This is a SYTYCB entry from Sydera, one of the top 7 finalists.
Dear Badge of Justice,
I hate you. You ruined my virtual life. You made me dread logging in to my favorite video game, and you even made me resent my in-game friends. You made me wish 5-mans had never been invented. Because of you, I heard Aran’s voice over and over again in my dreams, saying “Torment me no more!” Now I understand exactly what he’s talking about.
At first, you didn’t seem like such a menace. There weren’t many of you. Before Patch 2.4, I didn’t find you on every piece of road kill I came across. When I did manage to collect a few of you, there was usually something I could buy. But one fateful day, we heard that a foxy new Draenei, Smith Hauthaa, was coming to town with a bag full of goodies. On that day, the World of Warcraft changed forever.
I used to think I was in a normal guild. We ran SSC and TK three nights a week, and we looked pretty damn good in our Tier 5 gear. However, when the official news about patch 2.4 arrived, everyone’s priorities suddenly shifted. On off nights, everyone used to level alts, PVP, do pre-mades, or even make the occasional run on Halaa. We used to have fun.
Patch 2.4 produced gear spreadsheets and a magical number called “total badges needed,” which for me was 485. Suddenly, O Badge of Justice, we needed you! Everyone began to bemoan how far behind they were in collecting you. The guild turned into a virtual Beverly Hills where everyone watched everyone else to see who was ahead and who was behind. Our three-day raid week turned into seven, and suddenly the officers had to schedule heroics every day, all for love of the mighty Badge of Justice. After raids ended, at 1:00 a.m. EST, we started running the daily heroic, forgoing blissful slumber to tangle with Underbats and Tempest-Forge Patrollers in the darkest watches of the night.
Finally, that witch Hauthaa agreed to take you, precious Badge of Justice, in exchange for purple pixels the likes of which had scarcely been seen outside the walls of the Black Temple. Set bonuses were broken and the beauty of Blizzard’s tier designs were scarred by mismatched thread, metal, and baubles. Badge of Justice, you made me ugly, worthy of the fashion disaster page in US Weekly. Just take a look at the skirt you made me wear – it’s made of skunk hide, latex, and paper clips. At least I can mask its hideousness with my tree form.
But your foul deeds did not stop there. After our guild’s greed was finally satiated by hundreds of those twisted blue tiles, we turned to hills of Mount Hyjal and the dark corridors of the Black Temple for our next challenge. We killed bosses, and we wanted new rewards – but guess what? Because of you, Badge of Justice, we disenchanted the items won from guild first kills. The great pieces of T6 loot, once the stuff of legend, were left to rot. My heart wept for the Kilt of Immortal Nature, for the Guise of the Tidal Lurker. Their beauty went to waste while you triumphed.
Meanwhile, I continue to find you on nearly every raid boss in the game, mocking me. Endless copies of you fill my bags without purpose. I can no longer sell the gems you would procure. I need no Moonkin gear, and you wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t let me transfer you to my warlock alt, who might appreciate your charity.
And now, what do I hear? In Wrath of the Lich King there will be not just one descendant in your cruel lineage, but three, one for each new tier of raiding. Can it be true that we will have to collect your kin at each level of our future play? We raiders do not need you. We could get the regular gear out of 25-man instances. Yet, some will always look to you to gain an advantage, and as long as I feel any loyalty for my guildmates, I will be in your thrall, for what group can succeed without a healer? I will run Naxxramas until my branches fall off, even as my guild kills Arthas.
Badge of Justice, I curse you and all your relatives. You wasted all my free time and took the “casual” out of my casual raiding guild. Now, just when I have almost recovered from your foul influence, I hear that you will again blight the landscape of the much-anticipated Northrend. I, for one, will not be glad to see you.
Love and kisses (not),