Wind Blowing

•July 15, 2009 • 4 Comments

Yesterday we didn’t have enough people for 25 man Ulduar. Oh summer time…

So we set up an elite kill team and headed into 10 man after Yogg.

Wang was brought as the 3rd healer, and we did great in there.

The Leviathan was done the easy and fast way, so we could move up ahead quickly. I did get Three Car Garage and Unbroken though – and the sweet hit trinket I was after.

Heartbreaker was next. First time for the guild. We got the heart down with a lot of time to spare, and the adds and void zones are just so easy to deal with. I did have some mana problems in the end (wtb more mp5 already?), but it went pretty ok.

Kologarn is just a joke on 10 man, and we got Disarmed with no trouble at all. Auriaya was a bit rough… we lost 2 dps very early to the feral defender, but 2 battle rezzes took care of that. Another kill.

Keepers time!

We were really close on the Hard Mode timer for Hodir – if we wiped and restarted we might have gotten it. But our goal was to get to Yogg, so we just went ahead.

Freya is another fight that is a lot easier on 10 man (at least the easy mode) and she was no threat to us. Clean kill.

Thorim’s arena has been our nemesis on 25 man lately, but it is a lot more gentle on us on 10 man. I gotta say though, healing in there still makes me a bit nervous. That damn hammer debuff is just a pain. And the adds always love to go kiss a clothie bye-bye. We were so focused in there, that it was a bit of a surprise when the gauntlet team jumped down on us and Siffed popped on our screens. We brought Thorim to 30%, but couldn’t close the deal this time. Mana was a big issue for me there… again! We went in again, but the Hard Mode timer beat us by 2 or 3 secs – again, we decided to just go ahead and kill him. But I know we can do that one.

Mimiron was no challenge. We haven’t gotten him before on 10 man, but after doing it on 25 man, the positioning and rhythm of that fight is just the same. So we just went through and got our Keepers of Ulduar achievement. I did fall to healer tunnel vision and got blown up by a rocket, but I ankhed immediately and it was like it never happened /wink.

It was almost time to wrap up the raid and get to bed, but General Vezzax was right after a bit of trash. We took a vote and decided to keep going. It was the first time a raid got extended since I joined Unemployed. They take the scheduled raid times very seriously in respect to everyone’s real lives.

But we went overtime, and worked through the trash to get to the big ugly General. The fight is exactly like in 25 man and the main issues are dealing with your mana pool and interrupting him.

We tried with me healing the first attempt, but decided we might be better off if I went enhancement and worked mainly on the interrupts. Melisende and Doom (our DKs) would fight for them with me, but my cooldown of 6 secs is much better suited to handle that, because then we don’t need to work out an interrupt rotation.

However, there are some issues with that at the moment…

First, Earth Shock is part of my dps rotation. I usually use it everytime it’s up and it adds up to about 10 to 12% of my overall damage. On interrupt duty, I just keep it off my rotation, waiting for the right time to use it. That means my dps drops quite a bit. But that’s ok, no interrupts equals dead raid.

Second, even making sure ES is always up for the interrupt, it’s still affected by the infamous global cooldown. So, if I’m working on my normal rotation, minus ES, I’m still triggering the GCD very often and Searing Flame can come up right as I got everything unavailable. It’s still a 2 second cast, but if you count the GCD, reaction time and lag – yeah, I can miss my queue…

Most times, since I do have the two DKs with me, one of them ends up getting the interrupt when I miss – but if I were by myself, I’m pretty sure it would go through eventually. It did happen on one attempt and it was a wipe, so I try to avoid this problem as much as I can.

What I can do is replace ES with Wind Shock – then it’s another dump in my damage, since I gotta drop ES completely from my arsenal…

Anyway, my dps takes a dive on that fight (no ES and 20% less attack speed from Vezzax’s aura). And my interrupting is still not 100% reliable due to eventual lag and reaction time.

But things will change in 3.2. This comes from the latest patch notes:

  • Earth Shock: Redesigned. This spell no longer interrupts spell casting, but rather reduces melee attack speed by 10% for 8 seconds (exclusive with similar effects such as Thunder Clap).
  • Wind Shock: Has been renamed Wind Shear and no longer shares a cooldown with Flame, Frost or Earth Shock.
  •  Ok, so my interrupt and my dmg spell are no longer the same spell and are on different cds. My problem is solved. I can keep ES on my dmg rotation and use Wind Shear for the interrupt. Cool I guess. I can only see one downside on this change and that is on fights like against the Iron Council, as my usual rotation when on the little guy ends up interrupting most of his chain lightnings or swirls. But we can deal with that, no big problem.

