A more light-hearted post today. I've been levelling my hunter's leatherworking lately and it's been tedious. (In fact, that's a whole other post really, levelling crafting professions in Cataclysm...) So I've been travelling across the land, killing and skinning things, and once again I can only be amazed by the things that you can and can't skin in WoW.
You see, I'm no expert on this skinning thing in the real world, but I would think that in general you should be able to skin anything that does, in fact, have a skin, meaning a soft and supple outer layer that you can peel off if you're so inclined. However, Blizzard has some boundaries in place that prevent you from skinning certain creatures that you'd expect to be able to skin. Who has never considered the option of a tauren leather hat or a gnome skin bag (depending on your faction)? Then again, maybe you just find that idea creepy, which is probably why the game doesn't allow it. Skinning anything that's too similar to a human sort of brings up images of deranged serial killers.
Still, in a fantasy game like WoW, the borders can get fuzzy. Yetis are quite humanoid if you ask me, yet we never have a problem hunting and skinning them en masse. Yet if you want to wear a furbolg's shiny coat for example, you're out of luck. For me it's the worst with naga - I don't think they are particularly human-like, considering that they don't even have legs - but for some reason they are still taboo. I've known for years now that they can't be skinned, but every time I kill one on a character that can skin I still have that brief moment where I long to turn their shiny scales into a handbag or something. As if to tease me, Blizzard allows some naga to drop scales that can be used for crafting - we just have to hope that they fall off their bodies on their own while we're focused on killing them, or something. There are also a variety of armour pieces whose names imply that they are made of naga hide - I do wonder who makes them?
The worgen are another funny case. Prior to Cataclysm they used to be skinnable, and made areas like Duskwood a wonderful place to level a character with the appropriate professions. However, since they became a playable race in this expansion and started wearing top hats, they are suddenly off limits for skinners. I mean, I never expected to be able to skin player characters, but finding that the evil worgen NPCs in Duskwood for example have become useless to me as well was somewhat disappointing.
On the other end of the spectrum, we then have things that can be skinned but I don't think it makes any sense: silithids, nerubians and certain spiders in particular. Sometimes the items we get from them even explicitly state that they are made of chitin, which just bugs me all the more. I learned in basic biology that this stuff makes up the exo-skeleton of spiders and insects, or in other words, the bits that are not soft and supple. So I find the mental image of my hunter chipping off bits of "spider bone" rather odd. Not that I'm any less grateful for the spiders in Tol Barad providing a convenient source of savage leather - I just don't think that it makes any sense.
Do other people have pet peeves when it comes to skinning, i.e. creatures that they'd really love to skin but can't, and others that just leave you scratching your head?