15 Minutes of Fame: No bank dust bunnies for in-game item collectors

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15 Minutes of Fame: No bank dust bunnies for in-game item collectors
From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

15 Minutes of Fame profiled the triple-threat collections of Drrum last fall -- an astounding trifecta of pets, mounts and armor sets painstakingly pieced together and then screenshot to dramatic effect in complementary in-game settings. Amazing stuff.

And since cool collections that come in threes seem to be such a good thing, we're bringing you two more profiles of in-game collectors. This week, we'll visit with Moonjade of Twisting Nether (US-A), who collects armor and lore items. Moonjade's impressive collection of lore and legendary items make him a suitable ambassador for an entire subculture of players who collect various sorts of items during their game downtime. Then next week, we'll crank up the specialization rating and round out our trio of collectors with an interview with a collector who actually manages and gives tours of a virtual museum of gray items.

Main character Moonjade Riverdawn
Guild Invictus Sanctum
Realm Twisting Nether (US-A-RP/PVP)

15 Minutes of Fame: Moonjade, how did you first become interested in collecting things in game?

Moonjade: Well, when I began thinking about who my character was, I thought that it fit for her to be a collector. With thousands of years of memories, I can imagine it would be more suitable to have items to help recall such things. A lot of my drive, though, came from seeing too many RPers in the world using boring sets. Tier gear and all is nice for an RP set, but I like to stand out at times or blend in. A few of my collective sets are tailored to blend in with the NPCs and look like I belong in the world.

I am an RPer on the Twisting Nether server. I have been such since the very begining and am proud to be one of the most longstanding RPers on my server. I've gone as far as to abandon a hunter pet because everyone had one. I am an RPer first and a raider second, but I just want to let everyone know that RPers can be good at other aspects of the game, since so many of us are ridiculed on RP/PVP servers.

What specific types of things do you collect?

I collect what I call lore items, as well as the odd item that has a unique skin. Something that stands out is always wonderful to have.

So what makes an item worth collecting, then?

Items with names and/or flavor text that points to a character in the lore or a period that interests me. The item's also having a unique skin helps in the matter. Also, I've always been fascinated by the story of the three Windrunner sisters, and so any item that points to them I've gathered.

I also keep every piece of tier gear I've obtained over time. It's nice to put on my Beastmaster's set sometimes for nostalgia.

How much time and focus does collecting take up in relation to the rest of your play time?

Well, my collecting takes up my downtime. When I'm not doing business for the guild functions or raiding or RPing, I'm working toward my collections. So I would say roughly 25% of the time I play is spent looking up and or hunting for my items. Of course, it may be more on slow weeks.

How do you involve your collections in your roleplaying?

Moonjade ("Mj" for short) is a huntress and as such, she has a thing for taking trophies. The items I've gathered show where she's been, what she's done, and who she's met in her long life. She is a night elf, after all, over 11,000 years old.

Do you have a favorite item?

Thori'dal the Star's Fury, by far. The effort and time that went into getting that bow was painstaking. I wear it proudly as part of many of my RP sets.

What about the item you're most proud to have obtained?

Ravencrest's Legacy. It's quest reward from the opening of the Ahn'Qiraj gate quest. It's a beautiful sword, and though I don't wear it much, I love having it to prove the accomplishment. Anyone can link an achievement, but I can link a reward.

That sounds like it was tough to get hold of. What item was most difficult to obtain?

Thori'dal the Star's Fury. It took me 62 runs in the Sunwell Plateau before I got the item. I saw it drop twice before I got mine, and it went to a rogue and a warrior first. When I got mine, I had to roll against a level 70 twink for it and won the roll. I was so afraid his guildies were going to give it to him anyway. Thankfully there are honest people still around!

Dare we ask: What item still eludes you?

Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker, and the Black Bow of the Betrayer. The legendary sword annoys me because I have the element and the first half of the bindings. I've been running Molten Core every week since Wrath came out. As for the bow, it is Illidan's weapon -- even mentions his name. I do Black Temple each time I am able. My guildmates have been wonderful with helping me.

Is that on top of your list to get next, then?

I'm really after the Charge of the Ranger General from Icecrown Citadel heroic mode. It has some beautiful flavor text that points to Sylvanas Windrunner.

You sound so immersed in the entire game world and experience -- so enjoyable! How long have you been playing World of Warcraft? Is this your first MMO?

I've been playing roughly since the release. Classically trained! My first MMO was EverQuest, followed by Final Fantasy XI. I played a bit of Age of Conan, alpha and beta tested Final Fantasy XIV, and I plan to play the new Star Wars when it comes out.

One final question for you, Moonjade: Do you collect anything in real life?

There is a loaded question! I collect the WoW figures from DC Direct as well as [cards from] the WoW Trading Card Game. I love the artwork on the cards.

I'm also a collector of comic and manga art. My fiancé and I go to comic cons and buy up pieces and get them signed. Our computer room is decorated in all the art and memorabilia we've gathered. My favorite piece is a cell from the original '90s TMNT cartoon. My fiancé was actually the one who bought that for me.

Sweet! Sounds like your collections are in good hands. Good luck on your growing showcase of items!

Stay tuned to 15 Minutes of Fame as we interview another collector next week -- and she actually runs a museum to show other players!

"I never thought of playing WoW like that!" -- and neither did we, until we talked with these players, from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Aron "Nog" Eisenberg to an Olympic medalist and a quadriplegic raider. Know someone else we should feature? Email lisa@wowinsider.com.
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