Category: General


Playtime! New Toys…

Is quoting Meathook a bad thing?

Cataclysm, unfortunately, hit the world during a week where I was covering a colleague’s leave at my real job and also three days before I took an exam. In addition, my left wrist is currently in a brace, which means half of my typing is much as usual and the other half (i.e. the keybind half) is slow and awkward. Can we postpone all this for a couple of months, please?!

No, not really, of course. In spite of getting wiped by the real life boss and the fun of trying to play with an immobilised wrist, Dhak hit 85 early last week via Vashj’ir, Deepholm, Uldum and Twilight Highlands. So far it’s been fun, though I am suffering from a severe case of toomanythingstodoallatoncemustdoNOW; the tactic that seems most helpful is deep breathing and a firm resolve to stick to one goal at once!

Things I’ve loved so far:

– Pebble. I want! That is the most adorable little earth elemental ever spawned.

– The end of the Uldum quest line (the whole zone is fun, too, but the end made me go wow…no pun intended).

– Halls of Origination. Yes, it’s super long, but it’s original and interesting and you actually have to think about the fights.

– The Abyssal Seahorse, which I can’t use outside Vashj’ir… /cry

– Archaeology, which is quickly turning me into an addict who spends her time soaring around looking for dig sites instead of, oh, leveling jewelcrafting or actually gearing up. Because I needed another time sink…bad Blizzard!

– The shaman down inside the gullet in Twilight Highlands. I presume their chatter is different depending on your class, but it made me giggle repeatedly. ‘When was the last time you saw me turn into a wild beast…wait, never mind.’

– And, of course, the goblin and worgen starting zones. I love them both for equal and opposite reasons (which surprised me; I didn’t expect to enjoy the goblin zone, goblins being the kind of race I never usually play and have very little sympathy for). Fun!

Things I’ve disliked:

– The new Darkshore. Yes, there is much that is cool and interesting about it, I love the new pet, and I’m not arguing that it’s bad from a development or gameplay point of view; quite the opposite. But of all places in the world, this one just bowled me over when I saw what they did to Auberdine and the surrounds (being afraid of exactly that, I didn’t actually visit it after the Shattering until my new worgen reached that point). You can hardly walk ten yards before you have to climb over or around some new canyon or gorge, Auberdine is not just damaged but totally wrecked – and to add insult to injury, the first quest you complete there is going off to recover the survivors. This would be fair enough, except that the survivors are the old named NPCs from Auberdine…and you have to walk past the corpses of half the others, lying on the beach! Bad Blizzard (in the other sense, this time)! Of all the horrid things to do to players with fond memories of their early leveling days…anyway, that in particular definitely knocked me for six. Laird was my FRIEND. He sold me fishing recipes!*

– The amazing vanishing mining nodes (and herbs). Hopefully this bug will be looked at soon, unless of course the GMs are just getting too much amusement out of watching players trying to sneak up on obsidium nodes and mine them before they vanish. Puzzling at the beginning, this one becomes frustrating fast.

– Tol Barad, at the moment, though this may change when more people are 85. My experience with it so far has involved small groups and frustrating attempts to elude or distract the Horde gank squad long enough to capture a base only to lose it again, but since a) it’s new and b) I suck at PvP, this opinion is highly likely to be both ill-informed and invalid. On the other hand…it has a dragon as a reputation reward…which may reconcile me to its shortcomings.

– Lag in Stormwind and Orgrimmar, combined with roughly a billion dragons flapping their wings between you and whichever important quest NPC/vendor/flight master you’re trying hard to click on. Yes, people, we know you’re uber. You do not have to hover three feet off the ground on your Bronze Drake in the middle of the Trade District. Also, the lack of a common city for Alliance and Horde makes holiday achievements trickier!

