Dealing With The Loss (Return) Of The Amani War Bear

28 Mar

In 1969, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross released a new book, entitled “On Death And Dying.”  This book described a five step process which people could use to deal with grief, tragedy or other significant changes in one’s life.  The process is thought to be deeply personal and the book warns that not everyone may experience all five stages.  In fact, some people may end up going back and forth between certain steps, until they are able to completely work through the issues associated with each stage and move on.  It’s very important that this process not be rushed or extended, due to time frames imposed by the individual or by others around them.

With that said, let’s apply the Kubler-Ross Model (also known as the Five Stages of Grief) towards my feelings about the re-release of the Amani War Bear.

The First Step:  Denial

It all began with this thread on the official boards.  Needless to say, the community was pretty divided about whether or not bringing back the Amani War Bear was such a great idea.  13 pages of discussion later, one of the blue posters chimed in with this tidbit:

One never knows what might happen with Zul’Aman and the treasures of old found therein…

People immediately tried to rationalize away this cryptic response from one of Blizzard’s own.

“If they wanted to bring the mount back, they would have done it already.”

“They better bring back the drakes from Wrath, too.”

It’s not going to be the same mount.  It’ll be different.

Eventually, it was confirmed that the Amani War Bear was going to be re-introduced to the game, along with re-vamped versions of Zul’aman and Zul’gurub.  This mount would be called the Amani Battle Bear and have a different color scheme than the Amani War Bear that we all know and love.  The new skin and name led people to believe that this was going to be a different mount.  Below is a side by side comparison of the old and new Amani bear mounts.

On the left, we have the original version.  On the right is the new bear mount that we can expect with the next patch.  You can see that with the exception of the red hues from the original model being made a light shade of purple that the models still appear to be identical.

You can see the head cover still partially covering the bear’s face.  You can see the length of the tusks or horns on the sides are still the same.  The flaming skulls are still present near the hind legs and the saddle still appears to have the same number and style of bones on the front and back of it.  Those of us who have come to realize these things have probably already moved on to the next stage of grief and are quite motivated to do so.

The Second Step:  Anger

There appears to be plenty of anger on both sides of the fence.  On the one hand, you have those who worked very hard to clear Zul’aman to obtain an Amani bear, which many would agree was no easy feat.  These players feel that bringing back the mount would diminish their achievement and such a thing would no longer mean anything if it were to be made so easily available.

On the other hand, you have the people who were unable to get a bear mount either because of how difficult such a thing was to do back then, because they came to the game after they were no longer available or because they simply didn’t have the opportunity to do it.  These players feel that the mounts are being used to lord an accomplishment over those who do not have them and the time has to come to even out the playing field by bringing the Amani bear back into the game.

I have an Amani bear mount on my druid and I have yet to find anything else in this game  (next to Val’anyr) that I have ever been more proud of.  I farmed Zul’aman every three days like clockwork to make sure the rest of my fellow raiders got their bears and for me to get mine.  I 2 healed that place at a time when other progression guilds wouldn’t even go near it, because it was that difficult.

It’s not about boasting or having something I can hold over people’s heads.  It’s about pride.  I am proud to be the owner of an Amani bear mount.  I am proud that I was able to see other people that I raided with ride around on their mounts and know that we did that together.  That I was a part of that.  I was proud to be someone that could be sitting in Dalaran and have someone who was new to the game ask me where I got my mount from and congratulate me on getting it.

What is there to be proud of when your mount or your achievement becomes the next Bronze Drake?  When your title becomes something that 25 people can stumble into Icecrown Citadel for and with no strategy in sight manage to get for themselves within a dozen attempts or less.  When your gear becomes something that anyone can buy with less than a day’s worth of Heroic farming. What’s left?

The Third Step:  Acceptance

There are things in this game that I want and that I have accepted will be things that I will probably never have, such as Mimiron’s Head or that Lady Sinestra achievement.  I accept that it’s not Blizzard’s obligation or job to give me such things.  It’s mine.  If I want these things, it’s up to me to find an opportunity to have them.  I don’t believe that because I pay $15 a month to play this game that I am entitled to what someone else who pays $15 a month has, just because we play the same game and pay the same amount of money to be here.  There are some things that I am simply not meant to have, hopefully not for lack of trying.  Sometimes things just turn out that way and I accept that.

