Go Gnome or Go Home

I haven’t had many new pugging adventures to relate, as the holidays meant that both myself and husband were on a break, and there wasn’t much incentive to play my little pally. Hey, I didn’t say I’d be getting to 80 as quickly as I possibly could!

I have to admit  that my last two pugging experiences did leave me a little cold. I usually do pretty well at just rolling with whatever slings and arrows a pug tosses my way, but first thing:

Gnomeregan. Oh, Gnomeregan. You are the only dungeon squarely in Vid’s level bracket, and I’m so very tired of you. Once was enough to experience you in all of your ooze-y green and filled with angry gnomes and robotics splendor.

You see, I have this dirty secret that isn’t such a big secret to people who know me or have ever waited for me. It’s the reason I’m really not that great at FPS games. I get lost, so completely and utterly. Even with a map. Even with a map that shows a dot to represent me, or a dot to represent my fellows. I do better now with the 80 instances, since they have maps. But the old ones don’t have those kinds of maps. I’m spatially challenged when it comes to a virtual environment. Or maybe even real ones; I once directed my mother down a one-way street in Vancouver. Confronted with no less than six lanes of honking vehicles, she managed to turn onto another street while I cried triumphantly, “Oh! So that’s what that arrow means!”

Needless to say, when  you put me in a place with a map that represents multiple levels of elevation but no way to discern which is which, it gets ugly. I was lost in Gnomer playing a level 80 for at least an hour. All I wanted was for you to love me, small gnomes! I’m pretty sure I ended up never doing those quests, teleporting out of the instance in frustration, and just turning in a ton of runecloth instead.

So my attitude going into the place was bleak – no, resigned. I’d gathered the pre-quests. I knew that my chances of going there were very high, and my chances of getting out again – quite slim.

On some levels, the first pug was good. We had a rogue doing good DPS, a hunter, a bear tank. They knew generally where they were going. So that was excellent, because I could follow them. I was doing a few quests – gathering mechanical junk from mobs, and also the one where you have to gather the sort of mail-box looking things. I want to say Essential Artificials, but all I know is they look like mailboxes.

Anyway, I realized fairly early on – that all the DPS were charging on ahead to loot these things. (I’d like to know, incidentally, just how one stuffs a mailbox into a backpack. Probably the same way you fit Onyxia’s head in there.) So I was starting to feel a bit indignant. Just because I was hanging around the tank, making sure he didn’t… you know, die – these jackasses were going to take them all until they had completed it, instead of sharing them around. I started to hedge my bets a little. I’d see a mailbox, heal the tank, sort of creep towards it…and at one point I just ran full out. “He won’t die before I get back,” I thought. “I can get this mailbox.”

The rogue sprinted to get there before I did. He beat me to it, and looted the damned thing. For the first time since I began this experiment, I had pug rage.

“Did you seriously just sprint to get to that before I could?” I typed out indignantly in party.

“lol yeah it was epic” was his reply.

“I’d advise you not to take very much damage in this instance,” I told him grimly, seething to myself. I know that these ARE pugs so my expectations shouldn’t be too high, but I still have some naive  notion that a group of people who’ve come together to accomplish a common goal may actually pretend to work together. Just for a little while. Or have some courtesy at all.

In an act I’m not exactly proud of, I was vindictive enough to actually barely heal him the rest of the instance. I say “barely” for a few reasons. One, I’ve always had a hard time letting a health bar drop when I know I could redeem it. I wouldn’t play a healer if I didn’t have an instinct to heal. So I may have healed him just a little bit. But he never got close to dying anyhow. I don’t remember much of the rest of the pug, except that at the end we ended up killing trash so the rest of the party could finish their robot guts quest. And there were about 50 extra mailboxes so there would’ve been enough for us all regardless – but it’s the principle of the thing!

