave up. Really, I believe that's why they don't do that anymore except for cosmetic mounts. Since that weapon is useless to you anyways, it's probable a better use of time to do something else.

Also, I believe the following exchange is somthing you will find amusing based on a post you made 2 years ago.

Klepsacovic said...

At time I think the uselessness was what attracted me to those old items. It allowed me to drape my characters in a useless veneer of the past while pretending that it somehow made me superior, like a virtual hipster.

My sources say Cherokee. Granted, my sources are webcomics and old machinema.

It's a well-known fact that Navajo is just a degraded form of what everyone spoke when crossing the Siberian ice (old theory). Or maybe canoeing from Polynesia (new theory). Or being visited by time-traveling Vikings (newest theory). The point is, they're also wrong, and as we all know, two wrongs make us right.

Church: Maybe you should try learning his language.
Tucker: Fuck that, we got here first, and that makes this a colony. Those're the rules, dude. Earth colony, Earth language.
Church: Tucker there's thousands of languages spoken on Earth.
Tucker: Hyeah, but only one that kicks ass. And that's the one we're teaching. English 101, remedial kick-ass.

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