Tag Archives: it’s all fun and games until someone has to go and die

We have to find your far-flung bodies first.

I found some time to get back on the ol’ pallycorn this weekend. Well, I made time darn it because all of the guild’s alts are passing me disgracefully. My hunter friend is probably almost ready for Outland at this point, and a druid I didn’t even expect is already level fifty-something-or-other. (I did say that I don’t want to race to 80, however, there’s racing and then there’s disgracing).

I logged in and stood in Ironforge clicking a few buttons. OK, this one is Holy Shock(!), this is Holy Light, ah, Flash of Light, you are an old friend. I remember you well. Satisfied that I remembered at least something of my paladin toolbox, I joined the queue for something random. And then I waited. And waited… and waited. I did a few of the Fool for Love quests and went and honoured an Elder – but apparently, that doesn’t give XP (boo). I bought a new shield. It has spirit, but it’s also triangular, so how can that be wrong?

I gave up on Ironforge and decided to begin the business of collecting a few flight points. I had the time to fly to Menethil, run up through Arathi and then Alterac and I was in Southshore when the instance finally popped up. Actually, that’s a bit untrue. An instance popped up in Ironforge, and then again on the way to Southshore. However, those instances were unsuccessful. I must now take this moment to expound upon something that happens to each and every one of my characters.

Lone, AFK DPS, I curse you to an eternity of downranked spells on your action bars you never realize are downranked, tanks that can’t hold aggro, and healers who let you die. If I knew who you were I would write you a scathingly worded exceedingly clever letter but then I wouldn’t send it, because I’m Canadian, and I’d feel too guilty. But really, you keep giving me LFD queue irritation. Cut that out, would you? Take yourself out of the queue if you won’t be around. Get a drink before you queue up. That way the rest of us won’t get hung up with our 4/5 groups again and again. I’m not even sure how it works, it says “You’ve been returned to the front of the queue” but it doesn’t actually feel like it.

So finally my group formed. The loading screen appeared and I said “Oh crap what is this.” I assumed I’d be heading in for another Uldaman, but I was wrong: Mauradon. Something about some purple crystals. Little did I know, that purple would prove to be thematic…

“Hello,” I greeted the group as I stood there for one brief moment, a deer frozen in the headlights trying to remember the paladin things I am supposed to do. Oh right, blessings, that’s what I do! I scrambled to pass those around. These ones  look like casters, and that one’s a tank, oh I’ll just give them all Kings anyhow. And make sure I have my Seal up.  While I’m going through my own little mini-buff drama, one of them remarks.

“This is weird”

I’m thinking, what’s weird? The tank isn’t a tank spec? You zoned in and we’re all naked? All of your action bars are gone?

No, indeed. The weird thing was our group composition. My first time back in the LFD after a forced absence, and Mother RNG gifted me with three – count ‘em – three shadow-flinging, pet-aggroing, Lifetapping warlocks.

What's better than one warlock, after all? (The answer is a mage, of course...)

What ensued was a comedy partly borne of my own rustiness with my buttons, and partly pure warlock hilarity. The first pull left me gasping and struggling, because dear Mauradon (purple edition, I don’t know much about the others) seems to be full of disease. And poison. And poisons that stack. Which is pretty ridiculous, when you think about it.

Tank: “Agh, I have been poisoned!”

Paladin: “I shall cleanse you of this impurity!”

Tank: “Agh, they poisoned me MORE.”

Paladin: “One moment, I can only handle exactly 25 mL of poison at any given time. I’ll cleanse you again…”

So I’m doing that, the pull ends, and all of a sudden everyone’s health bar except mine and the tanks plummets incrementally to nearly nothing. I say, “OMG locks you have got to be kidding me.”

The room erupts in a series of giggles, “lol,” two Gnomish and one human. One of the warlocks assures me that they know they lifetap at their own risk. They’re exceedingly complimentary about my ability to keep them from croaking despite one having aggro and all of them doing their compulsive self-damaging thing.

