Today I am Going to Fly

Some men are born posthumously. ~Nietzsche

Archive for July, 2009

Jumping ahead in WoW

Posted by penuruloki on July 15, 2009

Last night I finally got my Shamen on Velen to level 80. That’s the current cap, so it’s time to get geared and start doing heroics and raids. She’s my 6th level 80 toon, and my 3rd level 80 healer, so this isn’t an urgent project, but to some degree I’m really looking forward to trying out a new style. I set a goal to level every class of tank and healer to get to know the ins and outs of all the different styles, but as I actually get there on each of them, I’m still amazed at how different they all are.

After I hit 80, I spent about an hour gearing, and checked to see what the rest of the guild was up to. They’d just finished their OS 25 run (that I’d opted out of due to a headach), but they wanted to drop Flame Leviathian in Ulduar. OS (Obsidion Sanctum) is a starter raid that demands little in the way of gear or skill to run (in standard mode; hard mode is a different story). Ulduar is the most recent raid, rought 2 levels of skill above OS. Its not a place to take a fresh 80, even with ample crafted gear and full enchants. That meant they were going to lose a few people, so I offered to grab a different level 80 toon.

They opted instead to take my fresh 80 shamen. Turns out our usual Shamen was running her ‘lock instead, so rather than waste potential drops, they decided to carry me instead. As I kept saying in vent, “this is so wrong.”

We set standards on gear score to avoid undergeared people sabotaging runs through poor performance. To top it off, the Raid Leader decided to have me thrown up on top as the healer on the boss. Granted, my gear score made my dps terrible and useless anyway, but I actually wound up doing my main spec job (healing) after all, depite being woefully undergeared.

I was able to do a passable job, despite wasting a lot of mana from inexperience with the spells, but I felt awkward about being there when I was probably worse geared than others left out at times. Sure, I have a lot of experience with other toons, and that counts for something, but should it count for that much?

As I said, we were successful on the 1st attempt, and I accomplished my mission, so I probably shouldn’t feel too bad. And they were right about one thing. Shammy gear did drop, and it would have been wasted if I hadn’t been there.

That’s right, not only was my first badge at 80 and Emblem of Conquest (current highest badge in the game) but my first loot at level 80 was an iLevel 226 healing Totem, to replace my iLevel 93 totem from a dungeon in the last expansion. Looked wierd seeing the purple next to my green weapon and shild (both replaced lated in the night), but maybe that’s par for the course when you come along later. My first 80 (my druid) was one of the first 80s in the guild period. I think I was 4th or 5th to hit 80. We ran regular dungeons while leveling to learn, and worked carefully through easier heroics to get gear to raid.

But maybe that just isn’t feasible when you come along late. Everyone wants to run more challenging content. They want to gear you faster, so that they can get farther. It seems so wrong to me, but maybe it’s inevitable at this point.

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Why I heal

Posted by penuruloki on July 3, 2009

My main in TBC  (when I started playing WoW) was a Paladin I leveled as Prot from 10 to 70. I didn’t even touch a ret spec until WotLK launched and I gave a serious look at leveling to 80. That toon still has 40 days of play time. Forty freaking _days_. That’s a lot of time. I was a pretty decent tank, at least judging by the quality of the healers and dps that put me on their friends list (I miss you Blessed). When LK hit, I leveled my Druid first, since I was willing to tank or heal with that toon, and I wanted to be ready the moment the guild started to raid. By the time they were, I had my Paladin healer (different toon) to 80 as well. I wound up tanking the earliest guild heroics before settling into a solid raid spot as a healer (on both the Paladin and the Druid), taking the occasional tank spot with my former main when I can get it, and trying to snag a dps spot for Joel’s Ret Pally whenever I can to keep his gear current while he’s deployed (I miss Joel. A lot.) and to check a few egos by crushing everyone else (including top geared people in the guild) on the damage charts. =)

I miss tanking a lot somtimes, and to some degree, it’s hard to shake the feeling that I’m healing not so much because I like it as much as that most other don’t. That would make me the guild bitch (well, one of them). Not very heroic. Sure, being decent at the hardest job in the game brings some pride, but being the bitch sucks the pride out pretty quick.

One of the reasons I like tanking was because you went face-to-face, toe-to-toe with the bad guy. Sure melee dps were in the thick of it, and you lived and died strictly by how well the healers did their job most of the time. But when you went to kick that ugly brute’s ass, he wasn’t staring down the healer, or the mage, or the rogue hiding in the corner. He had it out for you. The only thing standing between the rest of the party and an ugly death was you.

That’s heroic. Healing doesn’t often feel all that heroic. You plack whack-a-mole with raid frames. Even playing the game’s melee healer (Paladin), you stay behind him and count on the tank to keep him off you. Is that heroic? Maybe it is:

Healers are your sugarmommas. They’re your doctors. I’m not talking about some pussy dentists who sit in air-conditioned offices all day. They are Airborne Ranger Combat Medics who are all up in the frontline crossfire with you. They’re applying a 4-point tourniquet to your leg while giving CPR to the fading warlock next to you with bombs exploding all over the place. Give them the proper respect they deserve. AR EE ES PEE PEE CEE TEE find out what it means to me.

You know what? I’ll take that. I ain’t no one’s bitch. In fact, when I watch the tank do a pull on a boss, the closest person behind the tank as he makes his move? That’s his healer. That guy who’s getting hit by adds and not fighting back? That’s his healer putting his plate to good use and putting his heals on the tank. Fact of the matter is, when I’ve been on fights where you can reset the boss and the fight goes bad, the ones who send everyone else to safety while they hold off the bad guys is the tank. Dps are vanishing, feigning death, or shadowmelding in the corner. Others just run. The tank stays. His healer stays with him. All the same sacrifice. All the same attitude. Little of the glory, but a badass just the same.

I realize it’s just a game, but sometimes life just sucks too much to bother with. At least we can still chase glory and honor is some virtual worth.

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