    I imagine my wind spell will remain off the GCD… I don’t ever go into the PTR so haven’t tested it yet. But they shouldn’t change that. Therefore, interrupt duty will be a breeze… well, maybe more windy than a breeze.

    So, it was a great night! I got a couple of tier pieces for my resto set (which is always great) and now Yogg is just waiting for us. I need to go study that fight a bit, because he will not survive tonight!

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    ALT TAB – Forget about Wang!

    •July 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment

    ALT TAB is gonna be my occasional post to talk about my alts a bit.

    Today, I got news from Grisen – once my main, now my main alt, the only one I actually leveled all the way to 80 on Hydraxis so far.

    She’s an undead Warrior, Arms/Prot dual specced, and still a bit unexperienced in Wrath raids. But she’s got an attitude, and she’s cocky. I guess all tanks gotta be a bit like that since they like to be the center of any mob’s attention. And they like getting beaten, so that’s definitely not normal, right?

    Grisen likes to tank yeah, but she rather do it with suitable gear for the job. So she’s been dpsing her way to some upgrades. She did a few Naxx runs so far and she got a few pieces of gear, mostly tanking stuff, but some dps pieces also. She used to run around with those pieces unenchanted and with crappy gems on them, but she decided to buff up her gear, so she doesn’t have to be carried anymore.

    She’s got a nice tanking set now, more than enough to tank Naxx for sure – but some pug leaders still think she can’t handle that, and she got turned down as a tank once or twice in the past few weeks. These scrubs always worry about her health, like that’s the only tanking stat out there. I was able to push it up to 26.5k unbuffed, but some people still think that’s low for Naxx. What they don’t realize is that she has a lot of other issues, a lot more critical than her health. She’s got very little hit rating and expertise, and that worries me a lot more, because her threat generation against geared dps might be not enough in some fights. I haven’t seen a whole lot of misses/dodges/parries, and I have managed to keep aggro, but I still worry about that – certainly more than what my health pool looks like.

    Anyway, it’s been hard getting her to do stuff on off-nights. Unemployed doesn’t run Naxx anymore, so I’m left with finding pug runs. And Hydraxis just sucks in that department. It’s a medium population realm, but the pugging scene is just a nightmare. It’s not that they are terrible, and you wipe a lot, or don’t get anywhere – they’re just so hard to find. It’s really hard to see any groups forming, LFG channels are in complete silence all the time. You might find something in Trade if you hang out in a major city all night, but that that’s also pretty rare. Scheduled pugs? Maybe one, or two…

    I truly blame that on the progression design they have in Wrath. You don’t need to go through all the steps that used to get you ready for raids. Most people hit 80 and head to Naxx. Some at least grab some crafted pieces, but others just go on blues they picked up along the way – or they are still walking around with their BC epics. There’s no gearing process involved, no running level 80 dungeons, to be ready for heroics, then farming those a bit before being ready to raid.

    If you only do 10 mans, you can keep running heroics for upgrades, as you go through Naxx, since they have the same item level. But if you’re into 25 mans, and you can be brought along for one or two runs, you’ll have much better pieces than what you could have picked up in heroics. So a lot of people feel like they’re wasting their time on heroics. Naxx being too easy just encourages this – if you have a good group, you can certainly bring a bunch of undergeared players and still go through the whole place without a lot of trouble.

    If you’re a new player, getting to 80 for the first time, you might go through the regular path – but as an alt, you can ask your guild to put up with you in a few runs and grab a full set in no time. That’s what Grisen did when Unemployed was still running Naxx, before 3.1. She got into a few runs and got the pieces no one wanted. But now, we’re full time in Ulduar, and Naxx and heroics are just ghost towns on weekends.

    So she’s stuck with some Naxx 25 gear, a couple pieces from Naxx 10, a few high level blues – and some BC epics from the good old times. Yeah, both her tanking trinkets suck (my luck in Halls of Lightning doesn’t help with that) and she still has T4 shoulders in her dps set.

    The new emblem system might help with that. I do hope heroics and Naxx might see a bit more action as the rewards will be a lot better. If that happens, Grisen will be spending a lot more time doing those.

