Culture Shock

While I consider myself a perpetual alt creator, I am undergoing culture shock after having rested my hat in the raiding scene for the last couple of years.

My last character was made specifically for raiding. Paladin tanks were finally viable, albeit in a damn near impossible, juggle the numbers, and pray to god that a guild will give you a chance, way. However, this didn’t stop my aspirations to get back into the raiding scene in a big way.

My last serious raider had been Kiera back in vanilla. Her guild was making serious inroads into Molten Core before a series of guild merges to keep fresh blood coming in resulted in an absolute dissolution of her guild.

My first character in Burning Crusade was made expressly to level with my spouse. While he and I had a grand time exploring the new areas, once level 70 hit, I rapidly started itching for a new experience. While I was accepted into a Karazhan raiding guild, it didn’t look like much else was going to be accomplished, so when the siren call of paladin goodness came knocking, I became a member of the horde once again.

While leveling up Lyre, I constantly was on the lookout for raiders to practice my craft with. I made sure I grouped with people who could and would appreciate having a good tank for more than the quick loot. I made alot of guild transitions between level 65 and 70 as I made a name for myself as a reliable and solid tank. While my guild wasn’t competing at the highest levels, we did most of the standard raid content: Gruul’s, Magtheridon, SSC, and Mt. Hyjal. Sadly, the GM left the server before Northrend hit the scene, and the guild dissolved, leaving me without a home.

I let things stand as they were until Northrend emerged. I rapidly leveled, and in doing, once again made myself well known to various people. I quickly found a raiding guild upon hitting level 80, and stayed with them until once again, loss of a GM resulted in a dissolution. I tried my hand at running a guild in Ulduar, only to discover, it is a terrible pain in the butt. Not being much of a negotiater, and unwilling to settle for a poorly run guild, I decided to revert to my standard, start a new character mantra. I regret that I have seen but not downed Yogg-Saron, and will most likely not see Alganon until he is old news.

Leveling Windsoar has been a refreshing and fun experience, much as I hoped it would be. I really enjoyed spending time with friends, just chit-chatting as we did our daily grind instead of spending 4 hours together, but not necessarily feeling like we were more than pixels in the same raid instance.

However, as a newly dinged 80, I find that I am much less sure of my capabilities than I am accustomed to being. Before, if I wanted to run a pug heroic, I didn’t even look at my fellow characters gear, because I knew even if all 4 were bad, I could probably carry the group. When I wanted to do an older raid, like Naxxramas, I grabbed a couple of well geared friends, and then whomever else was interested, again, because I had no doubts about the outcome. It was always refreshing to hear “I didn’t know it was that easy” at the end of a 3 hour Naxx run, many times, with people who had never finished the dungeon with their own guild.

Currently, despite my experience with the current content, I am the scrub. Hearing “your gear is awful” has become a new standard as I try to get those heroics done in which I know I can contribute. I know it won’t last long, as I’m capable and easily able to gear myself, but it is definitely a change from my previous norm.  I have become spoiled with having a main for such a long time, and perhaps only now understand the reluctance with which people change characters / servers / guilds.

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