Tag: paladin

I totally meant to do that

Don’t read this if you don’t want to be spoiled about the Retribution Paladin artifact quest. Please don’t. I beg you.

Ok let’s give it another inch (cue inappropriate innuendo … nope I’ve restrained myself).

Helloooo. Is anyone still here?

 

Ok good – I’ll start.

 

As you know Terema my Retribution Paladin was my first ever WoW character back in BC days when I first started playing. I played her fairly solidly up to MoP (although did have a brief dalliance with a Shaman – another story)  but then the lure of the Mage became too strong. I was lonely. I wanted mirror image. I was lazy. I wanted portals. I was hungry. I wanted mana cakes. So Mage it was. I put Terema to one side to dance with my mirror images, teleport at will and gorge myself on cakes.

But you can’t live like that forever. It’s not the 60s. I started to miss Terema but baulked at the thought of levelling her through the rest of Pandaria and Draenor. And then by the Light’s blessing the Legion invaded and gave me a ridiculously quick way to level her to 100. “I will never abandon you again Terema,” I whispered crazily to my laptop screen one dark August night.

Then Legion properly launched last week and I immediately switched to my Priest. In fairness this was because she had actually done the Broken Shore Varian stuff whereas Terema had gone straight into invasions like the crazy Pally she is. In her world Varian was still alive and kicking. And more to the point she thought Tirion was fit and well, although his unusual silence meant he was possibly living it up in Tahiti with Agent Coulson.

But this morning I remembered my sacred vow and logged on with Terema. It’s time for her to take on the well deserved mantle of Bravetank’s WoW Main, she needs to complete the Broken Shore scenario and start her Retribution Pally Legion journey.

Having completed the opening scenario this morning I’m actually glad I delayed doing it with Terema. There were only 4 real people doing it today so I was able to properly see what was going. I also put on my gigantic headphones (size does matter … oh dear the innuendo got me in the end) and finally listened to the music and dialogue – both of which added considerably to the experience. And it was only to get better.

After Varian died (still sad) I ended up with Lord Tyrosus  in Dalaran where I was informed we needed to try to speak to Uther to find out how we could get the Ashbringer. This turned out to be a powerful and emotional experience – my companion’s feelings at seeing and talking to his beloved Uther had me weeping at the keyboard (kind of). And when we were told Tirion was still alive although fading fast – then wow – I actually felt a real sense of urgency to get to Broken Shore to save him. I mean – it’s Tirion. Off we flew, the music changing gear, this was serious, this was dangerous, but we had to do it and I knew no fear. On arriving we found him trapped  and tortured. A fight ensued with the “jailer whatshisname” – I won, thank the light for Justicar’s Vengeance. Then I ran off to fight “demon something beginning with a B”. I won again,  thank the light for Justicar’s Vengeance, Flash of Light and Lay on Hands (the fight went on forever). Then I ran back to Tirion with his Ashbringer only to watch him die after giving me his blessing to wield it. I’ll admit I had a tear in my eye.

I travelled back to Lights Dawn Chapel to see him laid to rest. As I ran in oh my goodness the floor opened and I discovered the Sanctum of Light, the wonderful cathedral-like class hall hidden beneath that small unassuming building. People knelt to me as I strode down the hall (in real life eating a slice of toast and spilling crumbs down my top) where I was advised to inscribe my name in a Libram, restart the Order of the Silver Hand and basically defeat every last demon in the name of the Light. I was also called Highlord. Highlord! And they said I’d never amount to anything. I was then ushered by my right hand man to the scouting map where after careful consideration I decided to go and help the Taurens in Highmountain.

Feeling all important – I’m now the Highlord after all – I flew to Thunder Totem posthaste and started making my way to Mayla  who was (according to my map) somewhere in the middle.  I ran round in a circle looking for the entrance and noticed an area where the floor looked “different.”  I ran onto that piece of floor with the courage only a Highlord can possess and promptly fell to my death as it was of course a lift shaft with the lift at the bottom.

An ignominious start to my career.  Hoping that neither the spirit of Uther or Tirion were looking on I quickly ressed and reclaimed my body and announced to all that I had of course intended to do it and it was a test of their faith in the Light.

I think they bought it. My Pally’s Legion journey has well and truly begun.

 

Reinvigorated

Well finally my first ever WoW character, my Pally Terema, is max level. She is my third level 100 (I know – only 3 – I need to work much harder) and definitely the one that means the most. I remember creating her, logging on and being introduced to the world of Azeroth through her eyes and experiences. I levelled her through three expansions but then, for some reason, abandoned her at 85. By then Seashell my mage was my main, I was enjoying blasting things at range (coward that I am), and I never looked back.  Until now.

I’ve been enjoying getting to play Terema again. Not tried healing with her yet. That’s something I’m very interested in doing so will need to go into the Proving Grounds and see how it all works. I’ve done a little bit of healing previously on another Paladin (Androse – I was meant to be levelling her with husband’s alt The Doctor so …The Doctor Androse … a little nod to my favourite Dr Who pair). I remember doing some healing by casting judgement and putting something on one character which meant when you healed someone else that character also got healed. The rest is a blur. Clearly more research needed.