    But this week something completely out of the ordinary happened. We didn’t have enough people for our Thursday run, so Pils decided we were just gonna head into Uld 10. Most people preferred just taking the night off, but we were able to get a full group together. I would be dpsing with Wang, but I thought it might be a much better idea to bring Grisen in – since our only plate tank probably wouldn’t need anything. We weren’t going for any hard modes, so I could do ok with her as dps. And I know how Tiger loves an Arms warrior for Trauma.

    So she went into Ulduar for the first time. I’ve done all the fights as melee dps, so that helped – I knew what I was doing for sure. And she did pretty ok. I managed to not be the last one on the meters all the time, just most of the time. And of course the top dpsers like Pils were far above me. But I wasn’t getting completely carried through like a dead weight.

    I even got to tank! Well, first I wiped the whole group on Auriaya, because Tiger asked me to tank that fight because I could stance dance out of the fear and interrupt her a lot easier than her or Doom, our DK tank. But I didn’t understand that at first, I thought she only asked me to stance dance and interrupt, but as dps… And that’s what I did – and we got through half the fight without a tank. Yeah, she went kitty, I was still Arms, and Doom was on the adds. Somehow we managed to get her to 50%, but we wiped of course.

    We went in again, this time with me in tank gear and prot spec, and I tanked her just fine – stance dancing, interrupting, all that jazz. I did go down on the last few seconds of the fight, because of a badly placed void zone right under the raid, so the healers couldn’t keep me up while we all tried to move away. But they finished her off, and I got myself nice tanking gloves. It was pretty fun to tank again in a real raid. I got some upgrades and some confidence that I could be doing that, even with subpar gear. Of course I had great healers to keep me from dying. And I bet they had a lot more work than usual to do that. Good job guys! Errr, thanks?

    Tanking is pretty gear dependant. More than any other role in a raid. Of course there are healing gear checks, and some damage races that rely on your healers and dps more, but every fight is a gear check for a tank. So I still want to work on my set, and I’m not gonna pretend I can just head into Ulduar, but I know for sure I can handle Naxx. If only pug leaders weren’t so dumb to understand that gear and stats are not everything.

    I hope I get more chances to raid with Grisen.

    Spending some time on an alt recharges my batteries for a new raid week on Wang.

    OK, time to alt tab back.

    Softcore

    •July 9, 2009 • 1 Comment

    That’s what I would call Unemployed’s raiding style: Softcore.

    The whole casual and hardcore discussion keeps being current, but the definitions are still so loose and the terms are constantly being misused. So, I’ll just call myself a softcore raider!

    I really don’t believe in casual raiding. Unless you’re in a raiding guild, with succesful progression, and you’re that casual member that eventually gets carried through a run just to fill a spot, usually dieing to the first void zone, fire patch, or whatever.

    Other than that, all raiding requires a whole lot of work to allow the use of the term casual. At least, you need to farm the gold required for the repairs, not to mention consumables like flask and food because you could argue that those are not a necessity (I wouldn’t agree though).

    Not to mention that you certainly raid expecting to get some gear upgrades, and any piece earned will require an enchant and/or gems – and those are currently pretty expensive.

    And there goes a few more hours farming mats, doing dailies, questing for gold or working on the auction house. A few hours raiding end up being a lot of hours ingame when you take all that into account.

    So, a guild like Unemployed which only raids 9 hours a week, actually require an extra few hours from us members. I cannot call that casual. That’s a lot of time invested in the game.

    But it’s still not hardcore, as a lot of other guilds raid 4 or 5 times a week, maybe 4 hours per raid night. I used to be hardcore like that. It was pretty much the raid schedule in Euphoria and in The Dauntless.

    That’s way too much, but I had the time and I only really did other real life social things on Friday and Saturday, so it wasn’t impairing me or anything. It was Wow or tv, dvds, books or whatever.

    Anyway, I think Softcore can be applied then. We are certainly commited to progression, but at our own pacing, devoting only those pre-established hours. But during that time frame, we are focused on doing our best.

    A Softcore guild certainly won’t be attempting to get server first kills (though we did get some achievement firsts), because it will take us more weeks to go through the whole content. We will gear up in our own time also, cause we won’t be farming the content so soon, but there’s no hurry.

    At least we won’t be bored waiting for the next expansion or patch. As long as we actually get to see all the content, I don’t mind if it takes us a while longer.

    But the truth is, quantity of raid time is far less important than quality of raid time. We were actually able to progress in a very good pace. We’re up to Vezzax now – I’m pretty confident we’ll get Yogg down soon. That’s pretty good. We’re not gonna see Algalon probably – we’re pretty far from what’s needed to get some of those hard modes done. But that’s ok. For someone who didn’t even really get to see Sunwell, beating Yogg-Saron will be far from frustrating.

