Tuesday, August 07, 2007

It is no big secret that I like geeky stuff.
What I like even better than geeky stuff is when geeky stuff gets crammed into other geeky stuff to combine into something even more awesome and geeky than one would expect.
This is like the guy in the Jedi Knight robes at the Star Trek convention. That guy couldn't get a date to save his life, but he is none-the-less brimming with his very own cool.
One of these bizarre intersections of geekiness is the source of my current project.
While waiting for the rest of my guild (INNKEEPERS RULE!!!!11!!!!!) to catch up with me in World of Warcraft, I've decided to devote my time to acquiring something rarely seen on my server.
I did a little research and discovered that one of the most recent patches added a pet as a rare drop from a specific type of monster. This pet doesn't actually help me in any way in game. It won't fetch things, fight stuff for me, or do tricks to amaze and delight the drunks in my favorite in-game tavern. The non-combat pet in World of Warcraft is as close as a person can get to owning a real-life cat.
The cool part is that the pet is a firefly which will forever buzz around my character impressing the n00bz with its glowing abdomen.
The less cool part is that the pet itself is rare. Very rare, actually. People that track this sort of thing for a living (and there are those people) figure it at approximately 0.04% of kills. So, other than randomly killing one of these. . .

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. . . And having the "Captured Firefly" just be there, the only choice is to kill them over and over and over until I get it. And over and over. Its the only reasonable way.
I can confirm the estimate of 0.04% looks pretty accurate. Last night I killed 136 Bogflare Needlers and have absolutely nothing to show for it. The "Captured Firefly" seems to be the only interesting thing they ever have, so it is a pretty boring grind.
My quest is now a self-imposed exile. I will not leave the marsh without a pet firefly. I will have other characters mail me ammunition and pet food (for my brave hunting cat companion), and I will travel back and forth across the delicate habitat of the Bogflare Needler until they give me a firefly or vanish forever from the ecosystem.
Why would a person do this?
And more importantly what does this have to do with the collision of the terminally geeky World of Warcraft and some other geeky franchise?
The text on the "Captured Firefly" cage reads, "Still flying . . . "

Bogflare Needlers Killed: 136
"Captured Firefly" found: Nope

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