Monday, January 31, 2011

Sometimes WoWlife is good

Since my last entry I was thinking about a new post showing more discontent with the actual expansion. Several things weren't feeling quite right. Maybe we were too used to Wrath and its various loot-farms, the possibility to carry an undergeared char into heroics so he could get some decent gear, the possibility to get decent gear crafted thanks to Frozen Orbs... I hadn't feel this way before, even during Bruning Crusade. But I couldn't find a solid point to blame at all. Everytime I thought "oh, but X sucks" I saw that maybe that wasn't right and there was another thing that made me feel that X was sucking but that wasn't really true. And that other thing wasn't sucking too per-se. So everything looked like a vicious circle while I was feeling more tired of the game every day that passed. Maybe I was reaching the endlife of WoW, I've been playing almost since it was released and during this time I've seen a ton of people leaving because the game wasn't fun anymore for them.
Since Cata was released I've been busy mainly leveling my chars. Right now I've seven chars at 85, so the leveling process is boring as hell. Been there, done that... seven times before, and will do at least three times more. Not what I'd call exciting.
Dungeons were mainly a problem. In normal mode I've done all of them except Grim Batol at least once, mostly as dps except one BRC tanking and one VP healing. At level 85 the gear you may get there is mostly useless compared to your quest and crafted blues, and after experiencing how stressing healing can be I refused to pug as healer or even tank. I could go as dps at least, but having to wait 20 minutes for it? No way. So I did some dailies with two or three chars and dedicated some time to leveling or completing quests in Twilight Highlands and Baradin Peninsula with these main characters (warrior, paladin, mage). Heroics were totally out of scope. I only tried one, was a semipug and we couldn't get the second boss down and it took a long time to get there. And reading the horror stories in posts and comments (nab tanks not using cc, gogogoers, dps standing in fire, 3 hours to complete an heroic...) well, that didn't help much to cheer me up. To make things worse our guild has returned to the usual few people logged in, maybe even less than normal, so getting a guild run was as difficult as winning the Euromillions. Things weren't looking good...
But sometimes you get pleasant surprises and life performs a 180ยบ turn, making you love the game again.
It started in Twilight Highlands while I was doing the dailies with my warrior. A retri paladin asked me to join forces to down Warlord Halthar (whom I can down easily with the warrior and paladin alone) and asked me why I wasn't wearing the Crucible of Carnage sword, better that the weapons I was using (the Axe of Earthly Sundering and the Obsidium Executioner). I told him that I didn't like pugging right now and prefered to get some guildies to do it. As we finished the dailies someone was asking for people for CoC and he encouraged me to join them. Oh well... I could try...
I asked and got the invite, they told me they needed just a random, so I thought I'd stay as fury. In fact I ended being the tank after some role-changing before starting. Warrior tank.. something I hadn't played for quite a long time (I think last time was an ICC rep run) and a role I never found comfortable with, due to weak aoe-aggro generation. But we weren't in Wrath anymore and this was a Ring of Blood style fight, so it should be ok. I only had seen some fights from afar, so I was mostly clueless, but mobs weren't that complicated. Mostly tank and spank. Kite the cadaver like Grobbulus, grab the adds on the worgen boss and be careful with fire on the ground on the last boss. My aggro generation was a bit short sometimes, but nothing a good old taunt couldn't fix. We finished the bosses and I got a shiny new sword and two achievements.
Then a pally guildie logged in and asked for some heroics. Since he was tanking (and he's good at it and has good gear) I joined as dps, ready to cope with any wipe-fest. It was now or never.
We good a group pretty fast (having a tank on your side ensures an instant run) and Lady RNG assigned us Blackrock Caverns. One frost dk, one balance druid and a healer priest... suspiciously in shadowform. Before we couldn't finish greeting eachother the priest dropped the group. Surely a smartass trying to get a free ride as dps. Bon voyage. We got a replacement immediately, a resto druid. Looking at the group I was fearing the worst since our cc was limited. Druids could use entangling roots, but we didn't have anything to put a caster out of play. That meant we had to deal with them first and quickly before the melee freed from the roots. The dark shadow of wipefest was looming upon us...
How wrong I was. The group ended being awesome. The best pug in a very long time, even on Wrath times where you could thrash an heroic in 10 minutes or less. Not even we finished the random dungeon and the next one (Halls of Origination) but we managed to score several achievements. I think we wiped only 3 times, one of them at the hands of BRC last boss and was a mutual kill. Not even we had to do things a bit Wrath-style due to the limited cc but we also managed to get some impressive performance in dire situations. At Karsh Steelbender my colleague pulled the boss while pulling the first fire elemental. A wipe was called but the group pressed the pedal on and decided to kill the add while the boss was being tanked too. During the fight I died and was battleressed. First elemental was downed and we pulled the second one while the healer did wonders to keep everybody alive, specially the tank. We dispatched the second elemental and then proceeded to kill the boss and also get the achievement for having more than 15 stacks of Superheated Quicksilver Armor. On the last boss, Ascendant Lord Obsidius, we also decided to complicate our lives to get the Ascendant Descending achievement. The balance druid kited the adds while the frost dk and me made all we could to slow them down and dps the boss. I never thought we'd made it but we managed to kill the boss (and he killed us too at the same time) and get the achievement.
Excited by the triumphs earned in BRC we queued again and got Halls of Origination, where we also got some achievements despite our non-ideal composition. But as someone in the group said, "brains > gear". Couldn't agree more. If getting the runs done in a reasonable time was already a great goal for me, pulling all these achievements: Too Hot to Handle, Ascendant Descending, I HateThat Song, Straw That Broke the Camel's Back, Sun of a.... was totally awesome. Knowing your class and how can interact with others was the key (aside some good gear worn by the healer and the tank :) ), and I was happy again and enjoying my main character. The only downside was the loot. A lot of leather and caster gear dropped, making the balance and the resto druid very happy (and they truly deserved it!). I ended with a shield for my offspec and a Chaos Orb, but the joy was better than any loot.
If all heroic runs were half the good these were, I'd be more than happy.

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