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Another Day, Another Alt

I’ve neglected my blog recently, probably for no good reason, but let’s pretend it’s because I’ve been busy with University. Despite that, I’ve still managed to maintain a relatively active account, insofar as I now have three level 85 characters: a Mage (Arcane/Frost), a Priest (Holy/Shadow), and a Shaman (Elemental/Resto). The Mage is the only character that I actively play, my Priest (once a glorious Kingslayer) is now nothing more than a transmute donkey (spending her eternity in Uldum making Volatile Airs) and my Shaman a failed healer project (worth 20,000 gold) that does nothing more than ninja the odd item from the guild bank.

I’m quite happy to admit that during my entire Cataclysm experience, the only raid I’ve stepped into is a trash run that lasted just over an hour. I haven’t even looked at Baradin Hold, perhaps the easiest boss since Vaults of Archavon, and I have zero raid boss kills of any Cataclysmic description to my name. I haven’t finished the new 4.1 troll dungeons, and I’ve yet to get a character decked out in full epics. I’m taking Cataclysm slowly, I don’t have the motivation to raid three nights a week after Cliche, it was just too much hard work and not enough enjoyment. I play Warcraft for fun, if I wanted to have to sit for three hours a night doing repetitive tasks then I’d get a job as a secretary (and get paid for it!).

That said, I try to keep my finger on the pulse of modern Warcraft life. I keep up with class changes that I know will affect me, and while I can’t say I’m particularly competent with raid strategies, I’m more than capable at everything else. My months of raiding have taught me that fire burns, which is a lesson that a considerable amount of DPS have yet to grasp. Even worse, with a new gear tier now available to casual players (I’m talking about the 353 troll gear) people now assume that they’re more than welcome to stand in burning hot lava because “they overgear it”, or worse, “the healer overgears it so can heal me”.

I’ve yet to play a healer, but I do have a Druid in the pipeline. I have to say, I spent quite a lot of time on my Shaman (getting it from 1 to 85 in a single “sitting”, rather than playing for a couple of weeks then neglecting it for months, as I tend to do with my alts) with every intention of being a healer but it just didn’t work out. I didn’t feel overwhelmed by what I was playing, I’ve burned out from Shamanism after Icecrown, the same way that I’d burned out with Priest after Icecrown too (hence why that is equally unused). The only class I’ve never healed on comprehensively is a Druid, and while I know that my current Cataclysm experience is far from comprehensive, I’d still like to be able to run just a single Heroic as a healer to say that I’d done it.

Right now, despite all of the Heroic “nerfs” that came in January/February, I still worry about healing them. Things hit harder, heals don’t work as well, mana is actually an issue, it’s so very different from the playstyle I’m used to. At least I think so. The thing is, I’ve healed my way through most of Icecrown 25, Icecrown 10HM, Trial of the Circus 10/25/10HM/25HM and Ulduar, but does that really count for anything? The entire game has switched and now what I used to know is no longer at all relevant (see a previous post for elaboration on “veteran gamers”).

My Druid however, is actually enjoyable. While I made a Druid during Wrath and didn’t feel like I clicked with it because of the “slow HoT heal” strategy, because I haven’t healed at all for such a long time it feels almost like a fresh experience, and one that I’m enjoying. I’m learning (slowly) that I can HoT somebody and know they’ll be okay for a few seconds, and I’ve even got to the point of facepalming when other healers don’t (I saw a healer today cast Renew on a half-health Warlock then immediately top-up with Penance, what’s the fucking point?). Equally with Druid, the only spec I actually enjoy is Resto so there’s no “scapegoat” spec (like Elemental) that I can just jump into and shirk healing forever. If I don’t like Resto then I’ve wasted an entire month leveling a Druid for nothing.

Since the summer holidays are here I can actually set in with some proper blogging again, for all the good it’ll do. And if I really get into it, I might even treat myself to a realm transfer to somewhere that isn’t utterly dead and vacant, though I get the feeling that diminished accountability due to LFG/guild finder/RealID is hitting every realm, not just Saurfang (more on that later, no doubt).

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