Holding Out For a Hero

For years I’ve read about WoW heroics with both a sense of fear and awe. I’ve read how high the standards and requirements are, how professional the conduct, how unforgiving the judgement. You do a fraction less than the dps expected and you are unceremoniously booted. I never thought I’d be good enough to go in an heroic. I never thought I’d be brave enough.

But the week before last Seashell hit 70 and began to do some Northrend dungeons. All fine – definitely more enjoyable as a Mage that can evocate as opposed to a Shaman that seems to expend mana just walking around (I’m looking at you Luxmi). And let’s not even talk about where Bravetank is on this journey. So Seashell the mage was having fun and performing well.

Then I noticed in my dungeon list that heroic Burning Crusade dungeons were available. I started looking through Atlas Loot at the type of stuff I could get, then went to the kitchen for a towel to wipe the drool off my keyboard. There is something about purple stuff isn’t there? I have had it so rarely in my colour deprived WoW life. I remember squealing over greens. I remember telling the neighbours about  blues. But purple – well it’s family celebration time. Even when the stats are lower than my current armor  – as is always the way.

“I really want to try an heroic,” I told my husband, “But I’m terrified.” Hard to type the scoffing sound that came next but suffice to say he immediately queued for an heroic – showing that he was the man of the house I think. Within seconds he was in the dungeon and I was sitting over by my computer feeling queasy with nerves for him.

“Oooh it’s got a little icon by my mini map,” he said (reading this over my shoulder by the way he denies the “Ooh” bit). He started fighting. “It’s ok,” he reported. “I think there’s more trash but no different apart from that. People are typing in complete sentences though which is odd.” Odd indeed. I have never come across proper sentences in a dungeon before. It’s usually a collection of cryptic letters that I have to figure out – not even sure I’ve got “nvm” right.

Anyway his first foray into heroics  continued. Nothing dramatic or untoward happened. He just treated it like a normal dungeon (which in his case is blizzarding everything in sight and staying behind to loot without a care in the world). He did not get booted, yelled at or spiritually condemned. At the end the final boss dropped 4 things, two of which were purple, none of which suited his class (so usual loot inspired tantrum which I ignored) but he’d done it.

“That’s not too bad,” I thought. “I can do that.” But as is my wont I wanted to do it better (wont and wanted in the same sentence – how’s that for a grammatical showdown?). So off I went to the auction house to buy the very small amount of enchants I can get that are useful and usable at my item level. I also made myself some buff food (I love cooking – makes me feel all Jeremiah Johnson – but without the brutal family massacre). “I will be awesome,”  was my basic philosophy. “They will see that I have made the effort, that I’ve gemmed (actually nothing I was wearing could be gemmed but I’d at least checked), enchanted and buffed. I wanted to be the perfect Heroic WoW participant.

So I queued and after a few minutes I was in. “Here goes,” I thought, “This is where I play with the big boys.” (That sounds quite rude doesn’t it? Sorry) After only a few moments one of the dps shockingly announced he was stoned. “Oh my goodness,” I thought. “He will be booted. Heroics don’t condone such laxity.” But no. The tank just replied, “Fair enough.” Fair enough? I looked at my depleted gold balance – I’d spent a fortune in the AH getting ready for this- and started to feel a bit queasy again. We carried on fighting. I checked Recount and I was second. That surprised me. Before going in I had been scared I wouldn’t hit the right dps. I’d  tried researching to see what that should be in level 70 Heroics but hadn’t found the magic number. But my fear that I was well below it appeared unfounded. Then suddenly I noticed a bunch of mobs running towards me. That’s usually the sign the tank is dead. And indeed that was the case. I blinked around the place a bit and somehow managed to stay alive. With the mobs dead the healer started ressing the tank, saying, “Sorry I was trying the new belt on.” Again I couldn’t believe it. I always wait until a really quiet moment or when I’ve left the dungeon to put new gear on. But the tank just did a smiley & all was forgiven. This was so not what I was expecting.

And so it continued. It was all very laid back. Mistakes were made but no one freaked out. It was far from the pro – cutting edge – no mistakes tolerated  Heroic I’d been expecting.