But I also need to find out how I get to Proving Grounds. I used to go from the garrison but Terema has bypassed WoD apart from doing enough quests to get the basic garrison. Not sure if she has a way to the Proving Grounds from there. I recall first going to Proving Grounds in MoP so assume there’s a way to do it from there too. It turns out the dawn of Legion has meant rediscovering old characters and learning how to play them and this has turned into a rediscovery of Azeroth itself. I need to find out where to go to do this and that and then visiting areas I’ve not been to in some time. The expansion already feels like the reinvigoration of the WoW we already have, and that’s without any of the new content we’re going to get and the journey to 110. So far I’m impressed and excited – not bad for a rainy Saturday morning.

It’s Magical

I did something momentous today. I paid for a realm transfer for my first ever character Terema (from Darkspear to my main server Defias Brotherhood). Terema is a Ret Paladin (although she did some levelling as Prot because she looked so cool with a shield & I liked to pretend I was tanking when I was on my own – once gave my non combat pet a stern row for pulling). She has been 4 blocks away from 85 for forever. When I  got Seashell my mage to 85 a few months ago I felt a huge stab of guilt for poor Terema over on Darkspear stuck in Uldum & wondering what on earth she had done wrong to make me leave her in that way. Then yesterday I got my elemental shaman Luxmi to 85. This was a particularly bitter blow to Terema (I think)  since Luxmi was my second ever character & had always been chasing Terema’s tail. But now she’d finally overtaken her. I could almost hear Terema railing at the heavens at the injustice of it all.  So today I took the plunge & finally paid for the transfer & within the hour there was Terema on Defias Brotherhood.

I immediately logged her in & asked for her to be invited to the guild. I feel very much alone these days if I don’t have that scrolling green text on the left hand side of my screen. Even if I’m not joining in the conversations because I’m somewhat occupied being beaten to a pulp somewhere I still like to read it (probably the reason I am being beaten to a pulp come to think of it) – it keeps me entertained.

But I also had work to do. Terema had let herself get into something of a state down in Uldum. She appeared to have spent all her money on fun camel rides since she only had about 150 gold to her name. Then I remembered one of the last things I did with her was upgrade her flying so she could get a swift gryphon (she hasn’t got any other fancy mounts – she still rides her old Pally horse – she’s a purist is Terema – plus the laziest mount farmer you’ll ever hope to meet). Profession wise she’s “capped” at  450 so needs some training. Her mining is in the 200s. Even when I was regularly playing her I got totally bored with mining and to my  husband’s horror would just run past sparkling nodes promising him I’d go back to them later. I never did. Yes she’s a lazy miner too. This is all starting to make me think she’s been perfectly happy doing nothing in Uldum. She’s probably hooked up with a Ramakhen priest or something.

I then checked out her achievements. Oh they brought a tear to my eye. The innocence of it all. The overall number is low (much lower than Seashell) but they’re in things like Exploration and Quests. Terema has explored most of the areas in Eastern Kingdoms, Kalimdor & Northrend. For some reason  the Outland ones are not showing as completed but most of them are. She has also done many more quests than Seashell. This is all because Terema levelled the old-fashioned way when I first started playing the game. She actually did all the quests in the area, and then diligently moved onto the next area & did all the quests there. I have not done this properly with any other character after  Luxmi – who got up to early Northrend that way, but then stopped there. The reason for the dramatic end to all questing on all my other characters (and Luxmi in Northrend) was my discovery of  dungeons – or at least discovering LFG and finding the nerve within myself  to enter dungeons. But Terema is almost a dungeon virgin (that sounds like something a masochist admits  on the phone when booking an S&M appointment doesn’t it?).

Terema’s first ever dungeon was Blackrock Caverns. Obviously I died at the chains right at the start. I had no clue what was going on. I found the whole experience mind boggling & terrifying.  It was during that dungeon  I also discovered how hard I personally find dungeon melee dps to be. All the way through I kept on losing my target & getting confused. This continued in other dungeon runs until  after one particularly bad performance in Throne of Tides (how the hell was I meant to know Ozumat was above me!!!!) I found myself on the receiving end of a ” L2P” & that was it. I decided Terema’d go back go being a quest only character (I tried to convince  myself there was nobility in that choice- not just me slinking away with my tail between my legs). I just didn’t have the confidence to do the dungeons at that level as melee.

But today I felt differently. It’s probably because I’m a bit quested out at the moment. I had to do all of Deepholm yesterday with Luxmi to get Therazane rep so I can get the shoulder enchant & I really didn’t fancy running all over the country again with Terema at everyone’s beck & call. But also I’m a lot more experienced  in level 80-85 dungeons now (not good of course – but experienced)- albeit at range. I felt like I could give it a go. I wanted to try again.

