We’re just into week two of the Promptapalooza blogging event, and the prompt from day 8 caught my eye “If you had a mascot to represent you, what would it be?”. The prompt was given to Rambling Redshirt over at Beyond Tannhauser Gate, so please read their response if you haven’t already.
The Mascot of Gaming Sans Frontières has always been this Balance druid, a k a Boomkin.
Ever since I started playing World of Warcraft in 2007, this has been the character I most cherish in the game. Sadly, I cannot remember with any clarity why I chose to play Balance; I think I had notions of playing a “ranged druid” so this was the only choice. Back then information wasn’t so readily available on the Web about the game. I even bought guide books for the game and the first expansion to pour over when I wasn’t actually playing.
There was something particularly charming and fantastical about the Boomkin. The silly dance, the way they walk and move. I do wonder if I saw a Boomkin in the game somewhere when I first played it on a friend’s account. I certainly would have seen pictures of this shapeshift form though. Perhaps it was that this form, unlike most of the others, is not a fairly tropish copy of wildshaping druids from Dungeons & Dragons.
The role of Elune, goddess of the moons, in night elf society and Warcraft lore is one of the more interesting aspects of the game to me. The shapeshift most obviously associated with the goddess is the Moonkin. A druid becoming a spellcasting sort-of-owlbear struck me as something rather unusual, I suspect.
Thus his image, taken from a contemporary screenshot when I first started the blog back in 2011, became the de facto mascot of the blog. I have thought, at one point or another, of rotating this between images from different MMORPGs; or even creating a more ‘appropriate’ composite of a selection of the many, many characters I have played across those games. Yet it has remained just my boomkin representing, to me, not just a single character, or even a single game, but rather an entire genre and many years of happy gaming.