    Also, the overall atmosphere in the guild helps with not getting frustrated, because raiding is taken a lot more lightly and is mainly a source of fun. It’s a lot more enjoyable when the leadership is understanding with real life issues, if you happen to miss a raid, or need some time off; or when a mistake on your part is not a reason to be yelled at, but one more way to make fun of you :); or when kills are actually celebrated!

    Ok, my experience with hardcore raiding was a bit too stressful, as an officer I had a lot to take care of, and it was a little harder to have fun, and with my ally druid, they were a bit too hardcore for me. Not that they didn’t have fun, some people actually enjoy the pressure on your performance and are driven by it.

    I was at some point also, and maybe it made me a better player. But at the cost of having fun with the game? When it got to that point, I knew something was wrong, and thankfully I discovered a new approach to raiding.

    What’s interesting is that this softcore mentality ends up bringing improving performances from your members. Especially from adult and mature members, who understand the responsability towards the group, and thrive in a more relaxed environment. These people do not respond well to drill sergeant raid leaders, it’s the social accountability that makes them search for ways to improve themselves.

    It’s certainly a challenge to gather people with this same profile in a guild, and some people obviously don’t fit in and will leave, but those that do stay and learn how to be softcore may rediscover raiding in this game, which will again be a source of fun in your hours of leisure.

    So, I am Unemployed now – raiding doesn’t feel like a job anymore.

    Time for fun!

    Where have you been? Part 04

    •July 8, 2009 • 2 Comments

    I was headed back to Hydraxis.

    I would of course keep Wang as my main, because I truly love playing a shaman. There’s something about this class!

    But I wanted to avoid being resto – the new enhancement playstyle was just too interesting and fun to be an occasional solo spec. So I did want to find a guild in need of an enhance shammy.

    Besides that, I did not want to commit too many nights to raiding anymore, so a more casual guild would be a plus.

    Back in Euphoria, we used to raid a bit with some friends. Occasionally, when we were short a couple of people, we would turn to our friend’s list and ask if someone wanted to come along. That happened often on offnights, when we would do Kara or T5 content with alts or new recruits.

    One guy used to run with us repeatedly: we knew him as Mistlarouge (a mage) and he was just an awesome player and a great guy. He used to come so often, and we were always glad to have him along, that all of us officers started saying that we needed to recruit this guy and make him join us for good!

    So, we tried… and tried… lightly, mostly kidding, not really poaching.

    But he never caved in, he was happy in his guild and there was no reason to leave. They weren’t really progressed at the time, sort of like in the mid tier of guilds in BC, so it kind of amazed me, since he really appeared to be raid focused. There must have been something special about this guild.

    The guild was Unemployed. I knew them from seeing their members around, but knew nothing really about the guild.

    So, when I decided to look for a new home, I immediately remembered them and thought I should go check their website and recruitment status.

    I was blown away by their website, the amount of work put into it, into developing the ground rules for the guild, and into making that public, so you knew what you were getting into. As a former officer, I valued the amount of work invested in the guild, because some devotion is certainly necessary to make it successful.

    And they were pretty successful in Wrath. I believe they were almost done with Naxx by this point (around January/09), which is not cutting edge performance, but it was on par with server progression. And they only raided 3 times a week (9 hours), which is a lot less then what I was used to see in raiding guilds.

    That was good enough for me: caring Guild Leaders, casual raid hours, successful raiding, and I was sure they weren’t terrible people, since Mist liked it there so much.

    So I applied, and went into my test run with Brajana in some 5-man heroic. I don’t remember which one, maybe Utgarde Pinnacle, and I’m not sure of the whole group – I think Bell was tanking, and I remember Kou was there… Anyway, apparently I did ok, since I got invited that weekend.

    I got into Naxx with them that next week, and we cleared the place. If it wasn’t the first time they downed KT in 25 man, it was kill number 2 or 3. And I got my Calamity’s Grasp pretty soon in there, and all my T7.5 gear, and a bunch of stuff from Malygos, including offspec gear.

    I had almost everything I needed from the available loot as we started our Sartharion Hard Mode attempts. 1 drake was easy. 2 drakes was a challenge, but we nailed it pretty quickly and one-shotted it from that moment on. 3 drakes… well, a lot of nights were spent wiping on him… it was frustrating, but it was fun. That fight is pretty amazing. Very well tuned.