The next night found me back in Gnomeregan. This time… fewer people knew what they were doing, or where they were going. It did include the experience of seeing someone standing next to an active explosive (the trogg caves) and not moving. In other news, fire is still hot! I wondered if it would outright kill her… it did. (In case you think I’m a complete jerk, I’d just had time to move myself, it’s not that I stood there watching and let her die in cold blood without warning or anything. Unless you don’t count an NPC yelling something like, “Get away from there, it’s going to blow!” as warning. In which case, she had no warning.)

This pug suffered from the opposite problem the other one did. Its players didn’t know where they were going, had only a vague idea what they were doing (and I include myself here) but they were so nice. I couldn’t desert them.

We were in there 2.5 hours. At first it was a little joke in guild. “Hey, anybody want to run some random heroics? Oh, you’re in Gnomer, nevermind, we’ll see you in three hours.” As each hour ticked by, it became less amusing. We occupied ourselves by jumping from great heights, fighting interminable trash packs, and talking in party chat about things like why the mage wasn’t doing any DPS.

“You should try casting fireball instead of frostbolt,” our sage tank advised. Of course, my main is a mage, so I have to check this out. I just assumed the mage was frost – for leveling. The mage… had spent four talent points in frost. The other 17? Unspent.

“You have 17 unspent talent points!” I twitched, “You should spend those!”

“I haven’t decided what kind of mage I want to be,” he said.

(One of my guildies suggested, “How about one that does damage?”)

I tried to talk him into spending his points in Frost on the spot (You could spend them right now! You, too, could actually be damaging things in this instance and keep us from spending 2.5 hours here!) but he would not be rushed. “I’ll think about it,” he said.

I’ll think about it too, every time I remember running in circles in that underground hell. But I set myself a goal; leveling, pugging, randomly. I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen the last of Gnomer.


10 responses to “Go Gnome or Go Home

  1. I, too, have a terrible sense of direction. Give me circles and multiple levels and I’m hopelessly lost.

    Once I revist Gnomergan properly (I’ve only done half a run recently) I’m going to create another Cassandri colour coded map/diagram to the place.

    Maybe then I’ll finally figure out the way around :S

    • Cass, I hope you believe my sincerity when I assure you I’m looking forward to your map, I’ll pin it to my bulletin board, and silently hope that I never have cause to use it again!

  2. As a raid-specced Holy Pally, I’m looking forward to seeing how you get on, and whether or not your FoL button gives up the ghost before you reach 80, or 60 for that matter!

    Wishing you all the best on your interesting/crazy journey through the old world. Will be with you all the way.


    • Thanks, Mally! I’ll try to keep it interesting enough (but maybe not TOO interesting). And I’ll expect you to chime in if I’m doing something holy paladin-y that’s making a complete ass of myself! I haven’t been able to find much information about leveling a holy paladin, unfortunately. Mostly I’ve found people who say “Just don’t.” So I’m just muddling along as best I can with regards to spec and glyph choices.

  3. The nice thing about the Essentials “mailboxes” is that they will respawn – so people who have this quest, simply follow your trail back where there are no mobs, loot the Essentials and teleport out of the dungeon!

    Oh, and if you have get lost easily, better print out the map of Sunken Temple. I’ve ran that place 8-9 times now, and I still can’t see head or tail in there.

    • If I’d known the things respawn I probably wouldn’t have let it bother me! I’m going to have to follow your advice about ST; and also write down the instructions about activating the “Simon Says-esque” statue light sequence. I think I’ll get lost less in ST than Gnomer, believe it or not.

  4. Just dropping you a note to let you know how much I’m enjoying this blog. I have a mid-40s priest I occasionally trot out to run an instance when I’m not on one of my 80s. He’s my only healer and I have vast amounts of sympathy for you for trying to level this way.

    Love the writing, the tone, and the viewpoint.

    • Thanks so much for the kind words, M. It really isn’t as bad as it sounds… except when it is. Maybe you’ll be inspired to take your priest out for a spin more often? Or the opposite!

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