The first thing I did to prepare (see I do prepare sometimes – never works but I do try) was check out Icy Veins to remind me of the correct Ret rotation. I remember taking my first break from Terema awhile ago & when I came back discovering there was this whole new Holy Power system (I forget which patch that was). It changed the game for me dramatically & I never really got my head around it.  So today I tried again to familiarise myself with it all and of course with the stats I needed to prioritise. This in turn sent me off to the reforger to try & get my hit up to 8% – it’s still a little under  but I’m getting there. I finally looked at the AH for any gear upgrade I could afford. Shockingly there was nothing there for my remaining 10 gold so I gave up on that. And then I queued.

I was too scared to queue for a random Cata in case I got Grim Batol (pathetic I know- but that place is scary). So I decided to sacrifice the JPs and pick a dungeon. The one I picked was The Stonecore.  I have done that & Vortex so many times on both Seashell & Luxmi that I thought it would be a safe one to try

After a 20 minute queue I got in. Oh my god- the first pack was horrendous. And I hate Millhouse. Despite having tried to line my abilities up on the action bar in a way that mirrored the Icy Vein rotation I was absolutely baffled once in the heat of battle. I could not work out when to use Zealotry. Then there was Inquisition & Templar’s Verdict too. They all seemed to flash at the same time. I kept on quickly rereading the tooltips  but that meant I wasn’t fighting. It was awful. My dps was just over 3K. I used to do that with Seashell just by turning up and smiling (admittedly she has a very powerful smile – gets her teeth whitened every month). It was all so embarrassing.

As the dungeon progressed I got into it a bit more but I also kept on getting confused when I couldn’t find my totems. I had  played my  Shaman so much the previous day I was still in Shamanic mode. Indeed I lost a great deal of time trying to turn into a ghost wolf. Just didn’t happen for me. At the end I was last on the dps list –  4K ish while the next one up was 6k. But we hadn’t wiped. That was something. And they hadn’t booted me. That was even more.

I logged off when I had finished & immediately went to get a Pally add-on for rotations. I had used CLR before so I re-downloaded that. The next dungeon I tried was Vortex. This time I was being told what to do every step of the way by my CLR friend. Obviously this was easier and my dps got into the 5ks. Not great I know- but it was getting higher. Then amazingly I hit 85 (level not dps). Those 4 blocks were done! Finally finally Terema, my oldest character, was up there with Seashell & Luxmi. It was a good feeling and even though her dps was atrocious I felt proud of her.

My last dungeon today on Terema was Lost city of Tolvir. By now I had Guardian of Ancient Kings so had a little pal ready and willing to help me at all times (actually for 30 secs with a 5 min break in between – very good terms of employment there- would love to try negotiating that in work…). I put the ability with Zealotry & Avenging Wrath  & made a little vow to  myself that whenever available I’d remember to use my cool downs. I’d also finally got my head around the need to keep Inq up and to use TV on 3 holy powers etc. You know- the basics of playing a Ret Pally! It was all starting to click. I felt myself moving away from the range frame of mind to melee. I mean I was actually remembering I needed to fight alongside the tank as opposed to waving at him from the other side of the room. The dungeon went well & I started breathing again.

But I’m still finding it all very different of course. I so easily lose who I’m fighting. I’ve tried zooming out & it helps a bit but sometimes I find myself just mashing F to try to find something to hit. I also can’t quite see when Zealotry is off cooldown- sometimes it sparkles when it’s not available (great technical knowledge I’m showing here I know – I’m amazed Elitist Jerks haven’t come aknockin). So I’ve just had another add-on downloading spree – downloading ZOMGBuffs & Cooldowns to see if they can help. I’m just about to log in & try. It seems I need far more add-ons for melee than ranged. Everything seems to happen so much faster when I’m melee. When I’m ranged there’s time to observe & assess. But everything is a whirr as melee. Physically when playing melee I find I’m almost hunched over my keyboard. If I could climb in the screen and pummel the boss myself I would.

But god it’s exciting. It’s the best afternoon I’ve had on WoW in ages. I know people might disagree but it’s felt to me like there’s more to it than when I play ranged. I’ve had to think about the buttons & what to hit  (ok- I’m being told by CLR- but I am thinking about why it’s telling me that- before long we will be having healthy debates on the rotation I’m sure). I feel like I’ve had to really work at it today & every single increase in my dps has felt almost magical. And the fact this has happened with my most cherished of characters Terema, the first one to stand in Northshire Abbey & wonder what on earn this game could bring her, is the most magical thing of all.

Regrets I have a few

I’ve been thinking lately about stuff I regret (I’m a happy soul – if I’m not beating myself up about things I’ve done in the past I don’t feel I’ve earned my ice-cream). Anyway it got me thinking about things I’ve done in WoW that I really really regret as well (yes real world regrets are not enough for me). There are three main ones. I don’t know if that is good (only three!) or bad (three- get off to the confession box at once you heinous sinner). I have no reliable sense of perspective about these things. So I’m going to lay out the three over the next three posts (bravely some might say –  I might lose all readers after this) and see what you think.