A funny thing begins to happen. I want to resent them for oh so many reasons. But I’m starting to like the reckless little fel machines. I’m laughing, they are charming me. I tell them that they can lifetap themselves into oblivion so long as they remember that some of us still need to actually drink. I also tell them that three warlocks should come with heartburn medication.

Later, I tell them to forget the heartburn medication – three warlocks ought to come with beer.

We barrel through Mauradon – Purple Crystal Edition with barely a pause, and the group wants to queue up for another but our bear tank is tired of tanking. He decides he’s going to leave, and I’m alone with only warlocks for company.

“Let’s all get our voidwalkers!” one enthused. “Each of them can tank one mob at a time.”

“This is silly,” one of the warlocks said, “I think I’m going to go, guys.”

I’m here to tell you, that warlock peer pressure is a powerful thing. That warlock stayed. And apparently these “more-a-minion-than-a-pet” creatures are an extension of self, because a few successful trash packs later and the warlocks were proceeding into e-peen territory.

“Well, my voidwalker was holding aggro way better than yours, and we killed that mob before yours died.”
“No way, your voidwalker sucked! Mine was awesome.”
“No, I inflict pain and suffering at a much faster rate than you do!”

Is this what a warlock convention looks like? And if so, how did I stumble upon one?

We did eventually pick up another tank. He was… one of those people I don’t quite trust. He kept running on ahead, not waiting for me to drink. At one point, his health was a mere sliver, I was nearly OOM, and then I saw him going. My face looked something like this:

“?!!*WHEREIS HEGOINGHEHASNOHEALTH.”

Tank, predictably, goes splat (as he runs out of range, pulls another group of mobs, and also breaks line of sight just for a cherry on his death sundae). Then he says “And no heals, were you OOM or something? Why didn’t you say something?” Now my face looks like this:

“DIDHEREALLYJUSTSAYTHATISHEJOKING.”

It’s okay though, this tank had a lot of problems. Apparently his relative had just had his arm cut off mere hours earlier so he’s NOT IN THE MOOD FOR BEING MADE FUN OF U GUYS. I don’t point out the improbability of being on your computer playing World of Warcraft if someone near and dear to you just had their arm cut off, but hey. Maybe he was confusing this dramatic event with a movie he’d just watched. And also, he was in a car acccident, and needed to have surgery on his face. And his Mom was hurt by the seatbelt. And and and… I didn’t reply to any of this but some of our group members were sympathetic. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, I do. And if any of it were true, then I am sincerely sorry for having doubted him. But for now, my suspension of disbelief was strongly tested.

We had plenty of time to discuss these things, you see, as when the tank died we wiped. I thought I could follow one of the purple dots back to where we’d come from, but they scattered in all directions (see: pug diffusion). Instead, I just had to follow my own better judgment. Here is a mountain pass, this seems to lead to Mauradon, and here is a cave. In the cave I got turned around a little bit. Only one ‘lock had made it back. And, astoundingly, the second person in the instance was me. Despite my well-documented failure at navigating pretty much anything, I managed to find my way back. I just followed the Purple Crystals. Apparently what old world instances need more of, for my sake, is obvious sign posts and giant, colour-coded walkways. None of the other locks or the tank ever made it in, we ventured inside and killed some trash on our own to reach their corpses and resurrect them.

At this point the group was starting to get silly, so when we finished the instance I bowed out to take myself off to bed. “No, Vid! You can’t go,” the lead lock protested. “You are our glue.” Warlock glue isn’t something I’m really ready to contemplate. Made from an amalgam of squished souls? What’s their viscosity? So his pleas fell upon deaf ears. I’d like to think that the three warlocks stuck together and ran many a Mauradon after that, but I suppose I’ll never know.

Meantime, 100% rested XP and all this running around Mauradon led me to be level 42! I was so bleary when this happened that I logged off thinking I had dinged to level 41, but I was wrong. I did go through my entire stack of beverages, though. I hope I’m at a point soon where I get a new “rank” of beverage because my Moonberry Juice is no longer cutting it. It makes me feel all impressive and paladin-like, a la level 80 Holy Paladin: “Excuse me guys, it takes twenty minutes to fill my mana bar up to full because I just have SO MUCH OF IT. I’m swimming in it. I mean, if only these strudels gave me twice as much mana, I wouldn’t have to eat two of them, just to fill up my enormous mana bar. Also, it’s longer than yours.”

