The Ant and the Grasshopper


Here we are, the long dark winter of the Wrath of the Litch King is winding down. With great rumbles in the distance a  Cataclysm is coming. The world as we know it is about to be wiped away, in its place is a great unknown. We are at a tipping point, a transition, waiting with bated breath for the storm we can sense coming.

This lull between expansions brings to mind the story of the grasshopper and  the ant.

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The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer
long, building his house and laying up supplies for
the winter. The grasshopper thinks he’s a fool and
laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come
winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper 
has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold

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Like the ants in the story some folks are starting to stockpile money and materials like the Cataclysm is the long cold winter they need to prepare for. They grind materials, they do dailies or play the auction house to stockpile gold. They have bank alts full of stack upon stack of crafting materials for the next phase of the game. in short they are prepared.

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Then like the grasshopper there are those more worried about having fun now. Stockpiling things by accident at best. spending more time on doing whatever seems fun at the time than worrying about what will happen when the long dark night of leveling in a new area comes to pass. They simply trust that whatever they need will be found along the way.

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In a way I am both a Grasshopper and an Ant. I might have spent a little bit of time and money stockpiling a few odds and ends, but I am done with that now. My guild bank runneth over one might say. I spent my time as an Ant and now I am ready as I can be for what is coming.

Now, as we all get ready to ride the roller coaster of the pre-expansion patch and Cataclysm world event I am going to be a grasshopper. I will keep goofing around and having fun, leveling my alts and going wherever the winds carry me. When the time comes I will have had the best of both worlds.

The preparedness of the Ant and the “all in on a pair of duces” fun of the Grasshopper.

How about you?

Are you a Grasshopper or an Ant?

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16 Responses

  1. Heh, an interesting analogy, but for me it doesn’t quite work, because I don’t see Cataclysm as “winter”.

    I’m primarily occupied with having fun *now* because, well, that’s why I pay my subscription fee — so I can have fun. From my perspective, the coming Cataclysm is spring, not winter — a chance for growth, new births, and to watch the flowers grow. Well, characters. The analogy got a little thin there.

    I’ve read a lot of people stockpiling for Cataclysm — gold, potentially valuable crafting materials, more gold, even badges/emblems/honour — but it wasn’t/isn’t something I’ve done. I don’t *want* to buy the i3xx crafted items the moment I hit 85 from the first person on the server to grab the recipe, and I don’t particularly want to go to my first new raid wearing two pieces of tier 11. I’d rather enjoy the excitement of being able to equip more-or-less anything I roll for and win as an upgrade.

    Then again, I’m not vying for server firsts and the like, so my approach is probably a little different.

    • Good points. The winter/spring point in particular. I was mostly referring to folks trying (or not) to prepare for a major change in environment.

      Personally I did do a bit of stockpiling, but mostly it was a bit of gold and a few heirlooms. I plan to reroll shiny new characters (one horde and one alliance) and I just want them to be able to buy things like thier mounts an riding skills at the appropriate levels. Though it is affected by faction discounts and subject to change, all the riding skills added together comes to just under 12K gold, without including the price of the mounts themselves.

      Basicly, I wanted to have enough on hand to feed the gold sinks when I get to them.

      As for raiding, I am not really planning on doing much if any. Even now I mostly level alts and putter around in five mans. I don’t have the time to commit to learn the encounters, so it would be unfair of me to ask a team carry me.

  2. I am grasshopper! Hear me chirp! Not sure if grasshopers chirp but, you get the gist of it.

    I am stockpiling by accident. Finished loremaster of Outlands this past weekend and my thrift sense doesn’t let me just sell the netherweave or knothide leather. I know they will come in handy …

    My plans for Cata are undefined. I really don’t know what Alt might be rolled. I have a few waiting for my attention already and those characters might get rerolled to enjoy their fresh starting zones. It’s exciting to wonder who will be the lucky one! 🙂

    /chirp!

    • I call dibs on the leather! :O

    • This might sound moderately psychotic but I fully intend to level a pair of brand new Hunters come Cataclysm.

      You will be seeing a Goblin one, or perhaps a Forsaken to go with the Troll I already have.

      I will be leveling an alliance one as well, not sure of the race yet, but not another spacegoat. Human or Worgen are likely.