I accept that the Amani War Bear is back, whether we like it or not.  I accept that some people will not understand why myself and others will be so passionately opposed to this, just like I accept that I may never understand the need to distribute achievements or items in such a way as to appear giving or fair to an audience that appears to hold such things to such a high standard of expectation or even obligation.

I will be happy for those who manage to get their hands on the new Amani Battle Bear and I can’t say that I would turn down the opportunity to get one on my priest, since I have the Amani War Bear on my druid, which I no longer play anymore.  I hope that those who do win the new mount will feel the same sense of accomplishment and pride that those of us felt when we got our mounts for the first time.  I hope that it’s not treated as something to enjoy one moment and then discard when something better comes along.

And if people don’t feel that way, I will just have to learn to accept that, too.

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22 Responses to “Dealing With The Loss (Return) Of The Amani War Bear”

  1. Jen March 28, 2011 at 6:38 am #

    I can understand (most of) the sentiment. I’m not crazy about the way guilds go and kill Lich King heroic 6 months after it was hard and I’d have a problem if people could still get Hand of Ad’Al.

    I don’t, however, see the problem with the bear. For me it’s simple: red bear = old school; pink bear = new. It will be very obvious who got it “the hard way” and who didn’t (I don’t know what the requirements for it are now, but I assume it’s similar to CoS?). A new model would’ve been nice, but seeing as the Glory of the Cataclysm Raider is just a reskinned model too…

    • Oestrus March 28, 2011 at 7:28 am #

      I believe they’re going with something along the lines of the previous style, which could be considered close to how CoS was: kill the first 4 bosses in a certain amount of time.

  2. Zinn March 28, 2011 at 6:58 am #

    I’m not sure it’s not about boasting, and boasting doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I have a couple of things on my char of which I am proud too, like the Senior Sergeant rank. I’m not proud of it because everyone can see what an awesome pvper I once were (rather the opposite since that rank wasn’t difficult to get back then), but because it shows that “I was there”. It’s kind of like when people go “that band is mainsstream now, but I liked them when they were undergound”. You got the mount when it was still “underground” and would hate to see it go “mainstream”.
    If pride really was the only reason, it would suffice for -you- and your friends to know that you were there. If it bothers you that -others- won’t be able to tell the difference, you have to admit that is is about bragging rights. Even if you are proud that your fellow guildies managed to get one, if the important thing is that -other people know- rather than what you know, it isn’t just about pride anylonger. In the end, boasting and pride go hand in hand. Wanting to show others your pride is what defines boasting imo, and yet again, there is nothing wrong with that. Dictionary.com defines boasting as “to speak with pride” or “to be proud in the possession of”. Hiwever, it could explain why some people think it’s ok to re-release the mount. You’ve had your chance at boasting, now everyone else should get theirs. Not saying I agree with that point of view though, and it really is an interesting subject.

    • Oestrus March 28, 2011 at 7:33 am #

      You bring up a really good point about boasting and how it gets used or how people interpret it being used.

      I feel like boasting is often seen as being a negative thing and maybe I used the wrong choice of word there. For example, there were times in the past where I had left a guild and joined a new one, then felt hesitant to talk about the great things I was doing or seeing because I was afraid it would come off as boasting or bragging or like I was trying to rub my newfound fun in the faces of my friends. That wasn’t it at all, but I felt that way and I couldn’t seem to shake that feeling.

      I can understand everyone wanting something to be boastful over, but I’m not sure that I find the requirements needed to obtain the Amani Battle Bear being anything to really boast about.

  3. gina March 28, 2011 at 8:11 am #

    Personally, I like the pink one better lol Oo

    But I never had the chance to get the original one. But it’s sort of like my Ashes of Al’ar, the new guild rep/guild glory of the cata raider birdie is exactly the same only a recolor of it. The original of both will always be special but the bear even more since it’s simply NOT attainable anymore.

    • Oestrus March 28, 2011 at 8:21 am #

      You play a Blood Elf, don’t you?

      😛

  4. Jasyla March 28, 2011 at 8:40 am #

    I’m not thrilled about them bringing back the War Bear, but I’m glad they at least made it look a little different.