All in all…yes, I’m having heaps of fun. No question of that. It’s been interesting too to see everyone’s gear level suddenly even out quite a bit; I’ve discovered that while I’m by no means good at my class, neither am I quite as abysmally awful at kitty dps as I had been thinking, which is a nice confidence booster. Also, I love the challenge and the need for actual thought in instances now. It remains to be seen whether I’ll ever dare to raid…

*Yes, I know. It hasn’t escaped me that this is exactly the reaction I’m sure Blizzard wants, and that they’ve done an excellent job with the expansion. But still. Bad Blizzard!

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Day 2: Which is your favourite race, and why?

  

Here we are again on the 20 Days of Warcraft challenge, from Ama via Erinys. I’m not doing them on consecutive days, since time does not allow, but so far they’re interesting – so I shall keep plodding along at my own speed!

This one is a difficult question. I can name a couple who aren’t my favourite races – dwarves, whose fondness for ale and Scottish accents amuses but doesn’t really charm me, and humans (I am already a human. Do I need to play a computer game just in order to be one again?). Most of the others, though, have their redeeming factors:

  • Undead: Although they gross me out completely, some of their quotes when clicked on (and the underlying racial outlook on life) are rather fun. My personal favourite is ‘Remember, patience. Discipline.’ – closely followed by ‘What would you ask of Death?’. I suppose you could call it a morbid fascination…
  • Gnomes: Undeniably cute, but certainly sometimes a bit irritating as well. I love them when they’re sneaking and their death animation is endlessly amusing, but their laughter causes me to consider ways of bringing about their death as a race.
  • Goblins: Haven’t tried them yet (obviously) so it’s difficult to say. I’m guessing probably not, though, as I don’t really go for the whole profiteering thing. Plus, their voices tend to get on my nerves. That said, they clearly do have a well-developed sense of fun!
  • Worgen: Likewise, haven’t tried them yet. I would say, though, that they would be in there with a very strong chance. British accents instead of the endless American voices (no offense, I’m half American myself!), plus the whole changing into a wolf thing – and I’m strongly in sympathy with their desire to live their own lives and shut the rest of the world out, even though I don’t think it was the right thing to do.
  • Tauren: Definitely the gentle giants of Azeroth. Their culture is quite beautiful – certainly the pick of the Horde – and I think could be developed a bit more than it has been. That said, somehow my mental image of a cow doesn’t include a great deal of intelligence, so I perhaps don’t like them as well as I might otherwise.
  • Draenei: I love their devotion to the Light and their selflessness. They’re fun to look at, too (even if the girls’ posture makes me cringe – their backs must get terribly sore!), and they aren’t afraid to get involved in helping out when someone needs it. On the other hand, they’re also hugely popular, and I’ve never been all that fond of following the crowd.
  • Trolls: The embodiment of ‘cool’. They are fun and funky, and would also kill you or anyone else given half a chance. I quite like playing them, but you can never trust them not to do something horribly barbaric at any moment, which irks me a bit.
  • Orcs: Rather a divided race. My feelings about the orcs vary depending on whether we’re discussing the ‘Thrall’ type or the ‘Garrosh’ type. The former would probably place them up with my favourite races, for their honour and bravery; the latter would take them out of the running entirely!
  • Night elves: My main is a night elf, so I’ve probably spent longer looking at them than any other race (though, granted, she also is a cat most of the time. But an elven cat!). I like their connection with nature, but their arrogance and isolationism rather annoys me; I know, I said I sympathised with worgen for almost the same thing, but consistency is for the weak.
  • Blood elves: The ‘pretty’ race. Having pretty characters is fun, I can’t deny that (and I don’t play male characters, so I’m talking about the girls here). That said, as a race they really aren’t that pleasant, and no one could really describe them as team players.  But they are fun to dress up!

 

After all of that, with a short list of worgen, orcs and draenei, I think the eventual winner is the worgen. The orcs lose out due to the Garrosh factor, in the end – and even the draenei can’t quite compete with the turning-into-a-wolf bonus points the worgen get. Of course, I might change my mind after I play one – but I hope not, since the idea is that my new main will be Gilnean born and bred!

