Category: Achievements

Challenge vs. Caution

To the bewilderment of some of my acquaintance, I haven’t yet tried even a single heroic. My dps is arguably high enough, depending on whom you ask, although my tanking is abysmal (it was bad enough before 4.0.1 destroyed any coherent idea I had of what to do. Now it resembles competent tanking much in the same way your average hunter represents competent melee dps). The tanking is less relevant, though, as my primary spec is still the kitty cat; still, I’m not keen to try it yet.

Don’t get me wrong, I like a challenge as much as the next person, and often probably too much. What I don’t like, though – and what I don’t really need in an activity that is supposedly fun – is to be holding other people back and attracting the ensuing comments and kicks. Having recently been kicked from a group that was absolutely owning Culling of Stratholme on normal mode merely because my dps was the lowest of the four (at approximately 1500), I’m not really anxious to step things up a level just yet. Silly ‘gogogo’ people aside, though, I don’t want to be either actually or in perception a drag on the group; I have a holy horror of being carried, though I know it happens a lot. Maybe that’s oversensitivity, I don’t know.

Ooh, look! Relatively pointless introspection; a new thing for this blog! There is a point hiding in here, if I can but locate it.

A huge part of the attraction of WoW, for me, is the challenge. Blizzard has, quite intentionally of course, built in a whole spectrum of ‘achievements’ which range from the ridiculously easy (Represent, anyone?) to the fiendishly difficult, terribly time-consuming or flat out impossible to attain. In case that wasn’t enough, they’ve also added a wide assortment of mounts, pets, toys and other pretty things that are usually only obtainable with a great deal of effort/time/sheer dumb luck. On an already distractible person, seeing or reading about these things has a predictable effect: “Ooh! Shiny!”. I’ve had to work hard to focus on one or two goals at a time, which seems to be the only way to get anywhere sensible, but the inner magpie also has to be reconciled to this state of affairs.

If ‘dream big’ isn’t a strange phrase to use about a computer game, that’s what I try to do. No, I can’t have a flying carpet today, but my new leveling project is a tailor, so one day I will get to entirely block off quest mobs from everyone else too. No, I can’t stop doing more useful rep grinds in order to get a green dragon (ha!) OR a red dragon at the moment, but there will be time soon enough. No, I can’t kill the Lich King – or Deathwing – or even Ragnaros – with a main on a realm on the other side of the world from me, but soon enough I’ll have a second main who can. And so on, and so forth. Of course, I’ll never run out of things to aim for, because (not being able to play WoW instead of going to work) there will certainly never be enough time between expansions; but that’s a good thing. And to be honest, the more unattainable something seems, the more I’m motivated to try to do it.

Don’t laugh! Just because no one else on the realm has a phoenix doesn’t mean it will never drop for me…

The tension between staying where I’m comfortable to work toward tangible goals (that will eventually come about if I keep doing what I’m doing; a full set of normal dungeon gear, for instance) and moving on to bigger and better things is an interesting one. Currently I’m not particularly eager to move on, as I don’t really feel that competent to do so, and I think the timing has to be right for maximum enjoyment (mine and my hapless group members’) – too late leads to boredom, and too early leads to frustration and sometimes to unfortunately timed displays of affection for the floor. There are times when my patience wears a bit thin, though, and I look at the ‘Random Lich King Heroic Dungeon’ option and think of the upgrades waiting on the next rung of the ladder. I do wonder if my approach will be a bit more cavalier with subsequent 80s, since I’ll know more accurately what to expect and what I can get away with; at the moment the heroics, much less raids, are a completely unknown quantity.

Somewhere in the middle, poised between the speculative glances at rusted proto-drakes and the fear of encountering That Guy in a PUG on a low DPS day, is the Happy Medium. I think I’ve nearly found it; I can see the question mark on my mini-map, but I seem to keep running past it in one direction or the other. I’m sure I can find it…if I can just stay focused long enough…



Getting your first 80 has to be a pretty momentous thing. At least, for me, I have to say I’m excited about it – even though pretty soon 80 will no longer be the level cap and Dhakeilh will once again be a candidate for leveling!  I even had the way I’d finally get there planned out, and I’m happy to say that a plan for once went exactly as intended.

At heart, I am basically someone who enjoys traditions and routines, so it made sense to go back to the first ‘grown up’ quest I ever did in WoW. It was not, of course, on my account; a friend in the US who I was visiting was attempting to convert me and, knowing me well, took his character to Dragonblight. Needless to say, I was abysmally bad at the quest, which was the one involving fighting the Azure Dragonflight at the temple, and I have a nasty feeling I may have created something of a repair bill for him – but the experience of flying a-dragonback, exactly as he planned, created a memory that stuck. I put off starting to play on my own for about a year after that, but the dragons can take the credit for putting out the initial bait – and so I went back to them as the very last quest to get me over the line to 80.

In a way, it was a little anticlimactic – no fanfare, just the completion of another daily quest. It is, however, quite satisfying in a quiet sort of way – and this even though I realise that this is only the very beginning of Dhakeilh’s adventures. As a matter of fact, I’m currently working on Valiance Expedition reputation, so there will be no resting on laurels around here. Also, I need to go through and make a list of the gear I need from the normal dungeons, and begin the (from all I hear) endless cycle of replacing existing equipment with better. Fortunately, being a jewelcrafter, one aspect of that at least will be cheaper and easier.

A million things to do notwithstanding, though, reaching 80 is still a milestone – and I intend to enjoy it. I also expect to have nearly as much fun picking out a new character to level…but that’s a story for another time!