Ok confession number 1

This is a tanking incident so probably the worst of all given how seriously I take my tanking oaths and vows. It was my first ever time time in a dungeon as a tank. It was when Bravetank was Sparci and a wannabe roleplaying PvPer. I’ve never really counted this as my first time as it was such a spur of the moment thing and went so badly I think I’ve repressed the memory (like people do with lots of different first time experiences…!).  But really in any blog about Bravetank this story has to be covered at some point. All I’ll say at the outset is – I’d never done it before, I was inexperienced and scared stiff and honestly feel awful about it now (I’m not saying there are tears in my eyes as I write this –  I draw the line there).

So basically up until then I had been Ret and levelling mostly via  PUGs but keen to experience world PvP at some point (I know – you can already tell I wasn’t in my right mind). I’d watched the way some Paladin tanks worked in dungeons (pull, hit, hit some more then run off) and had started thinking, “I could do that. That looks easy.” Little did I know I’d be using this blog as therapy for all my tanking experiences months later …. So in a mad moment I decided  to buy myself a one handed sword and shield and try tanking. I was ret specced obviously & not high enough for dual spec but I’d read at the early levels this wasn’t a problem so off I trotted.

Once equipped and with righteous fury clicked  (see – I was almost a pro) I took a deep breath, went into dungeon finder, selected tank and waited…

…for less than half a second I think. It was my first experience of the Tanking “queuing” experience.  I was summoned into the Stockades. I was pleased with this as I knew it was relatively straightforward even for someone like me. My confidence crept up a notch.

Obviously as regular readers will know I pleasantly greeted everyone on my arrival but already it was too late. They’d immediately run off and were pulling right away. Of course I’d seen this as DPS and later of course I was to realise this was par for the course, but it still took me a little by surprise and I was knocked off kilter. But in a strange way I was so nervous I was actually glad other people were taking the lead! So I just ran after them and joined in with the fighting – pretty much as I would in any PvE battle. And it was fine – things died. I looted some stuff. It was all feeling doable. I even started running at the head of the group. Exciting stuff!

We did the first boss- as you know he disappears about three times during the fight so that caused me to spin around in circles a few times (which did not look cool) but otherwise it was pretty straightforward. I was being healed. The dps were doing their thing. It was all a-ok.

But then we went down to the Hogger bit. Now I had seen other tanks do this previously. I had noticed that they were careful about clearing the room before pulling Hogger. Yes I had seen and noticed all that so there is no excuse for what follows. Apart from my nervousness anyway. And I’m not sure how much that can excuse. But certainly it made me do something really stupid. I pulled Hogger right away.

You can imagine what followed. We were overwhelmed by all the mobs. The poor healer. My heart still breaks for her (him? – can’t remember– all I know is they were dead pretty quickly as was most of the group). I fought valiantly on hoping to save the situation, heal everyone and turn out to be a hero. Wasn’t to be. I fought and tried to heal myself while simultaneously keeping a nervous eye on party chat. So far no rage but I knew it was coming. Finally it was all too much for me and I joined the group in the land of the dead. And you know what I did then? Right away. I promptly quit the group. Basically I caused a wipe then bailed without one word of apology and without the decency to stick around, regroup and try it again. And I did it because I was scared. Scared of their abuse. Scared of facing up to the fact I had done it wrong – very wrong.

Once I’d left I sat before my computer feeling dreadful and then confessed all to my husband. “Don’t worry about it,” he loyally said. “They’ve probably got another tank by now and are doing it again.” Possibly true but it didn’t make me feel better. I was terrified one of them would be on my server and whisper something to me. I was so ashamed. I knew what I’d done was wrong.

In my defence I’ve never ever done that again. No matter how bad a run has gone I’ve stuck it out and done corpse run after corpse run to show my commitment and loyalty to the group. And when I do a bad pull I apologise right away. I even apologise now when it’s not my fault (I’ve totally taken it too far I know!!) But I am still deeply ashamed about that incident. I was just so scared. I knew I’d messed up and didn’t have the nerve to stay there and face the consequences. And for this I feel dreadful. No excuses. I was wrong.

And in my next post – my loot confession. It doesn’t get better Sad smile

I Quest therefore I Tank

The week off from questing seems to have done the trick. Went on this morning and after two failed attempts to escape Terokkar Forest (I thought I could level in SMV or Nagrand but too low level for either) I knuckled down and did most of the early quests  including warp stalker thingies (annoying), olemba seeds (curiously satisfying – perhaps I should be a gardener), worg tails (despair inducing drop rate), Arakkoa feathers (enough to stuff a pillow – lovely gift for Xmas for any Arrakoa hating relatives)  and a lesson in reading quest text when I looked everyhere for Ironjaw without realising he was a wolf  (explanation – I thought he was a basilisk -funny that – given all the bloody basilisks in the area are called Ironspine so logically I thought Ironjaw would be leader of the basilisks – and yes I know I should have read the quest text but how boring is that – I prefer to fly around for a good half hour piteously wailing to my husband that I can’t find him anywhere & rashly asserting the game is glitched).

