Arise, my champion! Arise and fight once more!

Poor, young pally. She worked her Flash of Light button so hard to reach new heights! She pugged and pugged until she was half of the way to level 80, and now she’s been benched. What kind of reward is this? Is this what she worked so hard for?

I haven’t given up on my pugging pally, but I’ve had to take a slight break. Between the demands of current raid content and some real-life things I’ve had to attend to – alts are definitely the first place where my time gets cut. I’ll be back at it, healing again soon – now with three buttons. Shock and awe! (I’m sorry, I’ve never been able to figure out the ‘wowhead preview’ tag for WordPress, so I can’t do the hover-over links. But that’s Holy Shock, if you don’t want to click it. I don’t blame you, really).

So I hit level 40! It took one Uldaman run to push me over from 39, basically an entire level’s worth of XP, some of it rested. Uldaman is a big place! It’s one instance I had actually run at-level, back in the day, though my memories of it were pretty vague. I really like it. I enjoy the Titan lore. The group I was with made sure that the same person was looting both pieces of the staff needed to activate the Indiana Jones style door. I think my favourite part is the little buildings on the ground, although I also enjoy the construct and pedestal circular room. And I like putting a consecrate underneath all those scorpions.

I like less the silencing aura that the one boss does, with the kind of whirlwind things. (I’m glad I’m able to provide such quality info to people. “You know, it’s that one guy, who does the stuff…with the thing? Then the whatsit hit me and WHOA.” I was just watching green bars! I’m sorry!) This ‘whirlwind silencing thing’ was okay for the second run, when I knew about it and knew how to avoid it for the most part. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but much like Ignis’ trash, the dust devil effect seems to pick a person and chase it. It’s avoidable, though. At least I avoided it on the second run through, not so much the first. Thank you, Lay on Hands, for saving my tank’s bacon!

My holy pally mentor assures me that soon I will have 40  yard judgments and I eagerly await this day, so it won’t require me to run up into near-melee range to be silenced and struck at and suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous and angry bosses.

The other thing I really like about Uldaman is that it keeps making people teleport out of it. Let me explain. It seems it’s a benchmark instance. I leveled to 40 in it (technically after, when I was turning in a quest in Ironforge.) On my first run, our tank hit level 40. He teleported out in the midst of spasms of pure joy, and I could practically hear him cackling all the way to the bank. “Plate, plate plate plate,” he was no doubt singing. Or perhaps he’d queued for the group ON TOP of the banker, anticipating this happy occasion. It’s even funnier if you imagine the way we change gear actually requiring us to take the old gear off, first.

Human sprints up to the banker. “My armour, good sir!”

Immediately begins removing old, scorned mail armour, dropping it willy-nilly all around the bank.

“Yes, just one moment, I’ll get your… Oh my god, what are you doing? Put some clothes on! What is this I don’t even…”

“I SAID GIVE ME THE PLATE.”

Anyway, he teleported back to the instance gleefully announcing his stats now, how much defense he had, what his HP was. We’d meantime been pulling trash packs with myself, my hunter friend, a ret paladin, and his bird pet. I won’t say that it was dicey, because it actually wasn’t really. A carefully applied trap and a heavier-clad DPS made it okay. But the bird? The bird was tanking and he was never meant to be tanking. And so it was that in response to our tank’s unabashed excitement, I responded grumpily, “Whatever your stats are, they’ve got to be better than Larry’s here.” I’m such a beacon of light. (Har, you see what I did there.) He laughed good-naturedly, still wrapped in the warm fuzzies that can only come from protecting your torso in half a ton of solid metal.

As for me? I’m suffering plate envy. Oh, I know, I don’t really need the extra armour, and my BoA gear is really good, and I am thankful for what I have and don’t I know there are people who never get to wear more than a dress to go into battle and in my day we’d wear that dress until it could stand up on its own uphill both ways and by gosh we LIKED IT… But I just want some shiny pally armour. I keep seeing it drop in random heroics and the like, and I whimper a little when it’s crushed down into a commonplace old shard. Precious spellpower plate, I will give you a home!

