The Ice Stone Has Melted   14 comments

Yesterday morning I logged into WoW to do my daily run of Ahune. I have been doing this daily during the fire festival for the past four years. Why, you might ask, curious if I have some sort of fascination with killing frost elementals that take root in the slave pens. Well, the truth of the matter is that I’m an avid pet collector and in the four years that Ahune has purported to drop an Ice Chip I have yet to see one (I have the flame pet from the first two years – when you could farm them endlessly until one dropped, and endlessly I farmed). To say that I am disappointed at this point is an understatement. It’s pretty much become some cruel joke that makes me want to punch people in the face when they advise me that they’ve seen five, or have one on every alt, or got on the very first time they killed Ahune.

But the frustration with religiously running Ahune year after year for the hope that I will somehow obtain what is apparently unobtainable for me is really the tertiary take away from this post. What I want to talk a little bit about is a conversation that Brade and I had after my satchel, yet again, did not contain an Ice Chip. And that conversation is about the small things that push people away from a game that is nearing a decade of existence. Granted, this has been a topic on the top of my brain anyhow, but my continued pursuit of this particular carrot (the ice chip) and my failure to obtain it after four years of doing everything in my power to do so, seemed to just be one of a number of small, fairly neglected, things – and how they manage to stack up and become much larger problems. A snowball that turns into an avalanche…or something like that.

Basically, after being disappointed yet again yesterday (and again this morning), I said to Brade “you know, it’s the little things like this that would make me walk away from the game if I was no longer raiding”. And it’s true. It seems like such a small thing, one simple pet, but for me (an avid pet collector) to show up as I’m asked to do and do my part only to be rejected year after year, going on four years now, doesn’t really make me want to come back every day and keep trying. It makes me want to walk away and not look back.

I’m not trying to be melodramatic here. I’m really not. But as I looked at my empty bag last night, I thought on all of the hopes every year that maybe this will be the year. I thought about how I logged in every day over the Christmas holiday in hopes of seeing a lump of coal in my bag – yet never did – and sighed knowing that this would be yet another journey like the Ice Chip has been. And somewhere in all of that my brain kicked in and asked exactly what the hell I was doing wasting my time every year putting in so much effort for something that is so completely out of my control. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it’s things like this that are starting to make WoW lose a lot of the sparkle and allure it once had for me. Which, in turn, made me wonder if this would (or will) be the thing for me that makes me sit down at the computer and decide not to log in.

I mean, I feel that I’ve rolled with the punches for the past 8 years. I’ve relearned my class every expansion. I’ve completely relearned to heal twice now. I’ve survived a reduction in raid size, the advent of 10 man raids and LFR. I’ve handled a reworking of the talent system…and accepted that I’ll have to deal with yet another one in a few months. And I’ve done all of that with a positive attitude. But really, what does that matter? Because at the end of the day, the one thing I’d really like to have, that is stupidly important to me, and that I have been trying to acquire for four years, still eludes me. I get that RNG, and apparently my luck, sucks. And perhaps I could accept that answer for one or two years. But after four years of trying, it’s pretty much highlighted for me that the carrot is no longer with chasing. It seems such a stupid, small thing. And yet it has had such a pronounced affect on how I view the game right now.

I know it seems silly, almost ridiculous. I really do. But I’m just amazed at how much effort is put into keeping people happy on a large scale, and how little seems to be placed at the small things that will inevitably act as a catalyst, that tiny straw on the camel’s back, to push people away.

14 responses to “The Ice Stone Has Melted

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  1. Man, that’s some shitty luck.

    On the upside, since account-wide pets/mounts/cheevos are coming you can at least kind of mitigate this RNG now by running the boss on all the alts on your account, giving you a little more control over whether or not you get it.

    (Also, not sure if pets like that one would be allowed but I remember hearing that as part of the pet battle system you’ll be able to trade pets as well.)

  2. If you look up the name “Blizzard” in the dictionary, it would say the following:

    See Sadism … (

    Almost every other decision that company makes supports this claim.

  3. There is this same feeling from so much in the game, rare monster achievements, baron’s horse, etc. But taking a step back, are we saying that a game this huge and long lived has no room in it for some items of simple RNG? Yes, the total accumulated time in trying to get these items may be a lot, but each attempt is quite painless with very little time invested. Should everything in this game be incrementally guaranteed to be achievable at some point? What is that point? And would everyone feel comfortable with that point without it undermining the rareness of that item?

    There are a bunch of things that I work on when I’m killing time in DF queues, chatting about raids, or for whatever reason. But I’ve come to the realization the I’m just throwing the dice against the wall and that’s all it is. I’m happy if I strike gold, but I’d be perfectly fine if I nothing came out of it (which I guess why my mood is a big factor on what I work on).

    In my opinion the game is big enough to include these things and I think viewing it from the perspective that you really don’t fully control every aspect of completion-ism for this game is a must. I guess the devil’s advocate questions would be, “would you be happier if you’d already completed everything, and none of these random trinket or achievements had ever existed?” or “If you’re not actually enjoying what you’re doing, why is that item even on your menu?”

    • This is pretty much what I came here to say. All the game is RNG, we just have different things that bother us. For you, it’s a pet. For me, it’s the fact that we did DS heroic every week and I managed to get my heroic chest (third token drop) months after we had killed Madness heroic. Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to RNG, even though it might seem you “will” get that piece of gear eventually. I don’t see this being any different from a pet, a mount, a piece of transmog gear and so on.

      Luckily, for me it’s easy not getting stressed out about this. I collect pets, but I don’t even hope I’ll get the rare ones (if I do, it’s a bonus). I really, really want to get my T8 set together, but I’m not going to be devastated if that chest continues to refuse to drop. Too bad I can’t channel this to other people 🙂 Not caring is very relaxing.

