It’s Getting Worse: A Tale of Two Dungeons Part 2

I wanted so much to be coming on here today to write about how things had improved for me in heroics (or HCs as I now professionally  call them). And I have had some small successes, i.e. did 6/7 of my VP runs this week, avoided pistol barrage by hiding at the top of the stairs, finally sussed out the ropes at the end of Deadmines etc. But all that is pretty irrelevant because I have a more fundamental problem – I still cannot  find my way back into dungeons after I’ve died. What was previously a slightly funny and occasional mishap is fast becoming a recurring nightmare. I get lost so easily.

It’s always been a bit of a joke between me and my husband about how bad my geography and spatial awareness is. I’ve asked him some odd geography questions in the past – a classic which he will never let me forget is, “How far away from Holland are the Netherlands?” And he loves to play the “If you were driving to town from here which way would you go?” game with me because he knows I would go via some ridiculous convoluted route (Scotland or Iceland or something).

And my  spatial awareness …well … it leaves a lot to be desired. In my head for e.g.  north is whichever direction I’m facing. This made for fun times when husband & I were  out geocaching (on a positive note it allowed us to discover some lovely rural communities of the sort made famous in Texas Chainsaw Massacre – Hollywood on our doorstep). I was lying in bed the other night half asleep when I realised I was visualising our bathroom  in the wrong place (why I was visualising any bathroom is a question for another day). I  think in my head I forgot which house I lived in and started thinking about the layout of my old house. It all could have had most unfortunate consequences had I needed to get  out of bed and  go to the toilet.

What’s the reason for all this? Well my theory is that it’s because I’m a “head” person (my husband suggests I substitute mental case here for head person).  Outside of work I am always thinking of the past or future, but never really the present. And I’m always somewhere  else – never really “in” my practical physical surroundings. My mind is always off on some tangent –   is the universe just a projection of my mind & in which case why have I projected George Osborne,  what did happen to my dog Blackie & why won’t my parents tell me, did I really once ride a camel or was that a dream (still no idea on that –  I remember a hump but that might have been the old lady with the poor posture who lived up the road- in which case it was mean of me to climb on her back), what are the chances of an “immortality and constant youthfulness pill” by the time I’m 60,  will the “future me” do wonderful world-changing things or will I be old, childless and regretful. It’s a constant swirl of stuff. It goes on in my dreams – every night I enter a rather skewed version of this current world with characters, narrative and even plot twists. And all this makes me less connected to  stuff around me than I should be. And because I’m not as mindful as I should be I think I’m a bit of a floater in dungeons too. If everyone is around me I just go in their direction, trusting they are right. But once I’ve lost everyone it’s game over- I’m left alone somewhere wondering how I got there and not sure what to do next.

I get help in game with my  situation awareness with the GTFO add on – I hear noise and I move. It’s Pavlovian training at its best. But as you know from some of the Bravetank posts finding my way as a tank around dungeons was a constant source of stress to me. That’s why I was so over the moon when I discovered Maps for Tanks. But I now know we  need another type of Maps website – a Maps for Returning to Instances when you are Dead – subtitled  Keep Calm and Look for a Swirly Thing.

It’s awful. I am constantly lost trying to find my way back in. Today I had to leave a HC  because of trying four times to find the entrance to End Time in Caverns of Time. It was totally mortifying.  I found several other entrances to other instances (wonderful), but not the one I was dead in. The game bluntly told me “Your corpse is not in that instance” but did not offer me so much as a hint as to where it was. The map was no use. It made me run into a tree. And all the while the group was waiting for me. Tick tock. They were lovely but I was so embarrassed I had to leave.

Afterwards I went out into the garden to find husband and tell him. I was really upset. My husband thought something had happened to a member of the family. “No,” I told him, “I couldn’t find my way back into the dungeon.” He laughed and said “It’s only a game.”

