Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hunters of the sands: Vile Sting

Life thrives in even the most hostile corners of Azeroth and Outland. Even in the fel-polluted springs of Shadowmoon valley there's life. Even on the undead-infested Icecrown Glacier, creatures eke out a meagre existence. And even in the arid, sun-baked deserts of Kalimdor, you can find creatures of all kinds.

This entry is about Vile Sting.

Who is Vile Sting and where can I find it?

Vile Sting is a rare elite mob scorpid found in the Shimmering Flats, at the easternmost end of Thousand Needles on Kalimdor.

Vile Sting can be located close to the western edge of the Shimmering Flats, just south of the tiny Horde encampment Ironstone Camp. There is a ruined wagon here surrounded by other scorpids, and Vile Sting can usually be found wandering around this area. He walks around a bit, but I have never seen him travel too far south (close to the silithid area) or too far north.

Scorpid life

Vile Sting is a scorpid, creatures based on real-world scorpions. All the way back in Warcraft: Orcs and Humans summoners could conjure up giant scorpions to fight for them. Today scorpions are small and inoffensive critters, while the large-size beasts are now called scorpids.

Like real-world scorpions, scorpids are arachnidans, arthropods related to spiders. They have eight limbs, with the front two developed into powerful pincers to hold down prey. They have a segmented body and a tail ending in a venomous stinger used to kill prey. Unlike real-world scorpions, scorpids possess two large upward-jutting tusk-like projections of unknown function. Real-world scorpions possess hairs on their bodies which are used to sense vibrations, giving them a form of vibration sense to detect prey movement. I like to think that scorpids also possess these hairs.

Many scorpids in World of Warcraft are ambush predators, dashing out from hiding to clasp prey and sting it to death. Some possess the ability to burrow down into the ground to lay in wait. Scorpids are not restricted to any one continent in Azeroth, and also occur in Outland (however they do not appear naturally in Northrend, probably due to the low temperatures).

Scorpids are most common in arid, dry areas like Thousand Needles, Tanaris, the Blasted Lands or Durotar, and come in a variety of colors. Most are somewhat subdued, but there are garish examples too.

Taming scorpids

Vile Sting can pose something of a threat for passing adventurers in the Flats due to the fact it is an elite and thus hits quite a bit harder and has more health than the other scorpids. Players looking for scorpid venom for the quest from the Mirage Raceway should take special care (Although Vile Sting seems to drop this quest item, it may not be worth the effort). It possesses the standard scorpid venom which inflicts extra damage, and can hit quite hard.

Like most scorpids, Vile Sting is tameable by a brave hunter. At level 35 (albeit elite), Vile Sting is by far the earliest that one can tame a pale-colored scorpid. While this skin is far from unique (in fact, most scorpids in Silithus share it), it is a nice color compared to the "dirty" looks of many other scorpids. For more information on scorpids as pets, consult Petopia as usual.

As Vile Sting does not have any significant drops, and no lore to speak of, I theorize that it is merely the largest, toughest and oldest scorpid to inhabit the Flats, a solitary hunter that can fight off even the largest beast. The pale carapace may be a mutation, but seems well adapted for the beast to conceal itself in the almost white sand of the Flats. Possibly the lesser scorpids found nearby are offspring of the creature.

Until next time, may your scorpid remain docile.



Samskeyti said...

I never managed to find him on my hunter when I was levelling there. But I loved my white and pink scorpion called "Orchid" :-)

Emma said...

Id love some bioluminescent creatures. Not that the whole creature should be glowing (incidetially scorpions do under uv light) but rather some glowing eyes and/or patches in the shadows. Since many armor itmes and weapons now glow, blizz would only have to play more with shadows when they light places.