Losing at the mailbox-float game

Last weekend, I logged into the few toons with which I had been playing a game of ‘mailbox-float’ with respect to my cooking mats.

Since I’ve been raiding on two hunters instead of one recently, my supply of Sea Mist Rice Noodles has been dwindling rapidly. So I prepared for a Saturday of epic wok-style cooking by fishing up more than a dozen stacks of Tiger Gourami up in Kun-Lai Summit and committing tortois-cide on the turtles* at the Torjari Pit for Raw Turtle Meat.

*After all of the crap their distant cousins give me on the H Tortos fight, they do sort of deserve it after all, by some twisted sense of logic…

Aside from that, I was all set. I had spent months of “not-leveling” my paladin growing Scallions on her farm, so I knew that there were a couple of dozen stacks of those floating around in the mail, along with at least a dozen other mails full of meats and other food mats. I just needed to find them. Here’s how that went:

(opens Mushan’s mailbox):

“Hmm. No food mats in here. They must be in Droignon’s mail.”

(logs out. logs in to Droignon, opens mailbox):

“Hmm. No food mats here either. I must have sent them to Ghilleadh, since he had extra bag space for a while, too.”

(logs out. logs in to Ghilleadh, opens mailbox):

“Oh-kaaay… nothing here. Where… the hell… are my food mats?”

(logs out. logs in to Anacrusa, opens mailbox. there is one mail, and it isn’t food):


(logs out. logs in to Abenadari, opens mailbox. there are four mails, no food mats.):


Yes, folks. After ten months of successfully floating stacks upon stacks of Tiger Steak, Mushan Ribs, Scallions (especially Scallions), Emperor Salmon, Turnips, and every other kind of ingredient in the mail, I managed to fail at the mailbox-float game. At some point, in search of a leaner, meaner mailbox on the toons I play most often, I must have sent them to Mushan or Droignon from a lesser-played toon and forgotten about them when they auto-returned, and now they’re gone.

I spent several minutes last weekend (I forget which day) logging in to all 10 Alliance toons on my server, hopelessly scouring their bags and banks, rechecking their mailboxes – all to no avail. The stuff was just gone.

This, my friends, is the potential risk of playing the float through the mail – if you let your vigilance lapse for long enough, you end up in my situation. And it’s all because I’m a pack rat, so my bank and bags are full, and there’s no room to put a food-specific bag in the bank, and I’m relegated to using the mail.

I was frustrated. Fortunately, I had more than enough Sea Mist Rice Noodles to last me another week of raiding, so the situation wasn’t dire. But I was still annoyed enough with myself for letting it happen that I actually got a little nauseous!

In situations like these, you have to make snap decisions. There was no way I was going to go without Sea Mist Rice Noodles in a raid in the not-so-distant future – I’m like a Starbucks addict when it comes to that. So I decided to take action.

Fortunately, I have six 90s.

One of them has an ongoing leg enchant enterprise, so growing anything but Songbells on her farm is out of the question. So, that leaves five 90s.

The next day, I purchased a Bag of Scallion Seeds for each of those other toons. I duly planted 16 plots on each toon. I also planted four plots on my DK, who is 89.

The day after that, I harvested a boatload of Scallions. I then repeated the process. On the final day, I harvested my farms full of scallions and planted the final eight plots, otherwise going back to my regularly scheduled farming routine.

On Wednesday, I bought Rice Flour and made a dozen stacks of Sea Mist Rice Noodles. I sent 11 of them to Droignon.

These ought to last a couple of weeks...

These ought to last a couple of weeks…

It was that easy. And I have several stacks of Scallions to spare, and I’ll still be farming them on the DK until he turns 90, so I think I’m good for a while.

It really was no big deal, after all…

Actually, after that initial queasiness went away, it wasn’t very difficult to accept that I had lost all of those ingredients.

The rapid logic that smacked me back to reality at that point went

A) “It’s just a game – deal with it.”

B) “When were you going to use most of those mats anyway?” “Well, I was thinking of maybe sel-“ “STFU you gold-hoarding miser!”

C) “Just grow some damn Scallions – you have six full farms!” “Yeah, you’re right…” *sheepish grin*

Seriously, the best I was going to do with all of the other mats was probably to sell them on the AH or trade them for Ironpaw tokens. Ultimately, their value wasn’t that great. It was not a huge loss. But it certainly felt like a kick in the gut for a few minutes!

Lessons learned: it’s just a game; they’re just food mats; STFU and deal with it. Hee hee…

Thanks for reading this tale of humor and folly by Mushan at Mushan, Etc. Comments are welcome!


13 Comments on “Losing at the mailbox-float game”

  1. Jemma says:

    Why didn’t you check item restoration to see if they could be retrieved? ^^

    • Mushan says:

      Eh, I couldn’t be bothered. As I said, after I quickly got over it, I solved the problem organically (hehe) rather than bothering a GM because I did something that is completely within the game’s normal mechanics. I’d rather bother them when something important is missing. I screwed up, I fixed it, it made for a fun blog post. :)

  2. Altaholics – Download it.

    I lost over 4000 frostweave cloth back in wrath among many other things playing that game of bouncing around mail and downloaded that right after. Yes, I have still lost a few things here and there since, but never anything huge thanks to the addon screaming at me when I logged on telling me “you have mail about to expire”.

    I feel your pain, a lot. Been there and done that.

    Altaholics also had the excellent ability of when you hover over an item it will tell you how many you have on all your characters and where they are, mail, bags, bank, guild. A great addon for any pack rat with a lot of alts like me.

  3. Been there and done that a couple of times too – really leaves you feeling kind of sick for a bit until you figure out that it can be undone within a few days. I will definitely be checking on the addon mentioned too because I have too many alts. :D

  4. Create an alt who is the leader of a guild (that may consist only of that alt)! Use a guild bank! :D /has not done this or anything

    • Mushan says:

      Yeah, I’ve thought of that. But I never did it, because I never suspected that the food game would be potentially as cumbersome as it can be! And… basically I’m lazy :)

  5. R says:

    +1 for Altaholic, it’s been a lifesaver for me many times while doing the mailbox “bank” thing and for me it isn’t part-time (I have thousands of stacks of mats that I’m storing in various mailboxes that get passed back and forth every month). Altaholic is also great for other things, too, but the mailbox warning and the “which toon has that?” tooltips are definitely highlights.

    Unfortunately, after a while I started to tune out the Altaholic warning that I have mail that will be returned &/or deleted soon (I *always* have mail in that category) so I’ve lost some significant items. Biggest loss to date was about 2K (that’s a K) Frostweave and Embersilk bags I’d stockpiled at the end of Cat when they were cheap, wanted to start selling them a couple of months into MoP and… gone. I did actually put a ticket in without any expectation of getting help and they’re officially unable to help with losses due to expired mail. That was an expensive lesson that I hope not to repeat. :)

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