Traveling the Multiverse

Aka Ironyca Stood in the Fire – gaming blog

I’m Not Here to Scream “IT’S JUST A GAME” at You

Why do I sometimes feel guilty when playing WoW?

It’s not because I play too much, or have other duties that I neglect, it’s far more understated than that.

It’s because of some of the things I do inside the game … I know this may sound like I’m coming out as a severely brutal griefer or corpse camper right now, but don’t worry, I’m not here to scream “IT’S JUST A GAME” at you. In fact, I’m trying to convince myself of exactly that.


Oondasta, the world boss

I, and circa a hundred other players, were fighting Oondasta yesterday. I was not in a raid and took care of my own healing the best I could, it’s still a wipe fest really, healing or not. But he finally went down and I got my loot – “A Shiny Pile of Refuse”. Unexpectedly, it contained a white kitten carrier and since I already had a white kitten, I thought I’d just sell it on the auction house.

UNTIL Noelani pointed out the tragedy of finding a small kitten in a huge pile of dinosaur poo AND then choosing to just sell it. If that is not cruel, then I don’t know what is!

… You know, I actually do.

It’s even more cruel to force this little pooey “white” kitten into pet battles, where I can choose to force it to fight for me. It may even die because of my evil blood sport hobby of pet collecting and battling.

I think Noelani knew this too because he offered to take the kitten and take good care of it, even though he already has one. After I’m done writing this post, I’ll log in and the fate of the kitten will be sealed. I hope no one bought the pooey kitten (maybe for their own sake too).

In relevance, consider the case of the guy below, Huggalon the Heart Watcher.


I don’t remember there being a dead pandaren female to the left of Huggalon the Heart Watcher when I took this screenshot … It’s so haunting, I don’t think I will be able to sleep tonight.

We ran into him when leveling a couple of alts and we couldn’t decide whether to kill him or not. He isn’t a clear cut case as so many other bosses and elites otherwise are. What to do?

Kill him because:

  • He’s there to be killed, right? (or is he there to force us to have horrible ethical dilemmas ABOUT killing him?)
  • He’s got a mean look on his face, he’s probably evil
  • Look at all the skeletal remains under his huge boots
  • He looks like he might appreciate being put out of his misery
  • He drops a B.B.F. Necklace
It will give a targeted player a buff called "B.F.F"

It will give a targeted player a buff called “Best Friends Forever”, which lasts for a day (instead of, well, forever)

Don’t kill him because:

  • He’s sitting there looking like a lost abandoned child (which is pretty accurate since he is the missing fifth watcher from the Vault of Archavon and Captain Planet reference)
  • His name is Huggalon the Heart Watcher
  • He has a huge bow in his hair
  • He is not hostile, but neutral
  • There is no real gain from killing him, only the necklace, which you then STEAL from him, and that is creepy. Who steals B.F.F. necklaces?

The comments on Wowhead suggest I’m not the only one with this dilemma. People say that all Huggalon ever wanted was a nice big hug and some feel really bad after they killed him. Why are we feeling bad? It’s just a game, there’s no denying that, the only consequence is that he respawns 20 minutes later for someone else to mull over this dilemma.

So, do you think I killed him?

And, would you be able to kill him yourself, and not feel just a little bit guilty about it?


20 comments on “I’m Not Here to Scream “IT’S JUST A GAME” at You

  1. wowstorylines
    March 10, 2013

    ROTFL Yes, it’s just a game, however, the heart feels the tugging when you find stuff like you have. There are times that I force myself to walk by and try not to look back.

    • Ironyca
      March 11, 2013

      It’s so silly though. I even try not to kill too many critters when I’m out and about.

  2. Matty
    March 11, 2013

    Damn and double-damn: I saw him a few days ago too. Should have killed him. Took the same screenshot and everything.
    Poor little poo kitten.

  3. Matty
    March 11, 2013

    And for the record, I have come across Ferdinand many times and have not killed him to date.