The sad reality is, though, that I think my drinks just aren’t good enough for my level, it’s not that I have a particularly large amount of smarts.

But when I get to level 80? Heck yeah I’ll be a paladin just like the one above!

“Yaaawn. Excuse me, I think I’ll go AFK and grab a drink, maybe a sandwich… my mana bar is refilling. You know how it is.”

Today’s Pug: Brought To You By The Letter “P”

One of the neat features of having a WordPress blog is the ability to see what search engine terms people used to find you. I’ve enjoyed browsing them. Most of them are “pugging pally” or “puggingpally” or “pugging paladin,” coming from people who I assume read here once and wanted to find it again. (That’s very nice, thank you.) Others are a bit different though!

To the person who came here by searching “feral dps scarlet monastery,” I’m very sorry. All I can tell you is that I was in Scarlet Monastery, there have been feral druids, and they have been DPSing.

Similarly, to whoever was erroneously sent here looking for “shaman addon,” I really have no idea. Unless you wanted Vuhdo, which is technically named after a shaman.

Thirdly, and my favourite. My friend, who arrived here looking for “scarlet graveyard players just running off and doing their own thing.” You’ve come to the right place. Players in the Scarlet Graveyard will go off and do their own thing, I’m not sure why. It’s a fairly linear instance. It might be because some people like to barrel straight down the middle, rock down the stairs and finish the thing as quickly as possible. Others like to take a more leisurely, “Let’s kill all these ghosts” approach, and never the twain shall meet. I’ve previously referred to it as “pug diffusion” and it certainly applies here. Think of it as the tendency of five random strangers to repel each other in different directions, and try not to let it bother you. The bad news I have for you is that it’s not specific to Graveyard. Graveyard is only the beginning.

One of These Things Is Not Like The Other

I’ve done so much pugging the last few days. So very much. I’ve run Razorfen Downs three times, SM Armory twice, and SM Cathedral, also twice. The first RFD in the list was kind of funny for being a true Pally Power run. There were four of us…and a hunter. I’ll admit here that sometimes I’m fairly quiet in a pug. I’ll say hello, and if nobody feels like talking, Flash of Light bot will just run along behind for a while, throwing some Light around. Such was the first RFD. The RFD I ran after that one was remarkable because it contained the single nicest player I’ve met in my pugging adventures. I’ve decided there’s nothing wrong with naming a good player, so – Arcanelight from Malfurion, you are a credit to your class. (Mage, naturally.)

When I asked him to please not frost nova the packs unless he needed to stop a runner because it makes them switch targets, he agreed and apologized very politely. He decursed that stupid curse that slows casting time without being asked. And as we were heading up the Spiral Ramp of Undead he said, “Keep up the good work guys, we’re almost there!” He brought encouragement, consideration and teamwork. If more folks were like him, this wouldn’t be much of a blog, I’m afraid.

I was really excited to have SM Cathedral appear. Finishing this one instance gives me the Scarlet Monastery achievement (for a lousy ten achievement points… It feels like it should award me with fifty.) I had an exceedingly good tank for my first run. She pulled the tricky trash packs inside the Cathedral like a pro, quite unlike the tank I had for the second run, who actually just sprinted straight in and aggroed about four packs at once. Needless to say, my death-o-meter ticks over one more time. That tank actually dropped the group right after. He may have been embarassed, but he hadn’t said much anyway. I hope he wasn’t too crushed. They’re very tough pulls, especially with those big doors… Actually, can someone answer this for me – the doors. Do they close after a certain amount of time, or only when someone clicks them? Because they kept opening and closing, and I’m not sure if I have the right to be annoyed at someone for closing them all the time, or if they just do that.

