A Tale of Two Dungeons: Part 1
As you know I’m a super cool and rock hard level 85 now and doing Heroics (struts stuff around keyboard).
Ok …that was totally for show – I might be doing them but as you’d expect I’m working myself up into a nervous frenzy before, throughout and after. I thought as range DPS I could just stand at the back and basically hit whatever the tank was hitting. It’s certainly what I’ve been doing up until now (although occasionally saving groups from wipes by some pretty dexterous blinking). However, Cataclysm heroics are a whole different ballgame.
It started with an embarrassing fail in Grim Batol heroic. I started halfway through just before the second boss which I somehow managed to survive but then we faced Drahga and it all went wrong. I remembered from the ordinary version you had to kill the fire elemental thingies but what I’d not realised was that there was this almighty flame breath thing from the dragon that try as I might I seemed to run into (I was almost bathing myself in the stuff). And I have the Deadly Boss Mod so there really is no excuse. So I died. Everyone must have (it’s a blur now) because I had to run back in. But I got totally lost on my way back and nearly ran into a pack of mobs. Oh dear I thought. I need to go another way. I considered for half a second and then spied what looked like a molten lava river below the bridge. I flicked the map open and assessed the situation and then did the only sensible thing you can do in these circumstances. I hurled myself off the bridge into the molten lava. Do not ask me why. I had a vague thought I could take a short cut through the lava….. Yes this is why husband and I no longer go on walks together.
As you’d expect I died again. So I then did what all dignified people do at this point- I left group without saying a word. I was totally embarrassed. I sat in the corner licking my wounds for a bit until husband told me to stop as it was putting him off his tea.
“I’m going to read all the strats online & not go in again until I absolutely know what I need to do in every single Cataclysm heroic,” I announced. Those of you who have been reading this blog for awhile will recognise these as classic Bravetank words – said after every failed embarrassing dungeon run. But I indeed started reading up on Grim Batol. But all the reading did was make me more scared at how complicated it was. Groups will wipe if they don’t do blah blah. Remember to do blah blah. Ignore blah blah at your peril. Oh my goodness – instance strats are totally boring and complicated to read.
Ok another approach is needed I told myself. You will learn this by going in again and again, learning through your mistakes. Getting better by doing. It was a bit like Robert the Bruce and the spider – although to be honest if I had been in Robert’s position and in a dark and dingy cave and suddenly spotted a spider anywhere near me the English would have heard my screams from miles off and promptly come and killed me. So lucky for Scotland I wasn’t there then (thank me later Scotland – a free holiday in Edinburgh will do).
But of course in real life trying and failing and then trying again and succeeding is great. Doing this in a dungeon is another thing. I mean you try and fail in real life and what happens … Well ok as a surgeon pretty bad stuff I expect. Ok what about a hairdresser? Well yes that could get nasty too I bet. Ok as a teacher- well it’s only the entire next generation in your hands….
Ok I admit trying and failing in real life is pretty serious too. But in Heroics it’s worse- I mean they call you noob and stuff.
But even as I ruminated on the issue I knew it was the only way – I had to get in there. Plus my addiction to valor points needed feeding. Since I’ve been able to shop at JP and VP quartermasters I have been unstoppable. Even though my JP firehawk set is annoying because I now have a renegade mirror image who appears when I don’t want her to appear and pulls stuff I’m scared of I do love the gear. So I have to run Heroic dungeons & I have to run randoms.
So with this in mind I queued up again yesterday and to my “joy” (i.e. total dismay) I got Grim Batol again. But this time from the start.
I steeled myself. I could do it. The first trash mobs were easy & I found myself somewhat relaxing (by which I mean I unclenched my teeth by a millimetre and finally exhaled). We then had to jump on the dragons. First problem. It was telling me to free them from the net first. That wasn’t in the normal. Anything that takes me by surprise in an instance removes my ability to think or move my character. This doesn’t make for great gaming skills. I sat there for a second and then attacked the net- feebly- with my staff as a bludgeon. It didn’t work. I’ll have to use arcane barrage I thought, but the logics of this bothered me. How could I arcane barrage the net without killing the dragon? This would defeat the whole purpose surely. By now of course everyone else was flying & merrily bombing away- I was calculating the angle of my barrage. Finally common sense took hold of me. I remembered how WoW actually worked & shot the net. The dragon survived (it’s a miracle!) & I jumped on its back for the bombing mission.
Once that was over (not sure how effective I was – I missed loads because I had my camera angle turned wrong) I landed back with the group. In fairness they didn’t berate me for the length of time it had taken me to badly complete a relatively simple task and on we pressed.
The first boss as you know is General Umbriss. As we approached that area one of the group said, “Mage sheep the purple thing.'” I immediately froze. What bloody purple thing? I got ready to look up “purple thing Grim Batol” on the internet but there was no time. I searched around the dungeon panic stricken- shit I needed to sheep something. I didn’t know what, I couldn’t see it. I randomly targeted something that looked vaguely purple but luckily I hit my mouse wrong (all fingers and thumbs by this stage). We hadn’t actually even started on the boss yet. There was no purple thing. Eventually I came to my senses and typed “What purple thing?” “The one that comes with the boss,” was the answer. Hmm. Ok. Still didn’t really know but I decided the only thing for it was to attack the boss with the others but keep my eyes peeled for anything purple. So we started on the boss and I kept looking when suddenly lo and behold a purple trogg appeared. I have never been so happy to see a big purple thing in my life (insert own lewd joke if you like). I immediately sheeped it. I felt so proud. I had been given an instruction and had carried it out unquestioningly. Never had I been so happy to act like a mindless drone.
The second boss was fine. I even avoided the cave ins. Amazing.
The third boss got me scared. This was the one I’d died on. But I remembered the adds. I remembered the flames. I remembered to blink into and past the flames. And amazingly I did not die. YES!! I yelled at my monitor – adrenaline now really pumping. Was this Heroic actually doable?
We progressed onto the last boss. Slow down the add on the left I was told. Oh God it was purple thing type instruction all over again. What left? Whose left. What is this thing you call left? But eventually I saw the adds emerge and I slowed one on his way to the eggs. BUT THAT’S ALL I DID. I didn’t realise it was slow then kill. I just thought I had to cause him some inconvenient mobility difficulties. I then stood in the wrong place during shadow gale & died. The thing ended as a wipe.
To be fair though they all just patiently regrouped. I ran in and again almost got lost. It suddenly occurred to me though that they were already at the boss. How could this be? I was running past the dragons at this point. I noticed I could jump on them. I started to put 2 and 2 together (chimps would have picked this up quicker than me). Still not trusting my Columbo like deductive powers I asked the group, “How do I get to you?” “Use the dragon and jog a bit,” they said. So I did and I got there. After that the tank gave us clear instructions. Me & a pally DPS were to slow AND kill leftie add and the other DPS was to do the other. Made sense to me & so we did it. I also stood in the right place during shadow gale (basically threw myself at the group figuring that wherever they were standing was ok- I was too stressed to be able to identify the safe spot myself) & we downed him!!!! Grim Batol Heroic was complete!
I was over the moon. I thanked them profusely for their patience and they were lovely in return. It was a really good experience looking back but absolutely terrifying throughout. Bit like life :)