The Pink Slip

February 21, 2011 - 7 Responses

So, a couple of days ago, there were lots of pink slips handed out on my account.

Having finally reached the end of my rope, I went on what I’m sure could be termed a rampage, if you were character on my account.  I deleted characters.

No, this wasn’t the tame deleting of low level alts that often occurs on my account (doubtlessly on some of your accounts – you start an alt on some server with an acquaintance… you play for a night or two, but you never played the character again and it’s been going on 10 months now?) and I was sick of seeing all these characters that I had rolled, invested any amount of time in (from sub-10s to several in their 60s and 70s) and then never played again, for any or no reason.

It started small, with the random sub-10 alts I had on a ton of servers.  If I knew people on the servers, I vendored everything and gold was sent to them to repay them for the gold and bags that they had bought me to start out with.  If it was on a server where I knew no one, they were ruthlessly deleted without even kindly donating gold to a random character I saw around in Ironforge.

It was more of a process with the characters I had on my home server, Exodar.  (I call it my home server, but I actually haven’t played seriously on it in over two years.)  I went through each and every character on it, since my home server was my only “full” server as well, and painstakingly sent anything useful to Anea, any trade goods that could be auctioned, or interesting bits that I’d picked up here or there, so that she could still have them.  Though I will say that finding the Haunted Memento on my 70 hunter made me a little nostalgic and rather sad to delete her Jeweled Fishing Pole (that is the only fishing pole I’ve ever gotten from the fishing daily in Dalaran, over a large number of characters.  Anea never got it.)

The only characters that are left standing are Anea and Sin (who was my first 70), one lone dorf priest on my manager’s server who may or may not make it through the week, plus three characters on Naithin‘s server, but only because I didn’t have the patience to deal with all the tradegoods on those characters.  Probably tomorrow I’ll be deleting the DK and the low level shaman and sending everything to my 67 shaman there, but it isn’t really as if she’ll be played again.

This leaves me feeling as if I’ve truly cleaned house – as if I have a clean slate.  Like I can start again, without all these stalled and abandoned characters left hanging over my head.  Whether or not this will help anything, I’m not really sure.  I didn’t do it with the conviction that it would, but it was something I didn’t feel bad doing and I don’t regret it now, so I don’t see it as a bad thing.  It’s lifted a bit of guilt that I had (that any number of you who I talk to in game will tell me I shouldn’t even have anyway) and perhaps that will help me enjoy the game more.

Small Animal Assassin

February 16, 2011 - 8 Responses

When is it “ok” to kill critters?

As Cataclysm came out, I hadn’t really been in the guild scene, which is to say that I wasn’t at all.  I was just jumping from alt to alt on whichever server suited my fancy and because that server could change daily, I wasn’t guilded on any of my characters.  It was through other people that I learned about the new guild achievements, but in no great detail.  One that I did hear about was the Critter Kill Squad achievement – the person said that everyone in their guild was required to kill every critter they saw.

I believe it’s with a recent patch that you are awarded a pet for this achievement.  (Irony of ironies.)  While the Armadillo Pup is cute and definitely a change from the usual companion pets, I didn’t really know if I wanted to contribute to the killing spree to add to my current guild’s points.

As I was running around Stormwind however, there seemed to be more rats than usual.  I really don’t care for rats at all, so I may or may not have DoTted up a few and left them to their fate as I ran by.  Same for the Tram rats.  (Sidenote: did you know that the Deeprun Rats will fight back, whereas the regular Rats and Stormwind Rats will just run around and then die?)  I didn’t mind killing them because I don’t care about rats – I think they’re rather ew.  However, I will say that when people kill poor defenseless rabbits and squirrels, I’m sad.  And particularly upset when people kill any Cat critters that happen to be about, especially in Elwynn, Silvermoon and Eversong Forest in the starting area –  lots of cats.

Why do I care about the Cat critters so much and Rats not at all?  Because I see Cats as pets and animals to be loved, not hurt.  Rats are considered vermin, so I care not at all about them.  (Though ratties Orithea, Tartdarling and Keeva would vehemently disagree!)  Once I thought about it, I wouldn’t care about killing cockroaches, spiders or snakes either.  I don’t kill Cows and I will admit that I have killed Sheep several years ago, to see if they would give wool when skinned.  But other than that, I leave those critters alone too.  And those are just the basic old world critters near the starting zones – I believe that other larger more exotic animals are counted as “critters” now, and they’re still being killed.

Is this an achievement that should even be in the game?  If a game has an achievement for killing small animals, does that tell younger players that it’s ok to kill small animals in real life?  I know the larger example of that would be “If a game awards killing other human beings, does that tell players it’s ok to kill human beings in real life?” but I would say that by and large anyone can see that animals aren’t the same as humans and most people don’t give much value to animals at all.  It’s only a small step to go from terrorizing an animal (a cat, for example) to actually hurting it.  But if it’s “just” a critter in the game and it’s ok to kill there, what does it matter if “just” a real cat is killed in real life?  It doesn’t matter, right?

I know that last paragraph talks about an extreme scenario and I hope it’s just me being oversensitive about it (spurred in part by the cultural attitude towards killing cats in the area where I live) but given my feelings towards cat-critter killings – ought I abstain altogether from any critter killing?  There are most likely other people who feel about any given critter the way that I feel about cats and so to be fair, I shouldn’t kill any at all – even “just” a rat or spider.  (And yes, I know that any critter killing is optional but I’m more interested in the moral debate.)

Do you have some sort of criteria for what types of critters are “ok” to kill, or do you just mow any and all critters down without even a slight guilty feeling?