A need for doorstops aside…I have to admit, I’m cheating a little bit. A guildie friend has a hunter who is almost the same level as Vid, and we paired up to run RFD and Cath today. So my pug was 1/5th less puggy. In the end it hardly mattered though, since the RFD group contained the world’s most annoying rogue. He was enough pug for anyone. And he was doing less than half the DPS that my hunter and other mage were doing.

“Four more bars until level!” he announced as he joined. We all made polite “well isn’t-that-nice” noises.

Five minutes later – “Three more bars until I level!”

The mage joked, “We should kick him so he has to go and quest to finish.”

He kept announcing what he was doing, and the state of his experience bar, right up until we went to start the escort quest and I beseeched the group, “Please do not start the escort until everyone has it, so that no one gets shafted.” You get three guesses what the rogue did next, and the first two do not count. Yes, I admit unabashedly, we did kick him. Fifteen minutes later the tank said, “Locked chest over here.”

“We just kicked the rogue,” observed my hunter friend.

“Oh,” the tank said, and then after a moment, “It was worth it.”

I’m inclined to agree.

Pay no attention to this woolly construct – of course it didn’t clank, you’re imagining things

There are a few major drawbacks to leveling exclusively with the LFD tool (apart from the obvious ones involving sanity, patience, etc.)

Gear – This would actually apply more to someone not completely twinked out with BoA epics, but I mention it here as a cautionary tale nonetheless. You may think that being in instances all the time will mean good gear, but it is not necessarily so. There will be other people, and they will want the same things, and if you’re like me, you won’t roll on anything lower than your armour class unless nobody else needs it, which means you’ll roll on very little. I did manage to score a pair of plate underwear today with better stats than what I had, as well as a new cloak, and a shield. A shield “of the Gorilla.” Yes, that means it has Strength and Intellect and I really don’t care. It was better than the crummy level 20 shield I had. But I get very few quest rewards and hence, very little guaranteed gear with no competition. This may prove particularly bad when I hit Northrend – because if it isn’t plate, I won’t be allowed to roll on it. I hope all those spellpower plate drops I’ve seen sharded for months will keep me in mind. But yes, don’t think your gear will be awesome unless you purchased it. And don’t assume the Satchel of Mockery will help you either, unless you are playing the more mainstream spec for your class. My hunter friend looked like he’d received a few useful things from it, so maybe it isn’t all bad.

Travel – At this point I’m only biding my time until I hit 40 so that I can go out and collect flight points with super speed. I may even wait until I have Crusader Aura to do this. Leveling the way I have has left me with nearly nothing in this department. I paid a mage to port me to Theramore so I could take a boat to Menethil and nab that flightpoint (I thought I was going to Southshore until I realized that the SM quest is a chain, and the chain begins in Desolace, and forget that.) In essence, you will be very hidebound unless you’re doing some combination of questing/instances. This works out fine for me – I hang around the city, train when I level, check things on the AH, and work on my professions sporadically. I have missed out on a few dungeon specific quests though, simply because they required me to travel and I don’t have the patience or means. Run to Ratchet? No, thanks.

Reputation – You’d think with all the monster killing I do for them, the Azerothian factions would be kissing my hooves! But they aren’t. In fact, I think many of them have barely heard of me. So they charge me more money for my beverages. And I can’t ride their mounts. Without questing, it’s just not easy to build up reputation since old world instances don’t award it.

Time – Even with my increased experience from BoA epics, this is taking much longer than it has to level other characters. I’m not sure what the /played time of a similar character leveled in a more ‘conventional’ way might be, but I am pretty sure it’s significantly less.

That’s not to say that LFD leveling is without its advantages, though!

Goods – I might not always get awesome gear drops, but my bank is bulging with cloth and other sorts of things. Positively stuffed! If I were a tailor I’d be laughing. I may actually use some of this cloth to alleviate the reputation issue from before. I have the same thing with enchanting mats; more shards, dust and essence than I actually need. It’s not always the exact type that I need, but I’ll be selling what I won’t use before too long.