Anyway Bravetank is finally level 63 – although that was slightly anti climactic since I thought she was 63 already (too lazy to cast my eyes up to the top left hand side of the screen to check her level it seems).

Still going down the questing rather than dungeon route at the moment and justifying this by the fact that the way I quest gives me good tanking experience. How you may wonder? Well I’ll tell you (and for free) – I basically play the part of all 5 group roles – including the bickering, annoying pulling and ninjaring. I start by running around like a lunatic gathering up as many mobs as I can before I’m ready (really like it if I have only half a health and mana bar) – far more than I should in fact – some mobs even give up when they see what I’m doing – refusing to play my little game. Then when I have a crazy number on my tail I spin around and with a cocky little  wink at my imaginary group I AoE everything to death while Word of Glorying myself back to full health whenever needed. It is awesome.!!!! I am tank, dps & healer all in one – like the perfect all in one cleanser, toner  & moisturiser. Not sure I was putting myself through all that group malarkey – my multiskilled paladin is group enough for anyone.

In reality of course I know I’m fooling myself and more to the point I have zero chance of getting any blue pretties this way. But husband’s healer is now lagging far behind me at only level 61 or so (I cannot tear him away from fishing –  can’t imagine Jesus saying this to his mother after trying to call the disciples can you?). So right now my choice is this pretend tanking questing or living up to my name and braving a group without him (but actually aside from being nervewracking this also feels a bit like a betrayal of him too- I broached the subject the other day and he had such a hurt look you’d swear I’d suggested an open marriage). I could of course stop playing Bravetank for awhile to help him catch up but at that rate I’ll be 85 before she is.

So on I’ll press for the minute and hope healer hubby catches up. In the meantime I perhaps should practice some PvP because I humiliated myself the other day when attacked by a shaman. His jumping skills were too much for me – I could not see where he was at any one point (not that I think the ability to jump and move should make you the automatic winner in a PvP battle – but I have to admit he also hit me a great deal too). So today when I ran into another horde player I was a tad fearful. This fear increased a hundredfold when I saw he was also a Pally. Luckily we Pallies have a mutual understanding and respect for each other (ie neither of us wanted a long battle of holy light & flash of light) and so we made dignified exits (ie ran away from each other quickly without once looking back).

Haven’t done any Winterveil festival quests yet. Partly because my husband keeps on telling me it’s dreadful because he keeps getting the same robot toy all the time and  apparently once you’ve had one there’s no point in having anymore and Blizzard know this so are are clearly sociopaths and why are they doing this to him, it’s personal, he’s going to write to his MP and blah de blah de blah. Personally I think he should perhaps concentrate more on levelling his healer than Winterfeil or otherwise an open tanking/healer relationship this is going to be. 😉

It was all my fault Officer

A couple of posts back I wrote about a triumphant tanking experience in Zul’Farrak. All was looking good for Bravetank. Then she dyed her hair & bought a ram and got lost in Redridge  & I started to have some niggling little fears. Had she been poisoned by the hair dye? But it had gone well in Zul’Farrak so I was relatively optimistic going in for a second time. I refuse to go in the two other dungeons available to me right now – one of the Blackrock Depths and one of the Stratholmes – had bad enough experiences in them as DPS – the thought of tanking them makes me get the vapors (plus I did try & tank one of the early Stratholmes once – the experience is captured in one of my earlier blog posts – it was so bad I can’t even bring myself to link).

So until Anadin my husband healer gets to the point where he can accompany me into Sunken Temple I am going to keep doing Zul’Farrak. Or at least that was the plan until I went in again, heady with my first time success (beginner’s luck I now think it’s called).

We went in  – always a good start. Said the usual hellos. I think had one response so it was looking good. Actually I should say now this isn’t a bad group story. This is a bad tank story- a very bad Bravetank story. Sometimes you just have to put your hands up and come clean.

Anyway I patiently waited for everyone to collect their quests – including husband who for some reason had missed two the first time round. Don’t know how – they were standing right there. He was probably trying to get in the healing zone or something – which basically involves limbering up his fingers so he can mash as many keys at once as possible.

We started. I pulled the first group of mobs on the left (don’t worry- this blog post will not go through this run pull for pull- but it’s just important for that little thread of self-esteem I still have that you know that early on – for about 5 minutes – I was almost quite good really). We took them out and it was fine. The group was letting me pull, husband was keeping me alive (actually in fact since my recent glyph spending spree – funded by the very very generous guildee Jacqlyn – I kill the mobs so quickly he says I’m a doddle to heal). So it was going swimmingly. Until I got cocky.

