I am a reality TV junkie. I watch Survivor, The Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor Pad, The Amazing Race, Big Brother... you name it, I've probably watched it. There was an event on the Bachelor Pad where a couple received a private date, and they took a helicopter to get there. The were really excited and they were going on and on about this "once in a lifetime opportunity". I was watching this with my mother when I said, "I don't see why a helicopter is so special to these people. I mean, it's just a helicopter." To which she replied, "They've probably never seen one, let alone flown in it. You've been around a helicopter and flown in it before. A helicopter is probably pretty cool to them even though it's not that special for you."
My dad worked as a forest-fire fighter in Northern Ontario for quite a few years while he was getting his Bachelor of Education. We lived in Thunder Bay, Ontario at the time and the best way to get people out to the forest fires was by plane or helicopter. Dad used to take my brother and I to see the helicopters and the planes that dump water (I forget the name) and we used to be able to climb around in them and ask questions about them. I remember putting on the headset they use, and sitting in the pilot's seat. I remember the colour of the helicopter (bright yellow). It was a very cool experience.
This thought about helicopters and how other people see them has been floating around in my head for some time. I found myself comparing different life events, like going to Mexico, or flying across the country. I've never been to Mexico, and it would be awesome for me but probably not as exciting for someone who goes every year. I've flown across the country and it's not the most exciting experience anymore but for someone who has never flown in a 747, it's a big deal.
But this is a Warcraft blog, how does the idea of helicopters relate to that?
The Anonymous Redditor and Normal Firelands
The concept of a WoW-helicopter first presented itself when I created a comic about our alt 10man Shannox kill. My friend Sara posted it to a website called Reddit, where there exists a WoW 'subreddit' for people to chat about Warcraft. Using the format provided you can anonymously upvote and downvote and comment on every single post.
One of the first comments on the comic was, "I don't understand why people think normal Firelands is such a big accomplishment." This person didn't know that the guild we're in also runs heroic Firelands as a 25man group which is where (for me) my sense of accomplishment comes from. However, that doesn't stop me from feeling good that our 10man group killed normal Shannox after completely botching the pull. It doesn't stop me from being proud that we're finally 6/7 with that group.
I wanted to find this person and get impress upon him (or her) that what he (or she) might find stupid and lame was something that 10 people thought was hilarious and fun. This person was taking my helicopter moment and smashing it with his foot.
My dad; the Shaman, the Hunter, Normal Firelands
|Spirit Beasts by DanisMuffins @ Deviant Art|
My dad plays World of Warcraft. He's a very casual player but he enjoys raiding when he can, even though boss kills are few and far between. When the Firelands nerfs were announced, his reaction and my reaction were very different. He was excited. This meant that he'd get to go in and kill a couple bosses in the raid time he could squeeze in. My reaction was much grumpier. This meant we'd go in and kill bosses after other people after they'd been made easier.
He also enjoys playing his hunter and collecting Spirit Beasts. There are some people that just don't get that. He's actually woken me up before to tell me he tamed Loque'nahak in Sholazar Basin. He has a ton of these pets, and enjoys showing them off. Part of it is the thrill of the hunt, the other part is the accomplishment you feel after you've caught the elusive ones.
My dad's WoW-helicopters are normal modes in Firelands and Spirit Beast collection. He gets to raid with his friends and kill bosses after weeks of being unable to. He camps out and waits for these awesome looking pets to appear so he can tame them. How could I belittle anything he accomplishes just because they came after my own? How can I say to him that his experience is less cool than mine?
Everyone is Different
I play WoW to raid and to do that with people I enjoy being around. My dad likes to raid but he plays WoW to hang out with his friends and relax. There are people who play WoW as a job. There are people who play WoW to roleplay. People play WoW to participate in Arena teams or Rated Battlegrounds. There's even some people who love to level alts and play for the quests/leveling experience.
Each of us has our own helicopters, and it's not fair to say that my helicopter is better than yours just because I had my helicopter first. It's not fair for me to judge you because you have a green helicopter but mine is purple. My helicopter can fit 25 people in it on three nights a week while yours might only be able to handle 5 or 10, but that doesn't make those people any less important and it doesn't make my helicopter better than yours.
Everyone's had a time where someone else did something before you, or did something you can't. I find the attitude in WoW to be much different than real life where there are people who openly put down those who find joy in something they do not. You wouldn't walk up to someone and say, "You graduated in 2011? I did that 5 years ago. You're not that special." You don't tell people they don't deserve something just because it took them a little longer than you.
Our helicopters are our own, there are many like them but these are ours. What's your helicopter moment?