My Own Return to World of Warcraft
Ever the nomadic gamer, I decided that with the excitement building around Cataclysm I would re-sub to World of Warcraft. For those who are not aware, I’ve played this game off and on since release, just as long as I’ve been playing EQ2. However, the game always lacks ‘staying’ power for me. I can never seem to find a community to entice me to play longer then a month or two at a time before wandering off to greener pastures. I play on the Ravenholdt server, so if anyone knows of a good community there, don’t hesitate to let me know. On that same note even though I have been playing for years now my highest character (until last night) was level 60. A few LFDungeon episodes later, and I managed to reach level 62.
It was a lot of fun. Part of that comes from playing with a friend (a member of Torrent Knights, my guild on Antonia Bayle in EQ2) which really helps a lot. I play a priest, they play a warrior. This ensures that LFD is never more then a few seconds wait, and at least while I can not control the actions of the other three group members, I can have a little sway over the two main roles. Trusting my tank is a huge deal when it comes to healing.
I ended up exploring two new (to me) dungeons, Hellfire Ramparts, and The Blood Furnace. In Hellfire Ramparts I managed to win a very nice 2h staff for the priest, as well as my very first piece of gear that allows for ‘socket’ gems. I’d seen these pieces of gear before on those far more better geared then myself, but had never actually come across any. I was incredibly excited. After doing Hellfire Ramparts three times, and The Blood Furnace once, I walked away with quite a few upgrades and felt a little better about my return to the game. Healing is basically the same no matter where you find yourself. In LotRO I play a minstrel and spend my time constantly watching the health of my group mates. The same happens in EQ2, and WoW. It’s second nature to me to play that way. The down side is that I rarely have a chance to look at what is happening in the instance around me, because I am so focused on those health bars and curing detrimentals.
I enjoy the LFD tool, but it’s not without its faults. Like those druids and priests who sign up as DPS but roll on healer gear. I understand that technically they can USE the gear, but if you sign up for a particular role, perhaps allow people who are actually playing that role in that dungeon to get the gear they need. While most of the groups actually went fairly well (which I was surprised at because I had JUST returned to the game) there was one that didn’t go quite as planned right away. My first trip into The Blood Furnace resulted in one wipe due to everyone stepping on mines. After that one wipe two people left group right away, which I found odd but I suppose I shouldn’t have been so surprised. We filled the rest of the slots and continued on our way without too much issue. That zone is stressful to heal when every single group at this level that I sign up for seems to include myself (priest) warrior (tank) and three DK or a paladin and two DK or a DPS druid and two DK. Keeping one tank alive is a fairly straightforward job and I pride myself on that rather well. In fact the instances where we did only have one player attempting to tank went wonderfully.
The problem comes when everyone charges off, thinking that they’re a tank class and thus they can just run about all crazy like. Sure, I have a group heal but concentrating on keeping everyone alive all at once when they’re taking damage from their own pulls is frustrating as a healer. Tested my skills which was nice but still frustrating.
It was nice to get back into the swing of things. I have some grandeur goal of perhaps inching my way towards 80 before the next expansion comes out, seeing as I have NEVER been ‘end game’ in WoW despite the many years I’ve been playing, but I don’t have the faintest idea if that is even realistic of me. We shall just have to see.
In the mean time, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself.