Now why would you go and do something like that? Didn’t you see the sign that says ‘Do not push this button’?

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.

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7 responses to “Now why would you go and do something like that? Didn’t you see the sign that says ‘Do not push this button’?

  1. I’ll completely agree with this point. I get mad in PuGs. I hate it when people cannot play. I really hate it when people cannot tank, so I either do it myself or play my rogue. (Can’t hold aggro? That’s fine. I have this lovely ability called Tricks of the Trade…)

    But.

    I’d rather instance or raid than anything else in the game. Gathering mats? Painful. Daily quests? Boring. Leveling a character to 80 through instancing isn’t my ideal because it’s relatively slow, but I wouldn’t say a word against it otherwise.

    And you do meet some very cool people from time to time. Even better if you run across them again and again as you level up. There’s a certain comraderie to leveling charcters that you don’t get at 80, though I’m not sure it’ll work quite so well with cross-realm instances.

  2. I prefer grouping with people who are levelling their first toons. Last night I was healing in Razorfen Kraul and this Arms Warrior quoted recount in party chat. At level 27!! (You already know my thoughts on recount). Fresh players on their first toons have an enviable outlook on the world.

  3. Ninja-ing mailboxes asside, your blog has been a big motivator for me.
    I’ve only got 1 lvl 80.
    But I’ve got a whole stable of midlevel alts.
    And I’ve been put off by the prospect of solo questing / grinding any of them to 80.

    I toyed with the idea of BG PVPing my way to 80. I’m still thinking this is viable.
    (And it certainly would be different!)
    But BGs are either quiet or insulting (hence not very motivating).

    Your adventures (and misadeventures) with instancing sound a lot more fun to me.

    PS: don’t take those guys at QT3 too seriously.
    50% of them are “done with WoW” and have nothing but negative comments about it regardless of what you’re doing.
    50% are 1337 raiders who think anything other than raiding is stupid.
    And 50% are laborador retrievers.

  4. Excellent blog so far, the nature of it makes for an engaging read. It tells a story, so it’s fun and compelling to stay tuned rather than many other blogs with little continuity, even if they do have a theme.

    I can sympathize with this though; other people -make- this game, and L80 heroics have become mechanical. Thus, low level pugging is completely different, and more multiplayer; interaction is required!

    You pretty much motivated me to start a similar copycatesque project, mostly for myself, which I consider a good thing by virtue of more writing = good, so an additional thanks for that! Now onwards to 79 you go, I say!

  5. HoTs & DoTs is also what brought me here.
    Enjoying the stories very much, so keep em coming :)

  6. I’ve really been enjoying your adventures here, I hope you’ll continue to share them with us!

    I’ve toyed with the idea of levelling a character entirely (or as nearly so as possible) in instances, but it wasn’t till they added the new Dungeon Finder that it really became feasible. So many of your experiences in low-level PUGs really resonate with me, though. “Yes!” I exclaim. “I’ve been in that group!”

    Maybe the lesson here is, “people are still people, even in WoW where they look like elves and trolls.” :-)

    Very much looking forward to more of your Pugging adventures!

  7. Pingback: The Odyssey « Pugging Pally

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