If you’re like me, you have an addon that lets you know when a rare NPC appears in your vicinity, such as NPCScan.  I’m not into killing every rare that appears on my scope, but I’m always on the lookout for special ones such as Time Lost Proto-Drake or Poseidus, both which drop unique mounts.

Achievements add another layer to the activity. There are at least three achievements in Pandaria that require killing all of one or another type of rare NPC … in the case of this one, ALL of them.

Perhaps I’m mistaken, though, but Pandaria is also where we started to see Neutral Rares … in most of these cases they are friendly or neutral humanoids – Pandarens, Jinyu, and Hozen.

Now, it’s one thing to kill a hostile … it’ll attack you given the opportunity. Or if it’s a neutral of a normally hostile race or faction, for example a Tauren as seen by Alliance.

But Pandaren and Jinyu are usually friendly, don’t attack on sight, and are generally just minding their own business when BANG! Some huntard comes along and puts a bullet in its head!

(I’m ignoring any implied commentary on mogging here.)

Now, I ask you: is this the action of a good person?  I mean, what if they were random Night Elves, Dwarves, and Worgen scattered over Kaz Modan? Has the act of PK’ing *ever* been considered anything other than evil?

It’s so obvious when you see it: achievements are evil, in that they make us do evil things to get them.

Might as well add one for killing your own faction leaders in a raid, while you’re at it.

I’d be a lot less annoyed at this if there were obvious penalties – such as a loss of rep with the relevant factions.  But, just like the undead invasion at the start of WotLK, Blizz has copped out and refused to attach any real consequences to actions that would otherwise be considered immoral or evil.  I guess if it’s "cool" it’s okay, right?

To date, I’ve avoided killing any of the relevant rares that are neutral. It’s simply too far out of character; it breaks immersion.  None of my toons are the sort of people that would go out and kill a non-hostile for no good reason, and something as meta as an "achievement" is no good reason.

I have a strong suspicion that there will be more of this to come in WoD. I’m pretty sure I won’t like that, either.  But I’d love to be wrong.

3 Responses to “The Great Rare Experiment”
  1. Cygnia says:

    Glad to see I’m not the only one annoyed by this. I also find it disconcerting that, apart from one exception, nearly all the Jinyu rares are neutral but all the Hozen rares are hostile.

    And I feel so bad for Ferdinand and Yorik. Ferdinand just wants to smell the flowers!

    • Grimmtooth says:

      Funny that you mentioned Ferdinand. I think he was the first one that I looked at, saw the yellow nameplate, and went “Nope. Not gonna do it.”

      I hadn’t caught that about the Hozen rares. That IS kinda weird.

  2. R says:

    I view those neutral rares as one of those “gameplay trumps lore” decisions that Blizzard tends to make… especially for leveling toons those mobs can be somewhere between rough and impossible to solo (one requires more frequent interrupts of heals than some classes have available) so making them hostile will cause a lot of unwelcome aggro deaths. Making them neutral makes the pull an active decision rather than a passive one. Doesn’t mean that the mobs aren’t sitting there just WISHING that you’d take their neutrality leash off so they could come get you… or that they aren’t playing “king of the mountain” and welcome challengers to their title without proactively going after anyone in the vicinity. Even within RP confines there are plenty of ways you can justify killing them… at the very least, it’s not like they aren’t going to rez after a while anyway, death isn’t often permanent in WoW, it’s merely a setback.

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