Well yes it is and it isn’t. I hate sticking out so much as the incompetent one. I like to think I’m competent in my job. I try hard to be good at what I do. But I’m not good in these dungeons – in fact I’m nowhere in the vicinity of good – I can’t even find my way into these dungeons. I’m like the charity case brought along for the ride. And each time it happens my self esteem plummets just that bit more.

I read all your comments of course and they’re all so reassuring  but when I’m in the dungeon it only ever seems to be me that’s lost, me that they’re all waiting for, me that doesn’t know the tactics. And it’s not fun then. I love the game but sometimes I suspect it is a masochistic type of love – because actually playing it is so stressful.

So what should I do? Everytime I log on I think I will just get on with things like my dailies, farming rep, doing all the Cooking Achievements etc. (but aaargh chocolate cake recipe- still not dropped), or just quietly making embersilk bags to sell on the AH. But once I’m on I find myself hitting that bloody dungeon button after about 5 secs  – always hoping it will be ok. And sometimes it is. But not when I die and there’s no res incoming – that’s when it all turns bleak. Again a bit like life I guess 🙂


21 thoughts on “It’s Getting Worse: A Tale of Two Dungeons Part 2

  1. Tom Tom addon puts an arrow on your screen MUCH easier to see than the blizzard one to the entrance and shows you how far away it is. Now its ‘as the crow flies’ straight through walls and stuff but it can get you moving in the right direction. Depending on how in depth you want to go you can set up waypoints you can set in the addon too. So if you can figure out where the entry is to the dungeon more and move from waypoint to waypoint following your breadcrumbs to the witches house It will take a bit of work to set up ahead of time but it could solve the confusion through superior prep. 😀

    Also, it cliche to say it, but dont worry so much. I will take someone who’s nice and might get a bit confused over the know it all I end up running into any day. You would make my run fun while they ruin my day.

    I’ll run dungeons with you any time.

    1. Ah waypoints. That’s a great idea. Hadn’t thought of that. And thanks for your support – I wish all the groups I run with were like you and others who comment on here. And some are of course. But some say things like “Hurry up” (a tank the other day who’d only joined us in Deadmines HC at the very last boss anyway but still didn’t like waiting for me to run back in after I died – I hadn’t noticed the Goblin ports so it was all a bit haphazard!!), and “…” – I take it that means I’m so totally fed up with you I can’t even bring myself to type. Too many people are so impatient.

  2. Another thing you could do if this really stresses you out — and lord knows I’ve been embarrassed and flustered while trying to find the entrance to a dungeon before — is to just fly out to all the dungeons manually and find the entrance on your own. This will take a little bit of time; but you won’t be in a group with that pressure of people waiting on you, so you can take as much time as you need. Perhaps even make some notes for yourself if you’re worried you’ll forget the way later.

    When Cataclysm first launched everyone had to discover the dungeon entrances on their own before the dungeon finder would even let you queue for them. This was a pain in the rear and people complained, so Bllizzard eventually relented and removed that requirement. But being forced to find my way to each instance before I could queue for them really helped me later when I was running back from a wipe.

    I hope that helps! Good luck. 🙂

    1. That’s a good idea too. I thought about that the other day. In a way I wish that Cata requirement to find the dungeons first was still in place- but there’s nothing to stop me going there myself. Thank you.

    1. I’m afraid my contributions to this blog will eventually be summed up as “there’s an app for that!”, but yeah, there seems to be an addon tailor-made for these quick reminders for each boss. 🙂

      The best part is that you can edit the contents of the tactics instead of just using the premade tips. So you can copy Ironshield’s cheatsheet into the addon if you like, and get it easily accessible within the game, with no need for alt+tabbing or scribbled notes all over your desk or post-its glued to the screen.

      Not that I’ve ever kept handwritten boss tactics stashed under my keyboard, no siree!

