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Yesterday at Kotaku, Brian Crecente discussed gaming superstitions. In talking with Nick Yee of the Daedalus Project, he found that lots of MMO players hold an unusual number of superstitious beliefs ranging from theories about in-game luck, to elaborate instance seeding rituals or carrying objects they believe act as "lucky charms" to improve a character's chances at obtaining rare loot drops.
The more complex and enigmatic the details of a game mechanic, the more likely it is for conspiracy theories to emerge. In FFXI, where crafting professions seem to be much more complicated and proc-dependent than in WoW (both time of day and day of the week may affect the success of your crafting session), all kinds of rumors sprang up, like this one which claimed that for characters trying to craft something with a particular kind of crystal, "standing and facing, for example, Southeast with a Wind Crystal, they would be less likely to fail the synthesis and lose the crystal and items." Oof. Yet another reason I'm glad I opted out of my boyfriend's FFXI phase.
What kinds of superstitious behavior do you practice in WoW? Do you loot the dogs? Change up who zones into the instance first? Keep your [Talisman of True Treasure Tracking] on at all times?
While I haven't fallen prey to WoW loot seed theories (yet), I have developed a few raid superstitions of my own during the past few years co-leading Zul'Gurub and Karazhan runs. To start with, I think it's bad luck to discussing boss goals at the start of the night of non-farm content. And there's a part of me which really believes that talking too much about the shiny item I'd like will jinx my chance of ever seeing it drop at all (for my mage, both the [Lightning Capacitor] and [Pattern: Belt of Blasting] have fallen victim to this curse). Last of all, I get very nervous when people call out the inevitable death of a boss before we've actually killed him. Seriously, don't do that around me! What if this isn't Caketown? What if the cake is a lie?
November 1, 2007
image by rsgranne