Friday, June 3, 2011

Second Spec - The little goat that could (maybe)

For some reason it never really occurred to me that people wouldn't want me to tank. Grinding up through levels, being spoiled with nonexistent wait times with dungeon finder, I always heard that tanks were in high demand. Hell, people were offering to buy them for Heroic runs in Trade Chat. Why wouldn't I immediately find my niche when my gear score ooched up high enough and Lemni immediately chrysalized into the baddest motherfuckin Tank in all of Azeroth.

But it was getting pulled into a guild Heroic and being asked to go dps that really set things ablaze for me. Retribution may have been the offspec of choice, but I never found a comfort level with it. Lemni doesn't have a second set of gear for it. I don't have experience with it. I warned the guild - in Chat and in Vent 'you can have Prot or really crappy Ret'. They opted for the crappy Ret. And crappy was what they got. I just couldn't do the damage. My dps gear is nonexistent. My score was so utterly low it was probably laughable. We flopped around in Baradin Hold and got obliterated when we couldn't get the boss down before he Berzerked and smashed us all.

They asked me to respec over to Prot and we did fine as the other tank and I taunted back and forth in between running around and avoiding bad. It was totally fine. I was at least a little glad I did alright tanking my first miniraid. While 'friends' proceeded to crush my fragile ego by saying 'It's really not a hard fight to tank'.

Thanks assholes.

It put me off to the toon. The group. The idea of playing a paladin at all. I felt like I had no hooves to stand on. I've got the gear score for heroics, but not the gear or experience. And now I just want to start over. But I can't. What I should do is start doing regular level dungeons and just slowly amassing some kind of gear and experience. But I don't really feel like it. I don't even know where to start. Occasionally I log in to Lemni and do some dailies. Ones where I don't have to push buttons (thanks Ramkahen).

The whole experience has left me neglecting this blog and even my Twitter. I rolled a tiny psycho Gnome rogue on a different server just for some mindless low level dps and getting in the dungeon experience I was too chicken to try with Lemniscate. I need an ego boost. I need some guidance. Some direction. Where do I go for gear when I'm 85 and my poor space goat is having a mid life crisis, forsaking her nice normal flying mount for an impractical protodrake. Some time on Wowhead is in my future.

The fact that I logged in a few weeks ago and saw that the guild was putting together a new ten man team really rankled me. It isn't personal. I know that. But now that I'm going Ret I'm solidly refusing to waste any more time and money on Prot gear. For now at least. I'm at the point where the gulf is so wide that I can't just get by with one set of gear, no matter what I've been told in the past.

Maybe I'm just moping. But I hit one of those 'I'm not enjoying this' plateaus, so I went off to find something that I did enjoy. Will I ever play Lemni again? Sure. Will I ever tank again? Maybe, probably. I'm too attached to her to turn her into a bank alt.

The goat will rise again.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Six Month Itch - The well-seasoned noob

In August of 2010, I caved in and bought myself a subscription to World of Warcraft. I'd played my trial on my poor overworked PowerBook, the only computer I had at the time. Honestly, I was amazed that it played as well as it did. A few patches later, my OS was no longer supported and I had a decision to make. Do I finally get a decent system - one that's been a long time coming? Or do I shrug it off and content myself with watching my roommate play, wondering why she spends so much time flying from one place to another.

Needless to say, I drank the Koolaid. I found myself being able to see details that I had missed on my minuscule set up. I loved questing, loved running around and reading every word that popped up on the screen (especially now that I didn't have to squint). I wanted to understand the territory. To get what was going on. I knew some thing called 'Cataclysm' was supposed to be coming up soon, but I didn't even have any of the expansions yet. I had a handful of toons I'd gotten up to the 30s/40s because I liked the various starting zones. I hadn't even set foot in a dungeon.

A friend I knew online and, as a rule opted not to use RealID, needled me into making some kind of tank so he could be my pocket healer. I'd ventured into the 55 realm with my more-or-less main, a Blood Elf Warlock, and had been eyeing the fine, goaty pixels of a Draenei. So I painstakingly worked up a purple paladin named Lemniscate with legs like two bent back paperclips and crashed on Azuremyst Isle.

It was like playing a different game.

I'm not entirely certain why things seemed so different this time around. The world was the same. The playing was the same. But something about it came a little more naturally to me. Maybe it's because Paladins are OP or whatever. I enjoyed playing. I liked questing again. I got a little thrill from it. Maybe it was because I had a purpose in mind for my little wayward space goat. Maybe it's because I knew that new content had been unlocked for me. I just had to go get it.

That doesn't mean little Lemni jumped into the first dungeon that she came across. Oh no, not at all. That bullet wasn't bitten until later, and I was a mangled ball of nerves at the time even if my baby Tank rolled her eyes at the mobs and kept everyone on track. She smashed through levels, crashing along like some Elekk with a bee sting. She laughed her way through Outland, even as Protection, burning all of those asshole demons to cinders. Her guild even let her tag along on 'old school' raids like Ahn'qiraj 20/40 even if they were all in their 80s while she was bopping along at about 62.

But I worry. I worry that my paranoia about sucking on Heroics is going to keep her from hitting her full potential. That my wariness is going to keep her locked in quest blues and the occasional lucky drop from the lower end of the spectrum. I'm six months into my subscription and while I want to be a better player, and I want Lemni to be a better tank... I don't want a degree in advanced astrophysics to be able to figure out stats and damage and gear.

It makes me sad when I see so many blogs that I'm just learning about talking about closing up shop and giving up on the game that I've just begun to explore. That I've just started getting comfortable with. There are so many new things to me (beyond only playing 'half the game'). Every new achievement sends me into joyful paroxysms, bouncing in my chair. I don't know what people mean when they talk about things being better in Vanilla, or this spec used to be better before it was nerfed. I'd barely gotten accustomed to my Balance Druid when all of a sudden I had this wacky Eclipse meter thing, but I just shrugged it off. It wasn't like relearning anything because I'd only half-learned it in the first place.

I understand getting tired of things that aren't like they used to be. I don't begrudge anyone that. But because of my timing of coming into the game, skating in on the tail end of Wrath's changes- primed for my world to be rocked once more with Cataclysm- I see things as how they are without being bogged down with how they might have been before. I still see new things, with just enough experience to know what zones I don't feel like leveling through.

So I'm learning as I go. I'm looking for better gear and playing the game I want to play, even if it's not 'The Right Way To Play'. I don't believe there's a right and a wrong way on any level other than 'personal'. You play it how you like it. And maybe I'll like it too.

Ohai there!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I totally meant to do that...

As a Tank, Lemni is not accustomed to things going whatever direction they damn well please. Oh well, as long as it gets to where it's supposed to eventually...