Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Azeroth Driver's License.

You can't get your first "mount" (that's what they call it, heh heh) until level 40 in the World of Warcraft. When you get to level 39 and all your friends are riding circles around you, it's EXACTLY like being 16 and not having your learner's permit while every one you know is driving all over town like maniacs.

"Why isn't he here yet?" "Oh, he can't drive yet, it'll be a while. I'll get a sandwich."

Except that your friends with mounts can't give you a ride like your friends who can drive. So it's actually worse.

It happens again at level 70. A flying mount becomes available, and this is like when all your friends got flying cars and yours still had wheels. Remember that? It really hurt.

"Wanna come with us? Oh, you can't get there, you can't fly. Sorry."

Role playing games, and particularly MMOs, cause this kind of stratification... over and over again. It's like a big brother that finds a new reason to hit you.

We are not compulsive levelers. I finally hit level 70 this last weekend, and got my flying mount (with a helpful loan from a rich friend... they're expensive, of course). I'm trying very hard not to tell LWC how terrific it is to fly (she hasn't quite gotten there yet, but it won't be long). But it's tough. The haves love to torture the have-nots.

However, I have learned from TCGs that when you make haves and have-nots, the haves are really happy when they get one and it just makes the have-nots work harder to get one of their own. "Everything worth having is worth working for," is something your Mom would have said. She was probably right, but that doesn't ease the pain.

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