And this turns out not to be an exception. I’ve done about half the Burning Crusade heroics now and pretty much without fail I have seen worse performance than in normal, but greater tolerance of it. What is that all about? Have I misunderstood heroics, or is the standard and performance I was expecting only now to be found in end game heroics? At the very least my fear has been put to bed  – I  can go in them, perform at the required level and get my hands on lots of lovely purples much to my family’s great pride. It’s just so not what I was expecting!


15 thoughts on “Holding Out For a Hero

  1. Well done! 😀 I’m actually a HUGE fan of BC Heroic dungeons, my guild and I ran them non-stop for weeks and weeks to get reputation with all the BC factions (you get mounts! MOUNTS!). Even now that I am at max level, I still go in there and act like a mass murderer.
    Remember to pick up flowers in all the Zangamarsh dungeons (they stack and they are required to get the lovely, lovely flying mount)

    However, WTG! You will find that the BC heroics are more relaxed and the LK heroics are for the achievement hounds – you will never run a LK heroic without someone asking for an achievement run (you get a dragon mount!)

    A huge ‘GRATS’ to you on getting through them! 😀

    1. Thank you! It was a really good experience and I’ve realised how much I enjoy the BC dungeons (particularly now I’m in true Wrath ones!). I will definitely rerun them for all the rep & the mounts!!!

  2. You have stumbled onto the wonderful world of BC Heroics, where people run them because they want to. They are harder than equivalent Northrend dungeons, reward less experience, and don’t fall into the normal LFD queues.

    But there’s a small but dedicated community of level 70 twinks who run them for a lot of different reasons. Gear, achievements, reputation – even the simple enjoyment of these instances. I’ve run Heroic Magister’s Terrace dozens of times for SSO rep; I just love the place.

    The key is that everyone who is in those Heroics WANTS to be in there. They’re grateful for having a group of like-minded people, not folks who are just leveling through GOGOGO, kick the DPS it’s too low kick the healer kick the tank. I got to the point where I don’t run BC normals while grinding rep On anyone other than a tank – too many people in a rush.

    I think 80 heroics are like this too. You level so quickly into Cata dungeons that if you want to stop and smell the permafrost (And get Herald of the Titans), locking XP and running wrath heroics is the way to go.

    I think things are really different in endgame heroics. You have people with different motivations for being there, which causes attitudes like you hear about.

    Hope to see you in HMgT – ping me on twitter if you need a healer! 🙂

    1. Of course, back in the day when they were current, TBC Heroics were *exactly* what you describe – brutally hard, totally unforgiving, and very scary indeed. They were the endgame for a lot of people for nearly 2 years, and did a great job.

      I never even completed one of the TBC Heroics, Durnholde, until WoTLK – despite running it weekly for a year or so.

      1. They’re a bit easier now, but they’re at a nice sweet spot of challenging without being impossible. Some of them you can underman for bonus fun. 🙂

      2. Wow – that does sound very hard and demanding. How do end game heroics compare now in terms of relative difficulty? Do people struggle completing those despite running them weekly?

    2. I never knew this world existed!! Yes you can see the difference in people who just want to be there and are enjoying the experience. Looking forward to 80 heroics then but dreading endgame heroics now!!

  3. People doing Outland Heroics are a very small percentage of people. I ran them all beack in BC, but have only run a few here and there since then, but always at max level.

    Most of the asshats and retards you were expecting are already at cap, doing their thing in 85 Heroics.

  4. TBC heroics were fun back in the day. I don’t really enjoy them anymore, though. They’re too easy now, x3 Always was a fan of TBC difficulty myself. But even back then, I don’t think heroics were very professional or cutting-edge.
    You’re just a bunch of people going in there, doing your thing. It’s the same for 85 heroics.
    As a DPS, you shouldn’t have much problem. I’ve geared up 4 characters in heroics so far, and even when I’ve not been great DPS no one has said anything about it.
    If there is a total dickhead in the group, I usually just leave. There’s no reason for me to force myself if I’m not enjoying it.
    There was a guy once who said almost right away “You guys do really bad DPS” and he was instantly vote-kicked by the rest of us. So don’t despair.
    Sometimes you meet jerks, sometimes you meet nice people. It’s all part of the wide sandwhich cake that is life. :3

    1. Yes I’ve met both types today, and oddly sometimes people being both at different times in the dungeon. People are odd! It is easier as dps though definitely. I’ve felt so sorry for a few tanks today. People are quite unforgiving. This was in ordinary Cata dungeons though.

