Bravetank finally reentered the dungeon world today after quite some time away. I decided to go into my old favourite Dire Maul – Gordok Common. I’ve been in there so many times some of the mobs no longer attack me and instead give me a little wave. I have after all been crowned their king over a hundred times. So it’s nice there. I take treats for the dogs.
The group was friendly. Someone said “Hi” so I knew we were onto a winner. And when we wiped at one point (I hadn’t given healer husband enough time to loot so was left to die at the hands of 5 angry mobs as punishment for my tanking sin) no one moaned (apart from me, to him, a lot). At one point I messed up & over pulled (a great mass of mobs came running towards us such is the range of my Avenger’s shield). I apologised & one of the dps said it was all fine. Maybe he was amazed at a tank apologising. I’ve certainly not seen it much. So a really nice group. Drama free run. Was still nervous as hell though. Why is that? Why am I still nervous when all is going well? Why am I still nervous even when running with people from the Raggy Dolls guild which was set up to support people like me?
I’ve been thinking about this and how all this nervousness actually manifests itself in panic when I’m in a dungeon. Triggers for panic in dungeons for me are as follows:-
1. I’ve lost my way & can’t find the group- immediately my heart races, I start typing abject apologies while yelling for my husband, “Come and help …no look up the dungeon your computer…no come and have a look here, is it this way, is it, IS ITTTTT? WHY DON’T YOU KNOW THE WAY?! Oh there they are – just round the corner!” It’s awful and never fails to lead to an argument between me & husband since my panic makes me a tad unreasonable and my dungeon mishaps tend to happen when he’s in the middle of doing something hugely important to him like counting his money in the bank or window shopping in the Trade District….
2. Someone implies the next stage is tricky for those who don’t know the tactics….immediate terror then. They might as well have told me that those crank calls I’ve been getting are coming from my own attic. Horror seizes me. What do they mean? I look straight at the floor – in the game not at home of course- that would be odd. Where is the bad (usually I’m in it & dead). If not I ponder the time it would take to look up the dungeon but since the game always crashes when I tab out I know that’s pointless and I can’t disturb husband when he’s fishing in the harbour…. So the panic escalates. I feel out of control and helpless. While this is going on I’m still trying to fight & top the DPS charts. Of course I’m failing at both and just running round like a lunatic flailing crazily while the rest of the group stands and stares at me.
3. Anyone abuses me whether I’m tank, healer or dps – that immediately makes me feel sick, blood pumps in my ears, the whole fight & flight thing kicks in and I start playing worse than ever – normally because I’m trying to type a response at the same time. That comes out as gibberish too. Panic does not a good player or typist make.
4. I’m dead & can’t find my way back in. Sort of similar to (1) but worse because I have the shame of both having died & looking like someone lazily waiting to be ressed. So social guilt on two counts. I over explain in chat while the panic builds up. By this time the rest of the group are back in there & usually someone kindly resses me & I shamefacedly rejoin them feeling like a total failure.
And that’s the issue isn’t it. I panic when I run the risk of failing in these dungeons, or being perceived to be a failure, and that can happen often. They even say it to you in there -“You fail” they say. Such a cruel thing. Cuts me to the core even though it shouldn’t. But why am I in these situations anyway? I could never go in a dungeon until I have studied all the strategies in detail first and watched countless videos in You Tube (do they even exist for low level non heroic dungeons – must find out). I should do all the reading first, learn more about the class, dungeon & mobs & go in prepared. In essence I must be a WoW boy scout.
But that’s a problem. Because that’s exactly who I am in real life (well girl scout, and not actually a scout- can’t do knots). I am usually well prepared, organised and a bit of a control freak (all gasp in shock and simultaneously send messages of sympathy to my husband). I’ve talked about this before. I want to be different in game. I want to be more daring & impetuous. I want to be able to go in these dungeons, mess up, learn from it & then succeed. I want to be Alanis Morrisette in more than just my hair length. I want to be her in “You Learn” & not spend all my play hours researching, researching & researching & never doing. I’m a reflective person but it can go too far – I over analyse the fun out of everything (ask husband how many times I pause a film while we’re watching it to discuss and analyse – a 2 hour film normally takes us 5 hours over 3 nights and I make him write a paper afterwards). The researcher in me (I have a PhD in the 1st century church in Antioch) never stops but I wanted to be different in WoW. I used to give presentations on my subject & I’d over prepare – always. I’d be away at a conference & everyone else would be out having fun & I’d be rewriting my paper, doing extra research in case any awkward unexpected questions came up. I wanted to know everything inside out & backwards. And I never needed to. They never asked those questions. Their knowledge of my subject was much less than mine so their questions were simpler – nice to answer, fun even. But I had sucked all the fun out of it by then and was a nervous wreck. It’s always been the same.
So how can I somehow tap into my wilder side in WoW? Tips please? Susan Jeffers famously said Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway. I try doing that but the panic kicks in and ruins it all . So what’s my strategy? Haven’t got one today. I’m defaulting to type. Terema my Ret Paladin is almost 85. About 12 bars to go. My intentions today are to research Stonecore & Vortex Pinnacle in detail so I can go in there and do them repeatedly, expertly and successfully. I will be the most prepared Ret paladin the world has ever seen. That way I can control it all and avoid the fear and panic.
I never ever change.