    • Ironyca
      March 11, 2013

      Oh my god, I have not met Ferdinand myself, but I think my heart just broke. What is up with Blizzard designing such guilt inducing content? This guy actually drops useful stuff, he surely got the rough end of that deal :(

    • Prinnie Powah
      March 11, 2013

      I haz no guilt in this case. I killed Ferdinand.

      But I’m usually playing goblins (yes, I stole the gold from the dead, and no I’m not Chastened – they don’t need it anymore!) or Forsaken (if it breathes, then it needs to die), so it seems appropriate.

      I do recall leaving Huggalon alone, but that was more because I was operating under a time limit than anything else.

      • Ironyca
        March 12, 2013

        Now that you mention your goblin and undead playing styles, I have actually seriously thought about embarking on leveling a character and roleplaying this persona as dark play. I’d probably be traumatized though, but that is also part of the point.

        • Prinnie Powah
          March 12, 2013

          You might be traumatized, but you might also get used to it. Taking the gold from the shrine didn’t touch on my guilt complex at all, to the point where I didn’t notice that you got a 10 minute “Chastened” debuff specifically for stealing gold from the dead. No, I didn’t even think twice about it until somebody mentioned it to me!

  4. reiytwow
    March 11, 2013


    • Ironyca
      March 11, 2013

      You make it look so easy :D

      • reiytwow
        March 11, 2013

        Get the necklace, wait for the re-spawn, then you will be next to each other with two halves of a BFF necklace….surely that’s more cute?!

        • Ironyca
          March 11, 2013

          Oh my, I think you actually solved the problem! Next time I see him, I know what to do.

          • reiytwow
            March 11, 2013

            Result! Happy hunting!

  5. Rades (@_Rades)
    March 11, 2013

    Oh my god that Pandaren in the Huggalon picture!

    I think this is a very real, legit concern with some of the less monstrous/evil NPCs we encounter in-game! When I wrote Letters (Northrend & Cataclysm ones) I tried to sometimes pick such NPCs whose stories would never really be explored, and humanize them / give them some exposure. I know there’s a few that people have told me they’ll never look at the same again (Gerk, Grimclaw come to mind) which to me says success in my original goal.

    • Ironyca
      March 12, 2013

      These NPC’s are begging for a more in depth story. Just finding Huggalon sitting there made me wonder.
      But as you say, with it comes the risk that knowing the story of an NPC humanizes them so much, that f. ex. Ferdinand or Huggalon would be even harder to kill (for me at least).

  6. zwingli Whisperwind
    March 12, 2013

    The first time I felt guilty about anything was the torture quest in Cata. I’ve not done that quest again since. I’ve also decided to not do other quests, kill silver elites, etc. I especially don’t like killing silver elites that can be tamed. I’m very glad for the new way they are doing special pets in MoP.

    And, No. I didn’t kill the Hug-a-Lot the Heart Watcher


  7. Navimie
    March 16, 2013

    Ironyca that dead panda in the Huggalon picture is making me LAUGH, when I should be crying!

    I have often bemoaned the fact of killing things. I am just not a killer! I don’t like killing rares because of loot, I like taking pics of them and admiring them. I don’t like killing things for quests – which is why Lunk ( is my hero and I aspire to be like that! :)

    I don’t even beat up people to save myself 1g for getting the debt payments for those Tiller Mafia guys…

    • Ironyca
      March 20, 2013

      Oh I remember Lunk! I recall Riding on the back of spiders and everything.
      No one can convince me that pacifists are not good company :D

  8. Cymre
    April 8, 2013

    That’s the second time I’m seen that dead pandaren in the shot with Huggalon now. I admit I killed him when we were levelling through the area. I even used the item on an Alliance player that decided to kill him with us.

  9. Pingback: Fear and Loathing in The Sims 4 – 24 hours of Playing | Ironyca Stood in the Fire

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This entry was posted on March 10, 2013 by in Opinion and Discussion and tagged , , , , , .


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