I’m also eyeing some of the BoE gear my guild sells on the AH, in preparation for the time I’ll be able to use it. “I could just buy it, it’d be for a good cause, nobody would know I’d spent that money on an alt who’ll probably never need anything better than heroics gear, right?” Well, they will now. I’ve always made an effort to craft and assemble gear for my characters when they hit 80. It’s surprising just how much you  can amass before you ever set foot in an instance. But this time I’m hesitant, largely because I know the gear will become irrelevant so quickly, and there’s a good chance that Vid’s gear might be decent already because of instancing through Northrend. Ostensibly, anyhow. I should probably save my money and just hang in there for now.

I’m actually not even sure about dual spec, despite subjecting everyone to a poll they didn’t want to take – although overwhelmingly people seem to think I should assume the heavier duties of a paladin and give tanking a go. I’m going to follow Rhii’s advice and wait to see if I feel like really doing anything else, or possibly save dual-spec for when I’m 80. Since I’ve barely played Vid at all lately, it probably isn’t the time to try out something completely new, but I will consider giving tanking a fair shake at some point.

That reminds me, did anyone else see this video posted on WoW.com? It’s a song called “Altoholic” by Emberisolte. What I found interesting was that there was a fair amount of debate in the comments, because of the lyrics – quoted here, I cut a bit in the middle, and emphasis is mine:

You change your class, like a druid changes forms

Yeah you, have the most alts that I’ve ever seen

And you seem to think that’s the right thing to do

I should know that you can’t really play

You’re a ‘lock then a rogue, a mage then a priest

You’re melee then ranged, use mana then rage

You really want to play WoW, but I’ll bet you really don’t know how

Now, I know it’s just a song. I don’t think it was intended to offend. It’s a bit of a good-natured jibe at the people who really can’t settle on any one character, and so have no idea what they’re doing with any of them. I’ve known a few. And it’s easy to do! You get caught up in the shiny, exciting new-ness of a character, or a playstyle, or whatever. And if having a multitude of alts is wrong, well… I’m guilty as charged! I wouldn’t claim equal facility with all of them, by any means. At level cap, I have: my mage, druid, shaman, and priest, listed in order of my interest in them. For a time the priest was my raiding character, and for another stretch of time I raided as a druid. I also leveled a warrior to nearly 80 and then ended up giving her to my husband. Vid will be the first melee, plate-wearing class I’ve leveled to 80 when she reaches it.

There are obviously a few common threads with my characters. Discounting the druid’s potential for tanking/melee DPS (She’s specced balance and resto), they’re all 1) ranged and 2) casters or healers. There’s a strong argument that focusing on one character exclusively makes you a better player. I don’t disagree with this. If you’re always tweaking your main, theorycrafting, analyzing your gear/gemming/enchants and making sure your rotation is solid – of course you’re going to be awesome with that character.

I also think that having knowledge of other classes makes you better able to understand their strengths and capabilities in a way that just hearing about them does not. Trying out different classes has made me a much stronger player overall. I know that learning a paladin if it had been my first character would have been a bewildering mess for me. I even do a better job with classes I already know – as my mage alt can attest. Yes, I said mage alt. Yes, my main is a mage. Of course I need another, whatever do you mean?

I digress, though. My mage, unfettered by any prior commitment to leveling in pugs, is roaming the countryside causing mass devastation. I can say with absolute certainty that she is better than I was when leveling my current main. And she doesn’t actually have BoA gear or any other fancy bells and whistles. She’s Frost, and she is absolutely in control. Since I’ve puttered around with her, I’ve died only once, and it was because I blundered into the warlock mount quest guy in the Shadow Hold in Felwood. (There’s at least five mobs in there, I swear, it all happened so fast. And I nearly pulled it off!) But anyway, judicious sheeping + water elemental + frostbolt and/or blizzard for some AoE grinding has been incredibly fast. And this is applying knowledge I’ve gained since having leveled my main. I doubt I could’ve leveled a boomkin as I did, without having first played a mage. It’s not that different, except as a mage it was easier.

I seem to have lost my point. My point is, I don’t think you could play every class in the game with equal skill unless you devoted every waking hour to WoW or research about WoW. But you can play many quite competently, and a few very well, and many of the things you learn can easily be applied to other classes and it doesn’t make you a horrible or fail player. In fact, it just might make you a better one.

Will I ever be an awesome Holy pally like my guild’s holy pally, Ambriel? Quite likely not.

Could I aspire to do as well, if Vidyala were my main? Sure, I’d be playing her all the time.

Will I be “good enough” to have fun with the content I want to do with her? I think I can say without hesitation, yes.

That’s quite enough for me. Especially if it means I get to wear spellpower plate.


17 responses to “Arise, my champion! Arise and fight once more!

  1. There you go, Ambriel’s head won’t fit in the Citadel’s doorway anymore. He’s already a main pally, no need to further inflate his ego! ;-)

    And I still say you need to try tanking. There’s nothing more fun in the game than tanking. I swear!

  2. Is it just me, or did you cross Lady Whitemane with Noth the Plaguebringer?

    Whitemane: “Arise, my Champion!”

    Mograine: “At your side, My Lady!”

    Noth: “Rise, my soldiers! Rise and fight once more!”

    I always imagined, after running Cathedral several times on end, that poor Mograine might really be wishing she wouldn’t do that. :-)

    • Hahaha! You are absolutely right, and I did. I kind of like it, though. I’m going to let it stand.

      • Oh no, don’t change it, for sure! I just got a giggle from the two together. :-)

        As a sister altoholic, I know how easy it is to confuse the sayings of many different dungeon and raid bosses! :-)

        “Good news, everyone! The slime is flowing again!” Ugh!

  3. I actually have the soundclip of Whitemane saying “Arise, my champion” macroed into my pally’s res! So she announces it whenever she resses someone. :) When I first found the macro, I couldn’t decide if it was lame or awesome. I’ve now decided I love it.

    Anyway, glad you found my advice helpful. I hope sticking with holy works as well for you as it always has for me. :)

  4. It is absolutely possible to be an excellent pally healer as an alt – let me explain why.

    My level 80′s (in order of preference) are: Shadowpriest, Resto Druid, Arms Warrior, and Warlock. I have a mage at 74 who I really like, but leveling her is quite a chore (should give it a go though).

    Aranth, my Paladin is different from all abovementioned characters. He levels through instances. All the others leveled through quests and grinding. In fact, when Natarumah was leveling I was so scared of instances I never touched it until Eliya (who would be sort of my Shadowpriest mentor) took me along to his community’s run into Naxxramas when I was level 63.

    Imagine! I was scared of even 5man dungeons, now I raid 25man ICC with the same community that took me into Naxx.

    Now, Aranth is a tank, and has been tanking since level 39 (He’s 54 now – bless him). I have seen great groups and awful groups, huge mispulls, two (count it: 2) wipes and had to educate/abuse triggerhappy DPS. I have learned to use my panic buttons, what gear to prefer, how to extend my time to live as long as I can and so on.

    When I hit 80, I will have more tanking experience than a Ret pally who turns tank then.

    Same with you – once you hit 80, you will have more experience than a ret pally turning holy, you know how to heal, what to avoid, what stats you want and what each icon on your bar does. You are ready to heal at 80, and hit the ground running.

    You will be fine ^_^
    Maybe one day you will find you actually can be better than Ambriel. :)

  5. I feel sorry for bankers in WoW – they have a hard life, so much so I imagine they took the stripping tank pretty much in their stride.

    “Would Sir like me to hold his paldrons while he does that? My colleague over in Tank ‘n’ Spank does a fine line in chafe-protective long-johns.”

    Given the amount of sheer rubbish I put in my bank…

    “Sir is banking 60 batches of netherweave? Very well, if Sir insists. And now Sir wishes to bank dust … infinitely. Very well, Sir. Here at Spizzlewig and Hoof we believe the customer is always righ-Sir wishes to put 120 fish in the vault. I’m sorry, Sir, I don’t care if they’re glacial salmon…I don’t care if Sir is intending to cook them in the next few days, that’s what they all say…”

  6. Grats on 40!

    I hear what you’re saying about alts. I think that one of my weaknesses as a raid lead (when I am reluctantly pressed into service) is that I don’t know the abilities of classes. I end up asking whether a shaman can do something (for instance) and end up being informed that, no, it’s druids that do that. That’s a problem that is magnified by my main being a mage, where all I usually have to worry about is which mob I need to blow up first.