  5. Oh dear, you’re putting me to shame for being eternally chicken about pugging; I’ve been leveling my shadow priest through Outland, totally ignoring all BC dungeons, never mind the heroic versions, trying to get to 68 so I can queue for Wrath dungeons instead. And I’m a hard mode progression raider. And this is my second shadow priest. It’s just that the first time through, when my first priest was disc, it was like there were dual boxing DK tanks and melee mages everywhere (and no one knew any of the mechanics, including me), so I put my foot down and refused to set foot in a BC dungeon again until I got to Northrend. But I’ve been through most of the BC heroics now, looking for transmoggy things, and the mechanics are not scary hard, just interesting and fun. And they remind me that there was so much more to BC than the Outland bits I just level through. I never played BC & the more I see of the dungeons and raids, even just to get transmog things, I’m increasingly sorry I missed it. Except Hyjal. I’m not sorry I missed that. 🙂

    1. A hard mode progression raider – even those words sound intimidating! You’ve nothing to be scared about in pugs – particularly the BC ones. Now I’ve done the Wrath ones & I’m on the Cata ones I’ve decided the BC ones are the easiest but most fun. Something different about the atmosphere as well.

  6. At the moment the Cata dungeons go about like this:

    Normal dungeons, 81-85: For the most part pretty relaxed and fun. Be prepared to explain things for newbies if they’ve never seen a mechanic (or never seen it as that class/role) before, otherwise everyone is there for gear and xp and is fairly tolerant. Except for Corla the pugslayer, she tends to inspire high-running feeling.

    Normal heroics, 85, ilvl 329-353: Auuuuugh. This is where everyone who is either totally new to instancing period, or people leveling their eighth alt are. The blend is often volatile. The difference between people who don’t *know* the mechanics, and the people who think the mechanics don’t matter is often hard to discern.

    Zul’roics, 85, ilvl 346+: AUUUUUUUUUUGH. These heroics are now in the regular queue instead of their own little gimp box. They were designed to be challenging to geared, all guild groups of their day. They are completable in a pug but pray for someone very overgeared who is sick of the Twilight heroics.

    Twilight heroics, 85, ilvl 353+: Not bad. This is everyone from folks gearing up a favorite alt, to serious raiders looking for extra valor, to impatient asshats using every trick in the book to cheese the ilvl requirements and get better gear drops faster after hitting level cap. If all three DPS are cheesing the gear level, they’re horrid. If the tank or the healer is cheesing, they’re horrid. Otherwise, they’re fast and fun. Generally you will only be kicked for being an intolerable ass or for being one of the cheesers that actually holds the party back. The mechanics matter but they’re not incredibly punishing if you know what you’re doing.

    1. I was in Blackrock Caverns earlier & this poor tank had never done it. So he failed on the chains bit. Not his fault. I found myself explaining how to do it – never usually in a position of knowing enough to explain anything but I’d done that dungeon with Terema as ret pally- got killed on the slam after the chains – so been there, done that, worn holes in the t shirt etc. The group continued to struggle though & when we got to the third boss the tank pulled it before clearing the Conflagrate elementals. So they booted him! I asked them not to but they still did it. I said to them, “How was he meant to know to clear them first?” Those elementals wander around a bit & when we came down the slope the boss was the first thing he saw. I just think it was an easy and natural mistake to make. But they booted him. How are tanks ever to learn? I’ll never go in another dungeon as Bravetank without knowing every inch of the mechanics first – there’s no point- you make one slip up and you’re gone. And that was just in ordinary Cata today. From what you say the Heroics and Zulheroics are going to be scary stuff! I might be living it up in Panda town by then of course.

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