      1. I’ve started using Rob Boss Mods. It’s good. The only thing is I’m worried that when it announces tactics via “Say” it will annoy other people in the group. I have tried changing it to whisper to me only but that came out in such a large chunk of text that I didn’t have time to read it!!! I’ll work it out I’m sure 🙂

  3. {{hugs}}
    You could be writing about me. I soo understand your frustration and embarrassment. Last time at least I was with friends who had to rez me because I simply could not find my way back into the instance (even with the TomTom arrow). And that was after earlier I ran off the edge and at least made it back to where they were, but of course they had moved on so then they had to come back for me. sigh… I like the breadcrumb idea though. Maybe it that will finally help me. Oh, please let it help!

    1. I’m glad there are a few of us then!! Definitely a club. And as we’re all on different servers at least we won’t have to worry about actually finding each other in game. With our direction skills that would be doomed to failure.

  4. I hear you. I get lost A LOT. (I still have to open SW map to orient myself)

    When the group is waiting for me to run in, it helps relieve the silent pressure I feel (when I’m lost) to just say outright, “I’m sorry to be taking so long, I’m still looking for the entrance :(“, etc.

    This results in them realize that you have not just decided to AFK as a ghost outside the instance, and they may take pity on you and rez you when they get to your corpse, or even come outside to stand where the instance entrance is. I’ve also whispered a fellow dead party member, “Wait for me please so I can follow you back in.” Sometimes it works.

    1. I have followed a dead party member I’ve spotted before but not thought to whisper someone dead & ask them to wait. I’m the same with the SW map- I can’t believe how often I get it wrong flying to the Transmog place from the Trade district- I always end up the wrong side of the cathedral!! I do usually try to tell the group that I’m trying to get in – but I still think most get frustrated.

  5. Confession time: I don’t know (or don’t remember) the way from the graveyard to the entrance of most dungeons, especially the older ones. Let’s pretend it’s because I rarely if ever die in them, mkay?

    That hasn’t really been a problem, though, because I use Carbonite ( ). Imagine it as “Google Maps for WoW” and you’ll have an idea of how easier it makes to go from point A to point B.

    It’s useful for a lot of other things too, like a realtime minimap of the dungeon you’re in (just resize and throw it to a corner of your screen). You should give it a try. 🙂

  6. End Time is ridiculously hard to find. I spent about 10 minutes or more one day wandering around trying to find the entrance. The best way I’ve found to get there is to, from the gy, keep the wall on your right and hug it, and take the first right entrance. If instead you start going the opposite way, up the tunnel towards the entrance, you may never find your way there. I must have tried to jump into the random void wallpaper 4 or 5 times. The map really is useless, because it doesn’t show you a detail of the Caverns of Time, so you’re just roaming around a featureless corner of Tanaris. And then there are I believe 5 other instances and 2 raids to find in there. Of course you also have the spirit world motif which renders everything in grayscale.

    1. Now that you mention it, yep, the “spirit vision” effect doesn’t help to find your bearings at all – but I believe there’s a graphical option to disable it now. I wish I were home to test it and make sure.

    2. So glad it’s not just me who struggles with End Time. After posting yesterday I ended up back on WoW & again queued (it’s a compulsion it seems) & ended up there again, died again, got lost again. Unbelievable. This time I was ressed though & we completed the dungeon. Hope I never go in there again but if I do I’ll do what you suggest and keep the wall on my right & take the first right entrance.

  7. /console ffxDeath “0” paste that into chat and it fixes the white glow death effect.I keep a notepad with that and a few other things, if I ever have to completely reset my game. i understand getting lost, I get lost in game a lot. i think it’s because video games have the same tree , plants rocks or whatever used over and over again , unlike real life which everything is unique. I don’t get lost in the real world, I have an amazing sense of direction, so I think games have something about them.

    1. Thank you. It’s good at least you don’t get lost in the real world. I can’t even claim that I’m afraid. But I agree with you – things can be disorientating in game because so much can look the same. Still don’t know why I struggle with Stormwind so much though!

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