17 April 2012

tankin' and gettin' spanked...

which you may or may not know is NOT the same thing as tankin' and SPANKIN'...

Had an emergency call-out to the friends far and wide and finally had some really good runs with a really strong healer (way overpowered for me) and learned some things. My friend Klaemor is not doing what he's doing wrong, and I'm not doing what I'm doing wrong... not really... we're leading the blind through some dangerous stuff and forgetting that a priest's mana pool is finite... like Julienne's health. What we can do to minimize the overall massive heals he has to put out and on how many party members, we should be doing. I was overlooking this... so was he. Sometimes being overpowered is actually a detriment. Good lesson.

I will say for the record that I'm a little overwhelmed sometimes by how much responsibility I feel towards doing this well when so few people will ever even care.

Maybe I really do play to the smallest common denominator in WoW and that's why I'm so frustrated and freaked out when things go wrong... honestly. I said before that WoW has been a progression for me... casual player for the first few months, focused on leveling and seeing things and finding professions and making things and just enjoying the world.

And then dungeons happened and they were hard and doable and Lexi was an amazing teacher and I was loving something we had to do together. And then dungeons you didn't have to stand around in town to organize were born and the PUG could be automated... omg... and it sucked or it worked and there was a prize if you could be patient enough to make it... and so we did it.

And Alex heard about raids one too many times and had to go see. And then he wanted me to go see. And then I loved it and was frustrated by the elitism of the whole thing. And then I got good at it and was feeling trapped because Bele was being ostracized by a weird group on our server so we moved to another server and had an awesome go for a few weeks... and we downed things and stuff was good.

The whole time I thought I'd be back from raiding as if it had been an adventure. When I left Cenarius and packed my gals and Alex's guys and gals back to Uldaman I was burned out on raiding and glad for the friends who were like family and my old familiar social guild.

But it wasn't the same guild. It was quiet and creaking like an abandoned boat in the ocean... spooky noises sometimes that startled from the silence and really without folks... Rift... a new game.

And Alex and Ruth are leaping headfirst into Rift where there's no ghost of things like "wow, that guys' DPS was low, did you see his gear?"

And for awhile this worked. WoW was left behind for a shinier and prettier world that was new and fresh and that we could be the "I played this way back when," players later.

I missed WoW. I missed the community. I missed the broadness and expansiveness of the myriad ways to be lost in the game for hours and accomplish really nothing much at all. I felt sort of boxed in by Rift's options and found myself suddenly alone there for hours at a time and felt the loneliness like a weight that almost took my breath away in Alex's absence. I found Jon and had some fun there with him and already the gear and the numbers and the dps tracking were beginning to make their way in from the WoW side of the universe of gaming until I felt like I was headed in a direction I didn't want to go and I was going to have to go it alone or give it up.

And I stopped playing everything for a little bit when I moved in with Jon.

And then there was Skyrim. OMG SKYRIM! Beautiful, expansive, sexy Skyrim. I still love Skyrim. I will continue to love Skyrim. Single player games are for the burned out and still seeking, I think. So much more and so much less at the same time. No /trade chat to make you insane. No LFG/LFR to make you feel nervously aware of everything you know and they don't and everything they know and you don't all at once. No dueling... no guilds or affiliations... no strangers. No one at all outside of the forums.

And I was missing WoW even more and so I created a new Julienne on a server flagged as "new players" and accepted an invite from a guy who was advertising a level 25 guild friendly to casual players... and I had some things to get used to... see, on Uldaman Decadence, Inc. was a social guild... and they were good at setting limits (perhaps because in their personal lives more than 75% of them are polyamorous and have more than one lover who comes with more than one family setting and so they're good at balancing "I love you" with "I have other things to do right now.") I'd learned to game in an environment without the ability to search someone else's profession... so you gathered the materials, you asked the other person in game or just mailed to them all that they would need in game and asked if they could make an item for you from the materials... and you waited until it was convenient for them, which they found time for often in a few minutes.

In Underground Connection they dropped everything and leapt right out to help you RIGHT NOW even if it took forever... that was uncomfortable as someone aware of an expectation of reciprocation later.

And still, they helped. They knew the answers and were willing to share. They are funny and friendly and geeky and we have fun together.

And now Julienne is level 85 and Allumette is with her and Holle became Erijan and she came over to join them. I played off the ghosts of Alex's pally and Lexi's hunter and Mike's mage and Richard's warrior and so many of the other things... I've almost played out the ghost of Chris' warrior and mage... and I will never play out the ghost of Jimmy's mage.

And I will never, it seems, play out the ghost of dungeons learned on the fly patiently and with care to managing risk and learning... I will never play out the ghost of raids learned and repeatedly failed until they were mastered in the interest of personal growth and fulfillment with a group of others seeking the same thing. I cannot play out the ghost of lessons so deeply engrained that they have become second nature: Lexi's voice loud and frustrated over ventrilo, "If you have threat you need to stop attacking!" and Joan's voice, frustrated and a little worried, "DPS should never be in charge of the run, you need to let me make the pull." Alex's voice booming from the other room and through my ear at once, "Andrew, I know you think locktank is funny and you're pissing me off. Let me make the f'ing pulls! I can't keep paying repairs because you're being a d*&k!"

Speaking of Alex... his is another ghost that I seem unable to fully exorcize and am still managing to overcome. There are times when a pally tank makes the pull and I hear them in my ears and I'm taken back to another place and time and for a second my eyes burn a little bit because I miss the sense of confidence and overly satisfied cockiness that came from knowing the tank had it and was damned good. There are times when I feel the loss of his knowledge and assuredness like a gaping hole and have to walk away... and of late, there are times when I wish I could show off and let HIM be the one with cocky assuredness that I've GOT this.

Tanking is so much fun!

I really think I'm drawn to warriors in general because we're in the mix of things, connected to it literally and figuratively. Tanking is the next extension of my warrioring abilities and I'm really loving it. I'm frustrated by the ignorance and flat stupidity of the people I have to play with sometimes, and am warmed and even humbled by the patience of others when I'm not quite getting it right yet and they're willing to let me learn with steady voices and kind reminders. Death Knight tanks are so much more powerful that I'm letting Erijan wait a bit... I want Julienne to shine as the bright copper penny in the sun of my gaming experience first and be the flagship of my forward momentum ever after.

My Jules' are always first, see. I've decided to let Allumette go second wherever possible. She will always be first in my heart and mind... and it's time for a new view and a new experience of the game... Julienne is perfect for this.

peace... and if not peaceful then... damnit... kill 'em all and let their gods sort them out. This is World of Warcraft and I'm not the mama... not anymore, anyway.

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