After I posted the last undignified whinge-fest, I spent a couple of days wandering around shell-shocked, saying “I hate raiding. I hate raiding.” I don’t know if I was trying to remind myself of this, or convince myself of it, or what. I think, mostly, I was just venting spleen and letting my mind turn things over while I decided what to do next.
During that day I got to chatting with the player who taught me how to raid-tank when I first dipped my toe into Mogu’Shan Vaults earlier in the year. I broached the whole ‘my friends are all better at WoW than I am and that makes me sad’ subject, which I tend to do on a bi-weekly basis, and they said…
… there’s nothing wrong in not doing content you don’t really enjoy doing – especially if it matches you up with the kind of players you’d rather not be associated with. As difficult as it might be to believe, I do differentiate between a “scrub” (that’s right, you aren’t the only one that finds the word distasteful) and someone that wants to learn at their own pace – especially if they want to learn by doing, because I -am- that kind of player myself. I learn raid encounters almost solely through trial and error. I’ve tried watching videos but for me that just doesn’t work, I have to see the mechanic with my own eyes to understand it – often with at least one “this happens or you fuck up” demonstration. And I know full well that you don’t mess around. You’re doing your best, and for what it’s worth I’m not expecting more than that. Nobody’s perfect, I keep forgetting about stuff too. Ask anyone that’s ever done a Flex raid with me.
And on Friday, feeling vaguely empowered by this, I fired up the Throne of Thunder queue again, put my tanking pants on, and resolved to just do it. It was a weekday morning, the hardcore kids would all be at school, I was resolved to recover some of that “hey, this is fun!” feeling I’d had the first time I raid-tanked, and I was putting the energy toward a very particular goal. Maybe this time I’d try to tank the Thunder King fight.
And. Well. I did it. And it was fun. And the Thunder King got me down to, like, less than 20% health, but I didn’t die and only one of the DPS folks did, so I’m calling that a win. What next?
I’ve decided that, much like when I level new characters and decide how I’m going to do it and what sort of experience I want, I need some sort of plan for what I’m trying to do at endgame; some personal goal that’s meaningful to me as an individual player. When I level, it’s not always about just tearing my way to 90 as soon as possible; it’s usually (all but once) about telling a story. Sybeth followed, and continues to follow in her Priest incarnation, the Undead quest-line, uncovering the backstory of my favourite race (and in this case, seeing how it’s changed). My original Shaman and Rogue were both building their RP stories, questing in the areas I wanted to associate them with: Laestrygone was building up to be a Guardian of Cenarius in support of the backstory I’d determined for her, while Nivi was PvPing lots, establishing herself as a soldier of the Horde through that and through the military-styled quests in Kalimdor.
Let’s see if we can’t optimise my approach to endgame play a bit.
What do I want to do?
Remembering to express this as simply as possible… OK, I want to finish Nivi’s Shado-Pan Assault gear-set, complete the Legendary quest if I can, and get her a Timeless Talisman to boot. That’s three goals, really, and I want to do them in that approximate order, so let’s treat them as separate from here on in.
How do I want to do it?
Shado-Pan set: quickly, as it’s feeling like a prerequisite for the others. The constraint is to get this out of the way as soon as possible.
Legendary quest line: by the end of the expansion I want that damn legendary cloak. I’d like the tanky one if I can manage the tank challenge. We’ll see when I get there.
Timeless Talisman: when I can’t be bothered to do difficult stuff and just want to punch yaungol in the face.
What’s the best way to do it the way I want to do it?
Shado-Pan set: I’m less than ten thousand reputation points from the Exalted status that’s needed to complete the set. Getting there means doing the Throne of Thunder raids (3960 reputation points for the bosses per run) and the weekly quests (300 for the group quest and 500 for the solo one) for another couple of weeks, on a weekday so I don’t have to put up with jibber-jabber from the kiddie-winks. I can totally do that and now I know I can tank the whole stinking lot (except Durumu, but fuck Durumu, as long as someone survives to combat-resurrect me I can cope with dying on his stupid purple maze phase).
Legendary quest: I’m currently stuck on Two Princes, two patches behind the rest of the gang. I know it can be done by non-hardcore players – guildies of mine have got it and, while they’re more experienced players than me (mostly younger and more video-game oriented), they’re not exactly THE BEST ON THE SERVER or anything. It’s just a question of patience, practice, and not not not hating myself for not being able to do it flawlessly. I do think that I could stand to be better geared for it (I’m sure it’s doable in what I have at present, but maybe not for a player at my skill level; needs more numbers). Hence it’s the secondary goal. Get geared, then resume progress on the Legendary. I’ve got ’til the end of the expansion to get the damn thing, after all, and I don’t plan on doing the Siege of Orgrimmar too often.
Timeless Talisman: Getting this thing is just a matter of wandering around the Timeless Isle killing things until 50,000 Timeless Coins have been amassed. Easy-peasy lemon-squeezy. I guess that’s what I’ll do when I’m too annoyed to do the other stuff.
The best part seems to be that I shouldn’t have to faff around doing Looking For Raid more than twice, as the Siege of Orgrimmar seems to be located after the Legendary, in terms of progression. Looks promising. Even if it does involve wearing a shell on your character’s head.