Cash! – I haven’t been keeping an actual tally, but I make a goodly chunk of money just from loot and/or selling greens or mats that I accumulate. But just the money from the instances far outweighs any repair bills I might accrue (at least at this point).

Reputation – Right now, this is a disadvantage. As soon as I hit Outland and Northrend in turn, it will actually be a big advantage. I’ll get rep from doing the instances associated with each faction; in the case of the Hellfire instances that rep will actually contribute to a sizeable discount when it comes to my flying training! Later on, in Northrend, it should be reasonably easy to up my rep with all of the relevant factions just by wearing a tabard. This matters quite a bit less than it once did, since now head and shoulder enchants can be sent to Vid by my main character benefactors. But if I didn’t have that, it would still be a pretty great thing.

Convenience – Gone are the days of struggling along in a healing spec, boring mobs to death while questing, and suffering poor soloability simply because of wanting to play a role in instances. I’m leveling a character purely meant for healing, because I can, and yes I could have done it before using the LFG channel and existing tools, but this is so easy by comparison. I won’t say painless. But easy. And I’m grateful that I’m able to do it this way!

I’m making a last pugging push just to get to 40 – I’m so close! At 40, I think I’ll dual-spec…and I’m leaning heavily towards ret, but queue times will be obscene. I could try tanking, just in time to get groups hopelessly lost in Uldaman, Mauradon, etc. And then I’m going to set some time aside to work on my professions. My enchanting is lagging behind again. After some consideration, I made my second professions Engineering, and dropped Mining. I don’t go out in the world questing any way, and I don’t encounter ore. Engineering seems like one of those fun profs that none of my characters has had up until this point, and it’ll also be dead useful for instancing later on, what with the Jeeves and etc. At least, I hope so. In the meantime I get to occasionally propel a sheep at a mob and watch it go up in flames, and who wouldn’t like that?

So… What do you guys think?

SM: Did you know it can also mean ‘sadism’ and ‘masochism’?

My SM-go-round has indeed progressed now from Graveyard to Library. I was so stunned by this turn of events, in fact, that initially I didn’t know where I was. I stumbled blindly down the stairs and almost into the first pair of Scarlets. They were happy to see me.

Fortunately no paladins died as a result of this overzealous exuberance, but let this be a lesson to you: sometimes, to blog about the stupid pugger, you must become him/her.

I was quite happy to trade Graveyard for Library, because it’s an infinitely more interesting instance. I can’t help remembering how epic all the SM instances felt to me the first time I saw them, and before I really knew much about what instances were. Now, they’re still pretty short but definitely more challenging than the previous ones. There are opportunities for LoS pulls, tightly packed trash, runners, mayhem! My runs for the most part went quite well, except for one thing; SM seems to be bringing out more jerks than the other instances. I’m not sure why this is. I’m not going to detail every single PUG I have at this point, because it would take me years to write this blog and they wouldn’t be happy ones. Instead, I will summarize: I ran SM Library five times since my last post. Of those five times, these are the interesting things that happened:

Some people don’t understand the concept of ‘don’t pull crap when your healer is nowhere near you.’ Or rather, the same tank who kept attacking and then turning his back on mobs to run to more mobs and getting dazed (to say nothing of making that shield he’s carrying less than worthless) – that same tank couldn’t grasp that when it comes to the narrow corridors just before Doan, it’s maybe better not to run to the left and act like you’re going to fight those mobs – and then head over to the right to get THOSE mobs… leaving your healer trying to reach you, but on the other side of a big pillar. On the occasion, I remarked, “In retrospect, it might not have been such a good idea to pull all of those mobs and then break LoS with your healer.” The tank said nothing, the mage laughed though. (No matter which guise I’m wearing, I love my fellow dress-wearing people.)