    • I completely agree with the them. I’ll be honest with you, if everything was handed to us on a silver platter, we wouldn’t appreciate it as much. I also am an avid pet collector. I strived for months to get to 75, 100, 125, and as of last week 150 pets. I did the Crocs In the City dailies, the fishing dailies, etc. After weeks or months or years that I have farmed for these items, and when they finally do drop I am giddy as a boy at a candy store! To this day, I have yet to fish up the Giant Sewer Rat or get Anzu to drop the Reins of the Raven Lord. I even once put in a petition into a GM to find out if the Raven Lord mount was still obtainable, while the GM misunderstood my initial query, they did state to me that some items will NEVER be obtained by a person. Say Ice chip drops in your bag whenever your roll a 7 on a roll of 1 to 1000… There is a possibility you never ever roll a 7. And what most people don’t realize with RNG and WoW is that even though you rolled a 9 this time, that doesn’t change the fact that next time you roll your odds are still 1 to 1000 (most people see it as 1 to 999 thinking that every miss gets them closer).

      So really, I understand and feel your pain. Shoot, I think every collector in WoW feels your pain, but I will leave you with this. Remember how amazing and awesome you felt when you finally uncovered and unlocked the Mummy hand pet? When you finally do get Ice Chip, you will be just as excited. The real thing is not allowing your misses to overly aggravate you.

  4. I’m still really confused why they haven’t put the pet on the vendor for say 500 burning blossoms or something ridiculous (but obtainable) like that. Shouldn’t logging in during the holiday event and putting some effort into it be enough?

    Doing Ahune on 10 alts for a week was not a “fun” way of obtaining a pet…

  5. I get the blues like this too. When your only goals left in the game are X super-rare thing you have no control over, things do feel pretty bleak. My downtime-Baron runs or digging for the Tol’Vir mount. Not very inspiring at all.

  6. Repeated failures to obtain rare mounts, pets and achievements for me made me give up on chasing them. It wasn’t a lack of effort or will on my part, but circumstances and luck were not on my side. So I just raid now, and don’t worry about the rest. I realised after about a year of chasing such things that this truly is a waste of time. Originally when I started playing I didn’t need to collect piles of mounts or pets to have fun playing, and now I’m back to that position again 🙂 The fun for me now is in doing my best in raids, and exploring areas.

  7. For you it’s the Ice Chip. For me, it’s the Sea Turtle. I’ve fished since they put it in in Wrath – well, honestly, I fished before that because I love fishing. But when I heard the turtle went in, I fished in pools every chance. I provided my guild with fish feasts for all our LK attempts and heroic ICC tries. No turtle.

    When Cata came out, and I found out you could get the turtle in Cata zone pools, I declared that none of my other characters were allowed to fish from pools (the lone exception has been at the DMF, though I try not to do it often with alts). I would be so upset if an alt got the turtle and my main did not. I don’t even care about account shared mounts; I want the gorram turtle on my main!

    I have 4 alts with maxed fishing from farming up Lavascale Catfish in Uldum, since they can’t fish in pools. I’ve probably caught over 2000 fish from pools since the turtle was introduced. Never had it drop. Not even on alts on other servers, and characters with max fishing there.

    I have 2 alts with the Frigid Frostling; one from this year, one from last. Ru still does not have it. But I’d give away any opportunity for the ice chip in my bags if I could just get a gorram turtle!!

  8. Completely agree. I’m actually contemplating not buying MoP for a variety of reasons, my failure in four years to ever get a pet of Ahune, ever see Midnight drop from Attumen in I’ve lost count of the number of kills and so on not withstanding. As Newsom says above, it should be available through blossoms, I’ve farmed 350 x 3 on my main at least so even 700 would have been an acceptable price. I’ve been making my husband who hates pets run it on multiple characters too just so that come MoP if we’re still playing I can box it up and steal it.

    I’d even be ok with RNG for the damn thing if it was available all year around 😦 The fact that we have a narrow window of two weeks, one try day is a little frustrating.

    Also I know my frustration with the pet comes from A. the AH area on my server is crowded with them throwing snowballs at people, it seems as if it’s a really common drop, just not for me and B. On my runs at least, if you are a dpser who stands in every icicle and does less than 3k dps, you seem to be “rewarded” with the pet. I know I shouldn’t care about other people getting stuff but when you’ve had to chase around after some idiot who seems intent on killing themselves whilst contributing about as much as Basil my shadowfiend… it gets a bit annoying.

  9. When a game does not give us the satisfaction we are searching for and are denied in real life, it sucks the joy out of the play. We need to play, and it is bloody frustrating.

  10. I completely get where you’re coming from. I hit an all-time low during Firelands when the spirit staff (Smoldering Censur of Purity) refused to drop week after week. Heck it seemed to drop for every other raid group but mine, and it was downright painful for me to watch folks who strolled in with PvP gear get lucky and walk out with the staff. Always been bitter about Firelands thanks to this.

    On the brighter side I’m hoping that account-wide pets and mount will help ease some of this. But yeah, it’s really frustrating.

  11. Just made a post about this myself, should have thought of something more creative for a 2nd post after my break damnit.

    Nonetheless I feel your pain. 5 years and ahune hasn’t dropped either pet for me on any toon over that entire time. To call it frustrating would be an understatement. I think its the limited span you can get it in and the total rng .. least somet things can farmed whenever or on a regular basis. Outside a holiday event the most restrictive rare dropis a raid mount .. which you have 52 shots a year at per toon, sure beats 14.

    Anyways u have my sympathies

  12. I didn’t even bother this year, I went in a few times with guildies because they wanted a healer and I’m a pushover. I’ve just lost interest…I’m not even working on loremaster either, though I am leveling an alt. I wanted a second druid for herbing and mining.

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