We came to the first boss Theka the Martyr. Took him out no problem. He wants to be a martyr so be it. I really do love Tidy Plates by the way & it was definitely helping me attack the right thing  at this point (ie the enemy not a nearby tree).  I looked at the map & for some reason thought that Theka was the first proper boss on the map but of course he wasn’t – the proper one is the one in the cave. So I started going left – missing the cave – and someone in the group gently said – “There’s a boss up here.” For once I was confident and certain I was right (always a bad move on my part) and I kept going left. The rest kept going right. My husband stood somewhere in the middle saying to me somewhat anxiously, “They’re all going the other way.” “But I’m right,” I insisted (wrongly). But in fairness I’m not that bad a person –  I could hear they were in trouble (distant clangs in game and very near obscenities from husband) so I started to run back, but I got caught up in a fight myself- just one mob, no trouble for a multiskilling pally like me (as long as one of those skills isn’t map reading of course). Anyway as I was fighting so I was looking at their names on the left – all their health bars were quickly diminishing.  One by one they died – including husband. I felt dreadful as I was totally responsible. I’d deserted my team. I finished up my fight & ran back and did my penance by dutifully ressing them. One by one. One of the dps immediately left- couldn’t blame him/her. The others were great though. No criticism or rebuke. Even my husband did not say a word of blame – the look of disappointment he gave me over his shoulder was quite enough. “There’s a boss up here,” said one of the dps, again. This time, like a meek little lamb, I said nothing and just rode in that direction. I saw the cave and remembered it all (like Guy Pearce in Memento) and immediately started internally berating myself (and scrawling on myself reminders such as “Remember the cave” and “Turn the map the other way round.”) This caused me to mistime two pulls and barely survive the boss. “Pull yourself together Shell,” I said to myself, “We all make mistakes.” But my confidence was badly knocked indeed.

On we went down to the bit with the graves you mustn’t click on. That bit was ok & I was beginning to calm down again. But we had a new dps by then. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence he was a hunter who kept on pulling. I mean nothing against the hunter class by pointing this out- but there you have it- that was the situation – a hunter that kept on pulling.  There are good reasons why these become sterotypes. I started getting stroppy behind the keyboard but then remembered where my last moment of arrogance had led so typed instead a pleasant little request to everyone,  “Please would you let me pull. It’s easier on the healer.” (See – put the blame on the healer always – number 7 in my Tanking Road to Success book.) Anyway the group was again lovely & agreed and it was all sweetness and roses as we approached the pyramid steps.

Oh how I used to dread them. Then when I first tanked I did it easy (or the healer did it easy -not sure which of us should take credit for this, and the dps might also have something to say), so I was confident. Again big mistake. I must never ever be confident in a dungeon again. I perform better when I’m a gibbering wreck.

The mobs started running up the stairs & crazily I ran down nearly all the way to meet them. I know it had gone well the last time but this enthusiasm to see them again was completely overboard.  I then did some wild AoEs (just hitting anything on my action bar really) and next thing you know my health has nearly gone, husband is in a right tizzy trying to keep me alive, my ability to focus and hit have gone in the panic & so basically Bravetank is just madly running around in circles like a tank having a total breakdown. I think I saved myself with Blessing of Protection (I know I know – bad bad tank but self preservation kicked in – it’s in all our DNA – even WoW DNA), and alot of self healing. By now one dps was dead- yes another death on my conscience. But the rest of us got through it. The last mob was still on his dying breath and I was already typing my apologies, “I am so so sorry That was totally my fault.” It was the only way I thought. I played a shocker there. But amazingly the hunter replied, “No it was my fault I thought you’d pulled.” So we were all sweetly taking responsibility (I’m Spartacus, no I’m Spartacus etc.) and it was very heart warming (even though I knew it was all really my fault).

We did the rest of the mobs at the bottom quite quickly – although I was still having difficulty focusing even when there was only one mob in front of me! Basically I’d changed my F key to attack I think and not focus & it was really throwing me. It was all now feeling very shambolic & messy – the very thing I hate.

We then rode off to get those other 2 mobs (I know- my detail about this dungeon is impressive – I should write a contribution for WoW wiki) and then finally we were at the one with the tiara and Gahzrilla. I tried to do this right- clean up the area a bit first before hitting the gong, but in my attempt to be cool and hit and run and pull a big group together I mistimed everything & left about 4 different fights behind me so had to run back round & mop everyone up. By now I was feeling like the messiest tank ever. We did Gahzrilla fine (I have no problems on the bosses where I basically just have to stand and fight – it’s anything that requires any movement skill (or skill of any type) that seems to have me totally flummoxed!  Anyway dungeon over I thanked everyone profusely, told them they were a lovely group & apologised for the messiness of some (some!!!) of the pulls. One of the dps responded to say it was a good run so a little spark of hope flickered in my heart. Then I looked more closely at my screen – 2 of the other dps and the healer (who as you’re aware I vaguely know…) were in some random part of the last area fighting – still. I have no idea how that happened. Testosterone gone mad? I ran up to them & again had trouble focussing – maybe Bravetank was concussed? It’s the only explanation. Unless her long red hair was in her eyes. Eventually we killed the trash but my goodness what a shambolic end to a very shambolic run. Totally depressed by now & having run out of words apologetic enough I just said goodbye and left.

So basically the one dungeon I thought I could keep doing until we were ready for Sunken Temple I made a mess of. I know the answer is to just get in there and do it again today but when I close my eyes all I see are those bloody steps & those mobs swarming up towards me & me unable to focus on even one of them to start fighting (amazing I know- one hundred in front of me & I keep missing- absolutely incredible).  So not sure what to do. Maybe she can be an incredible tank just questing? If I fight more than one mob at the same time that counts right?