So there was that guy. In a different run, I realized I have not yet set up my Vuhdo bars to show pets. This is a gripe I have with Vuhdo, btw. I love it in most other respects. But why is the option to show pet bars hidden away in some sub-sub-option menu that I can’t remember? And why can’t I change things while in combat? It’s easy enough for me to keep spamming Flash of Light while I browse through healing addon menus, and I’ve done it before with others. Vuhdo is kind of like my Mom. “Pay attention to what you’re doing!” or maybe better- “What do you mean you can’t find it? If I stop what I’m doing to go and look, and it’s there…”

Anyway, so I realized I wasn’t displaying pets when one of the people in the group emoted /crying. I looked around blankly. What? Then I realized, “Hm, it’s the hunter who is crying. Oh, look at that, his pet has low health. Perhaps I let it die. I knew I was forgetting something. But I can’t open Vuhdo to make it display pets. I’ll just target it manually, and…WHAT. THE. HELL.”

My friends, that pet did not receive a heal. Not at that moment, and not for the duration of the instance. Why? I’m going to tell you now. That innocent-seeming, non-descript Darkshore tiger’s name?

“PetWussy.”

And that about sums up my SM Lib experiences so far. The fifth one I actually did today, and it marked a turning point in my pugging career: I got irritated enough that I dropped group. Yes, I left the pug. Why? Well, it was an accumulation of things.

It started with the warrior who, while well-meaning, didn’t really know what he was doing. And the whiny mage. We were on the second pull and he was bawling, “WHY U GO SO FAST I NEED MANA.”  He’s apparently labouring under the illusion that tanks give a crap about the DPS’ mana – I can’t even get them to care about my mana! I suggested that he might want to try drinking before engaging the mobs, so he can top up while we’re fighting. He said, “I don’t have time, but thanks for the advice.” If you don’t have time to sit and drink after combat drops, there’s not much I can do for you. But whatever, I roll with it.

In the little courtyard there, things start to get mildly hairy. The hunter and the warlock are bound and determined that we should move fast, very fast, despite the warrior’s ineptitude at handling this speed. Yes, they are pulling for him. I hear tanks really like that, right? One less thing they have to worry about.

So we’re dealing with trash packs the tank hasn’t even seen, I presume. Like the Scarlet priest that latched onto me after the warlock pulled him but he liked my healing aggro. The poor thing thought that Smite is a viable option, and so he was trying very hard to kill me. Smite. Smite. I’m thinking, “The tank is going to see this mob here casting at me. Any time. Annnytime now.” It’s when he starts to move towards Houndmaster Whosits there that I get a bit twitchy. I suppose that I could have healed the group with an angry caster on my back, but really, should I have to? I ask to have the mob removed from my business area. The group manages that and we carry on, blundering through the instance. I’ve fixed my hotkeys a little bit so it’s easier for me to cast Hand of Salv and Blessing of Protection, and I’m glad I did because this group needs it. The mage tanked at least half of it, at least the ones he wasn’t frost novaing in the middle of nowhere.

Meantime, the hunter is still experiencing SM rage. “Pull, fuck,” he says, and “Fucking GO,” among others. I can only imagine what he’s like in heavy cross-town traffic. The warlock tells him to chill out. The hunter tells the warlock, “Bro, you can go eat a fat dick.” Things are heading south fast. I didn’t say anything about this at the time, figuring we’re almost done the instance, I’ll just wait it out. But then we hit The Last Room.

I’m beginning to loathe this room. Between the mobs that silence, runners, tightly packed groups  – and let’s face it, PUGS – this room is rife with potential for disaster and it doesn’t disappoint. We’re finishing off the second to last pack, I think things are going well, and then I hear it: “You will not defile these mysteries!”

Mysteries? We aren’t defiling any mysteries! At least not until we’re done dealing with your flunkys… But of course, someone couldn’t wait that long. Someone thought we’d get done faster if they pulled Doan while we weren’t yet “done.” Someone was very wrong, and I add another death to my sidebar.

I say, “Seriously, who pulled Doan while we were still fighting the last trash pack?”

Warlock says, “You.”

“Oh really. From the middle of the room, I pulled Doan? He must have liked my face.”

Warlock: “lol he did.”