  5. Jasyla March 28, 2011 at 8:46 am #

    …didn’t mean to hit submit yet.

    I’ve never understood the feeling that everyone must have access to everything in game. People who put in more time and effort get more rewards – or at least that’s how I think it should be. I’d never dream of complaining if they came up with an awesome PVP reward that I could never get. I suck at PVP and I don’t enjoy it, therefore I don’t get Gladiator titles, PVP gear or mounts. I can deal with that.

    Despite all this though, I’m still proud of my war bear – and happy I won’t have to ride a pink one 😛

    • Oestrus March 28, 2011 at 8:53 am #

      Ha! I think I may have done something similar to you once, where I biffed up a comment and had to submit another one to fix it.

      Riding a pink anything tends to weird me out and makes me think unclean thoughts after a while.

  6. Hamlet March 28, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    Just to give a better reply than in 140 characters:

    If they’d actually brought back the Amani War Bear, I would be somewhat annoyed, much as you are. (Possibly not _as_ annoyed, but that’s largely an artifact of me not feeling heavily invested into WoW at the moment).

    But they didn’t. And so I’m somewhat at a loss as to what the big deal is. First of all, if you have two or mounts that are rare (or that you’re in some way proud of having), you can’t display them all to begin with. The mount graphic is not some integral part of your character. The “records” of what your character has done are visible in more complete forms, such as your achievement list. Nobody can take the Amami War Bear feat of strength away from you. I suspect that many more people look at your Armory to see what you’ve accomplished in-game, than randomly come across you in town and are impressed by a mount.

    Secondly, as I stress again–it’s not the same mount. Your whole post is premised on the idea that it’s the “same” in some way . . . but it isn’t. Lots of mounts look similar to each other in this game, even up to the point of being recolors. But anyone can tell the difference by looking. The sort of people who know the significance of these mounts anyway will know the difference.

    I guess I can’t argue with you if you say you have a personal emotional annoyance at something. But honestly, there’s no reason for it–this just mimics the elitist complaining that’s now commonplace whenever something new is added; we’ve all seen it before. Nothing is being taken away from you. Let others have their nice things and don’t worry about it.

    • Oestrus March 28, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

      I love you dearly, but I think you’re waxing oblivious on this one.

      Look at that picture of the two mounts side by side. Tell me that’s not the same mount. Your argument would be like saying that when I have black hair I am a different person than when I have red hair. All that changed was the color. I was still Oestrus. I was not two different people.

      If you look at these mounts compared to the Armored Brown Bear or the Black Bear that you get awarded through PVP (for slaying the faction leaders) those mounts are different than the Amani bears. There are numerous physical differences in the models. You cannot mistake that those are two different styles of mount. The two mentioned above? Not so much.

      In terms of the statement in your last paragraph about “Nothing is being taken away from you,” well maybe it should be. I like that certain titles and mounts existed for a limited time and I liked that idea that people didn’t have this wild expectation to have what everyone else around them has simply because they play the same game. I would probably have a bit more respect for certain accomplishments and items if that were the case.

      • Hamlet March 28, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

        Where you say, “they’re bringing back the War Bear,” I say, “they put in a new mount that looks kind of like the War Bear.”

        I just don’t buy into this “they’re the same” thing. There’s a lot more to a mount (or any cosmetic WoW reward) than what it looks like. In fact, appearance is not even the most important property (remember that other cosmetic rewards, such as titles, are quite coveted and don’t even have a physical appearance). Important properties of a mount are:
        –How it’s acquired.
        –Unique name and entry in your Mounts tab.
        –Associated Achievement or Feat.
        –+1 to your mount total.
        I put the fact that I can show it off in Orgrimmar below all of these things. In the case of the War Bear, I can’t even remember the last time I mounted mine.

        If you’re truly the opposite–the main reason you like a mount is that you can sit on it have people see it–then like I said, I can’t argue. But I’m skeptical since, not only can you only use one mount at a time (and people have 100 or more these days), but also, how much time do you spend sitting on a mount in town anyway? I’d guess that a lot of the pleasure you get out of obtaining or having a mount or other cosmetic rewards comes from other factors like the ones I listed above, and those haven’t changed with the addition of new content.

  7. Cold's Gold Factory March 28, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    I too am very glad that they are different skins. People who earned it the hard way need to be distinguishable from the new mounts.