I got this topic from Erinys, who got it from Ama (topic-stealing ftw!). It looks fun, so I think I might try it! Though I don’t know that I’ll be making a post each day.

This is a question I’ve only just managed to answer to my own satisfaction, being incurably altoholic. To a large degree, my favourite class is the one I’m currently logged into – even warlocks are (sometimes) fun if that’s what I’m doing at the time. 

The one I can’t stay away from though, that wins in so many ways for me, is druid. I have…*cough* too many druids, mostly baby ones (though Dhak is of course of the feline persuasion), and I never get tired of them. And, of course, I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for first the Shattering and then Cataclysm, because then I get FOUR druid races! And I get to be a bat!

*clears throat* ahem, anyway.

Druids are just fun. For one thing, they change shape – a lot. Of course the change to resto, which shall be left silently aside, has reduced the entertainment value of that spec a bit (never having played a high level resto druid, I’m not so disappointed as those who do, but I do think it’s rather a shame and I had been looking forward to being a tree). Even so, though, by the time your pet druid reaches maximum level, s/he has no less than six (or seven, if you’re balance or resto – eight if you’re also a worgen!) different forms to play with. Some of those forms are actually considerably better looking than the original night elf or tauren forms; I know, elves are the ‘pretty’ races, but I don’t actually find night elves terribly attractive. I’d rather look at a graceful, purple cat than at the back of an elven head.

The other thing I love about druids is the utility. Any class that lets you gather herbs and quest items without actually landing on the ground gets lots of points from me (even though Dhak is a miner and therefore has to land anyway…sigh). Cat form, properly talented, lets you run faster even indoors; bear form, even if you’re kitty spec, has been known to save at least 5-man groups whose tank has developed a sudden affection for the floor. And, of course, being able to swim indefinitely and fly without the risk of being knocked off your mount are also very useful perks in some situations. It’s got to the point where, as a couple of my other characters climb up into the mid-levels, I’m starting to wonder how I’ll like playing alts without that kind of functionality. Methinks I might be a little bit spoilt…

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m creating a new main come Cata – on an Oceanic realm, which is where I sensibly belong. Making her a worgen druid was basically a no-brainer, for all the above reasons (plus…werewolves!); the only thing I don’t like is that neither worgen nor druids really have as much use for mounts as anyone else! You see, I intend to go achievement-collecting on her, and what’s the good of having dragons or white tigers if you never get to look at them…?

That said, it’s perhaps a little early to be worrying about that (and it is, admittedly, a laughably trivial issue). Apart from the lack of diversity in steeds, though – druids all the way!

I suppose major changes like this to a world that people know and love are always going to provoke a lot of comment (and boy, is that an understatement. Have we heard anything but Cataclysm lately?). My feelings are rather mixed – so much so that, in fact, I’ve started this post no less than four times in different tones! I hesitate to apply the word ‘bittersweet’, because that might lend the whole thing a little too much gravitas, but I think that’s the term that best expresses the flavour of the moment.

I tried out the new troll starting area today (along with roughly ten million others, mostly playing druids). Having competed madly for quest mobs and listened to dialogue rendered meaningless by constant repetition as each of the ten million did the same quests, I quite liked it – but I think I’m going to wait a while to go back, since it was rather like being in pre-Shattering Dalaran. I shudder to think what Gilneas and the Lost Isles are going to be like! I also had a look at a few other places, including Dun Morogh (interesting), Stormwind (er…shattered) and Menethil (flooded), and ran around a bit to get a feel for Dustwallow Marsh.