    I’ve lately leveled a DK tank which has made me a little more aware of the abilities of melee and a lot more aware of mob priorities and abilities in heroics. The new problem is that, what with the pug economy being what it is, she is slowly supplanting my mage as the character I play the most.

    I enjoy reading your blog, and look forward to hearing more of your adventures!

  7. My main is a rogue, which can get boring sometimes… I also have a Mage, and a druid, and a ‘lock, and seriously, playing them has made me a better player, period.

    Mainly from the tanking and healing side of it, you get to see what it takes to keep everyone pumping out their max (anything) while keeping the situation under control, which then allows you to cut them breaks anytime you see a chance, purely because you know what they are doing and trying to achieve.

    In conclusion,
    Alts are FTW.

  8. I have just hit forty on my warrior and leveling this guy is like pulling teeth, but he now has his dual spec (my fourth tank >.<) and will be lfd'ing much more, which will help break it up. Be wary of tanking though, you will develope a bad habbit of deciding you can do better than your tank and swap roles with them. Nothing frustrates me more than running with a bad tank. unfortunately I guess you can't really 'break it up'. Is using battlegrounds against the rules?

    Also, if you are looking to put the wow-head mouseover links into your blog, drop me an e-mail and I'll send you my 'cheat sheet' that I use :-D

  9. Excelent blog you have going here Vid (can I call you Vid?)

    As an Altoholic myself, I can attest that playing varying classes can make you better at the game. I currently have 6 lvl 80s, and while my main is a Tankadin, my Tree and Lock are proficient enough to raid ICC (the tree even got the new VoA boss Achievement before the Pally!)

    Anyways, keep up the good work. I look forward to following your LFD experiment. /subscribe

  10. As an another altoholic, I know exactly what you mean, I have 5 toons over 70 that are active right now, the other 15 toons i have scattered over various servers are all experiments.

    At cap I only have Kattrinsaa the boomtank, and Brusaoiri the BM hunter. Close behind I have an unholy dk, a frost mage, and a second BM hunter.

    I did manage to get a pally and a lock up to 40′s but they stopped there and I just can’t get the enthusiasm up to play them.

    On servers other than my main, I always create me a DK and work him just enough to maintain money in my lowbie’s accounts till it’s time for the apprentice to become the master. I have played all classes up through lvl 20′s at least once to get a feel for the basics of each class. I don’t care to continue playing warriors, rogues, or priests. I just can’t get into those styles. (yet I can do a feral kitty druid just fine.. go fig)

    Oh well, here’s hoping we get a new hero class next expansion.. ::drool::

  11. Glad i’m not the only one! I have 2 at level cap, my main (also boomkin/bear) and a DK, then I have probably 20+ alts, alliance and horde, spread over 3 servers, most above 20. I have played all classes now, in different specs.

    I totally agree that once you’ve played your main, it certainly does make it easier to understand other classes, and certainly when playing an alt that’s the same class as your main, it’s like a different experience! I know so much more about druids than when I started out (well – considering I knew nothing then!), it’s made it alot more fun for me I think!

  12. Also, I wanted to agree that just because someone has many alts, doesn’t mean they can’t be good, or even great, at playing all of those classes.

    When I create an alt and i’m playing a different class/spec that I haven’t played before, I tend to spend a little time reading up on rotation etc. So I would say that I’m fairly good with each of my alts.

  13. I can’t lol at the fact that you have a main mage and a mage you’re leveling up. I’m doing it too. I transferred my Level 80 Holy Pally to another server last summer and created then a new toon, same name and class (though I made the new Endyme a space goat for funsies) on the server I’d just transferred of off. Sure makes things fustrating at times when I am in a dungeon on the lowbie pally and frantically looking around for my Holy Shock or wondering why I’m *always* out of mana. On the flip side, I sure know what I’m doing this go around, and even though she’s temporarily specced Ret for leveling ease, I usually end up healing in dungeons.

    I’m secretly hoping someone tries to call me a noob and learn2play a pally and I can be all like, “Sucka, I have an 80 Holy Pally already, who’s the noob now!?”So far, no dice.

    On a side note, I need to learn now to do the mouse-over links too…I’m a blog noob and didn’t realize there was so much to learn!

  14. Pingback: The Odyssey « Pugging Pally

  15. Pingback: How Playing My Alt Was Hurting My Raiding « Manalicious

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