So what did I do after I got back, you ask? Since I’d “sacrificed” two of my 3 final weeks of vacation, what did I spend the rest of my time playing?
For the most part, I played WoW. I’ve been working on getting raid geared, as most of you know, and finally crossed that threshold in the past week. I bought a cheap epic off the AH and cashed in some valor points to put myself over the 460 limit. Afterwards, I visited the now-ubiquitous Ask Mr. Robot to get suggestions on reforging and gemming (not that it was particularly confusing, just that the best possible combination to hit cap requires more math than I really want to do). I blew about 7k overall, which is chump change nowadays (even to me), and announced myself “raid ready.”
It didn’t take long for me to find a raid, either. My two momentarily-German friends can’t raid at the normal guild time, so they’ve set up a second raid on Sundays at 1. I was too busy during the week to attend the guild run anyway (lots of “surprise” (meaning I’d forgotten about them) meetings), so it was a perfect match. They had had limited success the week before and had mostly the same compliment of people coming, so it looked to be a basically guaranteed boss drop.
As Sunday rolled around, I felt nervous. I was worried that, as usual, my dps wouldn’t be up to par. I feel cursed; I do really well while leveling, but simply can’t get into the end-game rotation mindset, the competitiveness, the narrow-mindedness (which I don’t mean in a derogatory way) of dps raiding. I’ve repeatedly stepped into raids bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, on a shadow priest, a warlock, a mage, with my rotation in hand and gear gemmed and enchanted, only to end up at the bottom of the dps dog-pile. It’s been disappointing to no end, and I’ve always fled back to tanking or healing after another few raids.
I’m happy to report that this raid was different. I was at top dps for a little while near the start, but sank slowly as the wipes piled up. I hung tough, though, and since I was by far the worst-geared of the dps, I’m happy with my performance.
The raid itself, though, was a disaster. We were unable to down even a single boss. One of the two tanks who’d signed up to come no-showed, proving again how much of an amateur hour some of our guildies like to run (though not my friends who organized it, who were as irritated as I was about his absence). The Stone Guardians proved too much for the replacement tank, a DK who was incapable of avoiding floor effects and keeping herself alive.
This is the story of my raiding, though, isn’t it? I finally bite the bullet and decide to get back into it, but the team’s not up to the challenge. Eventually, I’m going to have to decide between the server and raiding, but I’m loathe to leave my friends behind, too.
The most fundamental problem still existed, too. The “guild leader,” who’s now moved some of her toons to other guilds, wasn’t really up for wiping over and over because she can just go get carried by her other guild – carried being the term she uses to describe her contribution – so why should she bother with glass chewing? Her healing was mediocre, too, but she acknowledged she may have not had the gear she needed, so I can at least forgive her for that.
Other than that, I’ve renewed my push into LoL. I’m trying to play each free champion at least once. No one really struck me this week, but I received the free Tristana and have been testing her out. She seems quite good, and in beginner AI I can destroy the competition, but moving to intermediate – which should be called advanced AI, frankly – leads to me getting destroyed. I’m not 100% sure what I’m doing differently, whether I’m being too reckless or what, but it can be a little frustrating. That said, the intermediate game I played saw 2 of my teammates DC for about 10 minutes, so it was a 3v5 slaughterfest. I should have played more conservatively during that rout, I guess, but I was being reckless trying to keep towers alive and was later chastised for feeding the enemy by one of the people who’d been DC’d for 10 minutes. Oh well.
My buddy and I gave Planetside 2 a chance. My buddy disliked it almost immediately, which was bizarre since it has all the “good” aspects of a FPS: character development, broader context, and varying classes, but he said he “didn’t feel like he understood what to do or was contributing.” I pointed out that any new game would feel like that and that he needed to give the game some more time. “Why should I have to not enjoy something in order to enjoy it?” He asked. It’s a strong point, but I disagree; there’s a difference between boring grinding to get to end game and a game having a learning curve. He doesn’t want to commit to a short learning curve, which of course eliminates a ton of potential games.
We finally agreed to cut our LoL time with Magic: The Gathering Online, which was great for me since I was already sufficiently paid up to play. We’ve only really played with the starter decks, which honestly feel pretty well balanced, but I’ve made two decks now, and I believe he’s doing the same, so we’ll be testing our mettle later today, I’d assume.
Lastly, it’s my first day back to college today, so I’m announcing my new schedule. I’m going to try for a M/W/F schedule this semester, but it may be afternoon before our correspondence drops.
Stubborn (and sick with a cold on the first day – sucks)