I notice we now have new achievements as well, which has adjusted a few things one way or t’other. Of course, as we were warned, my characters have lost basically all their quest counts for old Azeroth (sigh). On the up side, the higher level ones seem to have gained the exploration achievements for nearly every zone, including ones they’ve never visited (Azshara, for instance!). I have a feeling that World Explorer, at least for pre-existing characters, has just got an awful lot quicker; I’m only missing 5 zones on Dhakeilh now. It was interesting to have a look at the achievements for the Cata raids and for archaeology, too – I’ve not been in the beta and have avoided hearing too much about the upcoming storylines, so I’m having fun speculating on where all the bosses come in.

The down side, of course, is the glaringly obvious. Deathwing has done his dastardly work and destroyed the world as we know it, and (since, as aforementioned, I’m beta-less) things keep taking me unawares. I trotted out the western gate of Razor Hill today and went splash into the Southfury River, somewhat to my surprise – and Orgrimmar looks so different that I have to keep looking at the map to find myself. I haven’t yet dared to visit Auberdine and Darkshore, and I’m not entirely sure I want to; I spent a lot of my early leveling time there on Dhak and on other characters, and in spite of its dreariness, I was quite fond of the place. I suppose I’ll have to go and have a look, though.

Common sense and experience with Blizzard both dictate that there will be plenty of new (or improved) areas that are just as beautiful and/or just as lovable as the ones that are now underwater or broken into bits. Likewise, in the grand scheme of things, an expansion that rearranges a computer game’s virtual world is not exactly an issue of major importance. Even knowing both of those things, though, I can’t quite evade a tendency to wail ‘But I wasn’t ready yet!’ when I see some newly devastated place. There were still things I should have got round to, screenshots I should have taken (why is it only now that I want to look at the statues in front of Stormwind as they were, when I could have done it any day for the last two months?), places I should have spent more time in, quest lines I really should have done…and so on, and so forth. I don’t think I realised, I suppose, that we’d be having the Shattering two weeks before Cata – but even with those extra two weeks, would I have felt ready? Probably not.

I have never been a person who really enjoys changes. Of course, I only started playing about a year ago, so there are still huge swathes of WoW that I haven’t touched. Unlike the majority, who were raid-ready as Wrath started or during its course and are now bored silly, there’s still heaps of content that would be plenty new and exciting (and difficult) for me. Probably that contributes to the mixing of my feelings – I’m not so desperate for something new to do as many others are, and all of the predictions about how Cataclysm will make everything far more difficult are worrying me a bit (I am quite dreadful enough as it is without adding more complications)! All in all, I’m looking forward to it – I think. But there is a level on which it feels rather like they’ve taken a good game that I was getting fond of and turned it back into a new game that I don’t know at all. Of course, I can only imagine how much more jarring the changes must be for those who’ve been playing years longer than me, too.

The title of this post should have served as a warning about its content! I really didn’t intend for this to turn into a whine about Cataclysm, because there are many things about it that I’m eagerly awaiting. Really, I think, it’s just the aftermath of seeing the destruction for the first time; when I get more used to it, and have got over the shock of seeing a few favourite places destroyed, I’ll find new spots to love and all will be sunshine again.

After all, who doesn’t love a new challenge?!

One of my pre-Cataclysm projects, that I’m enjoying far more than I thought I would, is to play through the quest lines in Eastern and Western Plaguelands before they all go away. I’d made a few brief forays up there for specific purposes and had thought the whole place very dreary and uninteresting (and full of disgusting ghouls and things), but I’ve gotten surprisingly caught up in the story since actually spending some time there. It isn’t so much the plaintive ghosts; uneasy dead are a dime a dozen in Azeroth, after all, and most of them seem to have something they want you to do to let them rest in peace. Nor is it the hordes of undead, who tend to evoke more disgust than pity in me; rather, it’s the land itself.

It’s clear to see, looking beyond the brown vegetation and dilapidated buildings, that the Plaguelands was once beautiful farmland with a string of charming towns dotted across it. I missed this entirely on first impression, as the general atmosphere of smoke and shambling abominations tends to catch the eye, but after spending more time and visiting places more than once, little details began to stand out. Andorhal, in particular, must once have been a delightful little town, with the lake close by and the hills overlooking it – but so must Darrowshire in its snug little valley and, for that matter, Hearthglen-of-the-marvellous-view (before the fanatics got quite so carried away).