Hear me Roar

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? Continue reading “Hear me Roar”

The Righteous Fury Poltergeist

A while ago I posted about a dark day in my tanking life – actually they’re all pretty dark seeing as they’re all set in dungeons (boom boom- my jokes are reaching new heights I know – not good heights admittedly but new ones anyway). I had forgotten to put righteous fury on and was struggling to hold aggro. Oh how we laughed. After wiping. Several times. Now I check my aura, seal, kings and righteous fury every 2-3 minutes in the same way that at home I check the locks and that the plugs are switched off i.e. obsessively. Continue reading “The Righteous Fury Poltergeist”

The Tanking Road to Recovery

What is it with people and speed in the game? Last night and this morning I’ve been in groups where one person has wanted to blitz through at the speed of light. What are they rushing for. Life is but one long journey to the grave after all- why hurry there?

Actually really enjoyed last night’s run – huge shout out and thanks to the Raggy Dolls guildees who ran with me (hope they don’t mind being named…Mosschops (he has no say – he’s my husband in hunter form bragging about the size of his bow), Kochi (awesome mage who is dual specced as a need/greed counsellor and made a break through with me last night!) and Jacqlyn (fantastic bear tank who is everything I’m not when I tank – polite, considerate, prepared to wait for healer- she has set the bar very high!). Jubilate was busy doing grown up stuff raiding so the four of us tackled Deadmines (twice) then Ragefire Chasm & then – without me – they did Shadowfangkeep – they died in that quite a bit so I understand – read into that what you will 🙂 Continue reading “The Tanking Road to Recovery”

If you love something set it free

Didn’t think I’d be writing a post so soon but had to get this one down while it’s all still fresh. The divorce lawyers prefer it that way. It’s a tale of marital strife and healer and tank  disharmony – basically my usual blog post after I enter a dungeon as a tank with my husband as healer.

Ok the day started well enough. I got up early because my other eye is now bad (don’t get me started on my eyes – apparently stress is making me come out in styes. They alternate eyes so neither feels left out and in the meantime I walk round the place looking as if I’ve come off rather badly in my attempt to be featherweight champion of the year).

Anyway I went on the computer right away (sad sad I know) and did something I’ve been wanting to do since I started writing this blog. I changed my tank’s name (Sparci) to Bravetank. I thought it was time for her to adopt her true title. In my head  I thought it would be like the moment in films when some special title is bestowed on the main protagonist and he/she finally know who they are and their purpose in life. This was my Sparci Clark Kent’s Superman moment. This is her day I thought. How wrong I was. So wrong. The name is cursed.

Once my husband was up, breakfasted and had checked his gold like Scrooge before the three ghosts I did my usual begging act – asking him to heal me. It won’t be Scholomance I promised. Little did I know that by the end of our run my husband would be praising Scholomance to the heavens like some Azerothian tourist guide on commission. Instead we entered Stratholme – the main gate one…the main gates to hell as it turned out.

It started badly. I noticed my husband didn’t have Devotion Aura on and rebuked him like a Sgt Major spotting a new recruit’s poorly shined shoes. But in fairness to me (if this blog at least can’t be fair to me I don’t think there’s much hope) we do have an agreement. I put Ret Aura on and he puts Devotion Aura on. It’s not that hard. Until this moment I haven’t felt the need to write it down or write it on the fridge or anything. But apparently he didn’t remember and then claimed he thought he always did Ret Aura. Even though he hadn’t remembered to put that on either …. I held my tongue (if by that I mean I said various things of a very sarcastic nature) and we began.

We had a mage, hunter and warlock in our group. They seemed friendly enough. But like magnets of the same charge they also seemed strangely repelled by each other. And by us. I’ve never seen anything like it. Basically they just ran in three different directions, all of them different from the one my husband and I were going, all of them wrong. At one point one was running back to the instance entrance in a relay race with its pet.

So as you can imagine the first couple of pulls were rather messy. There were basically four different pulls happening in four different areas. To top it all I immediately got some kind of worm infestation from some contagious ghoul. Now I always know immediately when that happens because I am a good girl and have Decursive. My husband is not so good. He feels himself to be rather above Decursive. “I’ve got worms,” I yelled, causing the neighbours to squirm. “Oh right,” he said in a rather laid back manner for someone I trust with my life. However, he cleared the worms like an efficient vet and we pressed on.

I don’t really know what happened next. One moment I was alive the next I was dead. At this point I think we were only about 3 feet from the main gate. Determined to be cheery I stoically corpse ran and returned, announcing in an upbeat school teacher manner, “Let’s all try again shall we.” I immediately got attacked by something I hadn’t seen coming (don’t forget my stye – I’m effectively doing all this with one eye). And this time we all died. Disaster. “At least we’re having exercise doing our corpse runs,” I said in a now clearly insane cheery manner, already in reality a gibbering wreck. I cast a sneaky glance over my shoulder at my husband to check he’d remembered he was the healer and wasn’t tabbed out checking football scores. He was still in the dungeon having a “mb” as he tersely announced. I refrained from saying anything.

