26/08/2009

Of hunters and helmets

Is it me or are there a lot more people that hide their character's helmets than there are people who show them? Especially if it's a "pretty" character? (Think female, elf, female elf.) Now, part of me understands that, especially when it comes to head pieces that completely hide your face and hair, therefore making everyone who wears them look exactly the same. Some helms are also just plain hideous. I displayed my Forgotten Shadow Hood on my priest for quite a while, but eventually even I got tired of all the S&M jokes.

Still, as a general rule I like to see my characters' heads covered in armour, because it simply makes sense. As a tank my paladin gets hit on the head so much, it would be downright silly for her to show off her flowing tresses instead of focusing on preventing major brain injuries. I'm not much of a roleplayer, but this is just something that tickles me. I also always make sure to cover any bare midriffs on my ladies with a tabard (unless they are casters, then that thin layer of cloth isn't going to make much of a difference anyway).

Over time, my favourite character to get new helms for has become my hunter. While levelling she wore a wide variety of hats, ranging from mail circlets to rogue-ish leather masks to furry wolf hats, but nothing particularly memorable. Once she hit seventy she soon settled for a nice blue quality helmet that looked like it was made of feathers, which didn't make much sense but I liked the look of it anyway.


I think it might have been the Earthwarden's Coif from the Steamvault quest, but I'm not entirely sure. I believe there was another blue helm that used the same model, I just can't remember what it was.

Then, it might even have been on my very first Karazhan run with this character, I got lucky and ended up getting the tier four helm from Prince Malchezaar. I was so excited! Looking at it from a profile view it looked really sleek...


... but looking at it from the front it looked really dorky.


Either way I was very happy with my new metal bucket with horns, it felt like a great status symbol for a character that was only an alt, as well as adding something sufficiently fierce to my tauren hunter's look. In raids people told me to please hide my helm more than once, complaining that its ugliness offended their eyeballs. I laughed at them and was only reassured in my conviction that an ugly helmet was something cool to show off.

My tier four lasted me for quite a while, until one day I happened to be present when the Coif of the Jungle Stalker dropped off Hex Lord Malacrass in Zul'Aman. I had seen it drop before while on my priest and had more than once declared it the ugliest helm that I had ever seen. This wasn't helped by the fact that for the longest time I couldn't actually make out what it was supposed to look like. I used to call it the "face mask", based on my perception that it looked like some troll had torn off someone else's face and then pasted it onto a mask.

But... it had great stats! What to do? Of course I rolled need and won. Funnily enough it turned out that this was actually the first helm that I had ever seen that actually looked better on a female tauren than on anyone else. Flat blood elf and orc faces distorted the image way too much, but placed on my hunter's long snout I could finally make out what it was supposed to be: a bird's beak! I displayed it quite proudly from then on and it lasted me all the way to eighty.


Some time after I hit eighty I got a new blue helm of utterly nondescript shape. I mean... it really just looked like a helm made of leather! How boring! I felt seriously uncomfortable with my hunter being reduced to running around with something that unexciting, considering the standards she had become used to.

Imagine my delight when I started to grind reputation with the Oracles and discovered that one of their reputation rewards was the so-called Toothslice helm. It had horns! And randomly pasted-on jaws! Finally I got comments from other people about my odd choice of helm again, which eventually led to it being dubbed the "goat helm". I consider it fortunate that I didn't run into any boring-looking upgrades for a long time.


When the looks of the tier eight armour models were first discovered, a video was posted on youtube that showed a selection of different characters walking around wearing the full sets. For some reason female tauren hunter was one of the combinations of choice, and I remember looking at it and thinking how awesome yet hilarious the helm in particular looked, what with the ginormous horns on top of the already existing ones. Too bad my hunter was unlikely to ever get any tier eight, what with being a relatively rarely played alt...

Enter the emblem changes. Hurrah! And while I still run a lot less instances on my hunter than on my other characters (simply because as a dps she's not in that much demand), I finally managed to accumulate the fifty-eight emblems of conquest to buy her a Conqueror's Scourgestalker Headpiece today. I cannot express how good it feels to be wearing a metal bucket with horns again. The fact that this also means having a meta gem again for the first time since Karazhan is only a nice bonus.


Bucketheads of WoW, unite!

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