    We pushed as hard as we could, but he remained undefeated when Ulduar went live. It’s the one thing I wish we could have accomplished, but only a handful of guilds actually did it on Hydraxis, so it certainly wasn’t a big failure.

    So we moved on. Into Ulduar. And it has been great in there. I’ve been enjoying raiding a lot lately. Doing my absolute best.

    Dual spec was awesome and I’m often asked to heal, which is great because it keeps me from getting bored.

    I’ve been having fun. And now I know what exactly is so great about Unemployed. I’ll try talking about it some other time.

    Where have you been? Part 03

    •July 6, 2009 • 4 Comments

    So, Wang was retired. Well, kinda…

    I did take a break from Hydraxis, but not from Wow.

    I actually rerolled as Alliance (What?!).

    Wang was reborn a druid, a Night Elf Boomkin!

    Wangari (the druid) was actually created a couple of months before the Euphoria breakdown. I’ve wanted to get an alliance alt for some time. First, because my brother has always played alliance and I wanted a character I could join him with (if I ever needed to). Second, because I wanted to experience the game, the quest lines, the zones and all that through the eyes of the Alliance.

    He started in a medium realm, but I always wanted to get him in a high populated and progressed server, so I’d have no trouble finding pugs or groups at max level. I had already thought about Medivh when I found a great blog about guild leadership: Chick GM. I loved what Auz had to say about leading a guild, and discovered her guild was in fact in Medivh!

    So I got in touch with her and she was great. We talked a bit and then I had a brief interview with her recruiter. I was accepted, so I transfered Wang2 and got into The Dauntless.

    By this time, Wang2 was in his early 60s – so I rushed to 70 before Lich King arrived. I was able to get a few Kara runs, and got carried through Black Temple a couple weeks as resto, just hotting everything on sight. Got a bunch of gear no one wanted, and got to know the guild.

    Not Auz though, because she quit playing right as I joined the guild, due to some personal medical issues. The rest of the guys were great raiders, hardcore people, the guild was on the top of progression – but she was the reason I joined. Didn’t feel so great without her.

    When Wrath went live, I went back to Hydraxis to level original Wang, until the Euphoria drama, which is when I came back to Wang2. But not to the guild, because I had been kicked out due to inactivity. But that was ok, I leveled through Northrend and reapplied when I hit 80.

    Got accepted again, was brought into a couple of Naxx and OS runs, but in two weeks I got kicked by the DPS officer – my boomkin didnt have enough Boom! in him.

    I really think it was a matter of gear at that time, cause I was still running with T6 gear and a couple of upgraded pieces I got along the way, but it was definitely terrible gear next to their full 7.5 raiders. Ok, I was also still getting used to the boomkin rotation, but that wasn’t giving me much trouble.

    I thought about hanging on and finding a new guild, or transfering to my brother’s realm, but I started to miss Hydraxis. I already knew everyone there, the good players, the bad ones, the noobs, the guilds… it just feels more friendly than in a brand new realm.

    So, I decided to come back… but I didn’t want to go back to Euphoria, who had been surviving and recruiting, but just wasn’t the same anymore. So I looked around, trying to find a guild I might fit in…

    And I’ll talk about that search and Unemployed next…

    Where have you been? Part 02

    •July 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

    So, Sanity was in the past. And we were uncertain of where to go next.

    Aharass, a hunter who I’ve known since Conquest,  then suggested we start our own guild and he founded Euphoria, and I was made officer right after that.

    At first, I had to go back to my tank warrior, cause we needed a Main Tank for our runs. Soon after though, we got some new recruits, including great tanks, so I went back to chain-healing for good and we started our progression as a guild.

    Euphoria was my home. Really. I was deeply passionate about that guild. The officers were all great and we really managed to get the guild going, even through some rough times with bad attendance and all. I really think we did a great job.

    A couple of guilds merged into Euphoria along the way, and we were always making sure they didnt have the same problems we had in our merging experience. Adopting Loot Council helped a lot with that, since no one had to catch up on their dkp. We also always had one or more of them join our officer crew, and the loot council, so they knew someone was taking care of their interests.

    And it worked – a lot of them embraced Euphoria, some became officers, raid leaders, and good friends.

    Raiding went amazingly well also. We moved into T5 succesfully, and got most of it done before the attunements to get into Tier 6 were dropped. Like many guilds, we head into Mount Hyjal then – yeah, without even attempting to get Lady Vashj and Kael.

