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 :)