Andorhal and its surrounding farms are the part that really got to me, though. I started off feeling a bit sad for it, but the more time I spend there, the angrier I feel at our friend Prince Arthas. The people of Andorhal never had a chance; first Arthas raises an army of Scourge and Lordaeron is destroyed (and Stratholme is corrupted – thus depriving them of their two nearest major cities). Then the Scarlet Crusade moves in and starts charging all over the countryside burning anything that looks at them funny, and all the while you have the Argent Dawn and their allies battling the Scourge up hill and down dale. No wonder no one lives there any more!

Not even the dogs…

It doesn’t seem fair, somehow.  I’m sure if I’d known what it was like before Arthas came to town I’d be even more indignant – but, of course, I don’t. Even so, having spent some time in the Plaguelands, I now have a much better perspective of why exactly the citizens of Azeroth want to hunt the Lich King down and slay him – besides the obvious. Villains seem to be rather common in Azeroth; you’ll find a marauding tribe of centaur or a restless minor deity under nearly every rock. Some of them, though, deserve death more than others.

What did you find made Wrath ‘personal’ for you (if anything?). I’m betting we all have some reason we’d love to kill Deathwing, or we will when we see what he does to the world; but I’m curious, what was the thing that motivated you to kill the LK?

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…

Shiny!

Masquerade

Night elf druid? Come on. That is SO last expansion. Pumpkin-headed ninja witch just has so much more variety in the talent tree…

Heroes of the Past

 

This is my first Harvest Festival.

The first time you get to experience something always seems to be a bit special, and I’m guessing this is probably no exception. Although, now that Brewfest has started, I’m enjoying throwing mugs of beer and racing madly around on rams, something in the understatedness of Harvest Festival has caught my imagination.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no complaints with fun and silly holidays. Indeed, I’ve been looking forward to experiencing Brewfest and trying ram racing, and getting a new set of ridiculous holiday clothes (a night elven druid in German peasant dress? Right.), and all that goes with it…including the highly noticeable effects of getting completely smashed. I am endlessly entertained by trying to locate Dark Iron dwarves with my ‘vision’ so blurry I can barely make them out, which no doubt just goes to show that I’m easily amused. I also spent quite some time just chasing a Wild Wolpertinger around for the fun of it, making me wonder whether it’s me or Dhakeilh who’s a bit silly currently!

I’m glad, though, that Blizzard chose to start Harvest Festival a few days before the riotous revelry that is Brewfest. I actually find it a really intriguing  juxtaposition between thoughtful remembrance of the dead and an alcohol-drenched party which, it could be argued, encourages our characters to forget their cares and responsibilities and celebrate life. (If I’d ever drunk as much as Dhakeilh did the other night, I doubt I could remember my own name)! Just to complete the contrast, there is some overlap between the holidays – so your character can go and honor the dead and then come back to drown his sorrows, or conversely, can enjoy her wild party now and then in the morning nurse her hangover and contemplate more serious things.

Azeroth is, when you come down to it, not the most cheerful of places to live. Nearly everyone seems to have lost home, friends or family, or some combination of all of them. Countless threats to peace and safety, from the merely irritating to the devastatingly world-shattering, are part of everyday existence – and at least every second person you meet on the street is part of some sort of military or defensive group. (Also, the place is bristling with valiant heroes – it’s always an ominous sign when the heroes come out en masse). When you look at it that way, it’s easy to see their need for both kinds of festival – the celebration and the memorial. It’s the memorial, though, that draws me deeper into the lore of Azeroth, and makes me want to go and discover more about the heroes in my characters’ past.