I decide to balance the weight of the oh-so-valuable Tumultuous Necklace [Of The Monkey] I expect to get at the end of the run, and just cut my losses. Before I’ve even run back from the graveyard, I type back, “It was either you or the Tourette’s hunter that pulled him, and I have better things I could be doing with my time. Enjoy pulling the last room and the boss with a different healer.”

Yes, I ragequit a group for SM Library. It doesn’t bode well for the future. In my defense, it was nearly lunchtime.

No, I’m Really A Paladin, I swear by the Naaru. Oh, you aren’t supposed to swear by the Naaru? Well sh**.

In other news, the armory has all these cool new features! I’ve added an RSS feed to the sidebar to show you all the badass things I do, like becoming a professional expert or equipping some awesome loot. Which I actually don’t do; the lastany loot I was excited about was this ugly green belt in Blackfathom Deeps. I’m not sure if the code for including an image of a character works in WordPress, but I’ve taken a picture for you all anyway.

I have a confession to make. I’m not a paladin at all.

At least, you’d never know it to look at poor Vid, in her awkward ‘Am I wearing my underwear over my pants ‘ pants (at least they’re mail) and her hand-me-down shaman gear. There is no spellpower heirloom plate. The boots are cloth, I’m reasonably certain the wrists and gloves are cloth. She’s got weenie-roasting forks on her shoulders, and she can’t even say “They help me keep in touch with the elements,” because the only element she knows anything about is randomness. Possibly an element of stupidity.

In all of my Holy glory, I’m afraid I look more like Stormwind’s bag lady, Queen of Dumpster Diving. I’m sure half the pugs I do don’t know the difference – they probably just figure I’m the world’s worst shaman – never drops totems – and the other half just wants me to give them Any Blessing Other Than The Blessing I Just Gave Them.

My biggest motivator to make it to 80, really, is just so that I can put on clothes that fit more with my notion of the shining paragon of virtue I envision paladins to be. Outland still lies between me and that goal, though – I can’t wait to see what kind of radioactive colors I can put on when I’m level 58! Unfortunately, my weenie-forks and vest will be with me all the way. Unless I snap and go ret before then, which I vow I will not do, if only for the sake of pure, cussed stubbornness.

Oh, the shame.

It’s okay, I’m a rogue. You’re not supposed to notice.

I think that in the end I only ran Gnomeregan about five times, total. I could go back through my blog entries and count, but I’m going to say it doesn’t matter and it was about five times. I thought that was bad. It IS an instance that takes a significant chunk of time.

I had not yet been introduced to monotony in the way that being level 30-32 has introduced me to monotony leveling a character through the LFD tool.

“Scarlet Monastery Graveyard” syndrome is typified by a few key symptoms. Let me enumerate them for you.

  • Spontaneous narcolepsy at the keyboard
  • Group apathy regarding: drops, conversation, the run or any of the mobs in it
  • Tendency to whimper, “I’ll – rip – the – secrets – from – your – flesh!” in a creepy singsong.

If you or any of your family members or loved ones begin to exhibit any of these signs, don’t wait, seek aid quickly. Preferably by deciding against leveling a character exclusively through the LFD tool in the first place. Leave yourself an “except if I start to see red in the form of Scarlets one too many times” caveat.

The phenomenon is best summed up by a fellow I grouped with while pugging the other day. It was my fifth Graveyard run and he observed (not to me, but about me)… “I’ve had the same healer for this five times today.”

You don’t say? That’s funny, because I’m a healer. And this is the fifth time I’m doing this. Wait a minute…

I really had grouped with him five times, I guess. I didn’t recognize him at all, except vaguely I knew that we’d run together the previous time. I sheepishly admitted that I hadn’t realized we’d grouped together as many times. His answer? See the title post. He wins at witty repartee.

The rogue went on to say, “I’m loving the new LFD tool! It makes leveling so fluid!”

The words were still hanging there in the air, in a little speech bubble, as the tank blundered into Scarlet Room No. 1 and pulled the whole thing. I had to laugh, but in the end he was right; none of us died, all of THEM died, and so really that is pretty fluid. I remarked wearily, “Five runs in a row, I’m getting a little tired of this place.” Again, though, Mr. Stabby McStab had me beat.

