First off, many thanks to Lathere of HoTs & DoTs for the very kind mention. I’ve been reading over there (quietly) since my resto druid was my raiding main. I still like to keep up on resto news, and Lath and Cass write about all sorts of interesting things in any case.
I also owe thanks to a fellow guild member for mentioning me on the Quarter To Three forums. I appreciate you both taking the time to point people in this direction. And to anyone who followed either of those links (who am I kidding, anyone in this case = everyone), welcome!
I didn’t really start this blog with the intention that many people would read it. (Counter intuitive, I know.) Consequently it’s been interesting to hear other people’s thoughts, and the prevailing opinion seems to boil down to, “Well, that’s sort of funny, but mostly it’s so awful it hurts me.” It can be a little awful. It might even be a bit masochistic. But, and this is important, I promise I wouldn’t be doing it if I wasn’t having fun. If I’d conceived of an idea that amounted to, “Let’s torture myself! Hey, why not do it publicly?” I’d be the first person to agree I should probably re-think my hobbies.
The neat thing about MMOs is you can play them in so many different ways, and some might consider them ‘wrong,’ but it’s really not their business unless what you’re doing is hurting them in some way. Take Cautious the warrior. This is a character leveled from 1-80 without any deaths at all. The leveling was done primarily grinding killing low-level mobs, and low-level quests so as to minimize the risk of death. And when Cautious did die? She’d start all over again over. It doesn’t sound like fun to me, but obviously Cautious wanted a different challenge, so she set herself one and surmounted it.
People are playing the games in unexpected ways all the time. What I’m doing isn’t really original or unexpected at all. I’m using the game in a fairly normal and linear way. Gus on the QT3 forums observed:
That site is an amusing read, but I must say, better her than me. She’s deliberately exposing herself to some of the worst aspects of playing WoW.
I think it really depends why you play the game, and what for you personally is best and worst. I’m in a dedicated ten-person raiding guild, meaning I have a pretty high tolerance for some things. We’re doing hard-mode content, and if you recognize the post title at all, you know just how punishing they can be. Dying, doing the same encounter over and over again, improving until you beat it. That’s fun for me, and lots of other people out there. So I’m no stranger to repetition, and yes, sometimes monotony. I’ve done other things like grind reputation with various factions. I’ve quested many characters to 80, I’ve supplied any number of yokel quest-givers who asked with fish heads, bear eyes, boar guts and worse; I’ve explored every inch of Azeroth on at least one of my characters – and even some of the areas you’re not supposed to see. Heck, I have maxed out fishing on two, nearly three characters, and when you’re talking to someone who’s fished THAT MUCH, bringing the word ‘masochism’ into it is probably a moot point.
I like instancing. I like other people. Even when sometimes those people have no clue what they’re doing, even when I have no clue what I’m doing, and yes, even when they turn out to be asshats. Because more often than not I can just laugh at that and move on. Questing by myself has rarely brought the rush of satisfaction and victory that comes from coordinating with a group and doing it well, or even doing it kinda well. People doing randoms at 80 aren’t talking. I haven’t talked about this here, yet, but some of the people I’ve met pugging are leveling their first characters. Even laden with BoA gear, we’re all excited. “It’s nice to think that it’s only 50 levels until 80,” someone observed in a group yesterday. I almost have to disagree, though. I’m not in a rush to hit end-game because end-game is raiding, or else the same instances I’ve done eleventy-billion times, and this character won’t be raiding. I like hanging out with people who get excited about a green drop, who are pumped when they ding a level. “I’m only one level from thirty!” another person yesterday enthused. Some folks have been less than friendly, but people on the whole have been pretty nice. And as far as I’m concerned, it beats the solo-leveling I’d be doing otherwise.
Nobody’s ever going to turn to me while I’m killing 80 yetis for their skins and say, “Hey Vid, good work with those yeti skins, we nearly didn’t come out of that alive!” Someone might have turned to me in Gnomeregan and said, “Epic heals,” when I kept my woebegone party from succumbing to the frenzied attacks of fifteen angry troggs, robots, and gnomes. It’s not that I need the ego boost. Healing at this level, just isn’t that hard (You do a great job with that Flash of Light button!), but rather the sense of accomplishing something despite adversity. Even when, as is sometimes the case with PuGs, the adversity comes from within.