  8. slice213 March 28, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    Hmmmm. I can totally see both sides of the fence, but I tend to agree with those who are angry for things being re-released. Even though the bear is just a recolor, it is still the same mount in my opinion.

    There is something to be said for those who put in the hard work for such items or titles. Thing should be earned not easily given away.

    Again this maybe a reflection of society now a days, people seem to expect things without putting in the time and effort. Is this a generation thing? Perhaps. What’s wrong with exerting a little elbow grease?

    • Oestrus March 28, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

      Hi Slice,

      I definitely think it’s a sign of our culture and I’m really glad that you brought that up. I keep thinking about how when I was a child and I was given something, that I would toss that toy across the room and step on it and have such a disregard for what happened to it. When I had to pay for the toy with my babysitting money or my chore money I was so good to that toy and I made sure nothing happened to it. You appreciate things more when you have to earn them or you get them for yourself, not when you expect them to be given to you or you have something just to have it.

  9. Kuri March 28, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    This is the archetypical “get off my lawn!” attitude that comes from doing things back when it was hard / inconvenient / novel and not wanting the experience to be tarnished.

    It’s good you’ve already come to Acceptance. Most people get stuck at Anger and never get out. You can imagine what treats they are to deal with. They suddenly turn into “That Guy”, acting like Blizzard peed on their pet’s grave. Getting out of that stage is key.

    You got it when it was hard, and when it counted for something much more. You have stories. And there’ll be tons of Wrath-babies / Cata-starters who will ask why your bear is different than the purple one they have, and you can make them super jelly. It’s not like anyone who gets the pink circus bear will have battle stories anywhere close to yours.

    • Oestrus March 28, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

      See, you get me. You really get me! Now move over so I can seduce your girlfriend, kthx.

  10. Hestiah March 29, 2011 at 12:16 am #

    See I don’t even *have* the bear and I didn’t really want it to come back. I mean, give me something else. Or truly, like you said, a different bear (besides the coloring). But, alas, I am not in control. If I were I’d make those Blizzard folk get off their lazy bums and make a damn new bear. A real new bear. Not just a frilly pink one (though you bet your ass I’m gonna try to get that damn pink bear). But I digress.

    I am one of those who got titles awhile after content, but that’s not for lack of trying. I tend to be that poor sap that got stuck with *gasp* responsibilities (like, school, wtf is that nonsense!?) during the prime WoW times, leaving me far behind the usual curve (even for most casuals).

    Well, I’m glad you stepped away from the angry. You still have your lovely red Amani bear. For which I will always be jealous.

    • Oestrus March 29, 2011 at 7:06 am #

      See, you brought up another angle that’s great to expand on. The people who are newer to the game who may not be content to settle for just a re-hashed skin or model of something that was already done before. I didn’t even think of it from that perspective. Thank you for bringing that up, Hes!

      We’ll have to get a screenshot of the Apotheifers together on their pink bears, even if we have to Photoshop it (because I’m not physically on the realm with you anymore).

      I have the lovely red bear on a toon that I don’t play anymore. Way to rub salt in the wound, hussy!

  11. Johnny April 22, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    Please tell me that “New” battle bear is photoshoped or something. I was happy that they just made the armor more greenish but didn’t ruin the original style that made it amazing. YOU’RE GIVING THOSE UNLUCKY ONES THAT DIDN’T GET SUCH AN AMAZING BEAR THAT?!?! What’s so important about mounts anyway to be a “status” symbol? I get mounts I like. Nowadays I grab all the mounts I want as fast as I can IN FEAR that they may be taken away someday like the ICC drakes. I did not get the Amani War Bear, and I accept that. Now they bring the mount back with a slight color difference. THAT’S FINE. Why completely take the beauty away of the original and put something that hardly matches? Seriously, a brown bear with PURPLE/PINK armor? Their bear god is a black bear. Why make the mount brown? You have had years to feel “Special” with this mount. Time we got something too. The slight green color to the armor was fine. Why ruin it so the original rider’s egos aren’t butthurt?

    • Oestrus April 22, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

      No sir, that was not altered in any way. That is the new version of the Amani bear that you can expect to receive, if you try for that in the revamped ZA instance.

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