After 8 years of World of Warcraft, there is a certain amount of nostalgia people have for the game. Now that we’ve returned from Outland, now that we’ve crushed the Lich King, now that we’ve lived through the Cataclysm and Deathwing’s fall, there are very few things which have remained constant through the years and continue on as a touchstone of what the game once was.
For some people, that constant is their character. This is not the case for me. I started off as a priest, then made my way to a badass pvp hunter, turned over a new leaf as a mage, and then rerolled as a druid, with lots of alts peppered in between. Even now Blizzard is making a concerted effort even to change these characters with upgraded models and graphics. It is definitely time for an upgrade to these graphics, but it just adds to the growing feeling of impermanence.
For some people, the constant is their guild. I’m in a guild right now which actually is several iterations removed from my very first guild in vanilla. There were so many stops, schisms and gquits the guild today is barely recognizable as the one I joined in November of 2004. There are very, very few guilds left today with a charter that old.
Even the world we knew has changed with the Cataclysm. Mankrik’s Wife has received a loving, proper burial, and the bridge in Redridge has reached its completion. NPCs have moved, rep grinds have changed, items have been removed. I still have the tea with sugar given to me by poor little Pamela Redpath. Though she remains trapped in the same long, tragic unlife as when I first visited her in early 2005, my tea with sugar has changed to sweet tea. I haven’t lived in the American South for terribly long but dude, those are not even close to the same thing.
But, there is one thing that has remained the same. One thing that binds us all, regardless of faction. One constant through the turmoil that has been our lives, in-game and out.
Low texture frogs.
Low texture frogs accompanied us to the alien landscape of Outland and frozen tundra of Northrend.
Low texture frogs survived the Cataclysm. Even now low texture frogs live in our very cities.
When we landed on Pandaria’s rocky, inhospitable shores, low texture frogs were there to greet us, and low texture frogs entered the Vale of Eternal Summer before we did too.
There are currently 18 pets in-game that use the low texture frog model. Some are hard to get, like Mojo. Some aren’t tradeable or trappable, like the Jubling. The Lifelike Toad is a mechanical. They all share a moveset, so I have to also mention the Horny Toad, which has the same moves but looks like a lizard and isn’t really low texture. The tooltip reflects this too.
Low texture frogs have a unique move called Frog Kiss, which has a chance on hit to turn your victim into a frog, taking them out of action for a turn. It also increases your damage done with each hit, much like Arcane Blast, and can ramp up into a powerful nuke. Frogs also have the option for a good single-turn self heal, or a weak AOE heal with a weather component. Their abilities are rounded out with a DoT that persists through pet swaps and the no-frills aquatic ability Water Jet.
I’ve really enjoyed using them in low-level pvp. The large heal plus Frog Kiss makes them a force to be reckoned with, even up against one of those teams where they try to cheese the level gap to win. They don’t really translate well into higher-level PVP though. I’ve also been using one as a workhorse while I tame new pets and level old ones (I really like AOE heals for that).
But more than that, low texture frogs are a touchstone. Low texture frogs are a reminder of what once was. In this time of faster, smarter, brighter, prettier, low texture frogs remain as Blizzard’s embodiment of the Pandaren mantra, “slow down.” They continue to be–
OH FOR THE LOVE OF—