Friday, April 22, 2011

A gaming crisis of sorts averted

Last night Torq and I were on Skype together trying to decide what to do in game. I was feeling a bit burned out on playing Ice and said as much.

~Cue Flood Gates~

You see, Torq (on his main and high level alts) is what I would call a hardcore raider (hardcore-ness subject to perspective). He is anxious to get Torq to 85, and his guild is anxious to have a Frost DK added to the ranks of Melee DPS they can pull from for raids.

When I mentioned to Torq that I wasn't really feeling like playing Ice, well, it drew parallels in his mind with a time that came before in which I deleted my level 84 Druid and my level 80 Priest among others. He was right to draw those parallels. Subconsciously I had reached that point where I was afraid to hit level cap. It is the same thing that happened to me with my Druid.

It is always difficult to deal with feelings that you haven't fully accepted or even noticed yet. I only just started to feel that little bit of burn out. But it was true, I was feeling that fear of hitting level cap. Irrational as I know it sounds, knowing that I don't really have any desire to raid left me wondering what else there is for me in the game. What happens after that?

Now, that is normally a very easy question for me to answer. ALTS!!! However, I have Torq to consider in all of this. Ultimately, he is one of the main reasons why I continue to play WoW. We have so much fun together. And so, irrational fear creeps in that once we hit 85 he will be off raiding and I will be alone. Of course it is irrational fear because I completely forget that we have 3 other pairs of alts that we are leveling purely with each other.

I have made a promise to myself, to Torq, and to all of my readers, that I will not be deleting Icelica any time soon. That would be the farthest thing from what I'd be likely to do at this point. I still have so much of her story to write. There is no way I can just delete her now. She still has a long way to go towards healing the wounds that being a member of Lich King's army has given her.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

In which my new computer brought me to tears

So, just when I said I was back, I was thrown a curve ball and ended up away for another week. I had all sorts of posts planned and many ideas and the freshness of my new main kicking around my head, and BOOM. Crash went my motherboard.

It was bound to happen. I'd been inadvertently trying to destroy that thing ever since I got the computer years ago, so I wasn't completely surprised, but disappointed to have a week without it. I hardly thought I could stand it. Screw the game, I missed my blog!

Happily, yesterday I purchased a replacement with the recommendations of my guardian computer angel. It isn't perfect, and a few upgrades are still in store, but even just out of the box it screams when compared to the old computer.

After re-downloading WoW and getting my addons just so again, I stopped to look. For years I've been playing WoW with the lowest video settings possible. I thought the game was pretty enough. I had no idea. The textures, the sparkles, the details, the water, the air, the spells, even something as simple as the cobblestones in SW... I stopped and played dress-up on Ice, and she looks even more amazing than ever.

And then I had a moment of regret. The very first moment of regret at having deleted Amaranth. Not wishing I could play her, because I am well and over that, but wishing I could see her with the graphics improved. All of the beautiful sets of dress up clothes she had, all of the nifty staves and off-hand frills. I cried a little, just a little, just a moment, for that lost opportunity.

Why, oh, why did I not upgrade my computer sooner?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Keeping Control

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that I am truly a healer at heart. It is my preferred role, always. Over the years reading and talking to other players I've gotten the feeling that most  people who heal do it because it has faster queue times for randoms or their guild needed another healer for the raid, not because they love healing. As a consequence of this conclusion I have never stopped trying to figure out why I love to heal. Well, I think I have come to a conclusion.

I'm a control freak.

As a healer, I always feel as though I am in control. If I don't heal you, you will die. I don't typically abuse this power, but it is the truth.

Having now tried all roles in dungeon settings, I can firmly say that the reason I have had issues with playing as DPS is mostly due to lack of control (especially when playing pure DPS classes). As DPS, in most cases, you are at the whim of your tank and healer to control the flow of a dungeon. The appeal of the DPS role is numbers. Instant gratification via large shiny numbers. I love those big numbers too, but not at the sacrifice of control. It feels like taking a huge leap of faith to put your safety in the hands of a tank and healer in a random dungeon. I know, I know. It's just a game. The worst that can happen is a wipe, but nobody likes wiping.

Now that my main is a tank I can see things much more clearly. The thing that I am enjoying most about tanking, and the thing that keeps me on the edge of my seat, biting my lip in anxiety, is that the tank role is a constant battle to keep control (keep aggro). I feel like a child walking several misbehaving dogs on leashes and they all want to go different directions. Perhaps this feeling will even out in time as I grow more experienced, but I kind of doubt it. When I am healing I know I am in control. When I am tanking I am always on the verge of losing it. I know that at any time that hunter pet might growl, or the mage might randomly decide to frost nova mobs before they reach me, or (God forbid) the healer has gone afk without letting me know. All of which has happened.

In ways, playing in the role of a tank has presented the ultimate challenge to me. Maybe someday I will attain that perfect state of zen where I no longer care about keeping control.