“Only five?” he said. “This is my eleventh.” But he sounded happy about it.

So needless to say, I don’t have quite the pug endurance I normally would at the moment. Five graveyards at a time is approximately my limit, no matter how smooth the groups.

I’ve duly noted hints and tips about warlocks, spirit tapping, and their dependence on doing so. I’ve officially put them on the “benefit of the doubt” list for the time being. I’m sure I sounded meaner than I really am – it’s not that I have a problem with healing people who need it. If more tanks were using a shield, I’d be likely to have more time to spare for beleaguered, low-level ‘locks.

For now though, I have to tell you about another warlock I encountered. I’m not sure this one ever life-tapped at all. That wasn’t his problem. His problem seemed to be some mixture of recklessness/cluelessness. All throughout the instance (I watched him doing this, though perhaps he thought no-one would notice) he kept pulling mobs. He’d sneak ahead, target something – send his pet in to attack it, immediately begin wanding and then type into party chat: “Help!”

This wasn’t an isolated incident. I watched him go to a completely different area of the graveyard and do it. Pet, wand… “Help!” Wanding, incidentally, made up the bulk of his attacks for the instance. Maybe the word has gotten out about me, he was too afraid to Lifetap to get any mana, and so wanted to conserve everything he could.

“I didn’t just shoot this ghost in the eye with my magical wand! Someone help me!”

At one point our tank disconnected. The possible OT was AFK. It was just myself, rogue, warlock. I was just asking if the other warrior might agree to tank so we could finish the instance, when the warlock charged down the steps. The rogue and hapless healing pally followed.

Encountering the first batch of undead there, the warlock began wanding. “Help,” he cried, unexpectedly.

I was healing him. I was. I was healing his pet too. And the rogue. For a moment I thought we might pull it off, but too many of them were on me, dividing my healing between them and mostly me. Perhaps I should have been a better healing pally turned tank. I was running out of  ‘I have a ghost in my unmentionables’ cooldowns (damn you, Forbearance).

“I’m going to die,” the warlock said, in his first flash of understanding since we’d met.

He was right. Moments later, the rogue and I are still struggling to eke by, and the warlock is typing in party chat. “Can someone rez me?” We hadn’t yet died ourselves.

I’m sure it’s nothing about warlocks in particular. I just keep encountering them, that’s all I’m saying!

People keep telling me that they’ve been inspired to level a lowbie alt this way after reading here. I have only one thing to say to this.

What is wrong with you people?! Really? You read this and it makes you WANT to do it? We need a support group or something.

The plus side is, though, that there are other people writing things in a much more systematic and helpful way than I am. Natarumah wrote this Instance Leveling 101 guide. Cass over at HoTs & DoTs has been mapping Gnomeregan for the directionally challenged. I might try to compile some lowbie holy pally things, since the sum total of knowledge I found on the topic when I searched can essentially be boiled down to: “Lowbie Holy pally healing? Don’t/lol noob/go ret,” etc. I have switched to judging Light to help the DPS heal themselves instead of Wisdom to give me mana to heal them, and that seems to have been helpful so far!

This next part has nothing to do with being a pally or pugging, so feel free to skip it if that’s all you’re into. Some folks might recall that when I’m not punishing myself mercliessly trying to progress beyond SM: GY, I mess things up with the power of the arcane/frost/fire, even frostfire, for a stint.

I haven’t really made a fuss about hiding my identity here – anyone who cared to armory Vidyala would know my guild anyway. We like ten-person raiding, hard modes, and general tomfoolery. Possibly shenanigans. We’re looking for a ranged DPS right now. That’s it, just one awesome DPS. Preference given to one whose skills have progressed beyond wanding a mob and screaming “help,” – you should have a macro to pop your trinkets first and THEN wand the mob. Drop me a line if you have any questions about the guild, or the macro. I make a great wanding macro.