Inconvenience, Entitlement and The Abominable Greench

"You're a mean one, Mister Grinch..."
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
Wie treu sind deine Blätter!
Du grünst nicht nur zur Sommerzeit,
Nein, auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
Wie treu sind deine Blätter!
As in the real world, Azeroth is crazy busy with holidays this time of year. The Feast of Winter Veil is upon us and brings with it many new and interesting things to do. New dailies, lore and as with most of the holidays we have a big bad boss to fight for a chance at some holiday themed loot.

This Winter Veil is threatened by The Abominable Greench, who has stolen presents and other holiday goodies, hoarding them in his cave in the Alterac Mountains. There, adventurers must gather to defeat this implacable monster with a taste for Grandma's fruitcake. At stake, the very fate of Winter Veil itself.

Okay, that might be exaggerating things somewhat. The world will likely not end if Little Johnny doesn't get his toy train. But still, ooooo, The Big Bad Greench. Scary.


"Now look at them yo-yo's that's the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV

That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Money for nothin' and your chicks for free" - Money for Nothing, Dire Straits

What is different with this years holiday boss is that the Greench is not available through the Dungeon Finder as the other holidays bosses have been. During Brewfest all you needed to do in order to defeat the wicked Coren Direbrew is to press the I button and you would be instantly transported to his location with a party of fellows to help you dispatch the fiend and collect your goodies. With The Greench, however, a long flight (for Alliance folk, anyway) to the Alterac Mountains is in order, and then the long wait in hopes you can find other people there to help you kill him.

Compared to past holiday events, this is inconvenient. Blizzard obviously has the technology to automate the Greench destruction process, but chose not to. Probably due to the fact that the Greench does not or could not be made to exist in an existing dungeon and the developers likely didn't want to spend the manpower and resources to create an instanced version of Alterac specifically for the Greench. There are more important things for the developers to work on after all, like fixing the silly Mature Language Filter bug that doesn't allow me to express myself with my accustomed colour and wit in Guild Chat.

These thoughts occurred to me as I was hovering over the Greench's cave, admiring his 3.4 Million health and the beautifully wrapped presents dangling from his horns. I was annoyed. Annoyed that I had to spend ten or fifteen minutes just getting there, and then finding no one to group with to get the boss kill and save Winter Veil. I was annoyed at the simple inconvenience of not having this boss kill handed to me as previous holiday bosses had been.

Needless to say, that is a terrible attitude to have. It's a sense of entitlement; that everything should be easy and convenient and require virtually no real effort. Money for nothing indeed - Mark Knopfler, you are truly the great prophet of our time.

As I was sitting and waiting for enough people to show up so that a group could be formed I started thinking about how easy everything has been made in WoW. The Dungeon Finder, the Raid Finder, the ease of levelling and so on. I don't want to complain about these things, because honestly I think they are very important changes and overall very beneficial to the game. The Dungeon Finder revolutionized the accessibility of dungeons and heroics, and the new Raid Finder is doing the same thing with Raiding. These are all great things. Easy is not necessarily bad.

However, what all these systems have done is create an expectation that things will always be that simple. And in those few moments as I was waiting, I started thinking about what my expectations were and frankly, just how spoiled I have become because of all of the great, time-saving convenience gifts that Blizzard has given us over the past couple of years. And the fact that this time I had to do things the old fashioned way suddenly didn't seem like such a big deal.

Still, it bothered me. Am I, and by extension the WoW playerbase as a whole, so spoiled that we can't handle a little inconvenience? Are we so used to getting everything we want, right when we want it that we can't deal with even the littlest setback? Are we forever in the days when a single wipe in LFD or LFR means that the group breaks up and everyone goes back to their little personal corner of Stormwind or Orgrimmar complaining at just how bad and impatient everyone else is. Is that really where we are?


All your presents are belong to us. Rawr.
Note the self-satisfied smirk.
So there I am: Up in the air on my flying mount thinking all these profound thoughts on the nature of entitlement and humanity, all the while the Greench is still down there needing to be killed. That's when something magical happened that would never have been possible if the encounter was set up through the Dungeon Finder.

Waiting with me were two other Alliance players and on the other side of the snow covered mountain plateau were hovering two Hordies. On a PVP server such as mine, situations like this can get messy, and involve a lot of running back from the graveyard as the factions fight amongst themselves and no one manages to get anything done. It was a standoff, with no one daring to pull the boss in fear that the other faction would attack from behind.

Suddenly, someone unexpectedly pulled the Greench and without a single word or indication, everyone there attacked the boss and left each other alone. We fought the Greench together; Horde and Alliance, fighting alongside one another getting something done in the spirit of the season.

Soon the Greench died to our collective, cross-faction efforts, and there was a great deal of /bowing, /waving and an overall general feeling of seasonal cheer and camaraderie, not unlike the temporary seasonal armistices between Allied and German soldiers during the bitter trench warfare of World War I. And like those weary soldiers in the battered fields of France a century ago, no one wanted a war - the Alliance and the Horde players that were there just simply wanted to be able to celebrate the season (in this case the seasonal achievement) in peace. Which is what this season is all about, isn't it?


Well, not always, of course. Stories like that are the exception. More likely, if a soldier was to stroll out into No Man's Land - Christmas or no - he'd be shot before the second verse of Silent Night. But no one remembers the second verse anyway, so it's probably for the best.

When I went to kill the Greench on my Shaman, Thallie, it was a bit of a different story. As I got there, I noticed that there were a large number of skeletons in front of him, and I swear that the bugger had a self-satisfied smirk on his face. I figured that perhaps some unwise souls had tried to solo him, with fairly predictable results.

Go Go Mountain Top Vengeance Squad!
Well, not quite.

As it turns out, a Horde hunter was hiding in the cave, sniping people as they attempted to fight the boss. He managed to kill me a few times as before I got fed up and had enough. Obviously, the spirit of the season did something nasty to this guy's eggnog and he wasn't exactly in a giving or charitable mood.

So I did what any self-respecting, non-PVPing healer would do: I called in the reinforcements.

Within three minutes, I had 3 hardcore PVP specced guildies zoned in and hunting for this guy. If there is one thing my guild is extraordinarily good at, it's raining fiery vengeance on any player foolish enough to ambush one of our guild in the world. Within a few moments we had showed him the other, much more violent side of seasonal cheer.

It just goes to show that magical season of fellowship or no, some people are just inherently douchebags.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Winter's Veil from Dwarven Battle Medic! And honour any unofficial armistices lest we not forget the guild banner that gets planted in your buttocks. Happy Holidays!


  1. That was great. You made me laugh today. Thank you!


  2. Loved the part about the alliance and horde working together to down him.

    When I see people achievement hunting I never bother them. Even if they are in my capitol for achievement sake (unless it is a FTA or FTH). I take no joy in raining on someones parade.

    I had similar Greench issues with no one wanting to make the first move so I just attack and usually everyone follows.

    As a hunter you can just send a turtle in and attack, it is easily soloable if you have one. Not sure about any other classes.

  3. When I took my first pic of the Greench I didn't even notice the 2 little gnomes on his horns. Makes me glad I take so many screenies for my posts. I've had some real action doozies :P

  4. Phew, makes me glad I'm not on a PVP server. Happy Holidays Fannon :)