Third time. We got as far as the tobacco guy then the wandering dps pulled mobs from every quarter of Stratholme and we died again. My husband maddeningly then decided to write in Party chat ,”What happened?” OMG I thought. Betrayer. He’s just inviting them to blame the tank. So I immediately (and not in an overreacting way at all despite what he said and how this now seems as I write it down…you had to be there) gave him a verbal reminder of his marriage and WoW vows. The keypoints were as follows: – as my husband I did not expect sarcasm from him in Party chat, that this was the very reason he was my healer, that he was supposed to be defending me no matter what etc. My wedding ring almost came off my finger for dramatic effect but even I sometimes know when to stop (normally 5 mins after it’s too late mind). “I’m just having fun!” he said.   I’m not even typing my response to that. I have vowed to keep all bad language out of this blog. So for revenge I immediately posted in Party chat – “It’s worse because healer is my husband.” Silence, then “Oh have you two had a fight?” said one of the dps. So you can imagine how we must have looked. Totally incompetent and dysfunctional to boot. How two WoW toons can convey blame, frostiness and the total breakdown of trust I don’t know but we managed it. The dps kept quiet- not even they wanted to go there.

I ran round a corner into another load of mobs. By now I was playing rather erratically I have to admit. I looked for the healer. He was being attacked in a completely different part of the dungeon. “Why aren’t you with me?” I asked. “One of the dps…” I didn’t let him finish. “Forget the dps, stay with me,” I ordered like an egotistical tyrant, “I am your priority. And you can sometimes put Hand of Protection on me you know.”

“I don’t have it,” he said. I sighed so loudly in response that people in Australia felt a breeze across their face. “Yes you do,” I replied, “Every paladin has it.” But we couldn’t continue this interesting debate about Paladin skills because by then we were dead – again.

My first dungeon with Sparci playing officially as Bravetank I thought. What a disaster. Hope none of the dps read my blog. I found myself standing once again before the spirit healer. She gave me a rueful look and a little shrug as if to say I used to have a healer husband too- and look what happened to me.

By now we were by the letterbox bit of the dungeon fighting the postmen who care very deeply about the mail. “Pull more,” said one of the dps, and like a fool I did, believing in that moment that I could handle it. “Don’t listen to him,” yelled my husband, panic-stricken, but my headstrong self pressed on. I can’t remember the details of what came next – all I know is every hit I took seemed to totally decimate my health, and there was no sign of any heals. “Sorry,” said my husband when I died again, “I was focused on the mob by accident.” Now I’ve done that myself as a healer. I know it happens. But by now I could barely breathe. We were the laughing stock of the dungeon. It was only the fact the group knew we were married that was keeping everyone in check- no one wanted to be subpoenaed to give evidence in a divorce court.

In we went again. Most of the mobs in  this area had now gone. I had time to view the buildings and wonder about real estate prices. I turned a corner and immediately pulled something else. “I’m not ready,” yelled my husband furiously. “I didn’t pull them on purpose!” I yelled back, already a corpse on the floor. We then had a heated discussion about tanks who run off without checking the healer is with them. Apparently they are the scourge of the earth. Actually when I’m a healer I agree. On this occasion though I found myself rather more sympathetic to such tanks who have healers who repeatedly find themselves stuck behind gates….

And so it went on. My armor by now was totally wrecked. Any finesse, style and assurance from my play had gone. Any hint of civility between me and my husband had long since disappeared. I said somethings about what he could do with his Beacon of Light that was quite frankly offensive.

Finally the last straw. My health disappearing again he said, “I am healing you but it’s not working, why can’t you be healed?”I’ll show him I thought and tried to click Lay on of Hands on myself. It didn’t work for some reason. I kept quiet. And died. Again.

“I can’t do it any more guys,” I said to the dps, “It just isn’t working.” My husband had by now already left the dungeon and was dismantling his mouse to show me a bit of fluff that was apparently the cause of all the problems. I refused to look.

What a disaster. Silence descended on the house. For 10 seconds. Then the recriminations started. Apparently he’d never seen a tank lose health as fast as me. I’ve never seen a healer not use Hand of Protection I responded. Why did I listen to the dps and pull more. I didn’t know I admitted, I’m easily led. Why did he criticise me in Party Chat I asked. It was a joke he insisted. Then the bit I knew was coming. The speech. “I’m never healing for you again. I hate it. It’s not fun. I get nothing out of it. It was embarrassing.” It was like an anti healer affirmation. But then, amazingly for once, I started listening. Properly. He really does dislike it. He hates it. He is only doing it because I beg him and he loves me and he knows I’m scared to tank without him. And you know what … if I’m to be brave, really brave, I need to start doing this on my own. And if I’m to be a wife, a good wife, I need to stop making my husband do something he hates. So he wins. The pocket healer is no more and he is set free. With love. And now my scary journey really begins….