Wow (pun intended) – where to start? I am so happy with the responses to my last post. I was talked about in MMO Melting Pot (quoted and everything!) and in Sheep the Diamond’s fantastic blog. I honestly thought this is it – that 15 minutes of fame Warhol promised (not me personally – he said I’d be lucky with 5). My husband “enjoyed” an hourly update (ok an “every 5 mins” update) of my viewing stats as I got more and more crazily excited. It was amazing. Thank you all for reading and for all the comments and feedback. I did share something personal- after all this blog is about being brave in all senses of the word. My husband was sad when he read the last line and gave me a hug – but it is how I feel. But what has really been lovely is that it resonated with other people. There’s nothing worse than admitting something to be greeted with a response of “No I’ve never felt like that” (I know – I once confessed a passing attraction to my imp- never again). But in this case people have shared their own experiences and feelings regarding the issue. I now realise there’s more fretting going on in Wow dungeons than in the Tower of London’s entire history and that is strangely comforting.
What has been really good about it all is that it’s also given me more confidence today when tanking. It has somehow made me realise (more than before) that there are real people in the groups and I do have a chance (same odds as winning the lottery probably but hey ho) of meeting some nice ones. So this morning I said the words my husband dreads – “Will you heal me today?” He pretended to misunderstand and handed me some painkillers. I gave a polite laugh and then instructed him on the subtleties of Beacon of Light.
We grouped up and checked what dungeons were available to us. The only one we hadn’t done together was Scholomance. I have a terrible fear of Scholomance and not just because of the deadly arts they practice there. Whenever I’ve been in there as DPS (and only once as healer) it seemed very messy and chaotic. People die (ok I’ve died). I never know where we’re going. Groups get split up and locked in crypts. There are the hatchlings. Different tanks have different strategies which they announce rather impatiently- “Wait by here, no don’t wait by there come here, not there THERE” etc. Basically I tend to turn into a dithering DPS in Scholomance – only managing to focus on something to fight as it takes its dying breath.
So I had pretty much decided to skip tanking it. Cowardly I know and not really in line with my blog title unless I decide to add a “but not in Scholomance” disclaimer. But because of all the people and life affirming comments and feedback I decided I had to go for it. “We’re going in,” I said firmly to my husband. He looked unconvinced so I decided to play on his weakness for shiny stuff . “You could get some good Plate gear.” He muttered something darkly about me unfairly needing on plate with intellect and robbing him of some life saving shield or another (yes he read some of the comments on that as well…). I tried to flatter him by telling him I only did it because he was intelligent enough. I then tried a cute smile. Something worked (I’d like to think it was the smile but I really think it was the shiny stuff) and we were in Scholomance.
As we were collecting the quests and saying hello to the others a brainwave hit me (this happens so infrequently you all might have felt a subtle change in the atmosphere). I’ll be honest to the group for the first time ever I thought. Not that I’ve previously pretended to be someone like Scott Johnson from The Instance ….(I only mention him because I idolise him and want a mention on his podcast), but in a “Just to warn you I’ve never tanked Scholomance before, I don’t know the way, the healer’s my husband & there might be a domestic” sort of way. In fact that’s exactly what I said – typing furiously as they ran off fighting…. It stopped them short. It was amazing. What will the reaction be I wondered nervously. I hadn’t even told my husband I was going to do it. I think he was considering denying it for a laugh but I stopped that with a look. We waited. Then someone said “Should be fun!” with a little smiley and someone else – get this – APOLOGISED FOR PULLING. Oh my god! It was unbelievable. Suddenly the five of us were real to each other and courteous. I swear our toons started showing facial expressions of empathy and support, affection and team spirit. I’d never seen anything like it before.
The run itself was brilliant albeit a little messy at times. I sometimes lose my spatial awareness when in WoW and end up facing away from the mob when fighting (once I lost so much spatial awareness I ended up standing in the kitchen bashing the toaster but that’s a whole other story). When it happens I panic and hit something silly like cleanse or X. But generally it was fine and I held aggro most of the time. My healer husband did die once though by falling down a hole in the floor! I announced his mishap to the group and we all had a little chuckle (previous groups would have demanded his execution or something). Then he died again fighting some of the trash around Rattlegore (I tried to save him I swear – I once read if the healer dies it’s the tank’s fault and made the mistake of telling him that…). “Protect your woman” shouted one of the group though, clearly in high spirits and on we pushed. It was a great run – far from perfect but done in a spirit of friendliness, camaraderie and support. Overall there wasn’t that many tragic deaths (apparently that was down to a tremendous amount of great and skilled healing that I have to be eternally thankful for – not my words but I do share the sentiment!) and I overcame alot of fears.
The only dark point came at the very end. I teleported out intending to go back in and hand in my quests but got distracted by a text and when I looked back at my screen I was stuck in the Dwarven District inn and no longer in a party so couldn’t teleport back in. “You left me,” I complained (not whined- no matter what he says) to my husband who was already obsessively heading off to the auction house like Alan Sugar’s apprentice wannabe, “I can’t turn in my quests.” He showed absolutely no remorse I’m afraid and claimed I had learnt an important lesson about getting so easily distracted (or something like that – I was watching TV by then). But other than that it was all good. Not sure if making that sort of honest statement at the start of a run will work again (different one each time though or Blizzard might think I’m a weird confessional bot of some kind) but I’m giving it ago. Might even collect some stats on how often it makes the group nice and friendly. Who knows – I might this morning have stumbled across the secret to human happiness and peace in our times. Or at the very least to getting through a dungeon with my blood pressure somewhere in the normal range and my marriage intact. Got to be worth it!