It will be mine. Oh yes. It will be mine.
Arguably one of the best lines ever to come out of Star Wars, even before the questionably valued prequels, was this tidbit snapped at C-3P0 by Han Solo just before he plunged the Millenium Falcon and its hapless passengers into a deadly asteroid field. It was a challenge, a potential deadly one, and Han went about facing it with gusto. The droid underscoring the fact that it was all but impossible was just more incentive for him to do it.
Last night I faced a similar situation. The World of Warcraft event the Lunar Festival was rapidly coming to a close. I had visited most of the Elder NPCs necessary to complete the over-arching achievement, which would earn me a new title and bring me one step closer to the Reins of the Violet Proto-Drake, a rare flying mount, as well as the means to ride it at maximum speed (saving me 4000 gold pieces). It was about two hours before midnight, when the event would end, and the Elders I needed to visit were tucked away in dungeons scattered throughout the frozen land of Northrend. My wife, who also had a few other Elders to visit, questioned the wisdom of pursuing a deadline that, in the end equation, really didn’t matter.
While on an intellectual level I know she’s right (who’s going to care about my WoW achievements after I’m dead?), I heard Han saying “never tell me the odds” as I cracked my knuckles and hopped on the north-bound zeppelin.
Long story short, there were seven Elders I had to visit, and some of them were past packs of enemies and even bosses. Thankfully, the maximum level of Hunter granted me an essential ability for this sort of thing: Camouflage. I stealthed my way through most of the dungeons, only running afoul of foes a few times. I used hidden back ways and exits to speed up my journey. The biggest challenge came when I had to face Skadi the Ruthless on my own. After a false start and a couple of inexplicable resets, my faithful ‘tank pet’ Blinky the warp stalker and I were able to take him down. I had about ten minutes to midnight. I sped past the encounter, through the pack of waiting bad guys, under the stairs and bowed to the last Elder.
The resulting audio and visual cues for the achievements earned filled me with delight. I’d done it!
I’ve written before about the merits of achievements. It seems that their appeal and the satisfaction born from putting in the effort to attain them has not diminished. Either there truly is something to the idea of extending the replay value and investments necessary to continue playing games based on these introduced elements…
…or those cues I mentioned have programmed into me a positive Pavlovian response that speaks to a deeper insidiousness amongst Blizzard’s programmers.
Which do you think it is?
And why am I craving bacon?