Uther Lightbringer and Grommash Hellscream both, as we are reminded at this time of year, made the ultimate sacrifice for the good of their people. Watching my characters kneel at their monuments has made more of an impression on me than I really expected; it’s almost as though it ‘really happened’. It’s moments like this that inspire me to keep seeking out the more obscure lore moments, and to really think of Dhakeilh as fighting some great evil rather than as accumulating a collection of numbers…which, of course, makes everything more fun. Most especially, though, rereading Grom’s monument has given me a new respect for the orcs as a race.

Perhaps it’s because honoring our fallen heroes resonates so strongly within our own society, but I think Harvest Festival stands out among the other celebrations. It manages to be serious without being over-sentimental, and understated without being entirely swamped by the noisier Brewfest. Although there may not be as much to ‘do’, I think I’ve found my favourite of the Warcraft festivals. I shall have to think ahead and plan for Aminyara’s celebration of it next year…

All Change, Please!

I like to think that I’m on track to becoming a fairly versatile player in about 10 years’ time, mostly due to chronic inability to only do one thing at once. For that reason, I’m learning to tank and heal (or trying to) as well as practising various forms of dps on various characters. This love for variety means that if I had to pick one and only one class to play, it would be druids – and, of course, my main is a druid.

The useful thing about druids is that it’s usually pretty easy to tell (after the first 30 seconds or so of buffing up) what they’re planning to do in this instance or raid. Tanking druids will be in bear form, healing druids will have branches and leaves, DPSing druids will tend toward the furred or the feathered according to preference. This is pretty much a no-brainer (and an over-simplification, but I’ll let it slide for now). Likewise, one would hope and expect that the druid in question has a talent spec suited to the shape s/he has chosen; a druid rustling around in tree form probably isn’t specced to tank today. However, the nuances of this appear to have eluded our tank in a PUG of Shattered Halls I was in a little while ago (and fortunately, we got lucky).

We started off as a fairly conventional group: paladin tank, holy priest healer, two kitty druids (one white, one purple – because, you know, colour co-ordination is important) and a warlock. About halfway through, just before the first boss, things began to go increasingly pear-shaped; while the tank was fine with holding aggro on mobs that were in front of him, he wasn’t quite managing to keep the healer out of danger. We puttered along for a bit longer, but then Bad Things started to happen on the bigger trash pulls. Suddenly (ta-daa!), the other druid revealed a hitherto-unknown resto spec and turned into a tree to help heal (phew!).

Onward we forged, now with two healers. The tank, clearly not feeling quite up to the job, took a deep breath and pulled the first boss – but by the time it hit 50% health and was ping-ponging between the tank and each of the two healers, it was obvious that all was not going well. In the middle of the fight, the tank said to me ‘I can’t taunt, you tank’ – and started in to dps. Much surprised, I shifted into bear form and we did get through it (my l33t tanking skillz just about extend to keeping a single target’s attention if I try hard enough, and I was at the upper level limit for the instance).

We finished the instance that way, with a bear tank, holy priest and tree healers, and paladin and warlock dps. It seemed to work, even if it wasn’t exactly what we’d expected. I have to admit, though I was a bit annoyed with the tank at the time (what? It’s mid fight! Ack! Quick, growl and where’s-my-maul-key-dammit!), I enjoyed rising to the challenge of a sudden shift in role.

What about you? Do you prefer to choose a niche and stick with it, or do you like classes that can dabble in a bit of something different if it’s called for?

Today I was a good little fantasy hero and toddled off to do my Harvest Festival honouring of Uther Lightbringer in the Plaguelands. Since I was also on a low-level (but nonetheless valiant) hero at the time, I had to walk from Southshore as I didn’t yet have the Chillwind Camp flight point. My efforts were rewarded, however, by (re)discovering how gorgeous the Alterac Mountains can be – when they’re not being snowy and full of ogres, or cratered and ruined.

 

 

My sky- and mountain-loving soul delights in scenery like this 🙂 Chalk up another one for Blizzard’s design team!