    We never actually went back to them, which sucks cause those are great challenging fights. But we progressed so well through T6, and the expansion was coming by the end of the year, so we just thought it was a waste to spend most of our raid week wiping to learn those fights.

    I regret not experiencing that part of the content, but it was the best move for us. There was a lot to be done still, and not enough time. It was a challenge alone to fit 3 bosses in the Eye, 5 in SSC and all that trash in one raid week – while working our way through Mount Hyjal and Black Temple.

    We managed to down the first 4 bosses in MH and the first 3 in BT before 3.0 hit and nerfed the rest of it. That allowed us to at least see the rest of Black Temple, and we killed Illidan before Wrath. We had a lot of fun with Archimonde too, but never actually downed him.

    Sunwell? I missed it all, except the trash farming for epics, and a couple of attempts at nerfed Kalecgos. Never got to see the rest of it, and I hope never to miss that much content again.

    And what about Euphoria? We were having some trouble. A really hard time recruiting, attendance issues that led to raids not happening. In general, people were just burned out and anxious for Wrath I guess.

    Wotlk arrived and the leveling began. I went enhance, and many of our healers did too, so getting dungeon runs was rough. I quested like crazy, but didnt rush it, I wanted to enjoy the expansion. I really love the Wrath quest lines, the lore, the design – I was happy in Northrend.

    But I had a lot of free time, so I did get to 80 pretty quickly. But not many of us did. So, the few fast levelers we had started touring the heroics and even managed to get into some 10 mans and joint 25s with another guild.

    But we were collapsing. Some members were kinda tired of each other, some wanted different things, some personal drama blew up, some Real Life issues stepped in, some officers (like me) just didnt have the time anymore to be around as much. It was all falling apart.

    And it did – pretty bluntly in my opinion – when a large group of people just arranged to defect and join another guild, including our Raid Leader. That was it for me. I had almost no playing time at that point. Could not handle the drama, could not deal with recruiting and rebuilding the guild, could not join the ones who left cause I just didn’t like how it was all done in the shades. I was burned out. Completely.

    So Wang was retired.

    Where have you been? Part 01

    •July 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

    Wang was created around March, 2007.

    He was an alt.

    My main was my warrior, who was in her early 60s, just into the brand new Outland. Leveling was a pain though, with the crowded starter zones of the expansion, and I was just tired of that character who I leveled like a mad man to 60 just before Burning Crusade hit.

    So I rolled 2 alts – a warlock and Wang! And started playing them, just them (my warrior was forgotten), alternating between the two as the rested buff allowed. They walked side by side until the mid 50s. That’s when I decided to get back to my warrior and push to 70, so I could catch up with my guildies, who were already burning Karazhan to the ground.

    About that guild – Conquest – I joined them on day 3 of the server (yes, I remember the day). Was my first guild ever. I was just getting into the whole MMO culture thing. They were pretty cool, and they were good. We had the first level 70 on the server – and the second one only showed up after quite a while – so it was nice when he flew around Hellfire Peninsula, showing off his flyer to his guildies – and awing the rest of the players.

    When others caught up, they broke into Kara very early on and actually got some server firsts. They were head to head with Kalimdor’s Legion, who’s been the #1 horde guild until this day in terms of progression. I missed all that. But I wanted to raid, so I got back to my warrior and left Wang on the bench for a while.

    I liked playing different characters though, it’s great to get away from the same playing style and it’s a chance to try out new leveling paths. I never level the same way, always hitting the zones in a different order, picking up quests I skipped on the other alt, just to get to know everything really.

    So I kept playing my warlock, who hit 70 a couple of months later. Only then I went back to poor Wang, and he finally hit 70 around October/07.

    By then, my warrior and warlock were filled with T4 gear, and I’ve been hardcore raiding as a tank, using off-night runs to dot my way through Kara. Conquest was done, but a lot of us merged into Conspiracy, and it was a great guild – I still have some friends from those days.

    Conspiracy broke down just as Wang started his raiding journey. As Resto I might add, which he ended up being for all of BC. Healers were hard to find, and it really got me the opportunities to get my raid spot secured – especially as we merged into a new guild called Sanity.

    The merge didn’t work so well, we all felt like outsiders, we were at the bottom of the dkp system, and the officers there were having problems of their own, as their members did not like the merge at all, because there was more competition around maybe. It was just a bad match – so we broke apart in a few weeks, around Christmas time.

    To be continued…