Historicity and WoW

In his excel­lent book “Man in the High Cas­tle”, Philip K. Dick talks about items and historicity:

She said, ‘what is “his­toric­i­ty”?’

‘When a thing has his­to­ry in it. Lis­ten. One of those two Zip­po lighters was in Franklin D. Roo­sevelt’s pock­et when he was assas­si­nat­ed. And one was­n’t. One has his­toric­i­ty, a hell of a lot of it. As much as any object ever had. And one has noth­ing .… You can’t tell which is which. There’s no “mys­ti­cal plas­mic pres­ence”, no “aura” around it.

[The Man in the High Cas­tle, pages 65–66]

Why can’t our World of War­craft items have that aura?

We as play­ers already do hang on to items for non-game rea­sons. Every time you hear some­one say: “I’ll nev­er get rid of my full MC raid­ing set”–that’s exact­ly what they’re talk­ing about. I have far too much of my bank tak­en up by items that won’t be used any­more, but I would nev­er destroy or sell (exam­ples: for me, the Halo of Tran­scen­dence, which only dropped after six months of farm­ing Onyx­ia; for my wife, her Molten Helm, which was the guild’s first one, and all of her friends farmed the mats and gave to her as a big surprise).

Bliz­zard has an extreme­ly small step in this direc­tion already: “craft­ed by”. Go far­ther! Give us some in-game sup­port; pay atten­tion to the details and show them to us on call.

Think of those Sun­day morn­ings when you’re pok­ing around the bank, would­n’t it be great to ctrl-rightclick a favorite old item to get a lit­tle win­dow with the following:

Paul­drons of Wild Mag­ic loot­ed on 2008/04/10. You were in the guild X of Y. It was your sec­ond time defeat­ing Quag­mir­ran in Hero­ic Slave Pens. You were grouped with Yourbest­friend, Theguild­mas­ter, Drunk­but­fun, and Someonesannoyinguncle.”

I know I would love this. Is it just me?

More Words!

4 thoughts on “Historicity and WoW”

  1. Per­son­al­ly, I wish they’d give us some form of token hous­ing or an armor stand or some­thing so we can set our sets of gear up on it. So we can look at it and sigh in hap­py remem­brance. Because real­ly, we would­n’t keep our cool stuff all hap­haz­ard­ly scat­tered about the floor. We’d have it on an armor stand and a weapons rack or something! :)

    1. @kikidas — Pssh, all my gear would end up in a pile in the cor­ner. That’d actu­al­ly be a fun­ny form of bank management–you’re try­ing to get ready to raid, and your vir­tu­al toon is root­ing through a clos­et of vir­tu­al clothes:
      “Where Did I Put That Belt!”
      “The green scaly one, with the skull?”
      “No no, the oth­er scaly one, with the claw! The kin­da rawr one?”
      “How’s that again?”
      “You know, rawr?”
      Ok, maybe not.
      But I actu­al­ly like see­ing oth­er peo­ple at the bank, it’s like the only place you actu­al­ly bump elbows with most every­one else play­ing. I think that might be why they’re slow to imple­ment guild/player hous­ing. Every­one in their own lit­tle instance? Meh.

  2. Oh I’d real­ly love that. Get a help to remem­ber. I already like drop gear much bet­ter than badge gear. It means some­thing. If they could help us keep the infor­ma­tion it would even better.

    And… (off top­ic) I like Dick as well!

    1. @Larísa — I agree entire­ly about badge gear. It’s a great addi­tion to the game, but it’s emp­ty on the his­toric­i­ty scale.

      And yet, token drops are per­fect­ly fine because they’re imme­di­ate­ly con­vert­ed right after the raid, and then cheer­i­ly linked to guild chat: “Look at my new hot­ness!” Every­one: /cheer.

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