Thursday, August 12, 2010

Playing Leapfrog

I almost entitled this post "Jumping the Shark" but I didn't want to imply that any climaxes had been reached or that it's all downhill from here, because that's not even close (maybe after I get to introduce the Lich King to my fire elemental). It's about bypassing content, something I don't actually enjoy doing.

In the Burning Crusade, I started fairly late into the xpac. I'd made some close friends playing LotRo and we'd thought of drifting to EQ2 (a game I love by the way) when one of them impulsively rolled a character on WoW and we just kinda followed. This was reluctant on my part and my third venture into Azeroth.


My vanilla characters had fallen by the wayside because I was living overseas then and my clunky second-hand pc couldn't handle the game (yep it was a pretty dismal machine). I remember at level 28 or so, our guild decided to take all the lowbies into one of the 60 instances just to experience it. That was my first taste at bypassing content :p No idea what it was or how we got in without attunement. My screen was frozen the whole time and I died a lot. I was probably the person standing in the fire/slime/green stuff/pink stuff/bombs - name it, I was in it.

It burns when I crusade

My second misadventure occured at the beginning of TBC when I rolled on a horrible server to join a horrible friend and his horrible guild. Everything fell apart before I hit 45 and I swore off the game forever (famous last words that established a vicious cycle of addiction).

Third time lucky. We chose a pvp server, horde side, in my timezone. I rerolled a druid (my vanilla class). I loved the friends I was playing with. We met an American while leveling (who has now moved to my town in Australia, small world) whose main happened to be in a a wonderful, small (but srs bzness) raiding guild and we were invited in as the only leveling non-alt characters. This is back when all raiding was guild based and if you weren't in a raiding guild, you were unlikely to see endgame content.

When I hit 67 or 68 (whatever level druids got flight form back then) I was able to do the Karazhan attunement quest (usually only doable at 70 then) so by the time I hit cap, I had a full set of T4 (woot!). The guild had by now finished TK and SSC and were well into MH and BT. After proving myself as a fill-in healer in Hyjal, I was offered a permanent spot on the team. Essentially I was the only person in the guild doing T6 content in T4 gear so I'd hide in tree form a lot. While this was a great opportunity, I actually hated jumping over T5 content completely. I loved Sunwell just because it was my first real taste at progression raiding where I was geared for the content and learning the fights along with everyone else.

Wrath and the Lich King

Different things led to another break from the game on the cusp on Wrath. Lots of games in-between, including some adventures in text-based RP and a lot of PvP. I got an urge to go back to try WoW after reading you could level through PvP. The old guild was now gone. New character. New faction. New server. I started several characters to between 40-80. The viability of leveling through PvP wasn't as expected and the ease of the dungeon finder tool meant I found myself interested in PvE again. By the time I rolled my current main, a shaman, I barely PvP'd at all.

Now I find myself at 80 and in T10 content with people I like a lot. I've completely missed Tiers 7-9 and while I can go back and pug those, it's not really the same.

I love ICC. It reminds me a lot of BT. I think the pacing is good, the layout, the different fights. In some ways I'm glad to be able to skip to the good stuff this time. It does feel like cheating though. I may get a chance to battle the Lich King soon with my spiffy emblem bought lowly T9. Maybe it will remind me of battling Illidan Stormrage when I was still in Kara gear.


I wonder if Cat will finally give me a sense of natural progression.

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