30 July 2012

I kissed a flame, what did I expect

I don't talk a lot about the games I play here, though it is no great secret that I play them. My favourites are fantasy role-playing games (RPGs), though I like real-time strategy (RTS) games also.

It's also no great secret that I specifically play World of Warcraft; I've written a couple of times about that, though not in any great detail. I am not much of a theorycrafter, other sources cover game lore better than I could, and I tend to assume that most of my readers here aren't terribly interested in hearing about what I did in WoW this weekend, anyway.

But I did something I'm chuffed about this weekend, and I'd like to brag a little.

I tamed Skarr:


One of the classes in WoW -- my favourite class-- is the hunter. I have two hunters at the level cap, and two others close to it. They're all different races: a night elf, a dwarf, a worgen, and a blood elf. It's the dwarf you see in the screenshot above.

Among the hunter's spells is the ability to tame beasts out in the game world to be companions. There are literally hundreds of possible hunter pets available, with different abilities and different uses. Most pets are fairly easy to tame, provided they are the same level as your character, or lower. Target the beast, tap the "Tame Beast" spell, and wait for the animal to become your new best friend. Of course the beast will attack you while you're channeling the spell, so for some pets hunters use traps to keep them from doing as much damage while the tame is in process.

Rare pets, like Skarr, are not only hard to find, but also a challenge to tame. In Skarr's case, he is immune to traps, and he perches on a floating island in a high-level area that you have to quest furiously even to get to. You have to jump across several of the floating islands to get close enough to tame him, any of which may crumble and fall away beneath you, sending you plummeting to your death. Oh, and he shoots fireballs at you while you tame him.

There are mechanics that make this possible but they involve even more jumping around on floating islands. I am terrible at jumping games. I would not normally go looking for Skarr. On Sunday, though, I was in the area, questing, and there he was.

I died a few times trying to tame him, by falling off an island, once because I somehow lost the Convalescence of Winds you need to tame him, another time because the fireballs got me, and at least once for something stupid like jumping onto an island just as it cracked and broke.

Death is not permanent in WoW, and in the end I got him. He's lovely, isn't he?

Rosanna Warren

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