      Yes, when it’s all over I will likely have 4 Hunters at the level cap.

      That does remind me, when I log on next I need to take my Troll Hunter and go pick up an heirloom gun. It’s probably the only heirloom my new toons on Keal’Thas will get.

    • Is their an heirloom gun? Just thought their was the bow….

    • Its from stonekeeper shards. I think I have like 400 of them on Dekado just sitting around, and the gun is like 325. It’s the Upgraded Dwarven Hand Cannon.

  3. I’m an anthopper.

    Wait, what?

    I have -plans- for Cataclysm, but nothing that requires an immense amount of work now (other than myabe learning how to DK tank). I haven’t hunted, gathered, and stockpiled for the last two expansions, nor did I need to. I don’t really need to for this coming expansion, either.

    So, I think I’m a bit of both – I’m planning and preparing, but not to the extent that it’s the only thing I’m focused on.

    A quote from a crappy movie based on a great intellectual property:
    Obi-Wan: “Master Yoda said to be mindful of the future.”
    Qui-Gon: “But not at the expense of the present.”

    And besides – it’s freakin’ Brewfest!
    *chug chug*

    • Lol, true enough.

      The extent of my preparing in Keal’Thas is setting aside about 500G and a half dozen Travelers Backpacks for the alts I plan to roll.

      That would be a Hunter of every Horde race to see the new stuffs, leveling each till they finish the race specific zones and all the paths converge, then keeping one to check out all that stuff up to 60.

      Not sure whats after that, but it should keep me busy for a while. Especially when you consider I am doing the same alliance side (though my Gnome will not be able to be a hunter)

  4. Can’t wait for cataclysm. Game is going to be so awesome. Wish it would come out already! Also great post. Love your site!

  5. Back in january I deleted my two level 80s. While I have them back I sold off all their gear to stockpile money in case I returned, which I did about 7 months later. I am now levelling a Death Knight and am not far off 77. My primary goal is in getting this new character (I’m a tanking Death Knight) to 80 before I even think about bothering with a crafting grind or anything else. Cataclysm will provide me with more opportunities to regear my two 80’s who languish with next to nothing on them, however, I doubt I’ll get much T9+ gear for my DK before Cata hits which may produce interesting results if I try tanking the new instances with players who have already been through the gearing up process in Wrath.

    • All I would be doing to gear up your stripped characers at this point would be to make / have made / buy a set of the level 187 blue PvP starter gear.

      It might not be the best, but it would be more than adaquate for questing on your way to 85. I am sure it would all be replaced by 83 or so with quest rewards, but it would get you back in business.

      As for tanking overgeared pugs as an undergeared tank…. Well, lets just say I dropped the feral spec on my Druid and picked up Lazerchicken to go with my (soon to be cut down) Tree.

      I tanked three pugs as a fresh blue geared Feral Drood, and I’ll never do it again.
      Guildies? Yes.
      Pugs? Oh, hell no.
      YMMV.

  6. Definitely (as David Carradine would say) grasshopper. It oddly reminds me of the story of the ‘bug in the rug’….

    There exists an old Persian legend about a bug who spent his entire life in the world’s most beautifully designed rug:

    All the bug ever saw in his lifetime was his problems. They stood up all around him, he couldn’t see over the top of them, and he had to fight his way through these tufts of wool, in the rug, to find some crumbs someone had spilled in the rug. And the tragedy of the story of the bug in the rug was this; that he lived and he died in the world’s most beautifully designed rug, but he never once knew that he spent his life in something which had a pattern.

  7. It boggles my mind that people are stockpiling gold/mats. The only use I could see for gold would be to powerlevel professions for realm firsts.

    I feel bad for the people that stockpiled before wrath hit. Not only did people make thousands just from questing, profession earnings increased tenfold. Makes doing the ogrila dailies for 50g kinda silly.

    • I understand the reasoning behind stockpiling, and even do a bit of it myself. On the other hand I also see the reasons for not bothering.

      Personally I stockpiled enough cash to pay for the 310% flight speed gold sink for both my hunters, that will actually help me in leveling. I also set aside some netherweave cloth to make bags (some to sell, and some for my army of alts). Beyond that, I have a few heirlooms laying about and thats it. I am selling off the ramainder of my bank just to make room for shiny new Cata-stuffs.

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